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Which Way?

Your site visitors, followers, and clients can enter your world from multiple directions. And, you should be prepared to greet them regardless of their method. So, which way is right for you and your business or purpose?

In Wonderland, Alice was just looking for the white rabbit to stop for a moment and answer her questions. But, he was too busy and in such a hurry that he kept running. The difference in business is your clients won't chase you - they'll continue on and hope they avoid mad creatures steering them in the wrong direction along the way.

Some will profess you "use only social media!" while others will tell you to establish an online chatbot. You can offer SMS and Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or online forms, or go old school and list your phone number. There are so many methods to giving clients directions - but, are you prepared to greet them at every juncture?

Picture set up a chatbot, but you don't program enough auto-responses and aren't available when someone spams "live agent" in their response. Or, you activate your live online chat and forget to update your settings when you're out of town. Or, you set up your Facebook Page and use the Messenger CTA button, but you disabled push notifications and lose responsiveness.

Or worse, you experience all of these scenarios simultaneously.

"You can't authentically be in multiple places at once."

It's important to provide your customers and followers with more than one method to reach you. But, you need to be wary of your limitations and availability. You can't authentically be in multiple places at once.

So, be mindful of the following six recommendations when providing contact options:

  1. Keep it simple. Start out with a phone number and email (and maybe an online form sent to email).

  2. Set barriers. List reasonable business hours on your site or social media profile (avoid using 24/7).

  3. Be available when you say you'll be. Update your availability when you're out of town, sick, or busy.

  4. Get auto-responsive. Use chatbots or automation messages for real-time confirmation of messages.

  5. Focus on UX. Use hyperlinks or buttons for email, SMS, or DMs, or use built-in solutions like CTAs.

  6. Stay consistent. Standardize your primary communication methods (don't switch approaches on the fly).

Remember! People could go many places for what you're offering. But, they're more likely to return or continue doing business with you if their questions and needs are responded to timely. Otherwise, you're the white rabbit.

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