You want to make everything simple for your audience. One way to do that is to create a FAQ or a knowledge base. A FAQ is a simple list of questions with short answers. A knowledge base is like a FAQ but more in-depth, with more answers plus instruction for the audience to do it themselves.

Why Have a FAQ?

There are many benefits to using a FAQ or knowledge base. Many consumers like to find the answers to questions themselves before talking to a person on the phone, due to fear of the “hard sell”. There are some people who say you should want your audience to phone you so that you can sell to them, but there is another way to do that due to the advent of online marketing and self-service. The fact is, according to Harvard Business Review, more than half of customers prefer self-service.

Build Content with Questions and Answers

In addition to being helpful to your audience, a FAQ or knowledge base is also another way to build your content library full of searchable keywords. This means that each question you answer in your FAQ or knowledge base is more like an article that you want to use to cover a particular search term, thus adding more content for your audience that is usable to them and to the search engines.

Ask Your Audience

One way to get ideas for your FAQ or knowledge base is to ask your audience to submit questions. You should email your target audience and your customers and ask them what they want to know for your FAQ. What’s really cool is you can then use these questions for your FAQ and your knowledge base. And if you want to, you can also make videos for each question as another form of content.

Get the Right Software

There is software that can make your FAQ or knowledge base more effective. It depends on what type of software you use to build your website, but a few ideas are Desk.com, Bloomfire.com, Zendesk.com, HappyFox.com and others. Do a search on “help desk and FAQ software” and a plethora of options will present themselves.

Answer the Obvious

You can start by answering the obvious, which most beginners question first. That way you can get something started. Then, just add to it every single time you get a question, no matter how silly it might seem to you. The fact that someone has the question proves you need to answer it.

Use Screen Shots

When you are creating your FAQ or knowledge base, it’s important to have the facility to use screen shots for help in understanding the problem. It’s easy to create good screen shots. You can get free software like Awesome Screenshot added right onto your browser.

Consider Adding Video

You have to remember that everyone learns differently. That means that you need to add text and images to help people understand. The video is especially helpful. When you do make a video, be sure to transcribe the words with time stamps for people who want to read rather than watch.

Keep Updating

Your FAQ or knowledge base is never done. You need to update it and add to it continuously. But remember, it’s a really good way to add useful and important content to your website, so it shouldn’t be difficult to keep going.

A knowledge base and FAQ is useful for your audience during the entire buying cycle; therefore, be sure to add in pre- and post-buying questions and answers. If you keep up to date with it, a good FAQ or knowledge base will pay off for you and your customers.

How to Establish a Successful Support Knowledge Base or FAQ
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