The dinner party guest
How do you start a conversation with a total stranger at a dinner party? Do you start by only talking about how amazing you are, or do you start by finding common ground? If it's only talking about yourself, then chances are your fellow dinner guest is looking for a polite way to exit the conversation and move seats. Online guests are less polite. If an organic search or click does not lead them to the information they seek on your website in seconds, they're gone and will probably never coming back. Your website needs to work for any stranger you're meeting for the first time.
Stages of commitment
If you break it down, those who visit your website will range from 'just looking', to 'i'm ready to commit'. Your goal should be to understand each level of commitment and provide information that helps your website visitors on their journey.
Understanding the question - Very Low commitment
People use the web to help them understand the nature of a problem. Whether it's what clothes best fit their need or which scanning electron microscope best fits their lab's needs, every journey starts with the first step of researching the problem. Before you start redesigning your website, make a list of things potential customers may ask themselves on their journey to understand which questions to ask. If you provide information on your website with this process, you become part of the journey towards a purchase.
Seeking answers - Low commitment
People look to the web to answer questions more than any other medium. It's because the web has more than 4 billion pages of content. YouTube alone has 1.9 billion users, with many of those users seeking answers to questions. Providing information on your website that answers important questions for consumers is invaluable. With this type of content, you should avoid using as a sales tool. Focus only on empowering the viewer with accurate, up to date and easy to understand information. Making this investment now will yield real results later.
Making the right choice - medium commitment
Once consumers know the questions, they then start looking for answers. This is an opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of your product or service. It's also an opportunity to prove your offer is different (and hopefully) better than your competitors. This is the type of content you create for your website where you start to sell, but you need to be careful in how you do this. Unlike having a salesperson in the room, the viewer will desert a page in seconds that doesn't 'speak' to them.
Making a sale - high commitment
Your new customer has reached the end of their journey, and they have selected your product or service. Congratulations…almost. You may have won the pitch, but you're still yet to close the sale. This is where having the right tools to deliver on a new customers expectation is critical. You may provide an online sales portal. It may be as simple as requesting an online demo or sending out a sales team member. You may want to send them to a physical store or get them to complete an enquiry form. Whatever the best way is to close the sale, your website is an essential part of the process, but it's important this sales process meets the expectations of your target audience. Some are happy to wait a few days to complete their sales process. Others want to help 24/7. The most important thing is that your website aligns and manages customer experience expectation.
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