How many times have you gone on to a website, and tried to find a phone number or a specific person to email and couldn’t? Have you ever gotten lost in a phone tree? Have you wanted to comment on a blog but had to jump through hoops?
If you have experienced any of these situations (and chances are you have, more than once), you are feeling exactly how difficult it can be to communicate with a company. Some companies and organizations make it especially hard to communicate because they don’t want to hear from you. Other companies and organizations are simply clueless.
Let me give you a specific example. I was a member of an organization, and my one-year membership expired. I got an email that went something like this:
Thank you for your support of the XXXX. Just a friendly reminder that your membership expired on XXX. Please contact us to renew your membership, or visit our website to renew online: <website link>
Your support will help us build upon our existing programs that speak directly to our mission of XXXX.
For questions about membership please contact XXX, Development Manager, at <email address>.
Thank you again for your continued support.
There is nothing WRONG with this email, per se. But it doesn’t make it easy for me to renew. Why?
- It only provides one way to contact a person–via email (no phone).
- It doesn’t tell me what my cost will be.
- The website link sends me a very slow loading page that a) is not a form; b) requires I have an account or create an account.
In many cases, businesses and organizations don’t test their communications channels to see the interaction and whether it is easy to use or navigate. Remember that people are pressed for time and will give up quite easily unless they are EXTREMELY motivated.
The easier you make it for people, the more business (or donations, renewals, exposure) you will have.
Are you making it easy for people to connect with you?