Guest blog by Nienke Bloem, CX expert

It is a trend to send me as a customer into your FAQ. The place to be for self-service. Where I can solve my problems with, or answer questions about your products or services. Cheap, quick, easy, open 24/7, accessible. Brilliant!

BUT. Yes, here comes the BUT…. Why is it so hard for me to find the answer I am looking for in your digital FAQ jungle? I have identified 5 major FAQ struggles: 

1.         DIFFICULTY to find your FAQ: Many websites are purely focused on selling me your products and services. So I bought them, am using them but I have questions or problems. Chances are likely I have to really search and click several times to find my way to the solution. (Suggestion: on your frontpage, offer me SERVICE OPTIONS and make them explicit)

2.         You DON’T KNOW my question: I often get the chance to ask a question at your digital assistant, but She (yes, it is often a She) doesn’t know what my question is about. Does FAQ in your company means Frequently Avoided Questions?? Get to work. You often have thought about questions that you internally would ask, but customers don’t have the knowledge internal employees have. (Suggestion: check FACT based what customers ask and focus on continuous improvement of these questions.)

3.         Use of INTERNAL Language: Especially when using IT products or for example software, I don’t understand the answers I get. As a user I am not familiar with your product and internal language, so it is impossible for me to understand what you write. (Suggestion: make sure your language is customer based. Use CUSTOMERS to test and improve)

4.         ONLY TEXT: do you know that approximately 70% of humans are visual thinkers? Now have a look at your FAQ…. Mostly text? So, work to do. Because lots of text scare customers away anyway (Suggestion: use VISUALS, screen shots and pictures to answer questions. And use visual people to improve your self-service online)

5.         DEAD END street: What if your answer doesn’t help me? Please don’t leave it up to me and help me. Give me a real Omni channel or Cross channel experience. Either offer me a Chat or Call-Me-Now or even… Yes let me call you?! Sometimes I want to speak to a real person who can help me. So please don’t hide your phone number! (Suggestion: identify the dead end streets in your digital journey and create CROSS OVERS to other channels. And never ever hide your phone number, because customers will find it anyway)


This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.


Nienke Bloem is an expert in Customer Experience and helps organizations towards customer centricity. She delivered sound results as Customer Excellence Manager at the Dutch mobile operator KPN, where NPS rose with 14 points. Her motto: “Making Customer Experience work!”. As entrepreneur in customer experience management, Nienke helps organizations to deliver distinguishing customer experience based on their brand promise, during the whole customer journey and across channels.

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