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.

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, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.