FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) are a very popular and very effective means of providing technical and customer support. The question is, how frequent does a question need to be before it can become part of the FAQ? How often is the FAQ updated?
The truth is, most FAQs aren't updated continually. They are created once and then left alone. Creating the FAQ page is a project. Once the project is completed then it isn't revisited unless absolutely necessary.
Let me suggest a better approach. Don't create a FAQ. Create a FUA (Frequently Updated Answers). Just changing the title causes you to rethink the way you approach it.
What makes a good FUA?
Here are the principles behind a good FUA:
- An FUA is always up to date. You don't let stale information stay in your FUA.
- An FUA is constantly changing. You might have discovered a new use case for your product, or introduced a new workflow. The FUA should contain answers to all of the new questions that arise.
- An FUA should get used. You should point your customers, your support staff and your sales team to it. This way you only have to answer questions once, instead of 500 times.
Do we use an FUA?
Our documentation for ScreenSteps basically functions like an FUA for our products. And it saves us hours and hours in decreased support time. The place where we need to do better is in our policies. We don't have an FUA for things like, "What is the difference between ScreenSteps Workgroup Connection and ScreenSteps Workgroup Concurrent?" or "Do you accept purchase orders?" These answers are spread out around our website which means neither we nor or customers can remember exactly where to go to find the answers.
The result is that we spend a lot of time answering those same questions over and over again. It is something that we are going to be looking at improving in the next couple of weeks.