Why Is This Guideline Important
Times have changed and we have data to prove this:
B2B customers no longer prefer to communicate over the phone when they're purchasing from a new vendor. They prefer email.
Research by KoMarketing Associates from 2014 has found that B2B buyers prefer to contact vendors through email (81%) with the phone being the second choice at 58%.
Take a look at another research by KoMarketing Associates from 2015 which proves that new customers don't want you to ask them for a phone number:
Nobody likes to receive calls from pushy salespeople. Your salespeople may not be pushy, but as long as you're a stranger to new visitors, they won't know what to expect from you.
How Is This a Problem?
It's plain and simple: if your web form requires a phone number, a certain number of people will not contact you via that web form. If you're lucky, they'll email you. If you're not, they'll leave your website and contact your competitor.
Because you're offering B2B products and services, the person in charge of purchasing something for their company often doesn't even have a business phone number. Giving their personal phone number is not appealing in any way.
Hubspot writes about a research from 2010 in which they analyzed 40,000 contact forms. Asking for a phone number reduced the number of inquiries by almost 1/3.
In another research by Unbounce, it was discovered that 37% of visitors were abandoning a form field that was asking for a phone number. When the site changed the phone field to optional, the conversion rate doubled from 42.6% to 80%.
Ways to Improve
- Source: http://www.akvaterm.fi/eng/Contact/Contact_form.246.html
- Capture Date: June 10, 2016
Akvaterm is asking their prospects to enter a phone number before they can send an inquiry via web form.
This contact form is also used to order a brochure or send a complaint.For those purposes, a phone number is definitely too much to ask for (as far as customers are concerned).
Ask your web development agency to do one of the following (this should not require too much work from them):
- Remove the phone field completely.
Why not use the first few emails to gain customer's trust and ask for their phone number later? Getting more inquiries often results in increased sales. You cannot sell anything to a person you could not come in contact with in the first place.
- Make the phone field optional.
Alternatively, you can label the phone number field optional if you consider it a very important data for your business. This way you're attracting people comfortable with volunteering their phone numbers, without losing everyone else.
- Source: http://voyagecontrol.com/#contact
- Capture Date: June 10, 2016
Voyage Control has a simple contact form with only 2 form fields, without the phone number field.
- [RESEARCH] The 2014 B2B Web Usability Report, komarketingassociates.com
- [RESEARCH] The 2015 B2B Web Usability Report, komarketingassociates.com
- [ARTICLE] 3 Form Fields That Kill Landing Page Conversion Rates, hubspot.com
- [ARTICLE] How To Optimize Contact Forms For Conversions [Infographic], unbounce.com