Do you find your support team constantly answering the same questions from customers? Do they struggle to keep up with the volume of tickets?
Whether it's customer service inquiries or technical support requests, Q&A platforms are a popular way for brands to answer questions on specific topics related to their business.
But if you don't have reliable Q&A software in place, this can be a challenge.
That's why we've put together this guide to help you understand Q&A platforms and how to select the best solution for your brand.
Let’s get started.
What is a Q&A platform?
Q&A platforms allow customers to ask and answer questions related to your product or service. They provide a place for customers to communicate, share knowledge, and find solutions in a question-and-answer format.
This is how it works: a user will post a question — and then customers or employees who have expertise or knowledge on the topic will answer it. Your Q&A platform retains this information and makes it searchable and accessible to other users.
Ultimately, Q&A platforms enable brands to provide support to current and potential customers.
Meet customer expectations for self-service support
It’s important to meet customer expectations in the self-service support space. Especially since 35% of consumers find it very important for businesses to have a fully self-serve customer care option available.
Q&A platforms provide a range of user-friendly features that allow customers to find answers easily on their own. These features reduce the frustration they often experience using traditional customer support channels — like waiting on hold or chasing after a response to their support ticket.
In addition, having access to information in question-and-answer format makes it easy to understand — reducing the need to seek out a customer service representative for help.
Offer 24/7 customer support
Customers expect access to reliable, 24/7 support at their fingertips — and a Q&A platform lets customers find answers around the clock, all year round.
This means Q&A platforms allow businesses to connect with their global customer base that lives in different time zones — without having to spend further resources on hiring local support reps. They enable users to:
Search resolved posts for the answer to their question
Get support from other customers when employees can't provide immediate help
Post a question about the issue they are experiencing
This type of on demand support builds customer trust and loyalty. After all, data shows that 23% of consumers have a negative experience if brands don’t have customer service available 24/7.
Helps build a knowledge base
A knowledge base is an online library that contains information about a product, topic, or service that helps your customers.
A Q&A platform helps build a knowledge base by capturing the common issues your customers experience with your business. From there, you can repurpose this information into articles and documentation for your knowledge base.
Since a knowledge base is a living document and your customers have ever-changing needs — Q&A platforms allow you to regularly review your most repeated Q&As and update your knowledge base accordingly.
What to look for when picking a Q&A platform
With the right features, a Q&A platform can deliver excellent support to your customers. Here are the basic features to keep in mind when evaluating different solutions:
Customization: The right customization options allow you to create Q&As that have a consistent feel and look with your current branding. These options should include the color scheme, logo, font, and more.
Ease of set-up and maintenance: Your customer support team can quickly set up and use the platform without needing extensive external support. Additionally, it should be easy to maintain — without requiring coding knowledge. For example, choosing a no-code Q&A platform removes the need to worry about technical roadblocks that may occur once your Q&As are up and running.
Advanced search functionality: Users can narrow down search results to find already answered questions in less time.
Pin-to-top the best answers: Pin the best answer a question receives to the top of the post to make it more visible. This allows users to quickly find the response they are searching for.
Tag resolved questions: Tagging questions as resolved helps users identify questions that have already been answered.
Integrations: Seamlessly integrate your existing third-party tools so you don’t have to switch between different applications.
Gamification: Offer incentives to users who engage in your Q&As. This can include rewarding active members with badges and placing their usernames on a leaderboard.
Embeddability: Embed Q&As into external sites like your product pages or app. This extends the reach of your Q&As — and ultimately, improves customer experience.
Top 7 Q&A platforms
Let’s take a look at the top Q&A platforms on the market today for you to choose from.
Bettermode is an all-in-one customer community engagement platform. It comes with beautifully designed pre-built templates that are easy to navigate — including a Q&A template.
With Bettermode you can organize Q&As into categories like resolved, unanswered, and new to help customers find the information they need. Community members can also upvote the questions and replies they like.
The platform comes with advanced moderation features. For example, you can create a custom rule that ensures a new member's post goes through a moderation panel before it's published. Additionally, members can report content they think doesn’t follow your Q&A community guidelines.
It’s also possible to create your own Q&A landing page from scratch with Bettermode. It comes with a comprehensive list of customizations like typography, navigation, and color scheme that will ensure your Q&As align with your existing branding.
Another feature, Bettermode allows your members to publish Q&As in their preferred language. You can also facilitate live Q&A sessions that give your audience the opportunity to learn more about your product in real time.
Bettermode lets users follow questions to receive notifications when a post gets replies. Additionally, the best answer to a question can be pinned to the top of a post — so members can quickly find the information they need.
At the same time, Bettermode comes with various search capabilities. Its granular filters allow members to filter out their search criteria to narrow down the search results they receive. Likewise, it suggests questions and answers that are relevant to their search query in the search results.
