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Q&A: Using Multiple Answer Sources to Reduce the Burden on your Team

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It’s no secret that Q&A software has a ton of benefits for customers and businesses. Q&A capabilities provide answers to consumers’ purchase-blocking questions and give them the little boost of confidence they may need to purchase a product. Skechers, one of our Q&A clients, said: “Because a customer who submits a question is already engaged, if we can give them the answer they want in a timely fashion, they usually buy the shoe.”

Brands and retailers adopting a Q&A solution have seen a large number of questions submitted by potential buyers. In fact, one of our IR100 clients saw more than 19,000 questions submitted in their first four months using the PowerReviews Q&A solution, Social Answers.

Receiving tons of questions from your customers shows that they’re engaged with your site and looking to make a purchase, but answering all of those questions can seem daunting to some internal teams. If you’re worried that the volume of questions will be too high for your internal and customer support teams to handle, there are ways to not only reduce the burden on your team, but also provide better answers to purchase-blocking questions from your potential buyers.

PowerReviews offers two additional answer sources: the On-Demand Answer Community and Ask a Product Owner. The On-Demand Answer Community leverages a group of researchers to answer product-specific customer questions and the Ask a Product Owner feature leverages your existing base of customers who have recently purchased your products to provide answers to questions asked by other shoppers. Some of our clients use only the On-Demand Answer Community and Product Owners to answer buyer questions.

The On-Demand Answer Community is an excellent resource to quickly answer questions, but I want to focus on Ask a Product Owner in this post. Ask a Product Owner not only ensures that your internal team won’t be overwhelmed with question volume, but provides other benefits as well.

Here are the 4 reasons to adopt an Ask a Product Owner feature if you are implementing a Q&A solution or you already have one on your site:

1- Lessen the burden on your internal team
Implementing a Q&A solution on your site will not overwhelm your team if you use multiple answer sources, especially Ask a Product Owner. Surprisingly enough, past customers love answering questions from future buyers. With past product owners’ willingness to answer many of the questions asked by potential buyers, your customer support and internal teams can focus on other tasks, while you collect more quality content for your product pages. Currently, one of our top retailers uses Ask a Product Owner to answer more than three quarters of the purchase-blocking questions asked on a daily basis.

2- Allow your customers to continuously participate
Ask a Product Owner isn’t just beneficial for your potential buyers and their conversion on your site. When potential buyers ask a question, your product owners are the first to be notified through an email to answer the inquiry and help shoppers make the right buying decision. Using the Ask a Product Owner feature also allows you to re-engage your customer base and turn your product owners into brand advocates and regular content contributors.

Social Answers Screenshot

3- Faster answer times
Product owners tend to answer questions faster than internal teams. One of our IR100 clients saw faster answer times (median answer time of 9 hours) once they began using the Ask a Product Owner feature on their site.

4- Provide authentic and experience-related information
Internal and customer support teams are knowledgeable about products sold on their sites, but they can’t provide an experience-based answer like a product owner. An answer from a product owner adds authenticity, which provides a level of comfort for your future purchasers, especially if they are buying a high consideration item like a crib or an expensive snowboard.

When adopting a Q&A capability, be sure to use the multiple answer sources provided to ensure that your customers get faster and more authentic content without putting a burden on your team.

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Kaitlyn Carpenter

Kaitlyn is the Associate Product Marketing Manager at PowerReviews.  She recently graduated from the University of Chicago, where she studied Political Science and Germanic Studies. After years of assigned reading, she is excited to finally choose the books she picks up. Kaitlyn is excited to continue growing with PowerReviews and contributing to its success.