How Even Good Sites Can Fail At Web Marketing 101

There is nothing better when you have a web site than having powerful pages that speaks directly to their target audiences and are easy to find. A page that makes the customer want to take action – to click and buy or ask a sales rep for a meeting so they can buy.

We saw such a page today.

The page was great. It showed another way for people to save money and time and lots of it. Exactly the type of thing we care about here. We wanted to learn more and integrate it if possible with our toolkit.

Unfortunately when you try to contact them you run into multiple sales roadblocks.

One of if not the top rule of web marketing is – make it easy for the person to buy. This was not easy – and it wasn’t even simply the fault of the web page’s design.

There was an image that looks like a button. Nothing happens when you click on it. Still it might make you think contacting someone is as easy a clicking a button. You would be wrong. You might even feel misled.

The button instructs you to contact your account rep or call the 800#.

1. When you call the 800# you get directed to a phone tree. Problems include
a. You do not get directed straight to sales OR a receptionist. But you’re calling because you want to learn more and speak with an account exec. Ideally they should have a number going straight to sales.
b. There is no option to speak to sales. They should add one.
c. There is no option to speak to the operator/receptionist. They should add one.
d. Pressing 0 did nothing helpful. They should have it direct to a receptionist.
e. By pushing random buttons to search the directory you to can be directed to someone’s mailbox to leave a message. It takes a couple tries
2. The contact form asked for a verification code (presumably for spam prevention,) but the page didn’t have one visible. Therefore there appears to be a high risk that filling it out will lead to the form not working.
3. You can try e-mailing the customer service department, but not sales.

Just by calling the 800# a potential client will get the impression that the firm is either out of business, not a real company, anonymous and unfriendly, an evil bureaucracy like The Phone Company, not interested in clients, or all of the above. However everyone at the firm seems really nice, so they’re giving a misleading impression.

Just as the receptionist is one of the most important people at many firms as he or she makes new people feel at home, the phone tree is also a receptionist. The receptionist and phone tree is your Ambassador to the world. No one likes an unfriendly undiplomatic ambassador. People often complain about big company phone trees, especially when they want support from a company.

It would be interesting to know if they have any statistics in their PBX on how many calls hit the main #? Have they been compared with how many calls are answered by a person or if a VM is left? There could be a big discrepancy.

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