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How Difficult Are You Making It for Your Prospects to Contact You?

Jun 7, 2013   //   by jeremywallace   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments


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Have you ever walked through a big box store looking for something but having no idea where to find it?  Sure, every aisle has a huge sign at the end that says what’s in that aisle – but sometimes, that isn’t enough.

Do you remember the frustration you felt just trying to find a store clerk to ask for help?  Maybe you’ve even come close to chasing one down – but “poof” they were gone – you weren’t quick enough.

That’s frustrating.  And the experience sticks in the back of your mind next time you need to buy something.

Then there are those other stores – the ones where you can spot the infamous red shirt or blue apron immediately.  Relief.  You know you’re questions will be answered, you’ll find what you’re looking for and you’ll be in and out of there quickly.

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This is much like the way your visitors feel when they’re attempting to shop on your website.  If you’ve made it too difficult to reach out and contact you – they’ll be gone – and on to a site that provides better assistance.

Provide Multiple Avenues for Contact

Providing several avenues for contact could make the difference between closing a sale or not.  The more touch points your visitors have to make contact with you – the better.  Because each of your visitors has a preference in how they want to make contact.

Some visitors are quick to pick up a phone and call.  Some are too busy in that moment to risk being stuck on hold.  So they’ll shoot out a quick email at their convenience – knowing that they can also read the response at their convenience.

And don’t forget live chat.  When participants of a survey were asked which is their preferred method of communication with a business, live chat was neck and neck with phone communication.

“Adoption is on the rise generally, and there is a significant population of web site visitors who prefer live chat as a contact method,” says Lauren Freedman, president of The E-tailing Group. “It’s only been a short time that consumers have truly been able to take advantage of live chat, and to see that it is almost equal in preference to the telephone is exciting and transformative.” E-mail (58%) remains the preferred communication method, followed by phone (22%).

Additionally, 20% of consumers say live chat is their preferred way to interact with a merchant.

Respondents who say they prefer live chat most frequently cite getting their questions answered immediately (77%) and live chat’s efficiency as a communication method (52%) in explaining why they prefer chat.

Keep Contact Points Highly Visible

Keep your contact info highly visible and easy to access to ensure that prospects can reach you.  Kind of like the impossible to miss red shirted store assistants.

  • Your phone number should be easy to access through your entire site for customers who might want to reach out with questions or to check that your “internet business” is in fact real. The right-hand side of the header is a pretty common location for phone numbers these days and becoming somewhat standard.  Providing a toll free toll free number to show visitors the call is on your dime can be a nice touch as well.
  • Including a ‘Contact’ link in your navigation as the last item can make it easy for visitors to find the information they are looking for.  Here visitors should be brought to a central location that includes phone numbers, fax numbers, physical addresses, email addresses and live chat.  If you have a physical location adding a map helps users quickly understand where you are located.
  • Having key contact info in the footer of every page can also provide another pervasive access point should your customers or potential customers run into issues or questions at any point.

As with all things there is no one size fits all approach and significant changes should always be tested for impact but the overall goal is to make it nearly impossible for a visitor not to be able to reach you – Unless of course, there’s no answer on the other end.

This is where your website no longer holds the responsibility – the people behind it do.

Give your visitors a guaranteed response time on email forms.  Not only will this make visitors feel confident that they’ll get a reply – but it just might keep them from reaching out to too many of your competitors knowing a response is not far away.

Use real human operators behind your live chat – not bots.

Funny robot sit with headphones

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And if you provide a phone number – make sure there is someone on the other end to answer the calls.

Just because you have a website out there that is doing much of your work for you – don’t risk losing another sale because your visitors can’t reach you.  It’s a simple solution that has an easy fix once you’ve implemented the suggestions made.




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