Is it easy to do business with you? Is your website clear? Are the contact points obvious?
A posting on Craigslist for a site inviting "creatives" (designers and copywriters) to sign up for freelance assignments and jobs attracted my interest. But when I clicked through, I couldn't find the "register" link. (It's called "apply" here. Oh.) And I was turned off by the terminology, referring to "artists" — and not designers, art directors or (gasp!) copywriters. I poked around for a few minutes more and then split.
Yesterday, I saw a link for a discount coupon for soy milk. Clicked through and was asked to sign up for a coupon. I reluctantly entered my name, gender, date of birth, e-mail address and a password (twice), then clicked OK. The next screen was another form, asking for even more personal info, plus my mailing address.
Fuggeddaboutit! Not worth 55¢ to give up all that.
In this economy — and always — make it easy for your customers to get what they want. That's the goal, isn't it?
If you want me to sign up for something, my e-mail address and maybe a password should suffice. If the relationship continues and you want more info, fine. I'll give you my date of birth and gender, perhaps. But make it worth my while.
Same thing with a recruitment site or any other service or product. Make it simple, speak in the language of your customers and help them.
Ease of use and simplicity rule on the Net. And in stores, offices and everywhere else that commerce and human interactions occur.