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Monday, Mar. 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Prospects: It Doesn’t Matter If They Are Good Looking, Give Them Your Phone Number!

By Dave Thomas
March 19th, 2012

Here at FutureNow we are devoted to learning, changing, and adapting to whatever climate your site may be weathering.   This gives us a proactive approach to sharing information, and the passion to help others do the same.  We are always interested in fresh content from other areas of the industry.  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 company’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 you’re left with questions, then take the time to revamp the feel of the site. Most importantly, remember it is not uncommon for your site’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 ‘contact us’ 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 company’s Facebook and Twitter pages – strike one!

As I scrolled further down, it said that visitors could fill out, and then submit the ‘contact form’ below for more information and assumingly a response. The only problem here was that there was NO contact form to fill out – strike two!

Finally, after one last run through the site, including reviewing the ‘about us’ 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 – 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, isn’t that your primary goal?

In the event you’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, don’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, don’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 ‘contact us’ 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.

Add Your Comments

Comments (72)

  1. Thank you for this post. I enjoyed this and I immediately checked my own blogs to make sure that i was utilizing a proper navigation route for visitors. Instead of making a contact form a hard to find page, try making it like the backbone of a site. Thanks for the quick tips.

  2. Hmmm… Your post actually made me add my phone number on several different places on my website! :P I only displayed it in one place before, and while it’s not technically difficult navigating there; it’s easier now :)

  3. “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.”

    You’re absolutely right! Your contact information should be available on every page of your site.

  4. When a potential customer actually looks for your contact info, that means serious business. So don’t make their experience feel like a treasure hunt. Great tips!

  5. Even if they never use it having your number adds a lot of value to people, they can see that you are going to be easy to contact if something goes wrong and verify you are in the country you say you are, even selling cosmetics worldwide we find having a UK number is recognised as a positive.

  6. We find having phone numbers in the header of all our SEO clients pages really boosts conversions and makes sites much more sticky. If your main aim is to get people to call anyway you can even include a number in meta description and people may not bother visiting the site, it makes it that bit quicker than going to a competitors site though.

  7. Haha, I like the title! but it is true – customers should easily be able to contact you. even in the event that they don’t intend on emailing or calling you, it still inspires trust to have a company’s contact details displayed. if contact details are hard to find, I sometimes think that the company doesn’t want to be found for some dodgy reason.

  8. Thank you for this article for making me know about checking my own blogs to make sure that i was looking for a right navigation route for visitors. It was really helpful.

  9. This is so true. I find it extremely frustrating when I’m on a company site and I want to find a phone number, but I can’t!!

    Some of the worst offenders are the biggest companies in the country!

    I think every business, no matter how big or small should have a contact page, clearly displayed in their navigation area. Not doing so is basically the same as shutting your door when customers are wanting to walk in!

  10. I try and make sure on both my blog and my website that a way to contact me is always visible, so the visitor never has to search for it.

  11. Great points. It’s hard enough to build enough trust to get someone interested in taking the next step and contacting you…if you place a bunch of hurdles in front of them forget about it.

  12. Really, Great instruction to increase our business. Easy site navigation is very necessary for our sites. we should contact to our every visitors with honesty. There is no difference between pad customers and unpaid customers. New content also attract the visitors.

  13. I really need to go through my own websites and follow your tips to straighten things out.

  14. This is very true, a lot of our clients(before we rebuilt their website of course) had no contact page visible anywhere on their site. No phone number either!

  15. I don’t think it’s always because of poor site design that contact info can be difficult to find, or even non-existent.

    It seems a lot of people and organizations just don’t want to be contacted (whatever their reasons may be).

    Of course I think it’s just plain stupid not to make it as simple as possible for your site’s visitors to contact you.

    Whether it’s contact info or anything else, everything should be designed for the comfort and convenience of the visitor, not for the glorification of the site owner’s ego.

  16. Hey Dave this is a nice post! I agree with you that it is really important for a website to have a contact information of the owner, most especially for business entrepreneurs who are showcasing their products through their website. They could lose a potential customer if they lack important information like their contact numbers or even social networking accounts.

