How Can Big Companies Still Be Making Such Basic User Experience Mistakes?
What’s Wrong With This Picture? Find the User Experience Flaws (Company name has been blanked out)
When I started Web Mystery Shoppers in 2001 to help companies improve their web-related customer experience, mistakes like the ones in the image above were common. But it shocks me when I come across them now. This page is from a huge insurance company’s website.
User Experience Problems
OK, so let’s take a close look at the page.
1. No obvious way to contact them
I got to the page by clicking “contact us” in the top menu. What do you expect to see when you click contact us?
How about a phone number? Email address? Even a form?! Nope. None of that here.
2. Takes too long to get to the point
If somebody has clicked on your contact us page, they already have an idea of what you do. Why waste their time with two paragraphs describing it before getting to information about how to do what the page is supposed to do: provide contact info.
3. The point is contact info, but it still doesn’t give it
Then, even when they get to the 3rd paragraph, it says “please contact a [Company X] representative for assistance.”
Seriously? That’s what I was trying to do by clicking on the Contact Us page!
How do I contact you? There is no information provided.
4. Even the “how to contact us if there’s a postal strike” section gives no contact info
It tells us to send information, but gives no idea where to send it to!
If you wade through 17 lines of text, at the very bottom of the page it suggests clicking the links on the left. How many people will read to that point? Pretty close to zero.
5. Most links on the left still don’t give you contact info
I get that they want to do triage, and get you to the most relevant contact person so they don’t have to transfer you. But only a few of the links on the left (should you think to click them), even take you to another page that has contact info. For most, you have to click a third time to get closer to what you are looking for.
This is not a way to attract new business (nor to serve existing clients well).
User Experience Tips to Fix the Contact Page
1. Start with a big phone number
A general number that will be answered by someone who can do the sort of triage they would prefer us to do on our own.
2. And a big email address
If users would prefer to communicate electronically (and many will), give them that option.
3. Under that, have actual links to relevant contacts
Basically, take the menu on the left and move it into the body of the page. List each department with the following information:
- Clickable link to more info about that department and detailed contact info (for customers who want to do their own triage)
- Clickable link to email that department
- Telephone number for that department
The Good News: User Experience Can Be Easy to Improve!
Making these changes will take almost no time and cost nothing.
The only potentially significant cost is if they really don’t have anyone in the organization with the training to be able to do the triage and transfer calls or emails to the relevant people internally.
They should also implement a tracking system to be sure that no calls or emails get lost in the process. Follow-through is a key part of good customer experience.
Have You Seen Any Bad Web Pages Lately?
If so, please share them below!