It still amazes me how many companies hide from their customers. I was doing some research last week on iPhone app developers because I have a client who is in need of an iPhone app. I asked some people on Twitter. Douglas Karr gave me some referrals and I also knew of one referral from a previous conversation with another friend. I went to the websites of three different companies and immediately got frustrated.
Each company did at least have a website but they were all vague, sparse, boring, or all of the above. They did not even clearly say “we make iPhone apps” and did not display any previous work or screen shots.
It got even worse when I went to their contact pages. I did not see a single phone number, address, or in some cases even an email address. Most just had a simple contact form.
Though I did fill out the contact forms, I was feeling a bit worried. Were these legitimate companies? Could I trust them with my client’s money? Would they do good work? My client wants someone local – are they even located in Indianapolis?
My client is a multi-million dollar manufacturing company and I need to be able to refer them to someone with confidence. So far I was not sure if I had found the right company.
Then, I got another referral on Twitter from Paula Henry. She referred me to a company. When I went to the company’s website, I was sold. Here is why:
- They had a beautiful website that makes them look like a real company
- They showcased actual screen shots of previous work
- They clearly state what they do: “We develop iPhone applications”
- They are active on Twitter and display their Twitter conversations on the website (I can find them to talk to them)
- Their contact page has an email address, physical address, and phone number
In short, the company made it easy for me to trust them. I called and left a voice mail and I got a call back within an hour. I asked some questions and learned more about their previous work. I am now going to work with them to develop an iPhone app for my client.
The image you present online, the message you communicate, and the ease of contacting you make a huge difference to your customers. Make yourself easy to do business with.