Recently I had the misfortune of being the un-proud owner of a broken dishwasher. This sort of thing typically sets off a chain of unhelpful thoughts and behaviours as the stress of a broken appliance sets up shop directly in the centre of my mind. So I needed an appliance repair website, and I needed one quickly.
I Googled around to find a good repair option. Unfortunately, most sites were lacking–an unsurprising fact given that I’m intimately aware how difficult it can be to make a good one.
One site however stuck out as very well done, and I’ve decided to poach my favourite bits for you so that you can improve your site. This site is specific to appliance repair, but the principles work across most service websites.
Primary focus on the most important thing
When it comes to appliance repair websites, the essential feature to get right is contact info. Of all the factors to get right, this one is a low bar that most clear. Whether they do it well is something we’ll get to in a moment, but on a basic level, most sites did an admirable job of giving me a way to contact them.
Regarding posting contact info, what did the best site do that the others did not? They nailed the following things:
Direct the Eyes by Creating a hierarchy
When we create any webpage, we get to decide where the user’s eyes go. We do this by establishing a visual hierarchy. The most critical thing sticks out like a sore thumb by design, and everything else gets a bit more subtle.
What’s most important factor on your site will vary, but contact info is king in this case. It would easily be lost in the shuffle if it was alongside ten paragraphs of over-explained mission statements, random text bolding, and empty promises.
The best site kept the number of words to a minimum. For example, the entire homepage only had four full paragraphs on it. What remains is a page that has just enough information to be helpful but not so wordy that it drowned out the contact info.
Using Colour to Draw attention
They also utilized colour well. The site had an undeniable blue and green colour scheme, but the contact information sat in a bright orange box. Sometimes visual designers will break consistency on purpose to ensure that your eye detects something is unique, and it travels directly to that area.
For example, if I wanted to provide users with three pricing options, but I wanted attention drawn to one option more than the others, I could colour it differently. For example:
What makes this trick work is by using it modestly. But unfortunately, too many companies get hung up on announcing everything as incredibly important, creating a visual mess that gives the opposite impression.
Various Forms of Contact
If you work with enough web users over time, you become aware of one significant fact: people are complicated. What makes total sense for one group will make zero for another. As such, opinions on how to contact a company are all over the map. Some want a phone number because they need to talk to a person, and some want an email form so they don’t have to leave the website. In contrast, others want an email address to take care of business in their email client.
The solution is to go scorched earth and offer all primary forms of communication. Have a link to your contact form, an email address, a phone number, and, if the situation is available, a chat widget. Keep in mind mileage might vary on this one. Depending on your unique business and visitors, it might make sense for you to have all forms of contact or fewer. You’ll have to find what works best for you.
Find a theme and stick to it
A website is a piece of marketing; like any ad you create, it needs to evoke a feeling. What feeling do you want your website to produce in a customer? Some sites I visited went with displaying their technical expertise or affordability. The one I ultimately landed on doubled down hard on reliability. That’s not to say yours has to also, but whatever you choose, make it your theme.
The confident message was incredibly reassuring for a person like me who gets a little frantic when things break. Key to this point is that the tone existed across the entire site. The content was written reassuringly, the colours were emotionally appropriate, and the imagery was of happy, stress-free people enjoying their appliance that now works (and cleverly, allowing me to highlight that I could be one of them shortly).
That last one is important. Remember, much like any ad, you want to evoke the end feeling your business will give people. A car ad might want to spotlight a feeling of freedom, while a restaurant might lean hard into social connection or satisfaction. In this case, it’s relief. Shiny happy people playing with their kids or relaxing, and not elbow-deep in manuals and frustration.
Don’t just sell, provide value
Most companies are very protective of their knowledge, which makes sense–they sell it after all. But do you want to be like most companies, or do you want to stand out? The truth is (especially in appliance repair) the information you might want to hold back is probably already readily available, especially in appliance repair. For example, people aren’t contacting you to troubleshoot their oven. If that’s what they were after, they can already do that using one of the thousands of available youtube videos or blog posts. Instead, people contact you because they don’t want to do that.
What I loved about the site I found was that each of its service pages (split up by appliance) had a reasonably sized Frequently Asked Questions section. It functioned for a few reasons:
- It allowed them to answer simple questions that they’re highly likely to get but never amount to a sale, so they save themselves some time.
- It allowed them to list some of the problems they can solve and how much it’s likely to cost, establishing themselves as experts and managing expectations.
- It built trust with the user because some value was offered up, seemingly as a gesture of goodwill.
By giving a bit of information away, they came across as competent and trustworthy– priceless qualities for a service business to hold.
The site I ultimately chose had a wonderfully helpful tool on their site that let me book using a calendar that allowed me to see right away when I could expect this problem to be solved. Without this, it’s difficult to know how long I may have to wait for a visit.
I selected a day and a time, which was passed on to their office. This form works great for all involved because the person who manages the booking can call me and confirm. They didn’t have to waste time going over details because I’d already included them when I booked.
In keeping with the theme we touched on in the contact section, remember that some people will want to talk to a person. In contrast, others would walk across hot coals to avoid such an experience. By offering an online booking option, the net is wide, and you can catch customers of either type.
To get a better idea of what’s out there in terms of booking options for your WordPress site, here are some ideas.
Testimonials are another low-hanging fruit that many other sites did manage to utilize, but only sometimes well. Yes, you should be featuring happy clients’ stories, but why stop there? You can also link off to your Google listing, which has not only ratings by customers but (if you’re active there) also some public communication between you and the clients.
In addition to providing the testimonials, the site I landed on also made offering a testimonial dead easy. They provided a form to send them a story, links, and instructions on giving a review elsewhere.
Some essential tips on providing testimonials on your site are:
- Keep them legitimate. Fake reviews always feel off and are simple to spot
- Don’t be shy to ask for specifics. Remind your clients to mention the problem, how it was handled, and the end result in their review.
- Use a plugin or widget that refreshes your testimonials automatically so the user sees a different review on each page load
- consider where your testimonial should go on your site. Aside from a dedicated page, a popular spot is in the footer, so it’s not directly in anybody’s face but remains present across your entire site.
It doesn’t stop at the site
Whatever experience you set out to have your website provide for a customer, make sure that your on-site visits embody the same qualities. When my repair appointment ultimately did happen, the guy who showed up was very much like the site itself: clear, courteous, overly helpful, and motivated to help me get back to life.
He wore shoe coverings to protect my floors, explained with extreme clarity what was going on despite knowing full well I was out of my element, offered his card with his direct line should anything go wrong once he left, and payment was made seamlessly from his phone.
Your website is similar to any other piece of marketing. It needs to send a clear message, make your potential customers feel something, and give them the means to solve their problems.
The site I ultimately landed on kept the visual clutter to a minimum, made it easy to contact them, stuck to a singular message, provided great value, established themselves as experts, offered up some proof of their work, and when the time came to show themselves, they walked the walk.
Follow these basic rules and your website can do much the same.
If you need help with your website, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a chat, and we’ll see what we can do.
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