New Professional Resource Center: Answering Questions

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Share your knowledge
by answering questions.

Customers come to our site seeking answers from verified professionals, so it is important to convey your experience and an eagerness to help.

This guide will offer tips and tricks to giving high quality answers, as well introduce and explain several of the tools that we provide to help you give the best responses possible.

 
The Find Questions page
The question list (also known as the Find Questions page) is a powerful tool that helps you find and select questions to answer. As you can see in the image below, Find Questions provides you with an abundance of information about each question:

Find Questions on Pearl.com
 
Your Inbox
In the left column, you can view the conversations you're currently involved in, called "Priority Customers," or look for new questions in the "Open Questions" tab.  When you respond to a new customer, you'll see the conversation transwer from "Open Questions" into "Priority Customers."

Your Priority Questions
The Your Priority Questions list showcases questions that you are currently in the process of responding to, and questions where the customer has specifically requested to speak with you.

Open Questions
The Open Questions list displays available, open questions posted in your categories - these customers still need help! To answer or review the question, simply click the question link.

How does Find Questions organize information?
Both tables showcase columns that tell you what category a question has been asked in, a summary of and link to the question, the number of replies a question has received, the customer name and whether or not they are online and a subscriber, the payout you will receive after a postive rating from the customer, and the amount of time elapsed since the question was asked.

Sorting and filtering the Find Question page
You can sort and filter the question list by individual columns by searching by keyword.

Overview of Q&A and Chat

There are two ways to respond to a customer on Pearl.com: Q&A and chat. Our Q&A platform is similar to web-based email, while our LiveChat platform is similar to an instant messenger service. Some professionals prefer Q&A while others prefer LiveChat - try them both to find out which is right for you and your customers.
When is Q&A available? When is Chat available?
Q&A is available when you see a chat icon colored gray in the left-most column of the question list. If the chat icon is colored blue, a chat session rather than a Q&A session will launch when you click the question link. In the image below, Q&A is available for the bottom question, and unavailable for the top question.

How do I switch from chat to a Q&A session?
First, click on the question to open it. If the question opens in chat and you would prefer to answer using the Q&A format, you can convert a chat session to Q&A by clicking the Switch to Q&A link located in the top-left portion of the website. Once you have switched the chat session to Q&A, it cannot be switched back to chat. At this time, Q&A sessions cannot be converted into chat sessions.

Info request vs. answer - when to use what

There are two types of responses to customer questions on Pearl.com, the information request (IR) and the answer. You should post information requests (IRs) until you are ready for the customer to rate your answer. As soon as you reply with an answer the customer will be prompted to rate your answer.
Info request
Post your response as an information request (IR) by first typing your response and then pressing the Need Info button (if responding in chat, check the disable rating feature box and press the reply button). You should post an IR if your response does not fully answer the customer's question. The customer will receive an email from Pearl.com notifying them that you have asked for more information. IRs will not prompt the customer to rate your answer.

Info requests should be used in cases when you are:

a) Asking the customer a question
b) Verifying information with the customer, or
c) Giving any other sort of non-answer response

Answer
Post your response as an answer by pressing the Answer button after typing your response (if responding in chat, uncheck the disable rating feature box and press the reply button). You should post an answer if your response fully answers a customer's question. The customer will receive an email from Pearl.com notifying them that you have answered their question. After you have answered the question, the customer will be prompted to rate your answer.

Overview of the rating system

After you answer a customer's question, the customer is prompted to rate your answer on a scale of one to five. A rating of one or two is considered an unsatisfactory rating, and you will be prompted to follow-up with the customer to ensure their question has been answered to their satisfaction. A rating of three, four, or five is considered a positive rating, and will close the question and result in payment to your professional account. The customer always has the option of replying to you if they are not yet ready to rate.
Rating system on Pearl.com

Rating system on JustAnswer.com

Answering Questions - Do's and Don'ts

Here are some best practices to help you improve your answers and earn positive ratings from customers, based on our customer satisfaction research:
Please Do
  • Proofread your responses for grammar and punctuation
  • Ensure that you have addressed all of a customer's question
  • Be courteous with the customer
  • Respond to questions that you are confident you can answer

Please Don't

  • Abandon questions
  • Respond to questions if you know you cannot answer
  • Use the answer button when an info request would be more appropriate