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One element of website design that hasn’t evolved much over the years is the "Contact Us" page. Typically it’s just an address, phone number, and e-mail address accompanied by a static form asking for information. Take a look at your website statistics and check how many visitors click to your Contact Us page. Now check how many visitors actually fill out and submit the contact form. I’m guessing the number is negligible.
You need a way for someone to contact your company from your website, but it’s clear the generic catch-all static contact form doesn’t work as well as it could. You can do a couple of simple things to improve the chances that visitors will either submit a contact form or get the information they need if they prefer not to submit a form.
1. Offer a frequently asked questions document. Website visitors must need something or they wouldn’t have clicked to the Contact Us page. There is a good chance your FAQ document will provide the information they are looking for.
2. Don’t start with a form. Start with a list of possible reasons why someone may be trying to contact you. Someone who has a question about billing is more likely to engage if she can click a link that says, "Question about billing?" and is then taken to a form titled, "Let us help you with your billing question."
3. Offer the e-mail of a real person to contact (that is, if you are comfortable with it and able to do it). Would you be more likely to go to the trouble of sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com?
A few simple changes to your Contact Us page will improve the chances your customers will actually use it. Customers want to be heard, and your business will benefit by listening to them.
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