How a website can help with Social Anxiety
If you’ve never experience social anxiety you may not understand, but some people can’t just pick up the phone to call your business.
Social anxiety is the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people.
Many people worry about social situations from time to time but someone with social anxiety feels very worried before, during and after them. Its more than just nervousness or shyness and can affect everyday activities, self confidence, relationships and work or school life.
The mere thought of picking up the phone to make an appointment makes some individuals can cause distress and avoidance. This worsens if they have to call to ask a question or cancel an appointment and many people would rather just not show up than make the call, even if it means they wont get to use the service they need. Its a surprisingly common disorder with about 1 in 8 adults suffering and and is something I am quite passionate about as its something that I unfortunately struggle with day to day myself.
As a business there are systems that you can have in place to help with social anxiety.
Having a website is the best way you can help people suffering.
Make it so information is readily available to customers so they don’t have to call. Here are some things that you can have on your website which can help people with anxiety choose your business.
1. Contact form
Make it easy for people to get in touch with you with a contact form on your website instead of a phone number. People can send a message in their own time without needing to call and feel under less pressure.
2. Booking calendar
Having an online booking system on your website is a no brainer for any business that takes bookings. There are so many benefits to having a booking calendar such as:
- Being able to take bookings 24/7 no matter what your hours of operation
- You’re not tied to the phone taking bookings throughout the day when you could be working
- Pleasant straightforward customer experience with confirmation emails and easy cancellation
- Helps you stay organised
- Reduces the amount of no-shows as people with social anxiety will be more likely to click a link to cancel rather than call.
3. Services and pricing information
Having this information readily available makes it easier for people to see what you offer and the cost. Some people would rather not book with you than call you to find out, or they will go with a competitor that has this information readily available.
4. Food and drink menus
This is especially true for any persons with dietary preferences, allergies or intolerances. Having an up to date food and drinks meny on your website is essential if you have a cafe, restaurant or bar.
5. Opening hours
If you have a physical premises, have your opening hours readily available so people don’t have to call to find out when you are open. Keep these up to date too to avoid people showing up to your business when it’s closed.
If you have a serviced based business such as photography, graphic design or general services, show off your portfolio of work and what you can do to make it an easy decision for someone to book with you without having to call.
7. Chat bots
A chatbot is a software or computer program that simulates human conversation or “chatter” through text or voice interactions. A chatbot can be configured to answer any questions that come through and are especially helpful in online shopping and customer service businesses. Generally, a chatbot transfers the call or text to a human service agent once a conversation gets too complex.
Chatbots can enhance customer experience in the following ways:
- reduce customer wait times, streamlines conversations and provide immediate answers;
- offer customers 24/7 support;
- remove the potential for unpleasant human-to-human interactions that moods and emotions of both the service or sales representative and the customer dictate;
- minimize the potential for customers’ stress and annoyance;
8. Online shop
Having an option to purchase a product online gives people the option of buying items from the comfort of their own home instead of going into a store and interacting with sales people.
Having a list of frequently asked questions available on your website can answer any questions the public may want to ask about your business but don’t have the confidence too. It also helps reduce the amount of calls and emails coming through to your business so there is less time on admin and more time focusing on your business.
Having reviews on your website shows that people have booked with / bought from / worked with you before and they were happy with their experience. People with anxieties are more likely to book with or by from someone with a good social proofing than someone without any testimonials available.
Designing a website with social anxiety in mind helps everyone…
not just those with anxieties. People have more options to book with you, buy with you or contact you making it easier for them which means more people will do it. It also benefits you and your business in the long run, by having all information in one place, reducing no-shows, increasing online sales and automating your processes.
“When you speak with and observe extreme users, their needs are amplified and their work-arounds are often more notable. This helps you pull out meaningful needs that may not pop when engaging with the middle of the bell curve. However, the needs that are uncovered through extreme users are often also needs of a wider population.”
If you want to find out more about social anxiety you can do so here.
PS ways in which I facilitate interactions are:
- You never need to book a call with me. I can get all the information I need by email, moodboards, documents so if you don’t want to call that’s I can still do my job and work with you. All my proposals are sent via email and you can take the time you need to read through everything. When the website is completed I will send you videos on how to manage your website. I will also send text documents walking you through all the information, so if you don’t want to call or talk that is totally fine.
- I have a contact form on my website for people to get in touch.
- I display all the services I offer and example packages on my website with FAQs and some information about me so you can have a most of the information you need before you book with me.
- Some services such as my website audit are available to purchase directly from the website and will be sent to your desired email address, ruling out any back and forth messages or calls if you know this is something you want to book.
- I have lots of Blog posts with useful information and tips to help people make an informed decision on booking with me.