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Using FAQ software tools to your advantage
FAQ software products can aid you in designing and building a FAQ for your website. Having a clear and simple explanation to the most common answers customers have creates a better experience for them overall, and saves them (and you) valuable time. But how can YOU–the FAQ creator–save time? FAQ software products are built to save you time with tasks like fact gathering, design, and integration of your FAQ.
A FAQ is most effective when it is clear and concise, but also resolves common issues in a user-friendly but complete and user-satisfying way. The more powerful FAQ tools can also round out your FAQ in a more comprehensive way by gathering data from other sources you may have overlooked or not even know existed.
What are the most popular FAQ software tools today?
The most widely popular FAQ software tools range from simple publishing templates to plugins for popular CMS and retail platforms all the way up to sophisticated algorithms or artificial intelligence (AI) that help you find the most common user questions.
FAQ software tools range from basic publishing templates to plugins and complete applications.
Publishing templates, like the Zendesk FAQ software, the Common Ninja FAQ maker, or Webcomet FAQ, can help you format your FAQ by allowing you to simply fill in pre-made template question and answer boxes with your own text. Zendesk, for example, “marries” customer support principles with standard FAQ format. Plugins like Wix, Shopify Ecommerce, or WordPress FAQ plugins can help you build a FAQ section right into your existing website from templates that you incorporate into the platform you’re already using to publish.
More complex tools like Stonly are coded in an interactive way with the questions users leave on your website and also similar websites. These FAQ tools do some of the upfront research work for you by compiling the most common search terms related to your content and associated questions that are upvoted to find idealized FAQ items for you.
Remember, it’s also uber-important to structure and markup your content properly for maximum searchability.
What do FAQ tools do well?
Many FAQ software tools can assist you with the design and presentation aspect of your website’s question and answer section. They can streamline the process of actually creating the FAQ page and provide structure for organizing that information. They also offer different style formats, such as options to create a dropdown menu that is expanded and contracted (called “accordion-style“) vs. laying out all the questions and answers on one page together in a typical list form.
What are the limitations of these tools, if any?
FAQ software is great for designing the layout of your question and answer page. However, a truly great FAQ needs to also have high quality, thoughtful content, which is where the human element comes in. The best FAQs really pinpoint the meaning behind the most relevant questions users ask about your product, even if they’re phrased in different ways. The best FAQ provides truly rewarding answers to the most basic and complex questions your users have, so the user can think to themselves: “YAY! PROBLEM SOLVED.”
Can FAQ software genuinely pinpoint your users’ issues and problem spots?
Whether FAQ software algorithms can find the most important user issues to highlight depends on the tool being used and the type of questions needed. For highly technical topics such as complex repairs—where it may be hard to predict what the most common questions will be—this type of frequently asked questions algorithm could really be of help to you and your users. For products where the most common questions are more obvious, this type of algorithm would most likely be redundant and may slow you down when gathering your FAQ questions.
Big picture or small?
At the end of the day, the question of whether to use FAQ software depends on whether you feel it’s easier to pinpoint your users’ biggest concerns by looking at the big picture or by collecting data on the individual questions people have. Often, it’s a combination of both. Using FAQ software products to uncover what the most common questions are combined with human oversight to make sure these questions are being addressed in a natural way can result in a “best of both worlds” combination.
What types of businesses are best served by FAQ software tools?
Of course, basically any kind of business is served well by a great well-crafted FAQ page, no matter how simple. However, when it comes to the actual creation of this page, the needs can vary widely from product to product, service to service, and organization to organization.
For products or services with very complex technical questions, a FAQ software tool that uses an algorithm to look into what the most common questions are can be a big help. It is still beneficial to have a knowledgeable expert oversee these questions and answers to make sure the software tool isn’t missing important context.
For products or services with simpler information, FAQ software designed to create a layout overseen by an expert may be the easier way to go. When it comes to deciding on layout look-and-feel, a FAQ page can go with an expand and collapse model or a more standard structured list of common questions and answers. This stylistic choice will depend on how clean the page looks when it’s all put together and how many frequently asked questions there are in the FAQ. The best FAQ tools should allow for both formats or provide easy customization options.
Pages made easy (or at least, easier)
FAQ software tools can be invaluable in creating your company’s FAQ section and/o adding to other pages or sections of your site or app (for example, a landing page). Using a tool to help you build the FAQ page in a clean and well-designed way can be a huge benefit to you, but it’s also important to have professional (read: human) input guiding the content, syntax, and grammar.
Remember, for a truly great and effective FAQ, make sure your frequently asked questions and answers:
- are well-written in natural, plain language
- are the most powerfully relevant to your users
- are able to address users’s concerns in a rewarding way that guides the user on their way
- are structured and organized in a predictable format that values speed and ease-of-use
- create opportunities for searching beyond your site or app
- enhance the SEO ranking for your company, product or service
Keeping these key components in mind will help you craft your best FAQ, with or without help from a software tool.