Mayank Singh is a web designer and CRO expert at The Website Times. He helps businesses increase their online revenue by making highly optimized websites for them.
Learn how to improve your website's 'Contact Us' page by avoiding these 5 deadly mistakes. This blog provides insights on how to fix them and enhance user experience, making it easier for your customers to reach out to you.
The contact page is in the top 4 most visited pages on most websites. Whenever anyone wants to contact you, they start finding where the contact page is.
Unfortunately, the contact page is overlooked, which results in a decreased number of leads to the company and increased frustration for the users.
Optimizing it should be an utmost priority for your business. So, let's have a look at five of the most deadly mistakes on the ‘contact us’ page, and how to fix them:
Mistake 1: The page doesn't have each and every way to contact your company
If any user is willing to contact us via the website, then they look for the preferred ways of contacting you. And if they don’t find a preferred way, then they won’t contact you.
These are five ways of contact that users expect to see on the ‘contact us’ page:
a) Email address
Email has always been one of the primary ways to contact since the arrival of the internet. And a lot of users still prefer contacting a company via email.
Businesses try avoiding them, as adding an email attracts a lot of spam. But we should let the users decide what’s best for them by adding it.
Also, users prefer first copying the email address to their clipboard, and then paste it on any e-mail software. So, we should make it accessible for them to copy it.
But some users also prefer using it as a direct link. Hence, it’s our responsibility to make the email address easily used in both ways.
b) Phone number
Since the time of yellow papers, the phone number has been the most popular means to contact a business. And it will always be one of the most popular ways.
The phone number on your website builds trust and conveys a message that you take your business seriously. Even if you are a multinational company or a local business, adding a phone number is crucial.
If your business operates in multiple countries, then you should always add a phone number for that country.
Humane Society operates in multiple countries but they have provided phone numbers only for America. They also don’t have a live chat and they don’t respond via e-mail, which decreases their trustworthiness and frustrates users.
c) Live chat
One of the fastest emerging ways to contact a company is live chat. Companies underestimate how important it is to have a live conversation with users and live chat functionality, provides you to do just that.
In my experience of being a freelancer, whenever I replied to my clients right away and had a live chat with them, 90% of the time they became my clients. And if it took me 12 hours to get back to them, they most probably were talking to some other agency and I lost them.
Qualities of a good live chat experience:
- Provides the time of availability. Users love 24/7 support.
- Get back to users within 5 minutes, if possible 1-2 minutes.
- Avoid depending on chatbots to carry conversations. Instead, have a team of customer support handles the conversation. Bots can never replace the experience of talking to a real person.
FastComet company provides you with a response from a real person 24/7/365, and they usually get back to users in 1-2 minutes, which is an extremely good user experience.
d) Contact form
If a user clicks on the ‘Contact Us’ link, then they always expect a contact form on it. Adding a contact form is a convention for the websites. Hence, you should always add them.
Also, the information from online forms is easy to manage for a business and they eliminate a lot of spam via features like reCAPTCHA.
Notion's contact form is very well optimized
Trying to make a fancy contact page that doesn’t has a contact form is definitely a mistake.
e) Headquarters address
If your business requires clients to come to your address (like local businesses), then you should definitely add the headquarters address to your website.
And even if clients don’t need to come to your address, then also you can add it, as it builds trust and shows that you aren’t trying to hide information.
Beekeeper displays multiple headquarters beautifully
Mistake 2: Asking unnecessary questions in the contact form
We might not even realize it, but we tend to ask many unnecessary questions in the form. Asking more questions results in an extra task for our website user.
Unnecessary questions can be of various types, let’s discuss the one by one:
i. Asking too personal/intrusive questions
Users aren’t yet ready to share all the information you might want from them. They most probably are a bit hesitant to share their information with some random website on the internet.
We must know our boundaries, and avoid asking questions that users might be hesitant to share.
For example: ‘Asking for the project budget’. Most of the users aren’t ready to disclose this information.
ii. Asking questions that are important, but not essential at this stage
We should ask only the necessary questions to get started, and we can always discuss other questions with users later.
For example: Maybe you don’t need both an e-mail and phone number at the start, you can ask for the one that’s more relevant to your business.
iii. Asking questions that are too difficult
There’s a principle in the UX world, “Don’t make me think”. In the contact form, we should only ask questions that could be answered off the top of their head.
Forcing users to think creates friction, which results in decreased leads through the form.
iv. In general, asking too many questions
We don’t need to gather each & every piece of the user's information.
The contact form must not feel like a questionnaire, but a minimum required piece of information medium to get in contact with the user.
Mistake 3: Outdated contact information
This mistake might not seem like a very serious issue, but almost half of the companies I ever tried contacting had outdated contact information.
You should always keep updating the contact information, as it’s really frustrating for users to do all the efforts and then find out that the info is incorrect.
Sometimes contact forms also stop working, so you should keep checking them from time to time.
Mistake 4: Using fancy names for the 'Contact Us' page
A lot of companies tend to use creative names for the ‘contact us’ pages in the website header and footer like:
- Let’s Talk
- Get a Quote
- Reach Us
- Get in Touch
- Interact with Us
I personally made this mistake all the time. But, the website users aren’t used to recalling the contact page with such phrases.
Doing so confuses users and increases cognitive load (forces them to think unnecessarily).
