Is it clear that there is a real business, run by real people, behind your website?
While surfing the web the other day, I ran across a site I found interesting. Before making a purchase, I wanted to know a little more about the person or company behind the site. Hard as I looked, however, I couldn’t find out who owned the site, where they were located, or how they could be contacted, aside from a contact form on the site. Needless to say, I didn’t make a purchase.
What do your customers learn about you and your company from your Web site? For customers to order online, they have to feel comfortable. The more they know about your business, the more comfortable they should feel. At the very least, give a company name and names of one or more real people at the company.
You may want to include a physical address, or photos of your staff or office. Put up bios of yourself and other principals so customers can learn more about you.
If at all possible, you should include a phone number. Many customers are surprised when they call to ask a question or place an order and I answer the phone myself. They like knowing that there is a ‘real person’ behind the website.
Make sure phone numbers and other information are current. I recently had an experience where I was charged twice for an online purchase. I knew the reputation of the company, and was sure it was a technical error. When I went to the website to find a customer service number, the number was not in service! I found another number, and it was out of service, too. After a couple more calls, I reached the principal who immediately credited my account for the error. When he heard about the trouble I’d had reaching him, he made sure his website information was updated that day.
I knew the double billing was a mistake, but had I not been familiar with the company my difficulty in reaching them might have made me think I’d been scammed.
Be generous with information to make your customers feel they know you and can trust you. They will repay you with all the business you can handle.