How to Handle Frequently Asked Questions
Being the sole owner and operator of my business means that I can use all the time management help I can get. So, it really goes without saying that I love finding ways to speed up the completion of tasks I do often.
Take for instance: emails.
Some of the emails I receive from clients require a unique answer, but many times, they contain questions I’ve been asked before.
So, one way I like to save time is by answering client questions before they have them. This also goes a long way toward making your clients feel comfortable and taken care of before you even meet.
The best way to do this?
Add an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page to your site.If you receive the same questions over and over again from many different clients, an FAQ page on your website –or in your welcome packet– is a great place to answer all of the common ones. Because chances are, if past clients have asked, your future clients are going to have the very same questions!
An FAQ page is also a great place to educate your clients on what they can expect from working with you. Or for touching on any less-than-desirable situations that could arise in your business.
For instance, let’s say you’re a photographer and you had a past client that brought their mother-in-law along to the session to help wrangle the kids. At some point during the session, Grandma started snapping cellphone photos of her precious grandbabies. (And who could blame her? They’re adorable, and so is your setup!) But, her picture-taking ended up distracting the children from looking at your camera.
This would be something you could include in your Frequently Asked Questions post so that you can clearly state your policies in advance in a helpful manner.Q: “Is it okay if I bring a friend or family member along to the session to help with the kids?”
A: Absolutely! As long as they don’t distract from the session, you are more than welcome to bring a helper along! If you do decide to bring someone along to help, though, please be sure to let me know in advance to make sure the session runs as smoothly as possible.
Or, if it’s against your policy, you can answer a different way…A: To help the session run smoothly with fewer possible distractions, I’ve found that it’s usually best if the session is limited to only the members of the family that are actually being photographed. However, if there is a very good reason that assistance is needed, I’d be happy to chat about it with you! Making sure your session is as happy and as relaxed as can be is my priority.
Either way you wish to go with your answer is fine. Just be sure that your response is clear, concise, and friendly, no matter your stance on the question.
(If you are putting something into your FAQ because of a past experience, be careful not to be so overly specific with your scenarios that you wind up singling out the past clients. You don’t want to make them feel bad.)
What if people don’t read the FAQ page?Let’s face it: no matter how pretty and put together you make your FAQ page, there are always going to be people who just won’t see it.
Maybe they overlooked it, or maybe it’s easier to just shoot a quick email to someone with your questions.
For this reason, another helpful tip is to create a link to your FAQ page right on your Contact page. You can see mine here.
Create Canned ResponsesYou can place all of your frequent responses to common questions in a document inside Google Drive. Then, even if some of these questions still find their way into your inbox, all you have to do is find the answer in your list of ready-made responses. Simply copy and paste it into the email, adjust slightly if needed, and send away!
So. Much. Time. Saved.
Do you put these tips to use in your business? Do you have any other time-saving tips? Post in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you!