What do clients need to see on your FAQ page?
Imagine you’ve been losing sleep for months and you know you have to grasp the nettle and talk to someone about how you feel, but you’ve never been to counselling before and don’t really know what to expect.
You find a counsellor that feels right for you and that specialises in the issues you're currently experiencing.
Do you remember the first time you had counselling? I do. I was pretty damned terrified, suspicious of the process and felt very vulnerable.
I had no idea what to expect or what would be expected of me. I even thought it would be taped - I don’t know where that idea sprang from, but it was there.
So anything we can do to let potential clients know what to expect is good, and one way of doing that is an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page on your website.
Here's what to include on your FAQ page
Before we start, remember that an FAQ page should answer clients questions in a very short and concise way, it's not a place for lengthy explanations. They should find their answer quickly and easily.
However, add a link to a blog post you've written if it'd be helpful, and if you don't have a blog post to fit - write one!
Of course, you can link to an article that's not yours too, but internal linking is great for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
And remember, although these are pretty factual and should be short and concise, let your warmth come through in the answers you give.
1. Making an appointment
If a client wants to make an appointment with you, spell out how the process works.
Should they ring? if so, you might want to reassure them that your voicemail is confidential.
Do you prefer an email? if so, what details do you need?
If you have an online appointments system like Acuity, what do they need to do?
Make the whole process as stress free and easy as possible.
2. Price & Payment
Obvious maybe, but make sure your prices are available and clear, and what methods of payment do you accept?.
Many people don’t carry cash and cheques are a rarity now, so if you only accept these payment methods they need to be prepared.
What days/hours do you work?
4. Number of sessions
Counselling is a ‘considered purchase’ i.e. it will have to be prioritised financially with the possibility of cut backs in other areas of their lives, so clients want to know how many sessions it will take for them to start feeling better.
Obviously, this isn’t something you can predict but I like to mention it so they know we’ll look at this on meeting.
I say ‘the number of sessions varies enormously and depends on what issues you bring, and we will discuss this at your first session'.
5. Directions and Parking
These details can go a long way to calm nerves before a first meeting.
Be as clear as you can with directions, and consider embedding a google map.
Where can they park? Will they need change? Is there an entry system?
Mention if you do/don’t have disabled access.
Again, this could become a very lengthy explanation, so I say ‘I take your confidentiality very seriously, and this will be discussed with you at our first meeting'.
Those are 6 things to include on your FAQ page, but you can add more. And it's called 'frequently asked questions' for a reason: is there something your clients always ask?
For example, you might briefly outline the process of your first counselling session or advise how to get the most from counselling. I link to a post I wrote about counselling myths, so write one of your own or link to something from BACP or similar (or link to mine if you like!).
Consider this: If you work with kids, what would a parent want to or need to know? If you work with couples or groups, what do they want to or need to know?
Maybe you run an online counselling practice, so what are the questions your potential clients need answering?
Do you have something on your FAQ page I haven't included? Please share it! Leave a comment below.
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