Where Does the Information Go When You Add a Contact Form to Your Website?
When you add a contact form to your website, you are essentially giving someone the opportunity to contact you. In this case, the person might want to get in touch for a variety of reasons, such as to ask questions about your products or to tell you about a problem they are having with your website or an affiliate product they are promoting. Whatever the reason, when they send you a message through your contact form, you will have the opportunity to respond.
Before you start designing your contact form, there are several key factors you should consider. To help explain these factors, let’s look at each type of contact separately.
If you have customers, you will eventually need to respond to their inquiries and complaints. For this reason, it is essential that you have a contact form on your website that is simple to use and provides a fast and easy way for your customers to get in touch with you. If they have any questions, you want them to be able to get in touch with you quickly and easily so that their issue is resolved as soon as possible. Therefore, make sure to add a contact form to your website with a live chat function so that you can quickly and easily communicate with your customers when they have questions or issues. For larger retailers, it is essential that live chat is available during working hours so that the customer service team can quickly and efficiently help with any questions or issues that may arise. Similarly, for B2B companies, having live chat available during non-working hours might be a useful tool for quickly engaging with potential customers or for collecting information in the event of a contact form submission that is not resolved through the chat.
Products frequently malfunction or have problems. In the case of online retailers, these problems can range from minor glitches that affect a few users or customers to widespread server or connectivity issues that affect many people. To ensure that your customers have a good experience with your products and want to continue using them, you will need to provide them with support. For this reason, it is imperative that you have a contact form on your website that allows for product support inquiries. Depending on the type of product, you might need to alter your form slightly to fit the particular needs of your customer but, in general, a good product support contact form should include all of the following:
- An easy-to-find contact email address
- A phone number that customers can use to get in touch with you
- A physical address (for B2C companies)
- An online store or website where the product is sold (if applicable)
If you sell your products or services online, having a physical address is essential for shipping packages and getting receipts. In some cases, you might not need a physical address for B2C companies but you will need one for B2B companies
Marketing & Advertising
If you decide that you would like to promote a product or service through a contact form, you will need to collect some contact information. As noted above, having a physical address is essential for sending out marketing materials such as mailers and brochures. Alternatively, you might want to use an online marketing agency to help you design an email campaign for promoting your products or services.
Depending on how you choose to promote your products or services, you will need to tailor your contact form. For example, let’s say you decide that you want to advertise your product on social media. In that case, you will need to have an SMTP (simple mail transportation protocol) server so that you can send emails through your contact form. You can find a good SMTP server for free through a reputable provider like Gmail.
Protecting your website and its content from fraud and interference is of paramount importance. For this reason, it is essential that you have a contact form that is secure. Make sure to use a reputable provider that is equipped to handle secure communication (HTTPS) so that your customers can feel confident that their personal information will be kept private. If you use your own hosting provider, be sure that they are taking the appropriate measures to ensure security on their part. Furthermore, make sure to select a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate so that your customers know that they are communicating with a legitimate website that is protected by the government-issued security protocol.
With any new feature or component that you add to your website, you should always have the forethought to consider how you will back-up and recover from any possible mishaps. In the case of your contact form, you might want to have a disaster recovery plan in place so that you can quickly restore all of the data in the event of a crash.
Many web hosting providers have the capacity to back-up your site automatically so that if anything happens to your server, you can quickly and easily recover your website.
The moral of the story is this: add a contact form to your website, but first think about how you will back-up and recover from any possible mishaps.