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Jellybean Creative Solutions - Foodservice Marketing and PR Agency

Deliver Dialogue, Not Data

Posted on 29th March 2011 in Insight
Written by: Andy Wickes

Deliver Dialogue, not Data

It’s an age old gripe amongst web users. The over-long form. Field after field of questions and tick boxes when all we want to do is ask a question. A simple question:

‘When is this product likely to be back in stock?’

But still we are asked for our fax number, postal address, age, marital status and whether we have any ‘dependents under 18 living with us’ The mind boggles.

Now, as a Marcomms agency we realise that the answers provide us with key intelligence for future activity and that every site visit provides us with an opportunity to gather as much profiling data about a consumer as is possible in order to improve services to customers.

If a consumer wants to open a dialogue with a brand via its website, they want it on their terms, and they generally care little about the future requirements of that brand, no matter how earth-shattering their responses might be to a short questionnaire.

Social Networks

If you feel your audience has a significant presence on these networks then be sure you do too. Publicise how to get in touch with you on these networks and when people do make contact respond in a timely fashion. If that is their chosen way to make initial contact, then respect that, and in time you will build their loyalty. Answer queries promptly and accurately and in time when and if that prospect further enquires about your product or service say by a phone call then you can ask all the ancillary questions you might have then.

Telephone Numbers

Always provide one. There are people out there who will always prefer to call and if that is their choice, then do not put obstacles in their way. Don’t make someone search endlessly through the site to find it. Don’t make them read pages of FAQ’s and Knowledge Base articles before presenting a phone number after one last click of a ‘Was This Information Useful – Yes/No’ button.

Ask Questions

Why is this one so often overlooked? You have a CMS. You might even have a blog. You might even have comments enabled. You want to know some information about your audience, and yet you still build forms so convoluted that to ask a one line question I must still answer 10 un-related ones. Ask questions of your audience on your site. Add them into comments on your blog.

Credit Where Credit is Due

Quite often a customer will ask a good question about your product. You provide them with a swift answer and then pat yourself on the back for your helpfulness and timely response. The trouble is you have scores of similarly confused customers you could also benefit from the same help. So post the question on your site – ‘Mr Andrews of Lambeth asked a great question – where do I find the off switch on this petrol chainsaw?’ – Well, it’s on the handle, just by the power cord. Thanks Mr Andrews!

Mind Your P’s and Q’s

Be grateful. People are only too aware that their opinions and their data has a value to brand / business owners, and so if they give their time and their opinions to you free of charge then the least you can do is be grateful. If you are a small business or a start-up, then this could be the only chance you might have to generate a one-on-one relationship with your customers. If you deal with only 10 or 20 clients then you have no excuse not to have a close relationship with each of them and to provide a good customer experience.

If you’re interested in leveraging the benefits of enquiry forms and how they might aid your online experience in foodservice, then get in touch with us.