Make it easy for the world to beat a path to your door

Twice in the past few days I’ve been on the website of household-name companies, and found something really irritating which prevented me from doing business with them easily. Why this happens isn’t really relevant, although it’s probably down to the functionality of the website having been left to a bunch of computer programmers, rather than it having been specified implicitly for them. The fault was that I was quite prepared to spend a couple of moments telling them what the problem was, so that they could fix it …but they made that almost impossible, so I didn’t bother. One site had no email facility, just a “contact us” form which required a customer ID to be entered before a message could be sent. The other site quoted a few email addresses, but none were people who I thought would be interested in any feedback about the website or company.

Now, for most of us, the chances of us getting unprompted helpful feedback from users is, sadly, very low. We simply don’t have the traffic. But that’s no reason not to make it as easy as possible for non-customers as well as customers to contact us in any way they choose. Give a clear list of email addresses on your website for every possible type of enquiry or comment. A contact form is fine, but don’t force people to fill in their inside leg measurement just to tell you something which might be helpful to you.

Discussion

  1. Jeremy

    Inside leg 29″.
    Plus some of the better known brands like Apple deliberately make the route to contact them very obscure, but I guess you noticed that.

  2. Jon Whiten

    I believe that many companies think it is beneath them to engage with web visitors. Maybe this is nothing more than being unable to agree a destination email address to collect queries and so then unable to tell the web-designer what to write!

    We recently added a simple 2 field form to every page [Question and Contact email/phone no.] . We do not validate the form, we do not auto acknowledge (avioding spam originating from us) and we process the form with a simple .asp page that sends the data (what ever it is) to a hard-coded email address. Yes we get some blank emails, yes we get some spam but we also get more responses than we get via our standard contact us form. Easy for the visitor and more enquiries for us – Win-Win!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *