How To Make Your Contact Us Page The Best P.A. In The WorldKenneth Nel
Admit it. We’d all like our PAs to be like Blake from Madam Secretary or Donna from Suits. (Okay, so strictly speaking, Donna is no longer a PA, but she was for the first six series, so work with me here, people!) These two epitomise everything that a fantastic Personal Assistant should be – efficient, hard working, totally indispensable and, as an added bonus, they know exactly how Elizabeth and Harvey like their coffee.
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Sadly, many of us don’t have PAs like this. Instead, we’re stuck with Boring Bennie or Tragic Thandi, neither of whom is remotely interested doing their actual jobs because they’re far too busy dissecting in minute detail the latest personal drama to have befallen them. They’ve totally lost their mojo and don’t really seem that bothered about getting it back.
In a sad depiction of life imitating art, they remind us of human versions of one of those sadly forgotten Contact Us pages, languishing forlornly at the back of your website. They’re just not doing anything to make your business look good or to inspire visitors to take the all important conversion step and contact you.
A bad PA is like a bad Contact Us page, and you need to fix it, or fire it!
What are The KPIs Of A Good Contact Us Page?
Yes, hello again, dear reader, and welcome to the last in this four-part series on how to make your web pages as awesome as your employees. And yes, we can only do it that way round. We cannot claim to be HR specialists so, if your employees aren’t particularly awesome, we only have this to say: Performance Appraisal the heck out of them! Tedious? Yes. Stressful? Undoubtedly. But necessary to ensure you’re getting the best out of your people? Absoloodle!
Apart from that (admittedly pretty kickass) advice, we can only do what we’re fantastic at doing – and that is helping you create web pages that make people love doing business with your company.
Which is, after all, the goal of any PA worth their coffee.
A good Personal Assistant is a kind of gatekeeper – they handle as much of the day-to-day administrative load as possible, without having to interrupt their boss every five minutes. This requires excellent organisational skills and savvy judgement. They make decisions about who has access to the Boss and when, and independently handle the myriad less important questions and issues that crop up every day.
A well-designed Contact Us page does exactly the same thing.
Warm and Welcoming
Great Contact Us pages make us feel welcome. They exude warmth and encouragement, making us feel as though our enquiry is valued and welcome, and that we’re not actually wasting the company’s time with our requests. They have warm and fuzzy copy that uses “we” and “us” and “you.” Remember you want people to contact you, so be friendly and warm. It’s an awesome way to start any relationship.
Here’s a great example of a page that makes contacting the company almost impossible to resist.
Project Your Personality
A good Contact Us page is brand consistent and shows off your personality. If the rest of your website is fun and edgy, and you’ve spent hours creating incredible content that makes people think, “Wow, I need to get in touch with these awesome people,” imagine what a let down it is for them to get your Contact Us page and find two bland boxes labelled Name and Email Address.
There simply is no greater disappointment.
Except for, perhaps, the time you washed your very expensive, very beautiful and very fluffy pedigree cat for the first time. I know the image of that diminutive and hopelessly bedraggled mess in the bath still haunts you. And there was also, admittedly, the time you checked out the Facebook profile of the hunky guy in the office across the hall, only to discover he loves hair products more than you do and has posted a disturbing number of apparently naked selfies.
But these two instances aside, a characterless Contact Us page is one of life’s biggest buzzkills. For inspiration, take a look at digital marketing guru Neil Patel’s Quicksprout Contact Us page. It’s a fantastic example of how to plaster personality all over your page.
Offer A Great UX
User experience is all-important, so make sure your Contact Us page – like your favourite pizza place – delivers.
This may seem like common sense, but, as a wise man once said, common sense is not actually that common. I know, right? Did you just get a slightly tingly feeling in your head? That was your mind being blown!
So, make sure your page is easy to navigate, keep forms short and easy to fill in, and make sure CTA buttons are large and easy to tap with a finger or thumb, bearing in mind the number of people looking at your website on smartphones or tablets.
Regularly visit the page to make sure everything is working as it should. Check the overall functionality of the entire page, but pay special attention to the email and phone number links. If these are broken, people aren’t going to waste their time manually typing in your number or address. Contact Us pages that don’t let you “contact us” kind of defeat the object!
And while we’re on the subject of phone numbers, remember to include the international dialling code for your contact numbers! This might seem like a real no-brainer to you, or you may think it’s not relevant if you don’t have international customers. But actually, what you don’t have, is international customers YET! You never know who’s going to look at your website and want to contact you, so just put the +27 prefix already!
Spotting A Bad Contact Us Page
Sometimes – quite often, in fact – you can tell a bad Contact Us page simply by looking at it. Bad pages have a definite aura of neglect about them, and a faintly discernible whiff of Can’t Be Bothered. They are the Forgotten Ones, the last page poor relations who cannot compete with shiny Home Pages and sexy Blogs. They are the web versions of the youngest children in families with lots of children. Left to pretty much raise themselves and wear hand-me-downs that were already being handed down long before they were even born.
At other times, a Contact Us page might look okay but falls fatally flat on functionality. Emails bounce back from incorrect addresses, phone numbers are always engaged or no longer in service, “Submit” buttons don’t work, and links take you to “pages not found.”
Another really puzzling thing about bad Contact Us pages is that they don’t offer a lot of ways in which people can contact you! Seriously people, the clue is in the page name! You should make it as easy as possible for as many people as possible to get in touch with you. This means offering more than an email address or phone number. Include links to your social media pages as well. Many customers would love to check out your company’s Facebook page or LinkedIn profile.
So, How Do I Design The Perfect Contact Us Page?
Make it the Blake and Donna of the web page world. Make it smart, sassy and uber-efficient. A great Contact Us page makes seemingly difficult things happen with relative ease. Questions get forwarded to the right people and, most importantly, get answered in as short a time as possible.
Feedback is King. I wish there was a clever, alliterative way to make that statement, but there doesn’t appear to be. Feedback is Fing really didn’t sound right, and Keedback is King didn’t work for me either.
Despite this setback, feedback is, nevertheless, really important. When someone submits an enquiry, redirect them to a Thank You page. This not only makes them feel valued, it gives them an extra layer of confidence that they’ve submitted their query correctly. Then get back to them promptly – ideally within 24 hours.
If you have limitations on the hours during which you can be contacted, it’s important to communicate these on your Contact Us page. This means people won’t be wondering why they can’t get hold of you, or why you haven’t returned their call.
This is particularly relevant when it comes to cell phone numbers. The really great thing about cell phones is that people can always get hold of us. But the really bad thing about cell phones is that people can always get hold of us!
By making your Business Hours clear on your Contact Us Page, you’re managing customer expectations up front. And nipping any potential disappointment or dissatisfaction in the bud.
Does that sound like a great PA to you or what?
For more awesome advice on how to hire the best possible Contact Us page, chat to The Digital Coach. We know exactly how to make each and every page of your website do its job so well, you’ll want to give it a raise and a corner office. Possibly also a company car and an expense account. Just saying.