Offering a contact form on your website can be an efficient and effective way to obtain more inquiries for your business.
Because it’s housed right on your business website, it can often be the most convenient way for a prospective customer to reach out to you. There’s no need to go to any other platform, like your Facebook page, or to go to their e-mail and compose a new message. Not only is this great for the customer, but it’s also great for you, the business owner, because it keeps the prospect from getting distracted by their Facebook notifications or unread emails in their inbox.
But too often, small businesses don’t receive inquiries through their website’s contact form. They receive Facebook messages, LinkedIn messages, sometimes a direct e-mail, phone calls, but rarely an inquiry straight from their website.
You might think, “Well, yeah, I don’t get inquiries straight from my website, but there are other ways to contact me.”
True. But your website acts as the HUB of your online presence.
You’ve put time, energy, and probably a little (if not A LOT) of money into this website. Shouldn’t it be a direct driver of inquiries to your business?
It should. And it can be. But it’s not.
So the obvious question becomes, if the contact form is seemingly the most convenient way to contact you, why in the world are prospective customers not using it?
First, let’s define how the contact form SHOULD work:
- A prospective customer visits your website.
- They want to contact you about your product/service with either a question or an eagerness to buy.
- They easily find your contact form.
- They enter their name, contact information, and a brief message, much like writing an e-mail.
- They hit the “Send” button.
- You receive their message.
- You respond to them in a timely manner.
But here’s where this ideal sales funnel can break down:
The prospect can’t find the contact form.
If your contact form is amidst a bunch of clutter and things to click on, it’ll be missed. It could also be missed if it’s on a page that doesn’t make sense to someone that’s new to your business.
HOW TO FIX:
Place your contact form(s) where it makes sense – within your “Contact” page, your “About” page, and/or your footer.
You can also provide a scrolling contact form that is present on every page. Be careful with this option – if you’ve got other pop-ups or scrolling features, adding another might make it even more cluttered.
The prospect has been duped by this before and doesn’t trust that you’ll respond to them.
This isn’t necessarily your fault, but should still be considered. You may have even experienced this before as a consumer. You fill out a contact form and because the website hasn’t been programmed to send an e-mail straight to the business’s customer service personnel, your contact form message never actually gets sent.
You can’t do anything about the fact that this has happened to your prospective customers in the past, but you CAN influence them to use YOUR contact form, regardless of their past with other businesses.
HOW TO FIX:
Clearly explain what will happen once they click “Send.” Reaffirm the fact that YES, this contact form WILL send an e-mail and this business WILL respond back to you.
You can do this by adding a small paragraph explaining this sequence. Even better, include a “response time promise,” i.e. “We promise to respond to this message within 24 hours.”
Your website’s contact form can function as an efficient and effective direct driver of prospective customers to your business. Make sure it operates this way by making it easy to find and clear to the customer that it’s a perfect way to contact you.