Are You Accidentally Hiding From Your Customers?


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It’s no secret that every interaction presents an opportunity to provide outstanding customer service. These opportunities can happen during the sales process, the online checkout process, and even the shipping process. And while these opportunities are obvious, there is one, not-so-obvious opportunity that is often overlooked: the user experience on your website. More specifically, the user’s perception of how available you are to answer their questions.

Statistics show that 89 percent of businesses will soon be competing mainly on customer experience, and the companies that make a conscious effort to exceed expectations will be the ones who capture the loyalty of their customers. This means that you need to take every opportunity you can to provide superb customer service, especially in ways others aren’t – like the user experience on your website.

Passive contact pages don’t encourage contact

Contact pages haven’t changed much. You click on a menu item labeled “contact” and you’re taken to a page where you can fill in your name, email address, and type a message. It’s basic, but it gets the job done if a visitor needs to contact you. What this doesn’t do, however, is let your visitors know you want to help them and it also doesn’t encourage them to contact you for help.

You don’t have to do anything fancy to encourage people to contact you. Godaddy’s website is a great example of how to encourage people to contact you without having to do anything fancy. You don’t have to click on a link to find their contact information. They provide their phone number at the top of their homepage with the words, “24/7 Support.” Making their 24/7 availability known lets you know they’re reliable.

Another way to encourage contact is by not forcing people to click through a bunch of links in order to make contact. Placing your phone number at the top of your website is a great solution, and so is making a live chat option visible to your visitors. On this law firm’s website, they not only have a live chat tab floating on the left side of the page, but they also have the option on the bottom right of the page, as well as a time-delayed popup that offers the live chat.

Your web copy plays a huge role in perception of availability

Consciously constructing your web copy to promote and encourage contact is the most important task you can take on if your goal is to increase customer engagement, conversion, and satisfaction.

Maybe you have a phone number posted, and perhaps you’ve already got a live chat option on your website. Yet, do your visitors know it’s there? If you’ve got contact options on your website but your visitors can’t see them, you may want to consider changing the way you present your options.

Your web copy could be sabotaging your efforts to make yourself available. Using phrases like, “We can’t guarantee an immediate response so please be patient” could give people the impression that you can’t be bothered and people might feel discouraged from contacting you. You could have one of the most beautiful contact pages on the internet, but if your copy discourages contact, you’re doing your customers a disservice.

On the other hand, you can actively encourage communication with phrases like, “We want to hear from you! Please contact us with your questions, and we’ll be delighted to answer them as soon as possible.” People will feel confident in contacting you because they’ll feel like you care. The difference is huge.

Consider your contact channels a call to action

Providing a way for your customers to contact you isn’t just something you do out of obligation and it’s not something you do casually, either. Take the perspective that you want your visitors to contact you, and make it your mission to ensure that happens.

Does your contact form, page, or option actively call people into action? If not, it should. This approach will shape people’s perceptions of how available you are, and the more available you are, the happier your customers will be.

Larry Alton
Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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