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Turning FAQs Into Sales

Turning FAQs Into Sales

This article helps product suppliers gather their frequently asked questions (FAQs), so they serve as an easy-to-use reference for future customers. It is especially relevant to businesses listing products online and making them available for sale via a digital shopping cart.

We’re often told here at FAD Equipment Store that our FAQs are helpful in answering simple questions about products. But it’s not as simple as copying and pasting every question we get sent and adding them to a page on the website. That’s just the start.

Yes, FAQs are what they say—frequently asked questions or inquiries we get on a regular basis—but they also need to be modified and molded so they’re useful as part of a buyers’ guide over a period of time. They’re also a good reference point for improving product literature. In other words, why have so many people asked us if a product can or can’t do this or that? Shouldn’t that be part of the original product summary? If it should, add it. We rewrite some of the questions that get sent, not to change them in context, but to make them clearer to target audiences.

Here are our top 5 tips for making FAQs as helpful as possible:

  1. Answer the question
  2. Make a note of the question
  3. Answer the question in product information
  4. Link to other information in FAQs
  5. Update your FAQs

FAQs

This article helps product suppliers turn their frequently asked questions into revenue.

Answer the question

It sounds simple, but you’ve got to answer the questions that are put to you by customers—existing, prospective, or otherwise. These days, it takes great attention and patience to do that because questions can be asked in so many ways:

  • Face-to-face
  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Webchat or comment box
  • WhatsApp or SMS
  • Etc.

The question probably arose when someone was interested in a product and / or thinking about making a buying decision. Whatever, it’s wise to answer it. If you haven’t got the answer right away, there should be a process to follow so that a response is given as soon as possible. Not only might that information help the person immediately, but they’ll remember the level of service offered. It will also tell them a lot of about the level of expertise at a company and the attention they might receive in future.

Always respond and ask if that response raises any further questions. Getting involved in a conversation is a fact-finding exercise for both parties.

Make a note of the question

Once the question has been noted, answered, followed up, and turned into ongoing dialog, now is the time to make sure it has been filed for future use. Again, a process should be in place so that this note isn’t made on a pad and later swept into the trash. It should be listed, archived, and never forgotten. It’s like priceless product treasure. Chances are that the question will arise again, and the answer needed. Further, as we’ll explore, you will need it for beefing up existing literature and expanding product descriptions. Google will be hungry for the content.

Never put yourself in a position where you think, ‘I wish I remember what that person asked me’. Instead, be able to say, ‘I’ve been asked that before and here’s how we got to the bottom of it’.

Answer the question in product information

As suggested above, answering a question isn’t a case of responding to an individual, in person or digitally, and moving onto the next task of the day. Once it’s been answered and added to the list of FAQs—these should be easy to find with every product—a process begins as to how being asked the same question in future can be avoided. That doesn’t mean a business should set itself up not to be responsive, but it should go a step further and make sure that the audience is never short of the answers they need.

If a question comes in about length, height, weight, capacity, material, availability, etc., that detail should be added to product specs immediately.

Questions?

It's good for business if you have answers to customers' questions.

Link to other information in FAQs

When you’re putting together questions and answers, it’s likely that supporting information will be necessary to respond in full. Nobody really likes long answers so it’s advisable to link elsewhere. So, if someone asks if the product is suitable for use in extreme environments, and it isn’t, be honest about that but point to one that is. At this equipment store, we stock lots of products that appear similar, but they’re all suited to a specific use.

As we track our customers’ activity online, it’s clear that people find themselves on a new product page having made their way from the FAQs on another. You should open these pathways too.

Update your FAQs

Keeping answers relevant is a challenge for any manufacturer or vendor, largely because products evolve. What is true today, might not be so tomorrow. Again, it’s important to have a procedure in place so that FAQs—indeed, all content—is reviewed on an ongoing basis. It becomes misleading if a capacity range is referenced up to 10 tons if it now stretches to 15 tons. That can hit a business in the pocket if a potential customer sees the initial range in a list of FAQs and is looking for something at 12 tons and takes his or her search to another store.

A thorough list of FAQs will grow over time; it might be that a retailer chooses to upload them one at a time or as a few are gathered, and the answers sharpened. A long list of questions and answers says a product has provoked a lot of interest and the people behind making and selling it care about passing best practice onto the point of use. That’s no bad thing.

FAQs: an example

We’ve been asked questions about most of our products. Even when we thought we knew an item inside out, had hundreds of words in product description boxes, included data sheets, and littered a page with images, there’s always someone out there that wants to know more. And that’s one of the things that makes product sales so exciting.

Caldwell adjustable barrier grab

Whether or not a product can be adjusted is a popular question.

One such example is our 6,000-lb. capacity Caldwell adjustable lifting grab, which is ideal for lifting solid materials, such as blocks of concrete, stone, rough marble, and granite. A heavy-duty, adjustable, stainless steel auto-latch with a lifting eye, allows for easy hook attachment. Extended handles keep the operator away from the load and can be adjusted as required. You see what we mean: we know our products well. But we have a series of questions that people continue to ask:

  1. What is the capacity of the product? 6,000 lbs.
  2. What would I use the adjustable lifting grab for? It is ideal for lifting solid materials, such as blocks of concrete, stone, rough marble, and granite.
  3. How much does the product weigh? 700 lbs.
  4. What are the product’s handling capabilities / dimensions? Maximum width is 60-in, while the overall width of the product is 108.5-in.
  5. Is it adjustable? Yes, it is infinitely adjustable within range.
  6. What barriers can I handle? Standard configurations enable you to handle 6-in. and 12-in. barriers in addition to big blocks.
  7. How do I attach the lifting grab to my barrier or block? A heavy-duty, adjustable, stainless steel auto-latch with a lifting eye, allows for easy hook attachment. Locating assembly orientates grab on load without operator intervention.
  8. How is safety enhanced? Extended handles keep the operator away from the load and can be adjusted as required.
  9. Is the product manufactured to relevant standards? Yes, it is designed and manufactured to ASME B30.20 and BTH-1, design category B, service class 3 standards.
  10. Can I use it in demanding, outdoor environments? Yes, it will withstand rugged, high-cycle environments.
  11. How is my barrier or block protected? Replaceable polyurethane pads protect load from lifter damage.
  12. How do I know how much travel is remaining for each adjustment? Color-coded decal indicates the amount of travel remaining for each adjustment.
  13. Do you have a product specifically for concrete barriers? Yes, this barrier grab is perfect for handling concrete barriers from 6 in. to 12 in. nominal width at the top of the barrier.

It’s worth pointing to the last question (or last at this moment in time) because it is an example of us redirecting someone to another product. The short answer to, ‘Do you have a product specifically for concrete barriers?’ is, ‘Yes’, but a better answer is, ‘Yes, and here it is’.

Caldwell concrete barrier grab

Often, customers have questions based on the materials they need a product to handle.

In conclusion, it’s clear then that people looking to use or buy product have questions about them. With all the different types of facility out there, it is no surprise that these questions are varied, even if most are repeatedly—or frequently—asked. It’s worth checking that your FAQs tick the boxes required to make them useful and serve as a way of driving future sales. Remember:

  1. Answer the question
  2. Make a note of the question
  3. Answer the question in product information
  4. Link to other information in FAQs
  5. Update your FAQs

We’re often told here at FAD Equipment Store that our FAQs are helpful in answering simple questions about products. Use this guidance to become a leader in your sector too.

Next article When is a Foundationless Jib Crane Suitable?

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