  17. When I am designing my websites I always mak sure to have breadcrumbs when the visitor leaves the home page, it keeps them on the site longer

  18. When it applies I try to have a contact form at the end of landing pages. You also need to keep the required fields to a minimum as to not lose the conversion

  19. I always ask my webmaster where I have the highest bounce rate. that way i can identify where my customers are leaving and identify it as an optimization point

  20. Thank you for this post. I enjoyed this and I immediately checked my own blogs to make sure that i was utilizing a proper navigation route for visitors. Instead of making a contact form a hard to find page, try making it like the backbone of a site. Thanks for the quick tips.

  21. Thanks, that article was pretty useful. As an important web agency we try to make user-friendly websites where contact informations are really easy to find. We dont only make a “Contact Us” page, we also use modules (widgets on WordPress) near the header or just above the footer, where we usually say something like “If you need any information just click here or call xxxx” and so on. Thanks again.

  22. I have a special hatred for links that don’t work. You get excited about a business or blog or anything and want to contact them and lo a blind link. Its horrible. Nice post

  23. Very useful information here :)
    Would it be wise to have map -links throughout the site for navigational purposes? There is not much directions in my site now

  24. So true. I try to design my sites with a clear layout for navigational purposes as well as clear calls to action for contact forms. If the visitor get’s lost, your conversion rates will suffer greatly!

  25. [...] Of Navigation3 Timeless Social Media TipsGlobal Mobile TrendsBuy Chocolate with a Facebook PledgeIt Doesn’t Matter If They Are Good Looking…Logistik ist Key im E-CommerceRetargeting – Chancen und RisikenCommunity Aufbau auf Google+Mit [...]

  26. i can say that the title is very catchy.. and i totally agree with the idea of easy site navigation as I, myself, would not really mind digging into a site if I find it difficult to find whatever I want to look for. I feel like it’s a waste of time. This article is sensible.

  27. Provide a phone number to prove the seriousness of us to customers. This article really helped me. Thank you.

  28. What I’ve found to be successful is to include the contact form on all of the important pages. That way, potential customers can immediate fill in the form, instead of the extra step of visiting (or finding) the contact page.

  29. The tips provided in the post are really wonderful and it mainly focuses in increasing the satisfaction of the readers or the visitors on any site or blog. The more the reader satisfaction the more popular the blog will become. thanks for lovely tips.

  30. You are exactly correct! Contact us should have direct contact to the site owner. Or there should be an email address or a phone number to be to reach the contact person.

  31. It’s a mistake that I see far too often. My motto is, “make it as easy as possible for customers to pay you.” How are they supposed to do that if they cant get ahold of you? Great info as always!

  32. Your customers/ visitors are valuable, so make sure to write the detail contact info at “contact us” page include name business, phone, email address, more. So the customers/ visitors can reach you for your business.

  33. Very true. I put a lot of effort into the design my blog. Having a clear layout and simple navigational helps conversion rates a lot.

  34. When a potential customer actually looks for your contact info, that means serious business. So don’t make their experience feel like a treasure hunt. Great tips!

  35. There was a product just last week that I came very close to buying online by a fairly well-known marketer. I had some questions to ask first and could not find a way to contact them other than by email. No response 1 week later and definitely no sale for them either.

  36. Prospects and networking are very undervalued and can help propel yourself forward tenfold.

  37. I don’t like giving out my phone.
    It brings privacy issues to disclose so much public information especially in some niches (like the one I am part of)

  38. I couldn’t agree more. It is so important to ensure that you and your business are easy to do business with. If people can’t get hold of you, how can you do business. Great blog.

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  40. You are exactly correct! Contact us should have direct contact to the site owner.Provide a phone number to prove the seriousness of us to customers. This article really helped me. Thank you.

  41. I especially like the point about contact info. After all the hard work a person puts into their website, it IS a shame when there is no easy access way to contact them!

  42. We agree, it is important to make it as easy as possible to contact the site owner on every web page and after every call to action. Great post.

  43. You are definitely correct. Because some costumers looks for your contact, it means serious business. So they can easily reach me.

  44. As a business entrepreneur i add my phone number in the contact page of my website and i think its a nice way to get potential customer.

  45. Thank you for the articles. I can really agree with you that easy navigation is something is really important, so i followed my website to check that it is easy to navigate there.

