BC Tip: Unilever – Helping customers get in touch, worldwide

Unilever makes it easy for customers on its global site to find local brand contact details

The Domestos brand page on the global Unilever site - with UK contact details displayed

The Domestos brand page on the global Unilever site - with UK contact details displayed

The Feature

Users who visit the ‘Our brands’ section of Unilever’s global website can use a brand selector to find the one they are interested in, for example Domestos.

Clicking on the brand tile brings up a dropdown menu listing all countries where the brand is available. At this stage users can select ‘Global brands’, which takes them to the Unilever.com global brand page, such as the one for Domestos.

These pages contain a prominent field where users can type in the name of their country. Predictive results are offered, and selecting a country brings up local contact details, and a link to the brand page on the relevant Unilever country site.

The Takeaway

The fact that users can find local brand contact details without having to leave the global site will be helpful for many customers. They are likely to be on corporate sites in large numbers – often as the second largest audience behind jobseekers – and almost half of them will have come for customer service or to find out about a specific product.*

Too often corporate sites do not help customers achieve their goals, so providing tools, like Unilever’s, which allow them to quickly find local contact details is advisable.

*Data from Bowen Craggs survey data, which indicates that 48% of customer respondents come to corporate websites for customer service or to find out about a specific product.; and that only 42% achieve their goal.

For more commentaries, tips and downloads for online corporate communications professionals, visit our website.

If you have a query or for more information about Bowen Craggs, please contact Dan Drury: ddrury@bowencraggs.com.

BC tip: Volkswagen AG - Discouraging contact?

The German car manufacturer fails to transmit openness by burying the contact page on its corporate website.

The Feature

During our recent review of the Volkswagen group site for the Index of Online Excellence, we could not find links to a contact page in any of the conventional locations – headers, footers, primary or secondary navigation. The only link to a general contact page we could find was buried at the bottom of the media landing page.

The link is small, and in German on the English-language site (‘To Kontakt page’); it also requires a few clicks to reach. The Contact page itself is an e-mail form that appears to be outside of the site hierarchy.

The Takeaway

It is not an auspicious time for Volkswagen to have one of the only corporate sites in our Index without clear paths for getting in touch with general queries. The company, under fire for the emissions scandal, may not want to be bombarded by comments from angry diesel owners. Maybe the thinking is that Volkswagen AG is a corporate site and not customer-facing, but we know from our research that customers will find their way there.

One of the public aims of Volkswagen AG, following the scandal, is to convey transparency. Burying the general contact page and relegating it to an email form, does the opposite.


BC tip: Anglo American - Making it easy to tweet

A mining giant invites users to tweet the company directly from its corporate website.

The Feature

A ‘Talk to us’ button on Anglo American’s corporate website prompts visitors to tweet the company directly without having to go to the Twitter site. 

There is a panel on the home page with the most recent tweet, prominent buttons to retweet or reply, and a text box already addressed to @AngloAmerican for messages. Clicking on ‘Talk to us’ below the box calls up a pop-up window for tweeting the message. 

The button appears throughout the site. In addition, a panel in the universal footer has the latest tweet and the Retweet and Reply icons.

The Takeaway

We have not seen this kind of attempt by a B2B company, in a contentious industry, to encourage people to tweet from within the corporate website (rather than send people to Twitter to do it).

A quick look at Anglo’s Twitter feed shows a healthy amount of activity. We don’t know whether this is down to the website tweeting feature, but regardless it sends the wider message that ‘we are open to hear from you’.