Ever done a bunch of research, finally decided to get a product, gone to the website and found the only way to contact them is through a contact form? While eCommerce websites are usually pretty savvy about letting their customers contact them through multiple ways, normal businesses sometimes give off the “go away” vibe unintentionally.
You’re afraid of spam email or solicitor phone calls, so you don’t put either your email or your phone number on your website, just a contact form. While this probably does cut down on spam, how many potential customers are you turning away as well? Is it worth it to turn away even one potential customer?
Most email programs are pretty good at filtering out spam. And while you should answer the phone as much as possible, voicemail also does a pretty good job (most people are understanding on that front). But, if someone can’t use either method and has to fill out a contact form (most of which tend to ask for a bunch of unrelated information), there’s a possibility that they won’t bother.
Contact forms do their have their place and use. Sometimes you have a specific type of contact (for media or advertising or whatever) that you do need additional information for. Or you’re using a contact form on a landing page for your marketing or advertising. There are many good uses for contact forms, but they should never be the only way someone can get ahold of you. Even in the cases mentioned here, there still should be a way to contact you directly.
How do your customers contact you?
(photo by ellievanhoutte @ Flickr CC)