  46. Thanks for the article. in business needs a lot of factors that lead to success. I understandthat the use of the website is very important. But I think for people to know you and your company, products and solutions that you provide, you should submit your site to search engines. I believe you will succeed.

  47. It’s really good advice.. I am still building my website. I will take your advice to place a clear contact form and information about me and my website..
    thanks

  48. Some phones can handle all customer questions just pick up is resolved.
    Thank you for writing this article it really helps people

  49. It is increasingly easy for customers to reach us means the greater the chances of the products or services that we offer to consumers to buy

  50. Great article. easy navigation and a easy why for your customers to contact you is a must for any website conducting business. I will pass on a link to this article to my friends and business partners. Thanks for a great read.

  51. I have a shop in Bangkok. When customers see something in my shop they always call me and make a apointment. I also show my phone number on e-commerce websites. It really works.

  52. I will take your advice to place a clear contact form and information about me and my website..
    thanks

  53. Adding an email address of phone number to EVERY page creates the expectation in the mind of the reader that you are inviting them to contact you. This is in effect a very subtle call to action. Great for business.

  54. Hey Dave,

    This blog is really a life saver for me, as I am a newbie in the world of SEO and internet marketing hence this article really gave me lot of excellent tips for things which we need to ensure while developing a website. Good stuff and Thank you Dave!!

  55. I never thought of a special navigation route. Thanks, this helps me to improve the process!

  56. That’s true. There are still a lot of websites today that do not believe in the power of optimizing contact forms. This is a good advice to those who are wondering why they aren’t getting any sales since they launched.

  57. While we are quite happy with the placement of our phone numbers on our site, we are currently in the middle of a redesign which will feature it more prominently. Some good info on here.

  58. totally agree. Poor site navigation and a definite call to action (call us on …..) must be the biggest downfall of the majority of sites and loose potential customers/clients.

  59. This article makes a lot of sense because a phone number is more personal vs an email, it allows the customer to connect with you. I know when I buy a product the phone number is one of the 1st things I look for.
    Great article Dave!

  60. Yes, absolutely right, direct and clear communication is the must, a website as well as a blog should be open at any rate, I mean people mostly hate troubles contacting an owner or an author, they won’t come back after spending several minutes to discover a tiny white-gray button with no text to click on. The more we are open the more people come to us, this rule works in both the worlds the real and virtual ones. So, let us reconfigure and redesign our sites and blogs, let us make them WIDE open for our visitors, let us STOP pushing visitors to the PAY NOW button, let us be more HUMAN and less machines :)

  61. absolutely correct….most companies just display a form to get in contact with them about their products…and that takes time….most people want to get an answer ASAP…and the need the answer quickly….with a phone number, everthing could be faster. In addition, it will increase the trust your customer has in your product or service.

  62. Giving people your phone number is no problem. If you offer your email address on the other hand- you will have an e-mail account cluttered with spam everyday. You have to delete the spam every time you open your e-mail. It kills way too much time.

  63. +1 the majority of websites try to push sales, they are doing it wrong, they should make it easier to navigate their websites and make a big Button “Contact US” instead of BUY NOW

  64. Some people just traditionally LIKE to hear someone on the other end vs. online. Your phone number should be up in plain sight on the top.

  65. My customers page always have Address, telephone, email, and especial a map location.

  66. It’s so important to make your website easy to navigate for the end user.

    Web designers and developers tend to forget that not everybody can work their way around overly complexed navigation structures and pop out menus.

  67. [...] View the original article here [...]

  68. Thanks for that pretty article, You are exactly correct! Contact us should have direct contact to an email, phone number of the site owner. My own websites should follow your tips to straighten things out.

  69. [...] The GrokDotCom team demonstrates why you’ve always got to give your prospects your phone number. [...]

  70. I’m part of the Sales Team of a web-based company and your article was very helpful. I checked if navigation was easy on our website and made the contact form easier to find. But still, we can’t put our phone number there because we simply can’t handle all the calls we would get. We are a small team and can only deal exclusively with wholesale costumers using the telephone.

  71. I wonder who wouldn’t give a phone number and physical address in their contact us page. If its not given then it could be a serious problem. I think it also impacts the credibility of the business if they don’t reveal themselves to their visitors.

  72. This is why I make it as easy as possible for people to find me.

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