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.