Building an Effective About and FAQ Page
Modern shoppers are increasingly concerned about whether business models and mission statements match their own values and priorities. They want to feel connected to their retailers and satisfied that retailer goals and concerns match their own, whether that be in concerns for the environment or product quality.
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So, how can they know if this is the case? By checking out your About Us and FAQ pages! The tone and care shown in these pages can be what determines who a customer will buy from or even if they buy at all. They are another chance to prove the value you can provide to a customer and to the marketplace as a whole.
To make sure you’re successfully building this relationship, and earning customer trust, include the following elements and best practices when building your own pages.
What are the Goals of an About Us Page?
An About Us page is an important part of a visitor’s journey on your Shopify site. When a visitor seeks to be reassured about the store they are purchasing from, understand their strengths and whether they can rely on them to provide a good experience, they tend to visit About Us.
To provide this reassurance and create trust with your visitors, the About Us page should:
- Tell your story and introduce the people behind the business – this helps users form an emotional connection to your store.
- Explain the focus of your business and how you do what you do – for example, if you’re a clothing store focused on quality, describe what goes into clothing design and the high-quality materials you use in your products.
- State your unique value proposition – what makes you different from competitors and why they should buy from you.
- Say who your customers are and provide social proof – the about page can explain who can benefit from your products, and showcase satisfied customers with testimonials. This can be a chance to explain how you value customer engagement as well.
Elements to Include in Your About Page
While an About Page has a flexible structure, you should consider adding most of the elements below.
Vision and Mission. Say what you set out to do when you founded your business, which customers you serve, and what is special about your products. Use images and graphic design to convey the emotional values of your brand.
Company History. Provide a timeline or a compelling story saying how you got started, important milestones in your company’s history and how you got where you are today. Make it light, brief and compelling, with engaging images to help follow the story.
Your Team. Provide pictures of the people behind your company. It is much easier for a visitor to connect with human faces than with a cold digital presence. Highlight the skills and abilities of your team, and its size, if appropriate, to increase trust in your ability to deliver.
Photo and Video Gallery. Any multimedia you have showcasing your company and products can be provided here for users to browse through. Don’t show hundreds of product photos – this is the place for artistic images of your best products and images and videos illustrating how you operate or what’s special about your products and store. Fast loading, dynamic media can be used to grab a customer’s attention and display your brand in a highly accessible way.
Press, Awards, Stats, and Testimonials. Include anything that can reassure users of the viability of your business and the quality of your products. Were you mentioned in the local or national press? Have you received awards? Are there impressive numbers behind your business, such as the number of customers or years you are in business? Lastly, include social proof and show satisfied customers with reviews and testimonials.
Call To Action. After a user has seen your About Us page and is impressed, consider what should be their next step. You may want to funnel them to your blog, encourage them to connect with you on social or send them back to the product area. Analyze visitor analytics to see what makes the most sense and at which stage visitors are likely to see your About Page.
Goals of an FAQ Page
An FAQ page can address real issues a user may have on their way to purchasing a product or after the purchase. An effective FAQ page should:
- Reduce the load on customer support by addressing simple, repeating questions and providing clear examples.
- Help visitors understand how your store works, including details like returns, warranties, and deliveries.
- Reduce concerns and add crucial information that users may need to know at a later stage of the buying process but that is too detailed for your product page.
- Increase trust by showing you recognize possible problems, provide solutions and are transparent about your business and operations.
- Reduce churn by addressing complaints and negative reviews in your FAQ page before new visitors experience the same problems.
Best Practices for Writing FAQ Questions and Answers
How can you come up with your FAQs and how do you write them effectively to ensure they really address customer concerns? These best practices can help.
Use simple language. Make sure that your FAQ is as clear as possible to all of your potential customers. Using complex language or technical jargon can make people feel alienated, particularly if they are unacquainted with your products or if your FAQ is not written in their primary language.
Mine your customer communications for ideas. Look at customer support tickets, email inbox, and your social media profiles. Talk to your support representatives and ask them what they suggest adding to the FAQs.
Choose the questions that can help the most. Select the questions that can address key concerns and help users continue in their buying journey. De-prioritize questions that users may ask but are not critical to help them convert or avoid churn.
Write from the customer’s perspective. Talk to customers and see how they voice their questions and concerns. Use their terminology and even include the emotion they are likely to experience, for example: “Gosh! What happens if my package gets lost?”
Be brief but comprehensive. An FAQ is not a blog post, questions and answers should be clear and concise. However, don’t leave out important details in the interest of brevity, give customers all the information they need to solve the problem.
Encourage customer engagement. Within your answers, give the visitor a link or call to action to take the next relevant step in your purchase process.
Learn from your competitors. Look at competitors’ communication with their customers as well! You can learn valuable lessons from looking at how competitors proactively address customer concerns, and also from complaints and negative reviews they have experienced, which you can try to avoid.
Things You Absolutely Should Cover on Your FAQ
Each business is different, but there are few topics that you must include in your FAQ unless they are not relevant to your business at all. Here are some must-have FAQs:
Shipping options – tell customers what shipping methods you use, where you ship to, how much shipping costs, and your commitment to delivery times.
Example: “Can I send a gift receipt?” “Yep! Just choose ‘gift’ as an option when you place you’ll order and we’ll send a receipt without payment info.
Taxes or other fees – be transparent and help customers understand how much they are going to pay above and beyond your basic price. Keep in mind if taxes are location dependant or if customers might face import fees.
Example: “Can you deliver outside the US?” “Absolutely! Make sure you check import taxes for your location though so you aren’t surprised when it gets there.”
Return and order change policy – clarify the conditions for changing an order, if customers can return products, in what condition, within what time frame and how the returns process works. For today’s digital-first consumers, returns are becoming a topic of prime importance and they may form a competitive advantage.
Example: “Can I change my shipping address?” “As long as we haven’t processed or shipped your order, you can change it in the My Orders dashboard.”
Addressing problems – tell customers what they should do if their order does not arrive on time, if a product is defective, or if they are otherwise dissatisfied with the experience.
Example: “Your product stinks!” “We’re sorry to hear that. We try to ensure that every item is perfect but we’re only human. Please contact us here and we’ll see if we can fix the problem.”
Contact details – the FAQ should make it clear where your physical store is located and how to contact support and customer service in case questions were not answered.
Example: “I have more questions…” “Did we forget something? Reach out to us via email or through our chatbot and we’ll get you sorted.”
How to buy – include important details or common problems visitors encounter in your purchase process, including setting up and managing their account. Identify where visitors commonly get stuck and provide a direct question that can help solve the problem.
Example: “My gift card isn’t working!” “It’s possible that your card doesn’t have a remaining balance. If you’re sure you’re entering the number correctly and that there’s value left, give us a call and we’ll help you apply it to your order.”
Safety – most products can be dangerous in some situations or may be subject to rules and regulations. Give customers all the information they need to use the product safely and be reassured you have complied with relevant industry standards.
Example: “Can I feed this to my pet?” “Yes, but they may not like it… All of our products are FDA approved safe but human taste buds are different than pets so…”
FAQ Design Best Practices
Writing great questions and answers is one thing. But how should you design your FAQ page to make it effective for your visitors? Here are a few tips.
Use Categories. If you have more than 10-15 questions, it will be a good idea to sort them into meaningful categories and provide links to the categories from the top of the page. If questions fall into more than one category, you might want to place them in both.
Regular Updates. FAQs are practical and both questions and answers can change over time, like your business and products. Revisit the FAQ and revise questions and answers as needed at least once every three months or whenever you launch a new feature or product category, to avoid stale content and dissatisfied customers.
Provide Search. Search is often the easiest way for visitors to find the information they need on a long page. A quick, convenient in-page search box will help visitors find their concern quickly and increase the chance you can solve their problem.
Simple Design. While there are many examples of creative FAQ pages, an FAQ is a transactional, practical part of your store and visual or design elements should be kept to a minimum to help users focus on their questions and get an answer quickly.
These tips can offer you structure when crafting your own FAQ page. For more guidance in your design process, check out a variety of the FAQs out there. By exploring others pages and layouts, you can better figure out what elements and layouts convey your unique personality while upholding the above best practices.
Connecting With Your Customers
When creating your About Us and FAQ pages don’t forget who you’re creating them for – your customers. They don’t have all of your inside information or company pride, so these pages are your opportunity to get them on board by informing them why they should want to purchase from you and how you value them as a customer.
An additional tip: Try to get feedback on these pages from an objective party, particularly someone who matches your customer demographic. Something that might seem obvious or endearing to you may be interpreted completely differently by them. Their feedback can help you make sure that your pages are as clear as possible and sending the message you intend.
This is a guest contribution by
Gilad David Maayan. Gilad is a technology writer who has worked with over 150 technology companies including SAP, Samsung NEXT, NetApp and Imperva, producing technical and thought leadership content that elucidates technical solutions for developers and IT leadership.