Your Contact Us Page – Get It Right!

Just about every website has some form of a “contact us” page. They can range from a simple email address, a web form, or full blown contact details. Many times they are lacking crucial information that customers and potential customers require in order to make a purchase, ask a question, or obtain customer service.

Here are a few tips to make your contact us page as good as it can be…

Make it obvious to find

Your “Contact Us” link should be clearly displayed at the top and/or bottom of all of your pages, especially the home page. Don’t force visitors to hunt for a way to get in touch. Make it easy.

Don’t be like Facebook, that tries to avoid actual interaction at all costs:

How do you contact Facebook? You don't!

Bonus: Integrate your email address and/or phone number into your page header/footer if it works for your design and layout.

Offer minimalist web based form

You cannot assume everyone on your website has a full blown email program right at their disposal to send you an email. Maybe they’re surfing on their cell phone, or on a public computer. Offer a web based form as an alternate means of getting in touch.

The key to this form is to only ask for the most essential information that is required to contact your company. Avoid asking for too much personal information, or extraneous questions. Often times name, subject, and a textbox for their questions is all that is really needed.

If you’re a small business, this is where you can beat the pants off of the big girls and boys – You are easily reachable, whereas they are not. Do not make it hard for customers to contact you using the medium they desire.

If you offer phone support…

  • List both a toll-free and regular phone number if applicable
    People outside of the country may not be able to use a toll-free number. List your regular number as an alternative.
  • List days and times it’s available
    Do not expect your customers to be mind readers, or to work and sleep at the same time as your phone support. Make sure you clearly list the days and times when phone support is available.
  • List the time zone!
    On the internet, time doesn’t mean anything. You have to list the timezone when your phone support hours are valid.

Bonus Tip 1: List both Eastern (ET) and Western (PT) timezones so your customers do not have to do “complex” math to match up your time with theirs.

Bonus Tip 2: Use javascript or a link to a timezone conversion tool so a customer can instantly translate your timezone into their local time. I know I love these handy tools. (During the World Cup, the FIFA website had the time conversion option on some pages, which was great. Some pages that displayed matches only listed a local time, which had my head swimming when trying to figure out when I could actually watch a game.)

Text and links please

If you list your email address on the Contact Us page, do so using two methods:
1. Your email address is a link that when clicked can open up an email program.
2. A plain text copy of your email address so users can easily copy/paste the address into an email program.

As many ways as possible

If you actively use Twitter, Facebook, Instant messenger programs, etc… and they are valid ways to interact with your company, then put those contact methods on this page as well! Don’t limit the ways your company interacts with its customer base on your contact us page.

What other tips and ideas do you have for an effective Contact Us page? Please share in the comments below.

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3 Comments

  1. Good post, Rob.

    I really like what Netflix has done with their Contact Us page. Check out my blog post discussing it here: http://theradicalear.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/netflix-kills-the-contact-us-page-good-riddance/

    I’d love your feedback.

    • Great post Thompson. Seems Netflix has done their homework and figured out how to better serve their clients.

      For the small business owner, who may not have a complicated sign-in system like Netflix, it’s a balancing act. Too much technology and you could confuse a customer, or make them wade through unnecessary options. If I had to err, I would err on the side of too simple vs. too complex.

      People like simple. And small businesses have the edge when it comes to simple streamlined contact. Most importantly, offer other avenues to be contacted (email address, phone, twitter, etc…) to compliment that “boring” contact form. :)

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