Monday, July 9, 2012

“About Us” Evaluation: 1-888-WOW-1DAY Gets a B

1-888-WOW-1DAY guarantees to paint your house (interior or exterior) in one day. The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company was founded in 2010 and expects to have franchises in 50 cities by the end of 2012. Its About Us page (“Our Company”) is here.

Occasionally we want a hard copy of a web page, to discuss with the family over dinner or to hand to Grandma. The 1-888-WOW-1DAY About Us page prints with the icons for Facebook and other social media covering part of the first paragraph, and the phone number at the left masked by the CEO’s photo. The same problem occurs with other pages on the site. If it’s too difficult to make the page print properly, at least offer a PDF of facts and contact information.

Products/Services: A
The summary of the company’s business is brief and specific, and it’s reinforced by a bulleted list of the important points: well done. The grammar does need some work: “Instead of enduring 5 days of painting in your home, we do the same job in 1 day!” Few people have dared imply that being in our home is so repugnant.

We appreciate when companies send us to favorable news stories, rather than letting us turn up Google-knows-what. 1-888-WOW-1DAY’s News page offers summaries of articles about the company and links to those articles, plus a press kit and a phone number for media inquiries. The page would probably be visited more often if it were on menus: we reached it accidentally by clicking on the news logos at the upper right of the About Us page.

Accessibility: C
Since the company name is the company phone number, it appears on every page. The Contact Us page is an online form for other inquiries. We’d like the option of choosing “other” for the subject, and as always, we’d like the option of sending a copy of the message to ourselves.

Personality: B
The leaders who appear on the About Us page are dressed in the 1-888-WOW-1DAY uniform and wield painters’ tools: very clever. The bios could use polishing. Brian Scudamore’s, for example, focuses less on his achievements than on media coverage of him; there’s a name-dropping feel to it. Another example: Jim Bodden’s bio mentions that he sold the assets of his company to the Franchisor, which strikes a legalistic tone in an otherwise casual paragraph.

We’d like to see more work on the details (leadership bios, print layout), but these are minor. The site is a model of sorts for franchised companies: it conveys what the company does, gives a sense of who runs it and under what principles, and makes it easy for potential clients or the press to get in touch.

Does your Web site’s “About Us” section accurately convey your organization’s history and capabilities? Every two weeks we evaluate one example, grading it in three areas that are key to potential customers: Personality (Who are you?), Products/Services (What can you do for us?), and Accessibility (How can we reach you?). Contact us if you’d like to have your site evaluated—there’s no charge and no obligation.
Today’s example was chosen at random; has no ties to this company.