This new business is support

Yesterday I got an email from a form on one of my web sites that usually means a new opportunity. In fact, when I see the subject/sender that is used by that form I often say to myself “here’s some new business”. This time it wasn’t. It was a current customer with a support request — and a classic case of users not following your intended work flow.

These support requests have historically come by phone, but recently there’s been a few via the general contact form. The turn-around on web form requests is often faster than phone since the request gets to the right person faster. This is especially true in a smaller firm or outside of normal business hours. This is a good thing.

I’m still a believer in putting toll-free numbers front and centre on web sites. I also like really simple contact forms — name, email, message. It’s un-daunting for the user, and if you care about your customers, you will read the message and figure out what they need.

Now I think it’s time to be more specific with contact forms. One for current customers, one for new business. It’s really not a big deal to do this, and it just seems more polite to current customers. I can’t really say why.

Time to figure out about what goes into an elegant support form. I can already think of a few sites that I should add one to.