Monday, April 8, 2013

Toll Brothers: “About Us” Evaluation by Corporate

Toll Brothers, founded in 1967, builds single-family and attached residences. Since 1986 it has been traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and in 2012 had revenue of $1.8 billion. The company headquarters is Horsham, Pennsylvania. The main About Us page is here.


Products/Services: C
In the first paragraph on their main About Us page, Toll Brothers boasts (with justifiable pride) that as of 2012, it has won the prestigious Builder of the Year Award from Professional Builder magazine not once but twice. Unfortunately the font and size of this paragraph don’t match the text below, and the content doesn't flow from one section to the other. As a result, the page looks slapdash -- a dangerous impression to give when one’s business is constructing high-end homes.

Our Commandment 6 of About Us pages is “Honor thy graphics.” Toll Brothers has a fabulous source of images; photos of their homes ought to be featured prominently to help break up the dense text on this page. Another great touch would be encouraging us within the text to visit the pages on the site that let customers design their own dream homes. And of course there should be a reference to the lengthy page of customer testimonials – a great way to inspire confidence if your customers will be investing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Personality: E
We were stumped by the photo on several of the About Us pages that show two unidentified men. Are they the Brothers Toll? Why not say so? To find Robert I. Toll’s bio, we had to drill down to Investor Relations (available only via a link in the footer) and then Executive Bios, the nineteenth item on a list of 21 options!

Having finally found that page, we were dismayed to find that Mr. Toll’s bio jumps from his college years straight to his grandchildren and philanthropic activities. There’s absolutely no indication of why, when, and with whom he founded the company. Because we’re corporate historians, this is an oversight we find difficult to forgive or forget.

Accessibility: D
As far as customer service goes, the Customer Service page is a dead end: it offers no contact information. Worse yet, it’s a wasted opportunity. Unless visitors read through three densely packed paragraphs, they’ll never learn that Toll Brothers gets a satisfaction rating of 95% from its customers. How many companies can equal that? Why isn't that statistic at the top of the page, with a link to the page of customer testimonials?

The Contact page is an online form with 7 options, any one of which takes you to a page with a lot of blanks to be filled in. It’s functional, but some pictures of Toll Brothers homes would keep potential clients enthused while they slog through the form.

If you have great visuals, put them on your About Us pages as well as the rest of your site. If you have a substantial corporate history, brag about it!

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?). Today’s example was chosen at random; has no ties to this company. To talk about your About Us page, contact us!