Your success as an Expert on JustAnswer depends on the quality of your answers and how they are delivered
As a new Expert, you may be a little nervous about helping your first customers but worry not because the crux of being an Expert on JustAnswer is: The more helpful you are at answering the question, the happier the customer should be with the experience. This translates into better ratings for you, and a greater chance that the customer will add you to their list of favorite Experts.
Being added to a customer’s favorite list is a significant value to you. The customer can then ask you questions directly, and you already have a rapport with the customer. The result is more questions for you to answer, and that means more money in your pocket.
Now, it should be pretty obvious that customer service is important in a customer-facing position. As an Expert, you have probably worked within your industry for a while and helping customers shouldn’t be new to you. But not everything you do to deliver a great customer experience in real life translates over to how you help customers on JustAnswer, so we want to share some not-so-obvious-tips that will help your success on the site.
Helping for an audience
When you help someone in person, whether you are replacing the muffler on a Honda Civic, restoring an Acer laptop to factory settings, or describing how to determine the gender of an iguana, the customer is gaining the benefit of your knowledge. When the customer leaves, the conversation ends and the experience is unique to only that customer.
When you help someone on JustAnswer, the conversation is transcribed into a web page that other people can read and learn from so your expertise not only helped the original customer, but it continues to help others with similar problems.
Rather than water down the value of your knowledge, these online conversations ultimately benefit you. On JustAnswer, over half a million people are reading through the transcripts of existing questions every day. Because the specific details of each question are so different, even closely related questions will have different answers. The result: roughly 30 percent of the new questions that are generated start from existing Q&A sessions.
Each time you help a customer, you’re solving their specific problem, but you’re also helping other readers struggling with similar problems. If the original question that you answered doesn’t resolve the new readers problem, they will still be left with questions to ask. And you have just demonstrated your knowledge on the subject to that person, and the link to your profile is right there.
When you are helping your customers, you should try to keep these two goals in mind:
- Providing the most helpful information during the conversation
- Thinking about what value you might be offering to other readers
Restating the customer’s question
“So, if I understand correctly, you need to know how to change the parental control settings on your Samsung TV.”
This is a simple and powerful customer service tool. It’s actually very challenging for customers to figure out how to phrase their questions, and misuse of terminology can further complicate a question. One of the fastest ways for a question to take a wrong turn is to completely misunderstand what the customer wants, and spend your time giving answers that aren’t useful and confuse the customer. If you start your conversation by explaining what you think your customer wants to know, you can resolve these kinds of misunderstandings before they start.
When you repeat the customer’s question back in your own words, you are doing several things, including:
- Showing the customer that you are listening and trying to understand.
- Providing the customer with a chance to explain their situation in more detail.
- Helping other people with similar problems find your Q&A conversation.
Taking the time to restate the customer’s question back to the customer demonstrates your commitment to their satisfaction and will help you keep your conversations focused and valuable.
Delivering deeper content
Once you have identified the exact needs of the customer, you want to address them as clearly as you can. But you also want to provide peripheral information that will be relevant and useful. This extra information helps the customer, demonstrates your knowledge, and provides context for other readers, at the same time. Some kinds of deeper content you should consider discussing include:
- Alternative solutions: If you are helping a customer with an injured cat, you would, of course, suggest that the cat be taken to the vet for treatment, but the customer may not know that a paste made of turmeric powder can help keep the wound clean and reduce pain for the cat while you wait for the vet. While the easiest answer to your customer’s question may be the best one, it can sometimes be worthwhile to mention other solutions that exist. You never know when that alternative answer will fit a customer’s needs, or when it may help another reader.
- What to avoid: You can explain to a customer how to clean their MAF sensor, but they won’t know how fragile the wire connections can be unless you tell them. Damaging those wire connections would break the sensor, costing the customer extra money. If there are additional concerns that could affect the customer’s chances of success, they will need that information!
- Troubleshooting tips: It’s easy to explain how to adjust the closing depth settings on a garage door opener, but what happens when the customer’s garage door still won’t shut all the way? Most problems can have multiple causes, and the customer will need to know what to do next if they are still struggling. By offering some troubleshooting tips during your conversation, you are simultaneously preparing the customer for contingencies, and presenting additional options to other readers.
- Ask for additional information: Your customer may know that they need to factory reset their laptop but may not be aware that they can create a recovery drive to salvage their data before they do. By taking the time to ask if they have made a recovery drive, you may uncover a concept they didn’t know existed. This is a wonderful way to offer additional value and demonstrate your expertise!
These are great ways to add extra depth to your conversations and provide real assistance to your customers. They allow you to take a question with a simple answer and turn it into one that will be meaningful and valuable, both to the customer you are chatting with and any future readers.
Including links to additional information
If you are helping a customer decide how to handle a friend with an addiction, they may not have an immediate need for information on rehab programs, but they may want the information later.
While it’s important to provide additional value during your conversations, stay focused on information that will be immediately useful to the customer in the situation. Sometimes, there is background information that is interesting and relevant, but that isn’t required for the solution you are explaining. This is where links to good articles addressing these topics become invaluable.
If you are concerned about your ability to identify quality links to offer, this article by the Georgetown University Library can help you out.
When you offer these kinds of relevant links during the conversation, the customer can go back and access the resources when they do become relevant. These kinds of links can also be a great way to address other closely related situations, which can make your conversation more valuable to other readers.
Identifying sections of your answer with headers
Some of the questions that you will run into on JustAnswer will be complicated and may involve many different steps. The pages generated from these kinds of questions can be long and hard to follow. This is when using headers can make the conversation easier to understand.
While the rest of these tips have been focused on identifying the information that your customer needs, using headers is a purely formatting tip. The purpose is to make specific important information easy to find in a long Q&A thread.
When you describe how to do something to your customer, if you start by adding a bold heading on its own line, it will be much easier to locate.
Some sample headers:
- How to change a Moen shower cartridge
- Testing the voltage of a throttle position sensor
- Calculating your body mass index
Using multiple bold headings to locate and identify the different stages of the process that you are explaining in the question will help anyone trying to follow your directions.
Building an audience
The goal of these tips is to help you find a group of customers that appreciate your answers and come back to you with their future questions. Adopting these tips into your conversations will help you to create the kinds of experiences that build your own audience of customers. Every question is an opportunity to earn a customer for life, and to continue finding you new customers over time!
Thoughts? Share ideas and tips from your own experience with others in the Expert community below.