So you have a Contact Us form on your site, with which, customers and prospects can easily send you an e-mail. That’s all well and good, but if you don’t respond to those e-mails in a timely manner you could lose a potential new client.
This all ties into basic, human psychology. People want instant gratification and they want it on their terms. Which is one of the reasons why providing a contact form is so important. It enables a prospect to send you an e-mail directly from your website without having to manually copy your e-mail address and then compose and send you a message.
The Contact form makes it easy for them to send you an e-mail, right then and there. But that is only the first half of it. The timeliness of your response to that e-mail is crucial for brining in new business.
Responding right away helps to make a great first impression on your prospect and tells them that you are on-the-ball. Moreover, in many cases if a prospect is actively looking for your product or service and submitting contact forms on multiple sites, they are likely to go with the first person who can get back to them and then demonstrate that they are able to solve their problem or provide a satisfactory product at a reasonable price.
Waiting a day or so to return those e-mails can cost you a new customer.
There are a number of things that you can do to make it easier for you to be aware of and respond to these e-mails:
- Get an e-mail enabled hand-held device: Treos, Blackberrys, iPhones and others allow you to receive e-mail anywhere you have cell coverage. This enables you to keep an eye on your Inbox even when away from your desk. These devices are becoming much more affordable and are worth their weight in gold if you spend anytime out of the office.
- Have multiple people in your organization receive Contact Us form e-mails: Set up the form such that multiple people in your organization will receive these e-mails. Then have whoever sees it first respond and BCC everyone else on the list. This let’s everyone in your organization know that someone has this one and gives you wider coverage.
- Set your e-mail client to automatically check mail: You can configure your e-mail client (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.) to automatically check mail for you and alert you when new messages come in. This will let you know immediately when you get a new e-mail from your Contact form.
- Make sure to have a computer on and e-mail up at work: This sounds obvious. However, not every business owner or salesperson is always sitting behind a desk. We have one client who runs a restaurant. She keeps a laptop up and running in a place where she can easily check her e-mail during the day. This enables her to see requests for carryouts or catering as they come in.
Keep these tips in mind and make sure to respond promptly to any e-mails that come to you via your website’s Contact form and you will hopefully see an increase in new business.