Answering Stupid Questions

Apparently there’s no such thing as a stupid question.

If you’re on the receiving end of your website’s contact form however,  you may beg to differ. Offering a direct email address, phone number, chat box and social media platforms to your customers is absolutely recommended, and the best way to maintain great communication with your customers and potential buyers from every level of the sales funnel. But what can you do if answering queries becomes one of your most time-consuming tasks each day?

There’s one glaring solution that you might have overlooked. You need better web content.

Let’s have a look at the questions that take up the most amount of time for e-commerce businesses and organisations across the entire globe:

  • What time are you open?
  • Will you be stocking XYZ product when it comes out?
  • Have you got any of XYZ left in stock?
  • Can I pre-order XYZ?
  • You’ve sold out of XYZ – will you be getting any more in?
  • Can I order over the phone/over email/by Direct Message/using this form?
  • How do I return an item?
  • How long will my delivery take?
  • Can I change my order?

There’s a theme here, isn’t there? Guaranteed, this information is on your e-commerce website. No matter what you’re selling, whether you’re a wine merchant or a car parts drop-shipper, there are similarities across the board. Repeating the same answers every day is draining. So stop doing it.

Instead, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Why are they coming straight to you for answers?

Research your business’ most frequently asked questions

Make a spreadsheet, scribble a list, knock up a Word doc. Tally up how often the same questions are being asked and note down every new query that comes up over the next few weeks.

Are there any links between the frequency of certain questions and times of the day/week/month that they’re asked? Are people getting in touch directly after purchase, or just before they order? Are the same people making queries or are these unique queries every time?

Look at your website’s analytics for clues

Using your website’s analytics to see how people are using your site can really help you to find out why so many queries are being made.

If your product pages only have a few seconds of engagement each, perhaps people aren’t getting what they need from them. If people are using your search box loads, maybe it’s not easy to find answers. If your checkout cart is often-abandoned, could you make the process easier?

Use your website like a customer

Instead of breezing thought the site using all your learned work-arounds and search terms, try using your website like you’ve never seen it before.

The following questions might help you to start thinking more deeply about the customer journey.

  • How long do the pages take to load?
  • How easy is it to navigate?
  • How easy to read is the text?
  • Is the content on each page engaging?
  • Do all the pictures load correctly and look the part?
  • Does each page have a purpose and answer any reasonable questions that might arise?
  • Does your FAQs page answer your customers’ frequent queries in simple to understand terminology?
  • How often to you ask customers to contact you? (If you’re doing this a lot, is it any wonder people are doing it?)
  • Do your product pages have enough detail?
  • Are out of stock products displayed with information about when they’ll be back in stock?
  • Do you list all of your upcoming or pre-order stock? If not, do you mention this anywhere?
  • Do you have an email newsletter? How cumbersome is it to sign up for info on all of your latest product releases? (if this is a query you often receive)

One more thing to think about: If every page on your website prompts customers to “contact us for more info”, is your website really doing its job?

Web content isn’t just stand-alone information for Google to pick up and amend your search rankings. Creating content that suits your inbound marketing objectives makes your life easier and improves the quality of the sales queries you receive.

So stop answering stupid questions. Create a simple-to-use website filled with the information your customers need so they don’t have to ask you anything in the first place.

Need help with your web content? Seed Copywriting specialises in SEO web content writing and inbound marketing web content audits. Take a look at the portfolio page to see previous client work, or get in touch to see how your web content could be drastically improved.

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