Reduce Support Costs with Customer Communities: Drive Customer Self-Service (Part 2)

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FAQs that really are Frequently Asked

What’s a better source of FAQs than the real-time questions your customers are asking every day? Odds are these are changing as you release new products and features, the industry and market change, and consumers move through the customer lifecycle. You don’t need to pay someone to constantly be anticipating what the next questions and issues will be. Instead, allow your community to surface the logical questions, issues, and bugs that will inevitably come up.

 

There are some guiding curation best practices that will help you leverage your community as a dynamic, social place for FAQs. “Social” isn’t just a buzzword here—it’s a key aspect to ensuring that the “frequently” part of FAQ holds true. You want to make sure your self-service is actively covering all the issues and questions your customers are having today, not just the ones you envisioned them having when you launched two years ago.

 

You’ll want to seed your community with FAQs before you even launch, so that it acts as a self-service resource for your customers from the minute your community goes live. You can make this more dynamic by creating a product category tag for FAQs. When you tag other pieces of content with your FAQ label, they will be added to the attention-grabbing tab on your community home page, in real-time.

 

Employees can also mark the status of questions that have been answered by the community as “answered,” so that other customers know which community responses are company verified. By curating your community this way, your customers and prospects will have access to a great source of real-time questions and answers, with the authority of company sanctioned FAQs. Use Get Satisfaction’s simple copy and paste code snippets (widgets, for you techies out there) to place FAQs and other community conversations anywhere you want on your website.

 

This means that when people come to your home page, help site, or product pages, they’ll be able to see the topics people are having in real-time about your products and services. If they’re experiencing an issue that others are having as well, they’ll be able to self-serve their own answers right from your site. And you’ll be able to address all of them in one fell swoop as soon as there are updates. Remember, a key aspect of self-service is that answers are quick and easy to find and understand. If you have all the information your customers could need, but it’s buried in a support ghetto on a difficult-to-find to page on your website, it isn’t likely to improve anyone’s experience or reduce any workloads.

 

Search, the King of Self-Service

Think about it. Where’s the first place you turn when you have a question or would like more information about something. Your favorite search engine, right? The same is true for your customers. You want to make sure that your self-service topics consistently turns up in top results when your customers turn search. Easy, effective searchability will perpetuate the success of your self-service strategy exponentially. As customers search for the answers to their questions and are brought to your community, your engagement levels and page views will go up. This, in turn, improves the ranking of these pages, driving even more customers there to discover them as resources.

 

A Get Satisfaction customer community is uniquely structured to rank well in search. The URL of each community conversation has the company name in it, as well as the topic title phrased in the words of the person who asked the question. That means that each link is highly optimized for the company name and the natural, organic language that customers are using to ask questions and report problems. That’s important because the internal language you use to refer to your products, features, and bugs doesn’t necessarily map to the language your customers use. The discrepancy between your language and that of your customers can make it difficult for them to find the answers to their questions in traditional FAQs and knowledge repositories, which were written internally by someone drinking your company Koolaide.

 

Adding more pack to its SEO punch, Get Satisfaction is home to more than 70,000 communities. Because of the sheer size of the network, as well as the extent of customer-generated content and engagement that takes place there, search engines crawl the entire Get Satisfaction platform constantly. User-generated content is viewed as authoritative by Google, so it ranks particularly well. Once a topic is posted, it’s likely to start showing up in search almost immediately.

Check back in for the conclusion of this white paper!

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