Saur : Filtering contacts

Smooth management takes users to their best point of enquiry.

click to view

The feature

Saur, France-based water utility, channels contact seekers from the universal point of enquiry. Saur provides a Contact button at the top right of its group web pages. On click, a layover panel is launched with the current content greyed out as background. The panel asks users to identify themselves by category – individual (particulier), local/public authority (collectivité) or business (entreprise). A button is provided for each option, above the postal address for group headquarters. Businesses and authorities are taken to minimally tailored versions of a standard online contact form – the 11 dropdown options to identify their area of enquiry are identical but the field for their organisation’s name is labelled in line with the original filter. Individuals are presented with the ‘contact us’ page on the separate customer site (, which launches in a new secondary window. This has its own contact form but also offers a log-in for registered customers, a set of quick links for non-customers, a 24-hour emergency number look-up and a search tool.

The takeaway

Saur’s contact feature will frustrate anyone – individual or group – looking for a telephone number they can call. The system is clearly based on what is not an uncommon model of contact management, though one less frequently encountered on a corporate site. Within its self-imposed constraints the feature is, however, notably efficient at channelling the company’s main groups of customer to designated contact points – a benefit both to the site user and the internal processing of the enquiries generated. Re-direction of individuals to the customer site, with its expanded options for self-direction or on-site enquiry, is an intelligent switch that may cut down the volume of contact and will certainly help to focus it for better handling. The lack of any options for standard corporate audiences such as the media and jobseekers is, though, a glaring omission. They can find tailored information – if they scroll down to a rich footer that includes links for them as well as local/public groups and individuals under a Your space (Votre espace) heading. These could easily and conveniently be added alongside the headquarters information in the initial contact panel, to everyone’s benefit.
First published 06 December, 2012
< Back to Tips