Here at FutureNow we are devoted to learning, changing, and adapting to whatever climate your site may be weathering. Â This gives us a proactive approach to sharing information, and the passion to help others do the same. Â We are always interested in fresh content from other areas of the industry. Â Today we are happy to feature a guest writer, Dave Thomas from Business.com, a site that helps people compare sales and marketing vendors, among other vendor types in an extremely helpful grid.
Ever Wonder Why You Strike Out with Potential Customers?
Your business has a great product or service to pitch but your Web site only gets a fraction of the hits you believe you should be receiving. If that is the case, what gives?
If my experiences are felt by even just a fraction of others, it is likely that potential customers gave up trying to reach you due to the fact they were left wandering around your Web site trying to figure out how to contact you.
As someone who has literally visited thousands and thousands of company Web sites in the last decade-plus as an online editor, one of the most frustrating things that confronts me at times is finding vital contact info.
When you or the person or persons you hired put together your companyâ€™s Web site, did you actually want to make visitors go on a safari to find the contact info or was it just by mistake that you made it so hard for them? Either way, stop and think about the potential lost revenue that is going down the drain due to such actions.
Do Visitors Need a Map to Navigate Your Site?
Easy site navigation for your visitors is crucial to having not only new customers come to the site, but also for retaining them.
Imagine yourself as the visitor and ask how you would move from one page to another. If youâ€™re left with questions, then take the time to revamp the feel of the site. Most importantly, remember it is not uncommon for your siteâ€™s homepage to bring in the most traffic as compared to remaining pages.
I mention the importance of the contact page earlier due to the fact I am oftentimes left shaking my head when finishing my experience on a site.
Just the other day I was on what looked like a pretty well displayed and thought out site. I wanted to contact the site owner to follow up with some questions regarding guest posting. Doing what seemed like the logical thing to undertake, I clicked on the â€˜contact usâ€™ button, expecting to be taken to either an email address or a contact form. Guess again.
There was no specific email address to contact someone at the business, just links to the companyâ€™s Facebook and Twitter pages â€“ strike one!
As I scrolled further down, it said that visitors could fill out, and then submit the â€˜contact formâ€™ below for more information and assumingly a response. The only problem here was that there was NO contact form to fill out â€“ strike two!
Finally, after one last run through the site, including reviewing the â€˜about usâ€™ section and clicking on the names of several team members, I still had no way other than Facebook or Twitter to try and reach a company employee â€“ strike three!
While I was not a potential paying customer, I was someone that wanted more details about the company; I have not returned to the site or plan on doing so. That being the case, imagine now if I may have been a potential revenue source for this company? My inability to easily contact them led me elsewhere.
Contacting You Should Not be an Odyssey
One of the prime goals with your Web site is to have your customers quickly and easily directed to the contact form. By doing so, you open up dialogue with them and increase your chances of making a sale. At the end of the day, isnâ€™t that your primary goal?
In the event youâ€™re not sure how your contact form should read, keep in mind that it should not be complicated and just seeks the details absolutely necessary in order to go from step one to step two with your new potential customer. If it is too hard to navigate to, is too inquiring and ultimately makes the visitor think twice about providing the information, you are already one step behind the eight ball.
Lastly, once the customer does get to the information to contact you and does so, donâ€™t leave them hanging for an answer.
Right up there with my pet peeve of not being able to contact a business owner on their site is contacting them and then being left out to dry waiting for a response.
It quite simply tells me that I, the potential customer who may spend money with you, am not all that important to your company when all is said and done. Even if the consumer is not likely to be a client and just seeks some simple information from you, donâ€™t leave them playing the waiting game.
As you look at your company Web site, remember that the key factor at the end of the day is determining how consumers are discovering the information about your company that they need and do you properly address all of their questions.
If your â€˜contact usâ€™ initiatives are not concentrated when the game is under way, you could very well find your business on the bench.
Dave Thomas, who covers among other topics sales and marketing, writes extensively for Business.com, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.