How many times have you been visiting a website and had trouble finding what you wanted? Have you found a broken link? Did a product ... lack ... ... are many reasons a vis
How many times have you been visiting a website and had trouble finding what you wanted? Have you found a broken link? Did a product description lack important information? There are many reasons a visitor may need to contact a webmaster or customer service agent, and if they can't, they may never visit your website again.
I get several email messages a day - and the occasional phone call - about questions and problems from visitors to my website. Those people are more valuable visitors and potential customers because they care enough to ask their question rather than simply taking their business elsewhere. Are you losing them to your competitors?
Contact information is more important when your visitors can't see you in person, such as on your website. A real address, phone number and email address establishes credibility and reassures people that there is a real person behind the website that can help them if they have difficulties using the website or the products they purchase.
If they can't contact you, many people just won't do business with you. Yahoo! has recognized this and now refuses to list business websites without contact information, including a physical address.
You must include your physical address (preferably NOT a PO Box) and an email address. I recommend you also include your phone number and a fax number, if you have one. To look truly professional, and encourage more people to call, your phone number should be a toll-free number.
NOTE: If you have a toll-free number with an "888", "877" or other area code not widely recognized as toll-free, include the words "toll- free" nearby and it will work as well as an "800" number.
Let me tell you from personal experience, it is extremely frustrating to get to a website without a method to contact a *real person*. Sometimes, websites (especially the corporate variety) are designed to answer frequently asked questions, but not unusual ones.
A short time ago, I was in need of an antivirus program for an NT server. Many antivirus programs are designed to work with NT workstations, but not servers. I learned that the hard way - by buying the software and being unable to install it. (I later discovered they all have "corporate" versions of their websites offering their server software, but there is no link to the corporate websites from their consumer-oriented websites.)
It took me weeks to get through to any of the major antivirus software vendors to ask them about NT server software. With Symantec, I was completely unable to find an email address at which I could contact a real person. Their menus excluded my question for their feedback forms. Neither was I able to find a phone number on their website - I had to search software manuals from products I had bought previously.
If one antivirus vendor had gotten back with a straight answer to my question in a day or two, I probably would have purchased their product before the others responded.
Needless to say, it left me with a very sour opinion of Symantec. I will probably never buy another Symantec product for my own business, nor recommend them to others.
Don't let this happen to you! Offer as much contact information as possible on your website, and have real people respond to it in a reasonable period of time.