A contact page is mostly referred to as ‘Contact Us’ or ‘Contact’. So make sure to avoid using such fancy names for the contact page in the header and footer.
A website using ‘Get a Quote’ CTA in the website navigation
Mistake 5: Non-personalized ways to contact
Asking to contact your team is too generic nowadays, we want to get our user's attention by being more personalized than everyone else.
Ways for making your contact page more personal:
- You can add photos of your customer support team.
- Avoid using generic e-mails (email@example.com). Instead, use personalized e-mails (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Use photos of your team members in the live chat popup bubble. It increases people contacting you.
Contact Banner of Gravity Group has personalized contact information
Bonus: Few more 'Contact Us' page mistakes/improvements
We discussed major mistakes for contact pages. Here are a few more mistakes to consider:
- Make sure your form is responsive and easily usable for all devices. Some types of forms look amazing on desktops but don’t work that well on mobile devices.
- Avoid using multistep forms, if your form is small. Having a multi-step for 3-4 fields is not very useful and creates unnecessary pain.
- Use a descriptive label for the submit button. For example, instead of ‘submit’, use ‘Send My Message’.
- Use reCaptcha if you are receiving a lot of spam via the contact form.
- Don’t underestimate the contact page UI, it’s important to have a beautiful interface. It displays the professionalism of your company.
- Clearly mention the times of operation of the customer support team. For example, ‘Available 24/7’ or ‘Available 9-5 EST’.
5 examples of ideal contact pages available online
Sharing all the required information in a well-organized and aesthetic way, the Freshworks contact page is a really good example.
Factors making it unique
- This form has five of the most important elements in it: Mobile numbers, e-mail addresses, live chat, form, and headquarters address. Users can contact through the way they feel most comfortable.
- All the mobile numbers are arranged systematically.
- E-mail addresses don’t have a link of ‘mailto:’, which auto-opens software like Outlook when clicked. Most users find the e-mail address being a link really frustrating. Users just want to copy the e-mail and use it on their preferred e-mail provider.
- Phone numbers aren’t hyperlinked.
The website designs of VWO are top-notch, and the contact page is no exception. All the elements needed to make a powerful contact page are present in it.
Factors making it unique
- Perfect white spacing. Use of correct padding between different labels and fields of contact forms, so users don’t get confused deciding which elements are together.
- The color contrast of various elements is well throughout. For example, the ‘Submit’ & ‘Request Demo’ buttons have strong colors, as they are the most important call-to-actions of the page.
- Adding an asterisk(*) after a label signifies that the field is required. If an asterisk isn’t used, then users can’t predict which form field is required and which isn’t. This reduces the cognitive load and makes it easy for the user to complete the form.
- An option to live chat is helpful for users. Users would love it if someone from VWO support got back to the user within a few minutes via live chat.
- Removing random numbers appearing in the ‘Phone Number’ section, as it could be confusing for the users. A better placeholder could be ‘000-000-0000’.
The contact form on the Proton contact page is extremely well-optimized for user experience. From this form, we can learn how optimizing small design elements makes a big difference.
Factors making it unique
- Asterisks (*) are present to denote the ‘required fields’ and help users avoid non-necessary fields if they don't want to, helping reduce the cognitive load on users.
- Has a form call-to-action above the fold.
- Correct color contrast, drop shadow, white space, etc give the form a highly aesthetic and professional look.
- A few fields like ‘operating section’, ‘Browser version’, browser, etc automatically fetched the information and displayed it. Doing so saves a lot of hassle for the users.
- There’s only one way to contact the company. Having a live chat is absolutely important for a company like Proton. Users don't trust a contact form and want to contact directly via e-mail, phone call, or live chat.
Vidyard, a sales video software company uses a well-structured and personalized contact page, with beautiful UI acting as the cherry on the top.
Factors making it unique
- Adding pictures of the contact team make user interaction more personalized. Users have an idea of whom they will be talking to when contacting the company.
- Below the fold, this contact page has all possible ways anyone would like to contact, like phone number, e-mail addresses, live chat, contact form, and also headquarter location.
- Asterisks are present denoting the ‘important’ fields.
- In the ‘Country’ form field, the user's country should already be written, as the user's country can be fetched from the browser data. Doing so will save the time of the user.
- Adding the names of the contact team would have made it even more personalized. For example, ‘Chat with Lisa now’.
Another example of an ideal contact page is from the DailMyCalls website. This website has nailed all the factors needed to make a perfect contact page.
Factors making it unique
- Displaying a wide variety to contact information by sharing phone numbers, Fax, live chat, contact form, and headquarters addresses.
- Sharing the active hours of customer support is important, as users get frustrated when they don’t receive a response.
- The contact form is very short and only asks for important information.
- No e-mail address is present on the page. E-mail is the preferred method for more than 50% of users. Despite the fact that adding an e-mail address attracts a lot of spam, it’s helpful for the end user, hence you should always consider adding it.
- The contact form doesn’t have labels, it only has placeholder text. Having a label is important, as when users fill out the form, they tend to forget which information the field asked for.
Overall, a contact page is a crucial part of any website, and optimizing to its full potential is necessary.
Following the above steps you can make a form that would be highly optimized for building trust with you and then easily reaching out to you.
You don’t need to follow all the principles to the tee, but consider them as good pointers and find your own sweet spot.
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