Q&A Software: The Easy Way to Answer Customer Questions

It’s something we’ve all experienced: you want to buy a product online, but the description doesn’t answer all your questions.

You have three options:

  1. Buy the product and cross your fingers that it’s ok.
  2. Seek out customer support.
  3. Abandon the website.

Unfortunately, when prospects opt for first for the first option the customer experience gets affected. In case of the third option, our marketing cost gets wasted.

This means it’s essential that you provide answers to common questions at the right times.

Q&A software is an easy way to provide support.

As with other forms of support, customers can use the tool to get answers from your team. But the real benefit comes from embedding previously answered questions at different points in the customer journey.

Your customers can access the help they need, and your team has fewer requests to deal with.

What is Q&A software?

Q&A software is designed to make asking and answering questions easy.

The software lets people sign up for accounts and ask questions. Other users—typically customers or your support team—can jump in to answer.

The best tools allow you to integrate widgets throughout the customer journey. People can access relevant help in impactful places.

Q&A software gives customers quick answers

Businesses use Q&A software throughout the customer journey to help users find answers. The idea is that customers can get direct help from customer support, or they can see past replies to similar problems.

For this to work well, you need to provide access to the software at relevant customer journey touchpoints.

Think about times when customers might need extra help and make it easy for them to access the tool in these places.

Helps private communities

Q&A software isn’t only used to enable contact between customers and businesses. Many companies also use it internally to answer employee questions and create private communities.

Consider using the tool alongside or even instead of a knowledge base to ensure that everyone can access the information they need.

Here are six powerful ways to use Q&A software (plus examples)

Here are six practical ways you can implement Q&A software. We’ve also included real-life examples.

Support forum

Q&A platforms are a great way to provide support once the customer has bought your product.

Customers use the tool to ask and answer each other’s questions. Get your team involved so they can provide expert help when needed.

Communities make support more efficient for two main reasons:

  1. Customers and product experts answer each other’s questions.
  2. Each answered question is saved and searchable so other users can see it.

This ultimately means that your customer support team will have fewer customer tickets to deal with.

Q&A support forum example: Pipedrive

Pipedrive has a popular community that customers use to access help from each other and the company’s support team.

Pipedrive customer community
Pipedrive customer community

The community is split into groups so that customers can quickly go to the best place to find relevant answers. They can use the search bar to view previously asked questions or create a new post.

Also, Pipedrive’s community provides help during onboarding. Apart from that, this CRM provider uses the community for longer-term customer success.

Embed on product pages

83% percent of online shoppers say they have experienced needing help during the buying process.

There are many ways you can provide support. For example, detailed product descriptions, chatbots, chat support widgets, and even phone numbers.

Q&A software helps by providing a way for customers to access the assistance they need by showing customers answers to commonly asked questions.

Product page Q&A example: Amazon

Many retailers—both large and small—use some form of Q&A on their product pages.

The most prominent example is Amazon. The retail giant has helpful FAQs on many of its listings.

The boxes show answers to common customer questions. People with a query can use the search box to find previous answers.

See how it looks in the screenshot below on a listing for the Xbox Series X. You can see a mixture of user replies and those from the Xbox Team.

Customer Q&A on Amazon
Customer Q&A on Amazon

Create a knowledge base

Knowledge bases are one of the most effective forms of self-service support and a powerful Q&A platform.

Build one by discovering common customer questions then documenting answers.

Customers and users head to your knowledge base whenever they have a question and search for it.

You can increase the effectiveness of a knowledge base by sourcing user-generated content from your support forum and showing this in the search results. Customers can find answers even when you haven’t yet created official documentation.

Knowledge base example: Intercom

Intercom has a robust knowledge base. It teaches customers and prospects everything they need to know about the software.

Intercom community and knowledge base
Integrated search: Intercom Community and knowledge base

The tool is made even more powerful because the company integrates community Q&A answers within the search results.

If there isn’t official documentation available, users can access the help they need if the topic has been discussed before.

In-product help

Embedding your Q&A software into your product is a great way to offer support to customers when they need it most. Users can access help without leaving your platform.

