6-forms-of-interaction-your-site-needs-to-succeedA website essentially functions as a conduit for communication. On a surface level, your users will be visiting your site to find information about your brand, your industry, and any niche advice you might be able to offer.

But you need to remember that communication works both ways: You also have to offer ways for your users to get in contact with you and your organization. How you handle this facet of communication could make a significant difference in your users’ overall experience.

The Importance of Flexible Communication

You should accept that your website needs to offer multiple, differing mediums and channels of communication if it’s going to serve all your potential customers’ needs satisfactorily. Modern users have grown accustomed to being able to communicate with their friends and loved ones, in any way they choose, 24-7.

Reasonable or not, they may well expect this level of flexibility for communication with businesses and organizations. If you’re unable to provide that amount of flexibility, they may seek it among your competitors.

In addition, being able to choose from a variety of communication modes will empower your users to speak with you immediately in the way they’re most comfortable, which is more likely to guarantee them a positive experience.

Vital Modes of Communication

So which communication modes are essential for businesses to offer these days? This will vary, depending on your type of business, the industry, the level of competition, and of course the nature of your target audience.

There are a handful of standard modes it’s a sharp idea to include, though. They include:

  1. Phone conversation. According to Dialpad, phone conversations are still one of the most effective and valued mediums for communication, despite the popularity of newer technologies and methods of exchange. That’s because the human voice offers more flexibility when it comes to expression; you can hear the emotion in another person’s voice better than you can read it in written text. Your operation can offer phone conversations by listing your phone number in the header of your site, as well as suggesting mobile users may call directly. If you have hours of operation during which phone calls are an option, make sure you specify them.
  2. Contact page. If this seems obvious, it admittedly is. There’s simply no substitute for a killer contact page. This is the first thing most users will look for when they desire to contact you directly, so treat it as your central hub for communication activities. You’ll want to include as much pertinent information as possible here, including your address, phone number, and any social media icons and links you maintain. You’ll also want to give users a way to contact you immediately, such as by filling out an electronic form with their question or request.
  3. Live chat. Live chat is an even better way to offer instant gratification to your users. Rather than filling out a form and waiting for a response, users can get connected to a member of your team right away (as long as you have someone available to respond to them). Your live chat feature should be available on the most important pages of your site (such as product pages and your Contact page), and you might simply choose to feature it in your footer so it’s always available.
  4. Though simple, adding a review function will instantly make your users feel more connected to you. The ability to review gives users a public voice, and seeing others’ reviews may give them more insight into your brand.
  5. Similarly, it’s a good idea to enable customers to write testimonials for your brand, should they choose. Not only is this a good way to collect feedback, it can also boost your general online reputation.
  6. Forums/user participation. It can also be worthwhile to offer ways in which your users can participate with your brand in a less formal manner, or even communicate directly with one another. For starters, try offering comments functions on your blog and content posts: This will give users a chance to engage with your material and spark discussions among themselves. If you’re ready to take it to the next level, you can develop a user forum where your customers may post questions and interact with one another however they like. This can be a valuable addition to your site, especially from an SEO perspective.

Offering these methods of communication will automatically improve your relationship with your customers. They will make your site more appealing, your brand more attractive, and put more information in the hands of your customers more quickly.

If you’re in the process of redoing your website — or building one for the first time — this is a perfect opportunity to incorporate these communication functions. If possible, run user tests before you go live, and make sure to incorporate any feedback you receive about your communication standards so you can improve consistently over time.