September 10, 2009

Simple eBusiness to increase website enquiries

Every website we create at 1300 Web Pro resides within a Content Management System – a system that allows the site owner to quickly and easily edit the site’s content through a web interface.

One of the types of content a site owner can create in the Content Management System is a Contact Form. Basically, the site owner defines a number of fields and the visitor is then invited to answer them. The result is sent via e-mail to the site owner.

In every site, this function is used to create a “Contact Us” form. The standard type, with fields such as Name, E-mail Address, and Message.

On some sites however, when creating the initial content, we create an additional form, for instance to:

In these cases, the form doesn’t actually insert the customer into the reservation system or contact database. Again, the site owner is simply sent an e-mail that they will follow up as necessary.

eBusiness is a term used to describe a website that performs some function to the business, as opposed to being purely an information resource for your customers.

eBusiness implementations need not be complex. Of course Qantas’ real time online booking system and Ticketek’s online box office are examples of eBusiness, but so to is the “Request a dentist appointment” contact form.

In a “request an appointment” example, it is not even necessary to allow the customer to dictate the desired time. The form may read:

There is no doubt that eBusiness websites generate more leads for a company than an informational form with a traditional “Contact Us” form. Clients of 1300 Web Pro that have some form of eBusiness receive more enquiries through their website then clients who do not.

I believe the reasons for this are very simple:

  1. You are giving people a reason to contact you. A “Contact Us” form is fine if they want to ask a question, but most people would not think to use that form to request, say, a room booking.
  2. People are spontaneous. This is why TV shopping infomercials have the “call now and receive a bonus” offers. Striking while the iron is hot is most likely to achieve results.
  3. Site visitors can submit the form after hours. Even if the site owner needs to ring or e-mail for confirmation or payment, the ball is out of the visitor’s court.
  4. Fence sitters will respond to a specific call to action where they otherwise may have retreated.

Remember that, for our customers at least, there is no cost to have an eBusiness form on their website. They can simply log into the Content Management System and create one.

A final note on eBusiness is that it should not be limited to the sales process or the customer side of business processes. eBusiness may mean a private area for staff to read procedures, resellers to file return requests, or collecting customer feedback.

Every business should evaluate how a simple eBusiness contact form could benefit their business. If you need a hand, give one of our website consultants a ring on 1300 932 776 (that’s 1300 Web Pro) and we’ll see if we can come up with some eBusiness strategies for your business!

For more information, visit Electronic Business at Wikipedia.

James Deck
1300 Web Pro
Twitter: @1300WebPro