Your Contact Us page – are you making these mistakes?

When we take on a new client, our initial focus is usually the quick wins. They’re the simple changes we can make, often in just a few minutes that can make a massive difference to new sales or new customer enquiries for our clients.

Contact Us Page Optimisation

One really easy quick win is the Contact Us page. I’m constantly amazed at how bad some website Contact Us pages are. Somewhere around 30% of clients that we take on have a major issue with their Contact Us page that we can generally fix in less than 15 minutes.

The three most common Contact Us page problems we see are:

  1. issues with the Contact Us form, often the Contact Us form doesn’t work full stop – in one case we took on a client who wanted some Adwords campaigns setup. We logged into the site and there were at least 50 enquiries over the previous 3 months that weren’t received
  2. nobody is checking the mailbox where the queries are going
  3. enquiries are being poorly handled – generally reception or admin staff make bad salespeople, it might be time to review who your website enquiries are actually going to

Not just about new customers…

Your Contact Us page isn’t just about getting new customers; suppliers, other businesses you work with and your existing customers are also relying on that page on a regular basis. A well written Contact Us page also adds credibility to your business….a bad one can destroy your credibility in seconds.

Most of the things that make a good Contact Us page are just common sense – they’ve just been overlooked.

5 Point Contact Us page audit

Here’s our simple checklist and audit doc we use as the basis for Contact Us page improvements, really simple, you can run through this yourself on your own website:

Is the Contact Us page in your menu?
When someone is trying to get in touch the first thing they’re going to look for is a Contact menu item. Its critical visitors to your site can easily find your contact details so make sure this is a menu item. Typically the best place for this is at the end of the menu. Depending on your menu layout this will be either to the right or to the bottom of the menu.

Its a Contact Us page, are all your company details on there?
Remember, its not just new customers or prospects who are looking for your Contact page. Your contact us page is like a business card on steroids so make sure you’re making the most of it! At a minimum the page should include:

  • Your ABN or company registration number – your existing customers or suppliers may need this for a variety of reasons and generally the first place they look for it is on your website.
  • Your street address should be front and centre particularly if you’re a retail business (*if you want this publicly available) – generally we try and put this in the footer of the website too so it shows on all pages and is easy to find.
  • An embedded Google Map or link to your business on Google Maps (as a sidenote, make sure when someone searches your business address and business on Google Maps that the right location appears!).  This is getting more and more important particularly as more people use smartphones and may be looking at your website while trying to find your physical location – our preference is a Google Map over a map image largely for this reason.
  • Your postal address (if different to your street address OR if you don’t have a street address)
  • Phone number(s) – the fewer numbers the better. I’ve seen pages with 10+ contact phone numbers or phone numbers for every staff member which is just plain confusing.
  • After hours or emergency phone number if appropriate
  • Your business name and company name (if your company name is different to your business name) – again often customers and suppliers will need this information from time to time and there may be some small search engine benefit to having this online.
  • A Contact Us form – we prefer a contact form over an email address particularly if a lot of enquiries are coming through. Using a Contact Us form allows the request email to be structured better and gets all the information you require upfront.
  • An email address (optional) – generally we prefer a Contact Us form only especially if you have multiple email addresses or departments. Using a form instead of listing 10 different addresses makes for a much cleaner, clearer user experience.

Is your Contact Us form working?
If you have a form on your site is it actually working? When you hit Submit on the form does it actually work correctly and does somebody in your company get the email?

What happens to enquiries if there is an email problem?
This is something that is almost always overlooked. If you’re having email problems and an enquiry sent through the form on your website gets blocked or lost what happens to that enquiry? Does it simply disappear into the ether?

The contact form software we use actually stores a copy of the enquiry in the website database as well as sending an email, yours should too. With this contact form software the customer can log into the backend of the website and check to make sure they’ve received all the enquiries sent through the site.

Who is handling the enquiries and how do you know they’re handling enquiries appropriately?
Reception and admin staff aren’t salespeople and generally they’re the wrong person to be handling sales enquiries – sales enquiries should go to sales or customer service staff. This is one of the reasons why we prefer to use a contact form instead of an email address on the Contact Us page as it allows us to add a drop-down box for the type of enquiry and funnel different enquiry types to the appropriate email address.

Questions?

If you have any more questions or need help with your website, head over to our Contact Us page and drop us a line.

  • http://inform.ly/ Dan Norris

    Good stuff mate. I had a client once a gold course who realised their contact us email address hadn’t been monitored for 2 years! Can you beat that?

    • http://twitter.com/tullibo Brendan Tully

      I think that one wins hands down!

  • briancmartin

    I clicked on the pics on the side and there is no close button.

  • http://twitter.com/nedwin Ned Dwyer

    First day on my first startup job I checked their contact us inbox. I found about 1000 emails that had never been opened including a partnership offer from Weather.com.

    Suffice to say the company went bankrupt about 12 months later – not paying attention to these minor (but very important) details is often the tip of the iceberg.

    P.S. The chat box slid out from the right but then disappeared as I was about to type into it.

    • http://twitter.com/tullibo Brendan Tully

      Classic mistake….so easy to miss the small stuff

      Re chat: the agents may have gone offline when you tried to initiate the chat

  • huberti

    Worst thing that could happen is to drop the ball when someone is reaching out to you.

    I’d add next to ‘Contact Us’ form an email address that people can send messages directly to.
    Sending confirmation email after filing ‘Contact Us’ form would be helpful, since those forms are perceived as /dev/null of internet.

    Never live your users hanging, tell them where they are and what is happening next.

  • http://www.installationgas.com/ James Blue

    Really clear and concise tips here! Excellent presentation! Please can you have a look at my contact us page on: http://www.installationgas.com/ because I’m new to business website creating. I like your advice and would appreciate some specific feedback from an expert like yourself! My website is for boiler installations in richmond and twickenham. How can I target my audience and make them contact us directly?