Your customers ask questions; you answer them. Now let’s take them a step further.
A stellar online experience is just as important as a strong customer support team when it comes to providing your customers with the information they need. But no matter how comprehensive your website, visitors are bound to have questions along the way. Instead of just answering those questions, take them a step further to create a supportive experience for future customers.
Whether your site relies on a knowledge base (or “help island,” as we call it) to answer your customer’s online questions, has a search bar, highlights an “ask a salesperson” call to action, or is taking advantage of self-service contextual Q&A like AnswerDash, here are some ways to use basic data and analytics to multiply the impact of customer inquiries.
Speak directly to your buyer personas and create content to match.
When you’re speaking directly to someone, you tailor your conversation to suit who they are. You wouldn’t, for example, speak to your grandmother the same way you’d speak to your best friend (unless your grandmother IS your best friend).
The same is true for any marketing campaign. When communicating to your customers, you should know the type of buyer, or persona, you’re talking to and tailor the content to match. Take a look at common support questions you receive and take note of who they come from. You might find that your website does a great job explaining product benefits to your IT or Support target audience, but all the “Marketing Marys” out there are asking the same questions over and over. What a great opportunity to tailor a piece of your knowledge base content to an underserved segment of your audience!
Use revealing customer questions to grow and improve your product.
Growing up, my parents would tell me in late October that they’d just bought my Christmas gift. Being impatient and devastatingly curious, I would beg them to tell me what it was but the answer was always, “Nope, sorry, not ‘til Christmas.” I would then resort to guessing all the different things that I hoped it would be (“a light-up yoyo!” “a microscope!” “3D puzzles!!!!”), each to be rebutted with a firm “not telling.” They held their ground until Christmas morning when I’d tear open my gifts to find that I’d gotten most of what I’d (unintentionally) requested. Years later, it became clear to me that my parents were only trying to figure out exactly what I wanted.
This ploy is a great technique with your customers: see if you can use the questions they pose online and to your support team as inspiration for product development and roadmap ideas. By listening, you can give them that gift they wanted all along: a customized roadmap with features that will benefit them and keep them coming back for more.
Write a blog or landing page to address the questions your customers are always asking (while also boosting your SEO ranking).
Listening to your customers might inspire you to include new features and updates to your product roadmap, but what about all those other questions? The basic ones that continually clog the customer support inbox? Take them as a hint.
When your customers consistently ask the same questions, it’s a great opportunity to listen and respond with a piece of self-service content just for them. Develop a blog post or knowledge base article to answer that question in depth, including as many additional resources as necessary. Also consider adding a contextual Twitter-sized answer to their question right on your website with a tool like AnswerDash. In addition to addressing a common source of confusion for your customers, you might also boost your SEO ranking for your relevant keywords. By listening to your customers and answering the questions they actually have, the self-service content on your website won't feel irrelevant or impersonal.
Learn where your customers are getting confused or stuck on your site and clarify that section.
What’s worse than an incorrect map? One that insists on remaining incorrect.
If your analytic data is telling you that people are searching for a particular keyword or string of keywords on your site but they never make it to the most helpful page for them, you need to update your site to reflect actual customer needs. Whether that means rethinking the design and flow of your site or the reworking of a few paragraphs, the key to a positive online experience is your customer's quick and uninterrupted access to desired information. (PetHub learned that their customers were confused about certain portions of their site, so they responded with simple tweaks that significantly enhanced the customer self-service experience.)
There is so much you can do with the data and analytics associated with your website and self-service tools, especially by leveraging common questions your customers always ask. Exploring customer questions can give you necessary insight to improve your product and increase the effectiveness of online self service for future customers.