Your Contact us page not only plays an essential customer support role for existing shoppers but also goes a long way in showing newcomers to your site that you take customer service seriously and are there to help when things go wrong.
You should make it a prominent feature of your online store by showing a clear link to the Contact us page from every other page of your site. That way potential customers will recognise customer service as an important aspect to your business and will feel more confident about buying from you.
Also make sure that you offer alternative ways for customers to get in touch and do as much as practical to reassure visitors that your eCommerce site is genuine, such as by showing a contact or registered company address.
Many online retailers also find it useful to display a telephone hotline number somewhere prominent on every page. But if you decide to do this, people will infer from it that this is your primary point of contact, so make sure you have the resources to handle your telephone enquiries.
You should encourage customers to contact you by the method that works best for both parties. But whatever you do, don’t deliberately make it difficult for customers to access your contact details by sending them through several pages of navigation or by displaying them in small font somewhere near the bottom of the page. This is likely to sound alarm bells with both new potential customers and existing users.
As with the About us page, you should consider presenting a human face to your visitors. For example, you could tie your contact details in with the profiles of your customer service team, explaining whom to contact depending on the nature of your enquiry.
By and large people prefer to make contact using email rather than by way of a contact form. Many users like email because they have a copy of what they send and also see it as a safer way of getting their message through.
However, contact forms do have one particular advantage, as you can provide form fields to collect certain important information that the customer might otherwise forget to supply in an email.
This makes contact forms ideally suited for eCommerce sites that sell technical products, where the need for very clear, specific information is essential in dealing efficiently with customer queries.
At the very least you should be looking to include your company name, address, email address and telephone number on your contact page.
But there’s much more you can do to build credibility and trust with what is your primary customer service channel.
For example, if your company has a profile on a social network, such as Facebook or Twitter, then include a link and display the appropriate logos. This further enhances the perception that you are open to communication and engagement with your customers.
Wherever possible, show any customer service awards, positive feedback or other recognition of your customer service record.
And don’t forget to supplement your Contact us page with a comprehensive FAQs section. You may find it more practical to answer frequently asked questions on the same page or alternatively on a separate FAQs page. But whatever the case, suggest that visitors may save themselves the hassle of a call or email simply by checking out your FAQs first.
You should view customer service as a sales and marketing opportunity. Handle customer problems and queries well and you’ll boost your reputation and likely increase your volume of repeat business.
And if a customer is unhappy with their purchase, it may be an opportunity to upsell to a better, more expensive and profitable item.