I have no sympathy for companies that deliberately set out to make life difficult for their customers.
Yesterday I started researching a project for one of our clients. I searched a few websites and nobody seemed to supply exactly what I needed so I started making a few calls.
No luck, and then I found a website which seemed like they might be able to help, so I thought I’d give them a call.
There was no telephone number on their home page, so I looked for a contact page. When I found the ‘contact’ link (it was hidden) it took me to a page that had 9 options, but no contact details.
Hidden on a page called ‘Other Question’ I found an email address, a fax number and a PO box address – no telephone.
My query will take 10 seconds on the phone, and if I can speak to someone who knows their stuff I’m sure they will be able to tell me everything I know in one go.
I emailed and asked for a phone number. No reply.
Today, I received an automated email, which isn’t address to me and doesn’t have a person’s name at the bottom. It’s from ‘the team’.
The email says, “Thank you for your enquiry, <<ourwebsite>>.com is now a fully automated site offering a wide range of products and service options.
The site is fully “Self Service” giving you total control over ordering, timescales etc. you will find all of the information you require at our website”.
Unbelievable. What a load of nonsense.
If I could have found the information I needed on your site, I wouldn’t have emailed to ask for your phone number.
What messages are this company sending to their prospects? That they’re too busy to speak to their customers? Why won’t they publish even their address on their own website?
How easy do you make it for your customers to do business with you?
Could you make it easier?
How easy is it for people to find your contact details? Every hurdle you place in front of your customers will results in fewer enquiries – no question.
If they want to place their order by email, let them do that. If they’d rather call you, let them do that too. Heck, some people might want to print something out and post it to you, so why not let them do that as well.
The way your customers want to talk to you – that’s the way to let them, and the time to worry is when they stop wanting to talk to you altogether.
I’ve lost track of the number of times we’ve received a statement from a supplier with a tear-off remittance slip, but no contact details. Why? Madness. If you want us to tell you we’ve paid, give us a way to tell you. Even if it’s just a fax number… don’t expect us to send you a bank transfer, and then post you the remittance.
The same applies to all of your direct marketing – your website, your brochure, your order forms – everything. Think about what’s best for your customer, or better still – ask them. And then find as many ways as possible to make that happen.