As business owners, we are likely to find ourselves answering a host of repetitious questions about our industry, our methodology and our business in general. Those questions are fired into us by our current clients, potential customers, suppliers and our colleagues. If we are lucky, we might even field such questions from a local journalist. Generally speaking, we’re happy to provide detailed answers. Sometimes however, we don’t have the time or the patience to answer that question for the 9th time this week. That’s where our business blog steps in to rescue us.
Build an online library of useful answers
As I have mentioned previously, a blog can provide a convenient method of converting business questions into blog posts, but as this topic has come up offline a number of times recently, I wanted to revisit and expanded on my previous post.
When considering how to answer a particular question that we regularly take during the course of our business day, here are a few thoughts to keep in mind.
- Answer the question completely: We’re trying to provide a valuable service to our customers as well as working to be as efficient as possible. If our blog post leaves the reader with more questions than answers, then we have failed on both accounts. That customer will come back to us again with the same question. So, let’s put enough time, energy and thought into the blog post. Have we considered it from our customers’ vantage point? Have we avoided the use of jargon? Have we written in concise and consistent manner?
- Answer the question consistently: The last thing we want to do to appear ignorant or ill-informed on our topic. An inconsistent answer to a question can leave our customers with a less than favorable view of our expertise. Moreover, are we likely to provide the same answer to a client who raises the same question five or six months after they initially asked it? Possibly not. By providing clear and well-written answers to the many questions that our customers put to us, we can ensure that we’re answering consistently, accurately and comprehensively every time.
- Answer the question when not rushed: Answering questions over the phone, across a service counter or on a smart phone, while expedient for sure, is not the best approach to delivering the most accurate answering. By taking the time to answer a question in a detailed blog post, we can produce the answer when we are not distracted or rushed.
Once our answer is published as a blog post, we can direct customers to the specific entry that answers their questions. Then, if that same customer emails with the same question in six months time, we simply email the link to them again. Talk about being efficient with our time!
Revisit our answers
Of course, the accuracy of our written answering might wither with the passage of time. Industry standards change, technologies progress and best practices evolve. We want to make sure that we schedule some time in our work to do list to review our blog answers every six months or so — just to double-check that they are still valid and correct answers.
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