For many of us, our business website is structured to funnel people toward our contact form. That’s where we want them to go. We want potential customers to land on that page and fill it out so that we can take a relationship to the next level, whether that means someone is ordering catering services for a large event or looking to receive a quote from your lawn care service.
But have you optimized your contact form to increase your odds of conversion? Or are you letting confused or unsatisfied customers abandon the page completely?
If you haven’t optimized your contact form page, you may be turning away motivated customers without even realizing it. Below are six questions to ask yourself when optimizing your site contact form.
1. Is your contact form easy to find?
No, really, is it? Just because directing people to your contact form is one of your listed conversion goals, that doesn’t mean you’ve done a good job at making the page accessible to the average user. Is it in your main navigation? Can users access it from all of your main service or product pages? You want to ensure that anyone who is looking for your contact form will easily be able to locate it on your site. Otherwise you’re giving them a reason to hit the back button and go somewhere else.
2. How versatile is your contact form?
An optimized contact form allows users to complete a number of different tasks. For example, your contact form should allow users to:
- Get in touch with you about services
- Contact you about complaints/issues
- Talk to you about media/press opportunities
- Suggest new features/products/ideas, etc.
- Offer feedback
Users will land on your contact form for a number of different reasons. To serve them better, make sure you’re giving them the opportunity to share why they’re there.
3. Do you only ask for what you really need?
I don’t know about you, but I get intimidated when I land on a contact form page and it’s suddenly asking me to hand over every piece of information I have about myself – name, address, phone number, name of my first grade teacher, etc. A good rule of thumb for contact forms is to only ask for what you absolutely need to move the conversation to the next level. If the person is interested, you can get the rest of the data further along in the process. Let your customers date you before you try to slip a ring on their finger. You may scare them away otherwise.
4. Does your contact form give clues about how you prefer to be contacted?
When someone contacts you about an issue, do you want them to explain exactly what’s happening, in detail, citing specific occurrences, names and dates, or do you just want their phone number so you can call them and get the story directly? If they have a question about a product or service you may or may not provide, should they fill out the contact form, or should they just ask your company on Twitter?
You undoubtedly have a preferred way to handle situations. Tell your customers what that is. Tell them how you prefer to be contacted and what the best outlets are for resolution based on the type of question they have.
5. Are you giving them multiple ways to contact you?
Along the same lines, your contact form should list all the ways that a customer can use to get in touch with you or your brand. Give them your Twitter username, the URL for your Facebook brand page, your company LinkedIn account, etc. Let them know how you prefer to be contacted, but also show them where else the brand is so that they can follow along and get to know your company better.
6. Do you provide an email address?
If someone is hoping to contact you for a media opportunity or with a quick customer support question, they may not feel comfortable filling out the contact form on your site. Perhaps it seems too impersonal or the information the form is asking for just doesn’t align with what they want to talk about. For these cases, consider also listing an email address on your website that customers can use when they’re not contacting you about services and simply need to get in touch.
All small businesses owners should ask themselves these six questions to help make sure their contact form is addressing customers’ needs as well as possible.
One of the great balancing acts in conversion is figuring out how to keep your form simple and short, yet allow people to give you their preferred set of information. One idea that might be noteworthy to people is to put a follow-up form on the thank you page. Get the minimum amount of data with the initial contact form and then let people give you more data (if they want) on the thank you page.
Good Points – I would add that you should also set an expectation of how long before they should receive a response. This sets expectation and a level of professionalism.
We’ve done some testing specifically for clients’ contact forms and have found that providing a phone number significantly increased click to lead and click through rates.
What we learned was that the majority of visitors didn’t even call the phone number, but rather the number gave them a feeling of transparency and trust, which made them feel like it was worth their time to complete the online contact form. And as a result, visitors spend more time on our clients’ website.