The help link on your website can do a lot more than answer questions. Done properly, it can generate more leads and business to you.  Some customers aren’t ready or just don’t want to talk directly to a representative. Help can also be an asset.

The primary purposes of the help link are to motivate and educate. As suggested in earlier articles, here’s where learning as much as you can about customer interests and concerns is invaluable.

When possible, insert life examples of how certain issues or questions were resolved. Educate and, when possible, show customers how to use or apply what they’re interested in. Pictures or video are powerful tools. The latter doesn’t have to be Oscar-winning. People just want to see and hear how something is done.

Some of the more popular topics in the help link include getting started, how-to, best practices, and troubleshooting. Remind yourself that when a customer clicks on troubleshooting, they’re probably frustrated after experiencing problems with their purchase and looking for quick, easy and comprehensible answers.

Most importantly, speak plainly. Avoid industry jargon and speak to your customers as though you were explaining something to a relative or friend. And although it’s tempting to go on and on about the topic, keep your instructions as clear and succinct as possible. Customers aren’t interested in a novel.

Test Launch

To ensure that your help link is clear, ask someone whose judgment you trust to run a test. It’s really helpful if the person has little or no knowledge of the help topic.

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Ask questions like:

  •     Was it easy to use and navigate?
  •     Were you able to understand and successfully complete the task you inquired about?
  •     Would you be inclined to do business with this merchant?  

The feedback you receive can be extremely helpful in making any revisions and changes.

It’s common to have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section as well. If you’re gathering feedback and comments from customers (and you should), this is where you can pre-empt some issues. Post these questions here along with brief responses.

Finally, be sure to give customers who haven’t found a solution to their issue the opportunity to follow up. At a minimum, have an email address to which they can send additional comments or questions. Better yet, set up a “live” chat capability and chat bot.

Accountability is important to repeat customer business. Can you recall a time when you returned to a merchant after encountering a problem because the business displayed empathy with your issue and handled it beyond your satisfaction?

A 2018 national survey reported that almost 40% of ecommerce customers left their initial merchant but continued to purchase the same or identical product from another because of dissatisfaction with the merchant and its service. That’s the significance of rendering exemplary customer service!

Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations

5wpr ceo ronn torossian

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth and vision, with the agency earning accolades including being named a Top 50 Global PR Agency by PRovoke Media, a top three NYC PR agency by O'Dwyers, one of Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces and being awarded multiple American Business Awards, including a Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected public relations executives. Throughout his career he has advised leading and high-growth businesses, organizations, leaders and boards across corporate, technology and consumer industries. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications. He has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly in the media and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. Torossian's strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, a Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a recipient of Crain's New York Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Outside of 5W, Torossian serves as a business advisor to and investor in multiple early stage businesses across the media, B2B and B2C landscape. Torossian is the proud father of two daughters. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of multiple not for profit organizations.