Many solutions, how do I pick the winner?

I am ready to purchase some software of which there is a wide range of possible solutions. I started by searching, using a range of keyword combinations, which produced a good list of possible suppliers. Naturally I started at the paid links at the top, and worked my way down the list, reviewing the product features. This is where things become interesting.

What does a customer want?

Many sites do not place themselves in the customers position, and provide the information they wanted. Does the site have an FAQ section that is populated with real questions and answers? Is there a simple and effective contact form. If there is a Blog, when was it last updated? Company Forums are now very popular, but if nobody answers an urgent question posted a month ago, they don’t get my business, and maybe not yours either. If there is a Demo site, does it show all the features you are looking for, or only in the ProPro version, which costs X amount extra. Support in all it’s variations is vital if the product or service is to sell.

It’s all about creditability and trust

You have about 10 seconds to interest and capture a visitors attention, so the product features should be easy to understand, don’t hide the pricing away out of sight, seems like you are embarrassed, and nobody likes hunting for the price. Reply quickly to a product question, you would if they phoned, why not if they use a form or email? I’m still waiting a response from a company that looked good and had what I wanted, no support, no sale.