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08 May 2011 @ 11:28 am
Let me help with that FAQ thing  
Okay, so let's look at the abbreviation:
Frequently
Asked
Questions

I know it's a little vague. Who asked the questions? How frequently were they asked? I'm here with a handy little guide for your average company as to what constitutes a single FAQ element. If the Q in question came out of:

  • An internal brainstorming meeting

  • Marketing

  • A sales team presentation


it doesn't count. No matter how frequently it was asked in that context. If you find your Q is along the lines of:
"Why is your product so awesome?"
"What other fine products do you offer?"
"How can I buy more of your product for friends and family?"
You may want to either leave it out, or put it in a separate section clearly designated for sales. This section should under no circumstance be linked to from a general Support Search.

What's the big deal, you ask? Why not include such questions in the FAQ? Well, the popular acronym leaves out a couple implied points. Generally, we customers see it as is:
Frequent
Troubleshooting
Questions
Asked by
Customers.

So, since FTQAC doesn't roll off the tongue quite so easily (unless you're Donald Duck), we go with FAQ.

We're looking into the FAQ because we're using the product in a way consistent with the intended usage. We've encountered a problem while doing something that should be a routine task. As such, we figure we must not be the first person to encounter it. So we go look at the FAQ!

Which leads to my main point. The worst time to try and pitch more of your product to a customer is when they're actively experiencing a problem. I realize the temptation is great to add a little marketing to your FAQ. Don't do it. Just...don't. No matter how much your marketing department talks about proactively leveraging all contact points for maximum resale potential.
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Holo Vixensteelhelix on May 10th, 2011 01:23 am (UTC)
::slowly turns to certain networking companies that are horrible at this::