In-product help example: Octorate

Octorate has embedded a search bar into its vacation rental management platform.

The bar is always available, and it allows users to search through existing Q&As to find answers to their questions, no matter what page they’re on.

Find out more about how Octorate’s Q&A features work.

Embed in your other support channels

When customers have a question, they will often turn to a chatbot or a knowledge base.

Embedding your Q&A software within these channels can be an effective way to provide access to support.

Support channel embed example: Tribe

At Tribe, we enable customers to integrate answers from the customer community into the Intercom Messenger. Whenever someone uses the Intercom Messenger to find a solution, they will see the option to search through existing answers.

search community using Intercom Messenger

This is useful because it provides instant access to self-service help. Users don’t have to wait for a member of the support team to become available. It also enables people to get help 24/7, including at times when our real-time assistance is offline.

This also helps support teams with ticket deflection and improves efficiency.

Internal platform

Customers aren’t the only people with questions. Your employees often need help while at work.

One of the easiest ways to provide this support is creating an internal Q&A platform. This is a private space for employees to find all the information they need about working at your company.

It’s an essential tool for employee onboarding. But it also helps keep long-term employees on top of new changes.

The best internal Q&A platforms contain a mixture of posts created by management and employee-generated content.

A good internal platform has many benefits:

  • Boost employee efficiency: Staff gain quick solutions to their problems. And these answers detail the most efficient way to perform tasks, ensuring they are performed effectively.
  • Encourage knowledge sharing: Internal Q&A platforms encourage employees to share knowledge. This helps others work better and reduces your reliance on individual employees.
  • Faster employee onboarding: New hires get up to speed faster as they have access to all they need to know.
  • Reduced burden on managers and supervisors: Enabling employees to help themselves reduces the burden on managers and supervisors.

What to look for in Q&A software?

Each Q&A platform differs in the exact features it offers. To get all the benefits listed above, look for a tool with:

Simple signup

The best Q&A software makes it easy for people to get answers. To ensure this is the case, you need to make it simple for people to sign up and ask questions.

Single Sign-On (SSO) is a big help. It allows your existing users to sign up to your Q&A software using the same credentials they use when accessing other parts of your platform.

Another option is to enable social login. This lets people sign up with social media credentials from sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Google.

Easy embed

Q&A communities are useful on their own. But the information can reach more people if you present it in other locations. For example, you can add commonly asked questions on your website based on the type of the page. Here is an example of questions embedded on Tribe’s pricing page.

Q&A embedded in Tribe's pricing page

Look for Q&A software that lets you embed content. This will enable you to add useful content to blog posts, registration pages, your website, and more.

Search functionality

Q&A software helps you build up a library of questions and answers. Search functionality ensures customers can access this treasure trove of content.

The below image shows the search functionality in Tribe’s customer community. Topics first discussed years ago are still available to help new users.

Tribe Q&A Space
Search function in Tribe Campfire Community

Spaces

Splitting your Q&A platform into spaces or groups helps users access relevant content by pointing them to the right place to ask their question.

Create spaces for all the important subtopics you expect people to ask questions about. Asking questions in the appropriate place means your users are more likely to get a relevant answer.

SEO benefits from Q&A software

Google is perhaps the largest Q&A site. Most of us use it to find answers to our questions—and your customers are no different.

Choosing a Q&A platform with SEO features such as schema markups for Q&A can improve indexing of the web pages. This will further help increase your brand’s visibility. You’ll show up in search engines when customers are looking for terms related to your product.

The screenshot below is a great example. Anyone searching Google for information about adding bot users to their Tribe community will see our Q&A platform posts.

question and answer indexed by search engine
Question and Answer indexed by search engine

Tribe as a Q&A software

Tribe is robust Q&A software that lets you build Q&A communities and integrate the same across the entire customer journey — whether that’s a software tool or an ecommerce shop.

Tribe offers powerful gamification features to encourage participation, API access for deeper integrations, automation to make community moderation easy, and branding and customization options.

You can get started with a basic version for free to try out the software or create a small community.


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Duncan Elder

Duncan is a content marketer with a passion for all things digital marketing, SaaS, and online communities.

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