Planning a special event but you don’t have enough staff to handle all the phone calls and emails you’re expecting as the event draws near?
Looking for a way to beef up your author website and sell more books?
Tired of answering the same questions about your products and services?
Create a thorough Frequently Asked Questions page at your website. But don’t limit the questions only to those that people ask frequently.
Also known as FAQs, these pages address the concerns of consumers who might be on the fence about doing business with you or visiting your event. If you have a blog, you can devote an entire post to FAQs, then link to it from the navigation bar on your homepage.
7 Biggest Benefits of FAQs
- They save you valuable time. No more tedious hours answering emails and taking phone calls from people who need answers they can’t find at your website.
- They save your customers time. Ever call someone looking for information and you’re put on hold for 20 minutes or told to call back during regular business hours?
- FAQs rank well in search. If someone searches for information and types a question that’s a close match to one on your FAQ page, you can pull traffic to that internal page at your website.
- You can use FAQs to entertain, not only inform. In a few minutes, I’ll show you how an author does that.
- They build trust with your audience and send the message, “I’m here to help you and I care about customer service.”
- They can help you recruit sponsors, volunteers and vendors.
- They let your personality shine, especially if you answer quirky questions.
FAQs to Answer for Special Events
A few weeks ago, when I planned to attend Harley-Davidson’s 115th Anniversary celebration in Milwaukee, I had lots of questions about the event. I knew parking would be a problem but had heard that shuttle buses would be available at Miller Park, Milwaukee’s baseball stadium located less than 10 minutes from the Harley Museum where most of the activities could be found. But where exactly do we catch the shuttles in that giant parking lot?
After calling the Harley Museum’s phone number three times over two days and hearing a recorded message that there might not be enough staff to take calls, I went to the website looking for an FAQ page. Sure enough, there it was.
I found this detailed information that addressed transportation and parking questions from locals who would be attending, and from the thousands of out-of-towners who would arrive on motorcycles, trains, planes and buses.
Questions to Answer for Special Events
You don’t have to answer every question visitors might have. But aside from the standard information like hours, activities and admission prices, consider these:
- Will food be available?
- Will there be vegetarian and vegan options?
- How much is food?
- Can I buy beer, wine or mixed drinks?
- Can I bring my own food or alcohol?
- Do you have early bird specials or coupons that offer a discount on admission?
- What about discounts for senior citizens or veterans?
- Do you offer refunds if I can’t attend?
- Is the event frequently sold out?
- How do I get there? (Include a map, and make visitors aware of road construction nearby so they can leave early.)
- How much is parking?
- Do you have special pick-up and drop-off points for Uber and shuttles?
- What times will shuttles be running?
- Are children welcome at this event?
- What activities do you offer for kids?
- Do you have babysitting services?
- Can I bring a stroller?
- Can I bring a backpack?
Advertisers, Vendors, Sponsor and Volunteers
- Who do I contact if I want a vendor booth?
- How big are the booths?
- Who do I contact if I want to advertise at the event?
- How can I be a sponsor at next year’s event?
- Who do I call if I want to volunteer?
- Will the event be canceled if the weather is bad?
- Is there a number to call to learn if the event has been canceled?
- Are air-conditioned rooms or tents available?
Other Sources of Information
Your FAQ page can also tell people how to receive text notifications about the event. It can lead them to your Facebook page. It can give one or two phone numbers to call, or an email address, if they have questions they don’t find on your FAQ page. Do you have a YouTube channel where they can see videos of past events?
Questions to Answer for Products and Services
- How do I use the product?
- Is there a video available?
- Are there unusual ways to use it?
- What major mistakes should I avoid when using it?
- Do you offer customer support after I buy it?
- Do oyou have a user guide?
- Do you offer a guarantee?
- Do you give refunds?
- What if I don’t have my receipt and I want my money back?
- Who can I contact if I want to talk to clients who have used your services? (Tell them to email you and you’ll send them names, phone numbers and email addresses for clients who give you permission. You can also link to reviews on Amazon, Yelp or your website.)
- What if I’m not happy with the service I received?
- Do you offer discounted packages if I want to buy a lot of your services?
- Do you give free consultations?
- You don’t offer a service I need. Who can I call to make a suggestion?
- If I can’t afford your services, do you have lower priced products that can help me?
How a Bestselling Author Uses FAQs
Rick Riordan is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over 20 novels for young readers, including the Percy Jackson series, the Kane Chronicles, the Magnus Chase series and the Trials of Apollo. He is also the author of the multi-award-winning Tres Navarre mystery series for adults.
I love Rick’s FAQ page that includes a whopping 37 questions. He has even placed them into these categories to make it easier for readers to find the answers they want: Books & Series, Characters, Upcoming Releases, Movies, Events & Contact and Other FAQ. Authors can include some of these ideas on their own FAQ pages.
He educates readers by explaining why he writes the way he does.
“How many books are there in the Percy Jackson series, and would you please write more than that?”
That’s a logical question considering his huge fan base.
Here’s his answer:
Rick not only educates, he also entertains.
“I know it says I can’t email you, but can I email you anyway?” His response:
How to Gather FAQs
This part is easy. Pay attention to the questions people email you and move them into a folder in your email program.
If you’re a public speaker, make note after your presentation of questions from the audience.
What questions are your clients asking?
Your FAQ page can be a work in progress. If you have FAQs at your website, tell us about it and link to it from the Comments below.