Thursday, December 13, 2007

How this company gets customers to take the first step and call

Single-minded focus on talking directly to customers

For an example of a Web site that has a single-minded focus on talking directly to its business buyers, visit http://www.emcorenclosures.com/.

The Web site isn’t perfect, but it avoids a mistake made by so many companies that confuse prospects with competing call to actions: Ring us, try this, download that, click here, read referrals, etc.

Go on, call us now ...

Like many b2b companies, this manufacturer has a lengthy sales cycle. So the company’s goal is getting customers to call a sales rep, the first important step in the buying process.To do this, Emcor uses these four tactics, including:

• Highlighting its phone number in the title of search results for the company. It may not be the top result, but it is the only company with its phone number. See http://snipurl.com/1ukdd

Using a uniform and large image on the right-hand side of every page of its site to encourage prospects to call its customer hotline.

• Answering these calls quickly with a real person.
When we put Emcor to the test, we got a live sales rep within 10 seconds. That’s not bad when most companies greet you with “Press 1 for English,” and

• Putting its contact details in the footer of every page.

Like so many midsize companies, this one is struggling to keep up with changes.

Over the years, goals change, styles change, dates change, tactics change.

And as Web sites go through these changes, some pages get spruced up while others may stay the same.

Small oversights that cost business

While most prospects won’t notice, nitpickers may think these small, often unimportant, oversights may show an inattention to detail.

For example, Emcor’s site includes a scattering of inconsistent fonts, capitalization, and even a few typos.

To prevent these sorts of small errors from tarnishing your image, consider treating it like any other collateral by:

• Reading each page on hardcopy. Sometimes it’s hard to see little things on screen, and
• Developing a style guide with rules on spelling, capitalization, etc.

You don't need to publish your own.

The Columbia Guide to Online Style at http://snipurl.com/1ukdt, or the http://www.apstylebook.com/ or The Economist’s style guide at www.economist.com/research/StyleGuide .. They're all pretty good.


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