Opinion: Non-responsive contact forms are worse than none at all

Marketing folk have a few common truisms. One is that it costs way less to keep a customer than it is to find a new one. I have no doubt that's true. It's important to keep existing customers. And it costs a lot to get new ones.

For many people now, your website will be the first point of contact. By the time that someone visits your website though, a lot of things often have already had to go right. So it's really important to keep them once they get there. Why waste all that?

One of the real challenges though is that although most websites have contact forms, very, very few of them actually lead to a response.

Worse, many company sites are now intentionally pretty much hiding all their phone numbers, email addresses, etc. and require you to fill in contact forms. Yet I've lost count of how many times I've filled in a contact form at a website, and never heard another thing from that company.

That's ridiculous. 

Turns out, I'm not alone. I recently read a review that talked about a survey they did where they completed sales response forms on 100 websites, and ended up with contact back from less than 20.

That means that either:

  • The request form doesn't actually work i.e. it doesn't actually send a message to anyone who cares
  • The request is going to someone who is either overwhelmed or unable to respond for some reason
  • The request is going to the person who manages the website and who is uninvolved in the actual business.

So a quick check for today:

Do the contact methods on your website actually work?

Do they work on mobile devices?

If someone completes a contact form, are they likely to end up with a response?

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