Whether it’s your website or a presence on social media, viewers are wanting to see if you have the solution they need. They also want to learn about you. They want to make sure you’re a “real” business and safe to buy from.
One of the first things people look for is your contact information. So why hide it?
Don’t hide your contact information
In your viewer’s mind, contact information equates to the kind of customer service experience they will have. The easier you make it for them to get in touch with you, the more comfortable they will be with a decision to purchase.
Whether we arrive on a product page, educational page or the home page we’re there to gather information.
Back in the days when communications were handled by mail, we might have received a letter folded in thirds. Typically, the bottom third is folded up and the top third is folded back so the header information is revealed as the paper is removed from the envelope.
That exposed header information was called “above the fold”.
Above the fold
This term is still used today. Above the fold is considered the information that is displayed on the screen when you arrive on a webpage… without scrolling.
Just as in the traditional letter format, what we see is what we use to judge whether to stay and read more or leave.
If we want viewers to stay, we need to give them the right information on this displayed part of the page.
Your business name and logo needs to be at the top. Ideally, your logo is at the top left corner. If anything is going to be cropped it will be content on the right. So keeping it to the left keeps it visible.
Also in the top banner, you want to put a statement, a tag line if you will, of what you offer.
Retail establishments need locations
If you’re a brick and mortar store you need to get your location above the fold where it’s highly visible. I’ve seen websites for retail stores where they are dependent on people coming through the door without any address on the home page.
A restaurant brochure at the local tourism office didn’t even list the city where it was located. There was a phone number. According to the hours on the brochure, they weren’t open, so I didn’t want to call.
It took me some research to find out it was located over 75 miles from the office where I found the brochure. Won’t be dropping by there for dinner tonight.
The owners had paid good money for a lovely 3-fold full-color brochure with incomplete contact information. Most viewers aren’t going to do the research I went through to find the missing info.
People don’t want to have to search to find your contact information.
Make it easy for them.
Even if you’re not a physical outlet, including your address makes you more “valid” to the viewer. Work from home and uncomfortable with putting your address out there? Consider some sort of a postal box that has a street address. Or, at least list your city and state.
A bottom banner can hold contact information along with a sign-up form to get on your mailing list. This works best if you reward them with something. An informational product of some sort can work well for this. You’re nurturing prospects and building ways to stay in touch with them.
The bottom banner can be set up to repeat at the bottom of every page assuring that wherever the viewer is, they have easy access to it.
It only makes sense that if you are selling something, people may have questions and your FAQ page may not cover all of them. Give them a readily accessible way to reach you.
You’ll still find websites that only provide an email format for viewers to reach a business. That is business-centric. It’s focused around convenience for the business.
Evaluate what it would take to make this a more customer-centric experience.
It doesn’t mean you have to be available 24/7.
All it takes is a voicemail system on your business landline or VOIP system that ties into your smartphone. Both allow you to control whether you want to pick up or let it go to voicemail and return the call.
Having a phone number out there doesn’t mean you’ll get deluged with calls. But it is very comforting to the viewer to know they have that option.
In my personal experience with an e-commerce site for over 20 years, the number of calls has steadily declined and today is minimal as more people take care of everything online. A toll-free number is at the top of every page. But if they run into a problem or have questions– they have an alternative to email to reach out for help.
B2B needs contact information too…
The larger the investment they will make with their purchase, the more likely they are to want to connect with a real person. This is especially true for B2B businesses where the buying process is more complex and generally takes longer.
Readily sharing your contact information is a great way to connect with your viewer and build business relationships. Building relationships is the surest way of growing your business and increasing sales.
Need help to grow your business? Message me: firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to me via my website or LinkedIn profile. Let me problem-solve for you.