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Answer the Door When Someone Knocks

My wife accidentally stepped on her Kindle recently. The screen was ruined. Rather than replace the unit, I thought I would get it repaired. So I searched online for “Kindle screen repair St. Louis” (I wanted to use a local service, rather than ship the unit out of town).

I didn’t receive a response from either business.

A few days later, I called one of the services and said, “I submitted information on your web site and didn’t hear from anyone.”

The person who answered the phone said, “I wouldn’t know anything about that.”

Uh oh!

I share this story to make a simple point: When you put a “contact us” form on your web site, make sure you have a process to monitor and respond to submissions. That sounds simple, but many businesses drop the ball. Many program their forms to send submissions to an email address they don’t monitor. Others post data to a database that runs behind the web site, and no one checks the database regularly.

Here are a few simple tips for monitoring contact us forms:

  1. Set up a general email box to which form submissions will be sent — something like contactus@<yourdomain>.com, rather than an single employee’s email. If you program the form to email an employee, you may miss submissions if that employee leaves your company.
  2. Forward emails for contactus@<yourdomain>.com to all employees who should be monitoring the submissions.
  3. Use a form that stores submissions in a database (in addition to emailing the submissions to you). If the emails don’t get through or are missed, you always can check the database for form submissions. A good web developer can accomplish this easily.
  4. Test the form. You don’t want to learn that the hard way that your form is not working.
  5. Establish a process to monitor responses regularly and to test that email responses are being forwarded.

People who fill out a form on your site are often your best prospects. When you ignore them, you flush business down the toilet. It’s a mistake you can avoid.

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