It’s time to question the usefulness of Frequently Asked Questions.

Here’s my problem with FAQs. Most of the time, they were written by people in the Marketing or Product department but reside under the Support or Help section of your website. I know: I have written them when I was working at a previous employer. Most of the time, FAQs are driven by assumptions of where customers are having issues, and they are viewed as a check-off box responsibility, not as a dynamic component of customer engagement. Worst of all the content is filled with internal language that the customer doesn’t understand.

Even more frustrating is the fact that, in my experience, the FAQs are written well before the product launches or the last release. In most companies, the questions and answers aren’t generated by anyone who is interacting with paying customers who are trying to solve problems on their own.

For most companies, the FAQ is never updated even though the product may have gone through several updates during its lifecycle. The few answers that might actually have been helpful quickly age and become partially inaccurate, potentially misleading, or downright wrong.

Drop a comment on this page if this sounds like your company.

So what’s the solution? It’s time to move the traditional FAQ information to the marketing pages where it belongs. FAQ 2.0 should be a real-time reflection of the questions most frequently asked (or searched for) by real customers. By leveraging the self-help and analytics, you can gain insight into customer interactions with your self-support pages, monitor the most frequently accessed Guided Paths, and create a list of… wait for it… frequently asked questions. As your product moves through its life from the tech-savvy early adopters to the mainstream consumer, the list will automatically update and change to meet their specific needs. You’ll even be able to identify areas where the product experience can be improved and avoid having a new customer encounter a problem that stays at the top of the list for too long.

An FAQ is useless unless it’s relevant and constantly evolving. Spending years of supporting tens of thousands of interactions a day has allowed us at to create tools and content to help support customers through self-support with the best technical support agents available, 24 hours a day, to help when an FAQ isn’t enough. When our team learns something new or spots a new trend in analytics, content is updated and maintained so the FAQ can be relevant and alive.

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