Contact info: how, what and where?
Making sure visitors can easily get in touch with you is one of the easiest ways to generate leads. Good contact information makes you look accessible and that in turn makes people trust you. Looking for contact information is one of the top tasks on many websites. So make sure you get it right.
- An item ‘Contact’ or ‘Contact us’ in the main navigation, best as the last item.
- As a sub-item under ‘About us’, that’s also best placed at the end of a navigation. (Only if it’s a top menu that opens up on mouse-over.)
Some additional remarks:
- During user tests we often see that people look for contact info under ‘About us’, even when there is an item ‘Contact’ in the navigation.
- Even if you have an item ‘Contact’ in your main navigation, make sure you provide a link to the ‘Contact’ page under ‘About us’.
- Not enough room in your main navigation? Leave out ‘Contact’ on the first level but be sure to put it as a sub-item under ‘About us’.
- Make sure the items ‘About us’ and ‘Contact’ are part of your main navigation. Don’t hide them away in a secondary navigation like a toolbar or a footer. Contact information is vital information. It needs to be accessible via the main menu on every corporate and government website.
Contact information in the footer:
- Your phone number and email address
- A link ‘Contact’ or ‘Contact us’
The footer is at the bottom of every page, preferably in a slightly smaller font size than the rest of the text.
3. Overview and product pages
Every page that contains information about your products or services should contain some form of contact information. Unless of course your business is done 100% online or you don’t want any pesky customers bothering you. In all other cases it’s essential.
If somebody on your product page feels the need to contact you, for whatever reason, that should be possible from that page.
You can of course link to the contact page but giving the visitor an email address and phone number (and possibly a link to a contact form) is even better.
Put the contact information at the bottom of the page. Somebody’s who’s really interested in your product will more than likely look at everything you’ve got to say about it and scroll down.
You can also put the contact info or a call to action at the right side of the page. But don’t put it only at the right side. That’s not enough.
On overview pages, where a visitor has various products to choose from, you should also put your contact information. That way a visitor who doesn’t quite know which product to choose can call or mail you to ask for advice.
4. Support area
Few things are more annoying than dissatisfied customers calling or emailing you to complain about your product. Why don’t they check out the great support area on the site? And that very extensive FAQ section?
That’s not really the right attitude though, is it? You should be extra nice to existing customers. Of course you should have a great online support area. But it should be just as easy for a customer to contact you by phone or mail if that’s what they want to do.
You’ve got too many customers with problems? The support by phone or mail would cost you too much? Tough. Make a better product. Because dissatisfied customers will call you. Or would you prefer them to vent their anger and frustration on Facebook, Twitter or their blog? I didn’t think so.
5. Contact page itself
The actual contact page should contain all your contact information. No matter how big your company is, no matter how complicated you think it is, there should be 1 page with all the contact info.
- Official company name
- Address (With a link to a roadmap.)
- Phone number
- Fax number (If you’ve still got one.)
- Email addres
- Link to a simple contact form (Don’t ask the user to pick the department he wants to contact or what his question is about. Making sure the question gets to the right person is your job, not the user’s.)
- Opening hours, when relevant.
- Closing dates, when relevant.
- VAT number, so the user knows you’re a real company.
Several important departments?
Your sales department has a different phone number than your support department? Put a number of content blocks on the contact page with in each block that specific department’s contact details.
If you don’t want people to call the main office, put that info last on the page.
Several buildings in different locations?
- Less than 6 locations?
Put them all on one page, in 2 lines of maximum 3 blocks per line. Put your main office’s contact information at the bottom.
- You own a chain of stores?
Put a simple search feature at the top of the page (1 field where the user can type in either his postal code or the name of his city). Put the main office’s contact information at the bottom of the page.