When someone decides to contact a company, they generally will figure that the contact page will be their best bet. Unfortunately, some contact pages are not so great at actually letting the user contact a real person in the company. Bizjournals just took a look at the contact challenge in Brandon Bruce's post on 6 must-have elements for your website contact page.
Here's his list, with my added observations:
- A contact form makes the user wonder if filling it out will be worth the effort. If you must use this method of collecting information, make sure there is confirmation when they submit. An automatic email opens a potential conversation and verifies that you know they want attention.
- An email address is quicker than form-filling. If automatic responses are followed up by personal contact as soon as promised, that's impressive. What's most impressive? A five-minute turnaround. Most of us are delighted with a response by the end of the next business day.
- A phone number with a representative who answers the phone is perfect - if that representative has the power to give the caller what is needed. If the caller must leave a message and wonder if anyone heard it, what's the point of calling? People call to do something concrete that can't wait.
- A map to show exactly where you are located. Using something like Google Maps lets them zoom out and figure out how to get there.
- An address so they can put it into their phone and use GPS to get there. Most people are searching for you on mobile devices (an argument for responsive web design & development) and this makes the process seamless.
- An easy way to schedule a meeting. Brandon Bruce suggests having a calendar embedded on the website with availability for scheduling. There are many options to do this and it's a great idea.
The only purpose of a contact page is to ensure that contact actually happens. If someone comes to your contact page and can't make contact, you have a problem on your hands.
Photo Credit: Contact Dead End/shutterstock