The platform also comes with federated search. This means your community members can search for Q&As and access search results that are stored in external knowledge bases, like Zendesk.
Request answers from specific users
Pin the best replies to the top of a post
Upvote, follow, and like posts
Organize live Q&As or ask-me-anything sessions
Integrates with Jira, Zendesk, and Salesforce
Reward the most active members
Create custom moderation rules
Translate content into different languages
Flag specific users so all of their posts go through a review process
Reports and real-time analytics
Starts from $599/mo
A customer success community platform, inSided provides a place for B2B SaaS businesses to host Q&As. Offering valuable features like moderation tools, it lets you approve or deny questions and answers from users before they are published. inSided also offers members the ability to like posts or mark them as helpful.
The platform comes with a drag-and-drop feature that enables you to easily customize your Q&As. Additionally, inSided supports integrations with third-party tools like Slack and Jira. Users also have access to its many webinars, virtual events, and other support resources.
Mark questions as answered
The platform is too expensive for smaller brands
Contact vendor for pricing
Higher Logic Vanilla
Higher Logic Vanilla is an online community solution. It comes with all of the usual basic features, including seamless integration with third-party tools, allowing users to react to questions and answers, and the ability to track the revision history of the Q&As users post.
On top of that, the platform allows you to build your own custom reports to gain insights into how your community is interacting with your Q&As. Moreover, it offers complete control over user management — allowing you to delete, create, and edit users.
Live polling in posts
Organise Q&As into categories
Robust anti-spam tools
Track post revision history
Expensive for larger communities
Starts from $900/mo
Copilot is a cloud-based technology platform focused on helping service businesses run and grow. It comes with a robust product suite of tools that includes a help desk app. This app allows you to create a repository of commonly asked questions that you can implement as a knowledge base for your clients.
The platform comes with custom visibility rules so your clients only see questions and answers relevant to them.
Along with its easy-to-use interface and mobile-first design, it provides a list of customizations that allow you to add your brand’s colors and logo. Additionally, you can add tags to organize the content answered in your Q&As.
Add attachments, videos, and embeds in answers
Custom visibility rules
Your clients cannot create content
Prices start from $39 per internal user per month on the Starter plan. The Professional plan is $89 per month. The Advanced plan is $139 per internal user per month.
Answerbase is a knowledge management platform that was founded in 2007. Beyond standard Q&A features like integration capabilities and displaying the most popular Q&As, Answerbase provides content creation recommendations for Q&As.
Answerbase automatically responds to customer questions by using product specifications, descriptions, and Q&A content. This helps reduce the number of questions that need answering.
It has flexible customization capabilities that allow you to select a color scheme, add a logo, and more. The platform also comes with a comprehensive suite of developer APIs to create custom integrations tailored to your brand's needs.
Integrates Q&As into product pages
Display most popular Q&As
Content creation recommendations
Single sign-on authentication
UX needs improving to solve specific problems users are experiencing
The Basic plan is $19 per month. The Professional plan is $49 per month. The Growth plan is $129 per month. The Business plan is $249 per month.
Discourse is an open-source community platform and creators can use it to build a Q&A based website. On the whole, the platform is feature-rich and comes with a steep learning curve.
Discourse allows you to summarize the content of popular questions and answers to make them easy to scan. The platform also relies on a trust system that gives active and loyal members access to moderation tools. This helps keep your Q&As a safe place. In addition, Discourse comes with spam and flagging features.
Discourse offers its customers an app to use that’s compatible with both Android and IOS. However, when it comes to aligning your brand design with your Q&As, the platform’s customizations are limited.
Spam blocking and flagging
Insert images into questions and answers
Comes with a mobile app
Summarize the topics of your questions and answers
Limited customizations options
The Basic plan is $50 per month. The Standard plan is $100 per month. The Business plan is $300 per month. To find out the cost of the Enterprise plan, contact Discourse.
Scoold is an open-source Q&A platform that’s inspired by Stack Overflow. It comes with a selection of themes to choose from — including a dark theme. The platform also offers social logins so members don't have to create another password to post Q&As on your site.
Scoold comes with gamification features like custom badges and reputation points that users receive if they answer a question correctly or ask good questions.
Users can receive emails when someone answers their questions or responds to their answers.
Additionally, premium users can upload documents and images to their answers and questions.
Upvote and downvote posts
Selection of themes
Filter posts based on location
Limited membership management
There is a free version. Then there is the license type called Scoold pro basic for €499. The Scoold Pro Plus Source Code license costs €1999.
Q&A platforms create an excellent support experience. Not only do they offer self-serve and on demand support, but they also free up your customer service reps' time to focus on more complex issues.
With so many different Q&A platforms out there, choosing one which is right for your business can feel overwhelming. To make sure you pick the best platform, consider what core features are right for your online community.
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