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Does providing contextual FAQ's prior to allowing users to contact a support specialist increase ROI? It seems that there is at least a perceived benefit (as many companies do it). Are they basing this decision on research?

IE: Each message or contact that a company receives costs that company. Is there any data which shows that providing FAQ's based on relevant information reduces the number of messages/calls to a company? Or does this simply frustrate users by providing blockages to contacting said company?

~Apple's support section is a good example of this style of support.

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    This site is about the user experience, not business success (which should come with the former by itself). Users may benefit from immediate answers, but they quickly get annoyed – they feel restricted from human contact – when they are forced to read FAQs before being able to ask a free question, so your FAQ suggestions better be good and unobtrusive, i.e. similar to the automatic suggestions here on SX. – Crissov Dec 26 '14 at 14:32
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I've had many clients request that they serve up contextual FAQ questions before allowing people to send in support requests and the reason has been that their support staff is inundated with basic questions that they repeatedly get. Also the info is available on their website but people aren't finding it (which is clearly some other usability issue). So, the rationale (at least from my experience) isn't user centered however it generally ends up being a win-win since users are able to get answers to their questions faster and support staff get fewer tickets/calls/emails. You just need to be careful not to get in the way of users who just really need to contact a support staff.

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I suppose so – that is at least the impression I got when I recently did a quick research on how large tv channels handle feedback. It seemed to be the rule rather than the exception to offer standard answers to standard question before actually inviting the user to get in contact.

In my opinion a good example of how to combine faq with context related contact forms are the contact us pages of the french tv station france24: www.france24.com/en/contact-us

In my opinion a bad example of how to 'hide' conatct info can be found on the pages of AlJazeera: you'll only find a link to a "contact us" page when you first go through the "about us" page: www.aljazeera.com/aboutus

  • I think that makes sense. Is there any research that you're aware of that shows that doing things like France 24 will increase revenue? – TheDrPfeffer Sep 27 '14 at 10:20
  • nope, sorry, haven't seen any – tillinberlin Sep 27 '14 at 11:07

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