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The Perfect Contact Us Page
Visitors have found your website and are interested in your product or service. The logical next step is for them to contact you. Best practices require that you provide as many ways to contact you as possible, so that people can take whatever next step they feel most comfortable with to contact you.
Contact Us Navigation Button
Usability studies (those that test how user-friendly a website is) show us, without a doubt, that the majority of people look for a “Contact Us” navigation link or button within the primary navigation of a website. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because the contact information is on the homepage, that people will actually see it. In numerous usability tests, people will overlook contact information in the quest for that widely desirable “Contact Us” button or link. So, include a Contact Us button in your website’s navigation.
Remember that one of your website’s primary functions is to provide information on your business or service and to get people to contact you for more information. So, make it easy for them to do just that!
Complete contact information
Almost a no-brainer, you’d say, but you’d be surprised how many websites don’t include complete contact information on their site. One of the biggest frustrations of website visitors is the difficulties they encounter when they are trying to find your phone number.
In fact, I find it much easier and quicker to Google a company to find their phone number instead of looking it up in the phone book.
And while we’re on the subject of phone numbers, does your phone number show up in a Google search for your company name at the top of the search results? If not, contact us and we’ll get your Local listing to display for searches.
Back to the subject, did you know that one of the most common complaints of website visitors is that they can’t easily find the company/organization’s phone number on the website. At a bare minimum, we recommend complete contact information be included on the homepage and on the Contact Is page.
Online Contact form
It’s easy to set up an online contact form to assist visitors to your website to submit a query to you. The benefit for you is that it comes to your email inbox as a targeted sales lead, showing you the person’s name, address, phone, email, and selected other information. These forms work as a 24/7 inquiry center for your business, with visitors to your site able to submit an inquiry, even if your office is closed. Then, first thing in the morning, you have the opportunity to respond by phone or email to the inquiry.
You won’t have any problems knowing how to spell the person’s name or getting down the phone number correctly, as that information is already in the email!
Don’t forget to preface your actual form with a strong call to action or inviting text to encourage people to actually fill out the form.
Embedded Google Map
Thanks to Google (and Mapquest) for making it so easy for websites to embed a map into their contact page. With a Google map embed on your contact us or location page visitors to your website can easily enter the Google interface and request directions direct from their home/office.
It’s always a good practice to include downloadable directions to your office in PDF format. If people are coming in from out of town and are unfamiliar with your location, having the instructions from a variety of directions will help ensure that they arrive on time and less frustrated with getting lost on the way.
Don’t forget to “brand” the PDF with your letterhead, full contact information and your website address.
Hours of Operation
Include your hours of operation on your contact page, so people know when you’re open!
The Local Test
Do you ever look to see where a company is located before you make a decision to buy? I do. I avoid (like the plague) those sites that don’t list their full contact information with full transparency. I worry (as do others) that the company is not legitimate if I can’t actually just pick up the phone and call them!
In this era of locavores and Buy-Into-It Yakima campaigns (and other local business support campaigns), more and more people understand the importance of shopping locally, whenever possible, to benefit the business community in which they live and work. Including your local contact information shows clearly your true location.
Be sure that you put business practices into place that ensure that inquiries that come into your office through your website and handled quickly and efficiently. Nothing puts potential customers off more than an inquiry that goes unanswered for days. Look at the staff member that spends the most time online and, if appropriate, have them be the one that receives the contact inquiry forms, and is responsible for forwarding them to the appropriate person in the company for quick action.
Institute a company policy that insists on quick response to email inquiries.
Inclusion of good contact information on your website builds business efficiencies as visitors to your office are less apt to need to spend time on the phone with your office personnel asking directions when they get lost on their way to your office. That leaves more free time for your receptionist to focus on providing great customer service to the customers/clients that are physically in your office - without interrupting that in-person service because of long winded direction-giving phone calls with other customers.
Any time you can improve the overall user experience on your website, it makes good business sense to do so. Research shows, without a doubt, that customers are going to use your website to find contact information for your business, so ensure that it is complete and easy to find.
Read this great article on 5 Ways to Improve Your Contact Form Conversion Rate