Website visitors will help you improve your site!
I was just browsing around the web and I got to a website that had a problem on it. I wanted to let them know, but I was in the middle of something else, so I didn't want to hunt for their email, launch my email client, type in their email address and a subject, and worry that they were going to spam me later. I just wanted to anonymously let them know that a button on their website didn't work.
Hello, is there anybody out there?
On another site, I wanted to contact the company about a similar issue. They had a contact link at the bottom, but the link was a mailto: email address. I clicked it and it launched Firefox's choose email app dialog. Taking the time to deal with an email application was more than I bargained for. I just wanted to tell them about the issue I found.
Make it Easy!
If you want to communicate with your customers and get feedback, you have to make it easy for them. The more steps there are between you and your customers, the fewer customers there are who will take them. If a customer helps you identify a bug or typo on your website, or is able to ask you a question quickly and easily, you may get more customers!
The Feedback Tab
Have you noticed the feedback tabs that have started to appear on the right-hand side of many web pages? We like these. They make it super easy for website visitors to communicate with web developers and content writers about the website itself. These slide-out boxes with their telltale vertically-aligned text are becoming more and more common. They may be the new defacto standard for letting your customers report issues with your website.
Rules for a Great Contact Us Page
- Don't make any fields required.
Required fields limit interactivity. You don't have to have any information about a customer if all they want to do is tell you about a typo on your website.
- KISS - Keep it simple sweetheart!
Five fields maximum! Even five is a lot. Have an email and phone number so you can get in touch with them if they want you to. Name and message are the only two needed. You may want a company field, but probably not.
- Have your form email you when submitted.
If someone submits the form, have it go straight to your email inbox. If you walk into a store and want to ask a question and no one answers you, how do you feel about shopping there? If they've filled out the form with contact information -- respond in a timely manner. Get back to them the same day or at the latest, the next day.
- Manage the communications
In your email notification, include a link to a form back to the website with a form to respond. Fill in the answer and store it so you know you've responded to the customer. You can automatically add that customer to your CRM system, it may come in handy later.
Review of Today's Lesson
Putting a simple contact form on your website with a name, phone number, email address and message box is really fast (okay, at least for Qrimp users). Even if you have to do it the hard way, build that page and form. The help and goodwill from your customers will be worth it!