efficient line of communication is beneficial to customers and the
bottom line. Yet judging by many “contact us” pages, you’d never think
this is the case. Much like “about us” pages, many “contact us” pages seem like throwaways. They receive little love and even less effort.
This is easily remedied with a little thought and some planning.
Common “Contact Us” Mistakes and Solutions
Problem: Prospects don’t know whom they should contact.
Many companies do a great job of listing all the different contact
numbers, contact info, and corresponding departments but offer very
little guidance on which contact option is the best, or even correct,
The Citi page
lists the contact info above the fold, but whom should I call if I have
a question about the credit card application I just submitted online?
Do I contact the credit card contact number, the account contact
number, or the online contact number?
American Airlines gives it a good try, but this pop-up
is just too frustrating to be useful. It isn’t obvious that clicking on
the left-hand link will give you actual contact information. You must
first read the incredibly small text to figure it out. If I just booked
my vacation and bought the tickets from American, whom do I contact to
change my flight? Do I click “AA Vacations”? “Customer Relations”?
Solution: Wells Fargo does a much better job putting contact information in the context of visitor need rather than a list of information.
Problem: Contact information is invisible or hard to find. How far we have strayed from service when people look at the GetHuman Earcon Standard as a potential benefit?
call center costs is an important metric for many larger companies, but
the answer isn’t to hide contact information. While doing so may
eliminate many knucklehead calls, it also leaves you vulnerable to
frustrated and angry customers. This can waste even more time when they
do hunt you down.
It also robs you of an opportunity to win over customers by being more
approachable. It’s hard to trust a company that doesn’t seem to want to
talk to you.
Nobody hides its contact information as well as Amazon.com. On the upside, it does work hard to present information that’s likely to answer most common questions.
If you’re pressed to cut call center calls, the answer lies in planning
a site that answers the majority of questions. Persuasion architecture
can also be used to plan persuasion scenarios
where support or customer service questions are answered online.
Conversion rate optimization is not simply for transactions or leads;
it can also be used post-sale in customer relationship situations where
a conversion can be measured as a successful resolution.
Vonage attempts this. Its “contact us” page is a little thin and discouraging, but at minimum it presents the phone number as well as a troubleshooter. Even better is Outpost.com.
The copy is encouraging and inviting. It places the phone contact
information first, followed by links that address common situations in
Problem: Contact options are limited. So many companies like to force consumers to contact them the way they preferred to be contacted. Some limit you to an e-mail form. Bank of America forces you to scroll through a painful dropdown menu. Why can’t they just offer a clickable map, like Qwest does?
Give customers more control of how to contact you. Provide plenty of
options: phone, form, e-mail, and chat. Let them contact you their way.
offers a telephone number to talk to an engineer, as well as a short
form and a chat option when available. The e-mail form guarantees a
response in one business day. If you click on “Speak to a System Engineer” in the nav bar, you’re guaranteed a response in two hours from the point of action.
worked with a business-to-business (B2B) lead-generation site that
literally did not post price and product information on its site to
force prospects to call and talk to sales reps. It also made the
contact form incredibly cumbersome. By introducing transparent pricing,
a shorter form, and more contact options, it increased its lead
pipeline over $70,000 a month. Just because you’re better at selling on
the phone doesn’t mean every customer wants to talk on the phone. He
may just surf over to a competitor that doesn’t force a call.
you’re concerned about losing leads and sales, use persuasion
architecture. With persuasion architecture, the most effective offline
selling processes can be mapped to online persuasion scenarios.
Problem: People are left to send and pray.
So many contact forms and “thank you for contacting us” pages leave
visitors frustrated. They don’t provide any information on what to
expect when someone contacts the company via form or e-mail. Visitors
want to know when and how you’ll reply. Some pages won’t even give the
This is even more frustrating to a visitor who comes with a support issue.
After we sent our form to Zaaz, the landing page told us the Web is fast, but not how fast the company will get back to us. Compare that to this thank-you page, which tells you the CEO has been copied on your message and when to expect a response. Which page inspires more confidence?
Tell visitors exactly what to expect when they reach out to you. Tell
them what’s happening and what to expect in the future. If they must
have information handy when they contact you, be sure to list that on
the “contact us” page, too.
“contact us” page is a lifeline for many businesses. For others, it’s
what a visitor should click on as a last resort because she’s failed to
find answers elsewhere on your site. Either way, take the
responsibility. Make sure visitors don’t become frustrated before they
reach out. In the end, that’s the key measure of a good “contact us”