by Steve Kellas
In a copywriting training day a few years ago, I was challenged by one of the participants when I suggested that, in order to increase credibility, businesses should give personal contact information for the person responsible for the content of the page or section of the site the visitor is on.
The reason for the challenge was (and remember this is prior to social engagement taking over the marketing world) that he didn’t want people to ‘flood’ his inbox with ‘silly’ requests.
Oh, how the social media ‘experts’ can laugh at that idea today.
However, this sentiment hasn’t gone away, and I believe many people still feel fearful of allowing themselves or their staff to be contactable. The reasons they cite are like the challenger from that copywriting training session – requests are too time consuming (and silly). They believe that the sole purpose of a website is to STOP customers from contacting the company in any real or meaningful way.
Hiding behind a website isn’t one of the copywriting services that helps grow a business, so I don’t recommend it. And I’m sure you know that consumers today like interaction with their brands.
Would you like a different reason for why you should encourage contact with your team, and put information for your senior people, and especially your subject matter experts, online?
How about this: It sells.
We buy from people we know and like
I do this all the time. It’s not a conscious decision. But when I speak to people on the phone, I feel rapport with them, and I’m likely to ask to speak with them again when I ring back. I’m also more likely to do business with people I know I can get in touch with – even if I don’t actually ever make contact! It’s the fact that I could that makes me more likely to trade with them.
Fear is a stupid reason for keeping your potential customers, recruits or investors from contacting people in your business. In my time as a copywriter (over 13 years now) I have not heard of a single one of my clients receiving more spam, or getting more ‘silly’ questions than they did before being publicly contactable.
Do you know what they get in their inboxes?
People in the process of buying. Engaged, questioning, asking, seeking people. And those people are potential sales. Nothing to be afraid of is it?
How to give your contact details
In the last post on copywriting team pages, I outlined the most common elements of a good team page including a photo, name, position, and phone or email (or both) contact information. I also advocate a little biographical information as well. This allows the potential customer a chance to get to know who they will deal with – and the more they know, the more likely they are to like, and want to do business with, your people.
I suggest putting as many contact channels as your team has available, don’t restrict a potential sale. Put an email address (a techie person can help script it so it doesn’t get ‘picked up by spambots’), a phone number, mobile number for texts and calls, Skype number or name, Twitter name, Facebook, LinkedIn profile, and so on. Let your customer decide how they want to make contact.
Coming next in the series: Team pages Part 3 – Join the team
I agree that personalization is important for a website and a business. Trust and credibility are critically important to a business and a key ingredient in building that trust is putting real people behind the products and services being offered. I’m surprised how frequently a business website doesn’t disclose the management team or the senior people.
Yes, it is surprising how many business sites don’t disclose who their people are. I really does discourage a relationship, doesn’t it? ~Steve