During a recent remodeling project, my wife and I decided that we wanted to look into a frameless shower for the master bathroom. After doing some research, we discovered that many glass companies offer the product since it is a custom installation.
Since the internet has revolutionized the way people buy products and services, we took the typical route of looking for local glass companies that offer this product. I found three companies, looked over their websites and filled in the contact form on each one. All came back with a message that someone would be contacting me soon.
Three days later — no response. At first, I figured I would just call them. Then it hit me. These businesses put up a website with a contact page to collect leads and gain sales and I got no response.
Turning this into a test was interesting. I didn’t call any of the three but found three more and filled out their contact pages, keeping my fingers crossed because I was running out of local glass companies. Out of the three new ones, I received a response from an actual human being by phone.
Her name was Rhonda and she left me a message that she had received my inquiry. She asked that I call back. My wife called Rhonda back and had a nice conversation with her. She was very knowledgeable and within a few minutes, she gave us an estimate based on what we told her. She also offered to send someone out to measure and get the project going.
I then received a short email with the pricing she had given and an offer for $100 dollars off. So now I have:
- The specifications for my shower based on my measurements
- An offer of an add-on for Enduro-Shield to keep the glass from spotting that I wasn’t even aware existed
- A price quote
- An offer of $100 off the quoted price with no strings attached.
A few days went by and still no contact from any of the other five companies where I had filled out a web lead contact form.
We now have a situation where the company that contacted me has made me a reasonable offer, provided a valuable add-on, and given me a $100 incentive to buy. There are no other offers on the table. Therefore, they have no competition at this point.
I bite on the offer, they come and measure on the exact date and time they said they would. The installer verifies the price and the $100 incentive and I place the order on the spot. He tells me that it will be ready for installation in one week.
Miraculously, the phone rings 6 days later and it’s Rhonda wanting to know if the installer can come by tomorrow to install the shower.
The next day, the shower is installed, I pay the company and get a great follow up from Rhonda. Charlotte and I are very happy with our purchase.
Are your web leads going down a black hole?
So five other companies had an inquiry from a serious buyer and they never responded. Since that time, we have purchased other products and services for our remodeling project and to my surprise, we had the same results. About seventy percent of the companies didn’t respond.
Being a web developer, I’ve got some ideas about why this happens. Here are some possibilities:
- The email sent by the contact form went to someone who is no longer with the company.
- No one is monitoring the mailbox where the web lead information is going.
- The email sent by the contact form is being filtered as SPAM and not being seen by anyone.
- There is a technical problem and the email is going into never-never land.
So these five companies put up a website with a contact form presumably to get leads. But at the most critical time, when they had a qualified buyer who had researched them along with the competition, their system let them down and their web leads went down a black hole.
Do you work for a company that has a web contact form, or is it your company? Why not see if it works? Put in your contact information and see if it ever comes out on the other end. If it doesn’t, call your web guy or gal. It’s probably a simple fix and it’s causing you lost sales because your web leads are going down a black hole. It also makes your company appear less than professional.
I’ll say one other thing about this experience. The website for the company that responded wasn’t the fanciest and didn’t have the greatest design or graphics. It was the one that had a contact form that worked.
By the way, if you ever need anything in the way of glass or mirrors, (or a frameless shower), visit my friends at Mansfield Glass & Mirror. Fill out their contact form if you need something. Chances are, you’ll hear from Rhonda and you’ll get great service.
Dave is a developer for Yellow Frog Media where he works on websites for small to medium sized businesses. In the past he has served as a blogger, teacher, software developer and project manager. He resides in Arlington, Texas with his wife Charlotte and their four-legged child. (A Jack Russell Terrier mix named Eddie).