Is Your Web Site Search Broken?

broken egg imageTwo weeks ago, I ran out of fax toner. Staples didn’t have what I wanted, so I turned to the Internet. I found a site that sold ink and toner (so far so good).

I plugged the brand and model number into their search tool… and was sent to the main page for that brand.

There were about 20 pages of toner! I couldn’t find the one I needed unless I looked through each and every one. Not good.

So, I emailed them saying I need Brand X, model Y. Do you carry toner for that? I got an automatic message thanking me for my inquiry…. and nothing since. Now, here I’d raised my hand, saying, ‘hello, I’m a prospect, I want to buy from you.” And nobody cared.

Two important marketing lessons:

1) If you build a search tool into your site, make sure it’s easy to use and delivers visitors directly to the information they’re searching for. Don’t make it hard to buy!

2) If you have a contact button (and you should), follow up on the questions. Ignoring customers (or potential customers) is costing you both money and goodwill.

Image thanks to: stevendepolo