Helen Ross 27 September 2017 2 min read

Tailoring your FAQs to your user

The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.

-  Albert Einstein


Today I’m taking a leaf out of Einstein’s book, and expanding on it a bit with something that’s available to all sites running 3.95+. Presenting your users with content that’s relevant isn’t a new concept (if nothing else you’ve had to listen to me harp on about it pretty constantly for a while now). So with relevance in mind, let’s talk about the library we call “FAQs”.


It’s pretty easy to put together a generic FAQ. Something like the below would generally do if you don’t know who, specifically, you’re talking to:


  • Who we are
  • Contact details
  • Shipping policy
  • Returns policy
  • International orders
  • Modifications / Cancellations of orders
  • Delivery information
  • Basic information on getting an account with your company (if B2B)


But what if you DO know who you’re talking to? You already have different roles for your users, so you know what kind of customer they are. You know if they’re the accounts receivable person or if they’re the purchasing officer. Your accounts receivable customer is going to care about reprinting invoices and finding account balances, while your purchasing officer is more likely to seek help with filtering products with metadata, or utilising product compare.


Well if you’re using the Articles function for your FAQs, the good news is you can now hide each article based on roles. Which means (and this is the bit where I get excited) you can effectively run two (or more!) lots of FAQs concurrently, showing only what makes sense for the individual user.


So your FAQ could look like this:


Role: Accounts

Role: Purchasing

Contact details (accounts)

Contact details (customer service)

How to reprint an invoice

How to use Product Compare to find the right product for you

How to find current balance outstanding

How to find your contract products

How to review prior orders

Where to find your backordered products

Shipping policy

Shipping policy

Returns policy

Returns policy

Modifications / Cancellations of orders

Modifications / Cancellations of orders



You’re not creating noise for either type of user by crossing your information streams, but you ARE delivering exactly the kind of content each user is going to find helpful.


If you don’t have separate roles for users within each function of your customer’s business, you can still tailor your FAQs depending on whether a user is logged in or not. For example, a non-logged in user will likely want information on setting up an account with your company. However, a user who is already logged in won’t care about this, but they might care about where to find their current orders.


If you’re not using articles to maintain your FAQs, don’t worry. You can achieve this same result with a custom page and static content widgets using layers.


So… when was the last time you looked at the questions answered by your FAQs? Are there any common questions asked of Customer Service that you could include to reduce the overhead on your team – and in turn free them up to spend more time value-adding? Let me know, I’ve love to see what you’re up to.


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