Monday, October 8, 2012

“About Us” Evaluation: Chicago Music Exchange Gets an A

Chicago Music Exchange sells, repairs, and restores guitars. Located on Chicago’s North Side, it caters to everyone from recreational players to Adele, and has current revenue of $8 million. We first heard of CME through an article in Entrepreneur in August 2012. Its About Us page is here.

The title of CME’s About Us page sets the perfect tone: “We’re Here to Rock Your World.” Throughout the About Us pages and the rest of the site, the tone is consistently casual, but the content is never silly or off-point.

We were puzzled at first by the menu options on the left menu. Who has that many About Us pages? Then it occurred to us that About Us pages are often segregated in their own little ghetto, with few links in or out. We like CME’s approach, in which the About Us pages are thoroughly integrated into the site.

Products/Services: A+
This site is all about the guitars: you can’t click on a single page without seeing one or more images of them. The unobtrusive testimonials (Celebrity Guests, Our Fans) give the impression that CME staff is willing to help you whether you’re playing in your basement on weekends or doing shows at Madison Square Garden.

Personality: A
On the Meet the Team page (“Think of us as your roadies!”), almost every staff member is shown with a guitar, and after a very brief bio (in same light, casual tone as the rest of the site), every staff member states his favorite guitar and his favorite concert. Very clever: it’s great product placement, and implies that any guitar you’re interested in, these guys will be familiar with.

Accessibility: A
The Contact Us page is well done: it offers business hours, a map, phone, address, email, Twitter, and an assortment of social media links, all tidily organized to fit on a single screen.

We’d like to see a link on this page to the Buy-Sell-Trade page. Although we often have pointed suggestions about online email forms, this one gathers information from potential sellers that is crucial for CME. Since the sale of vintage guitars is an important aspect of CME’s business, it makes sense to make this form accessible via the Contact Us page.

Chicago Music Exchange’s About Us pages are friendly, informative, and nicely laid out. Well done! Rock on!

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.