One of the things that boggles my mind about modern websites is the lack of contact information, or even worse, a hostile contact us form. I have found many contact forms that require far too much information, don’t work, use anti-spam technology that doesn’t work, or simply don’t exist.
It’s almost like the people behind the websites don’t want to be bothered by their customers.
We decided early on that these forms would be light, and easy to fill out. The idea is to give us enough information to have a conversation. Every form that is filled out on any of our websites goes into our CRM (Hubspot). When we are on a call, we open up Hubspot and write notes.
A Contact Us form is a communication tool. The power is in the hands of the person filling it out. If you make it too hard for them to contact you, they won’t. In a world where there are hundreds of people who are providing the same product or service you do, the easier it is to contact you, the more likely they will be to contact you.
Here’s what we ask for with our Contact form (all of fields are required):
- Your Name – what should we call you? This is required, but it could be optional…we just like to know who we’re talking to.
- Your Email address – How else will we get back to you? This is an absolute necessity.
- What would you like to talk about? – This is a subject line, and while it’s not necessary, it helps us organize things in our inbox.
- What do you want to say – A text box that lets you say some words.
If we wanted to get aggressive, we could pare this down to two fields, simply an email address and a text box, but we find these extra two fields help us figure out who and what we’re talking about.
Here’s what we ask for with our Get a Quote form looks like (starred fields are required):
- Your Name*
- Your Email address*
- Phone – Optional, some people like to include their phone number.
- Tell us about your Project* – A text box that lets explain what you’re trying to do.
- How do you prefer to be contacted? – Optional, some people want to be phoned, others like email.
- Approximate Budget* – People often don’t even think about budget, and we don’t use this for anything other than a reference.
Again, getting aggressive, we could drop name, phone, contact preference, and budget, but we like this information because it helps us to frame a conversation. Budget is a drop down, so it’s really easy to fill out, and how do you prefer to be contacted is also a drop down message..
Rules for Contact Us pages
- The page should be called Contact or Contact Us
- It needs to be easily found, preferably in the primary navigation, or at the very least, in the footer.
- Contact Us is a page for the customer, not for your sales people
- Track your conversations
Don’t call your page “get in touch”, people scan websites, they don’t read them, and they are looking for something beginning with a “C”. If they have to think about it, then they might give up and walk away.
Keep your contact us page in the main navigation, for us, we have a “Get a Quote” in the main navigation, and “Contact Us” in the footer.
Our Get a Quote page is a more sales ready version of the Contact Us page, and has questions around better understanding a follow up email or call for us, our contact us page is completely for someone to ask us questions, and for us to respond to them quickly and efficiently.
You need to be able to track your conversations to ensure that someone responded to a contact request. We put every contact request in our CRM, and we reply through the CRM so that both Craig and I know that one of us has responded.
How you respond is an aspect of marketing. I’ve written about this before, but everything is marketing, and how you respond to a customer request is a huge aspect of how your company will be perceived. If you respond too slow, or you don’t properly answer their question, it affects how the customer sees your company.
Of course you want people to contact you
Unless you are ridiculously successful and have decided to abandon society and live on a deserted island, you want people to contact you…so you need to make sure that you’re making it easy for them to contact you, and that you’re presenting a friendly face to them by having an incredibly simple form for them to fill out with as few barriers as possible.