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Make Sure You are Contactable

Thursday, June 09, 2011   By Mike Reddy

 



Ever tried to get hold of a company but can’t find its phone number on its website? Or tried to look it up in a business directory and it’s not there? It’s frustrating and makes you wonder how much the owners want to speak to their customers.

Potential customers that arrive at your company through advertising, word of mouth or Google searches will want to take the next step and visit your store or call. It makes a lot of sense to make that next step as easy as possible so you can reap maximum benefits from your marketing.

A website is a crucial marketing tool these days, regardless of your business type. Takeaway restaurants, florists and removalists all benefit from having a website with clear contact information. Some websites have contact information in a neat little box at the top of the site where it’s easy to find, and others have a dedicated ‘Contact Us’ page with a phone number, fax number, business address, postal address, opening hours, email address and contact form. If you are a sole trader or emphasise customer service then you could list your mobile phone number there too.

These options are better than putting contact information in the footer (this requires people to scroll down the page to find it; some will, some won’t.) It is also better than putting contact information in the ‘About Us’ page. While it is perfectly logical to place contact information in the ‘About Us’ section, it is not always that obvious to a first-time visitor to your website.

A growing trend is to include a Google Maps plug-in that displays the location of your business on a street map. A customer can adjust the map to see how far away the store is from their location; they can look for landmarks and crossstreets nearby to help find your company and print the map to take with them.

Google Maps is an excellent way of promoting your business, so it’s worth making sure you are listed with Google. When someone types ‘florist’ into Google Maps it shows all the listed florists in a particular geographic area. Google Maps requires listing a phone number and street address, but you can make your entry stand out by adding a logo and asking customers to review your business. Reviewed businesses show an average star rating beneath their entry. These are a powerful motivator to try a referenced company first.

Finally, it is very important to update your opening hours on the ‘Contact Us’ page for public holidays. Many customers cannot visit companies during the working week and will use a holiday for shopping or carrying out chores. If you are not going to be open, give your customers the courtesy of knowing in advance.


Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.