Think about the question above for a minute or two. When you first interact with a customer in person, what is the first thing they hear? Is there a specific script or instructions for your staff? Do you rely only on the friendliness of the staff to welcome customers or have you also set up your store in a manner that is inviting?
Most people set up stores to be inviting. To welcome the customer in and set them at ease. To reassure them that they are in good hands. These greetings or interactions help paint the picture of how truly unique your business is when compared to others.
Now, let’s think about the first thing customers hear or see on your website. Did you put as much thought into that greeting? Have you thought about your website as a way to greet and build trust with your customers?
What about the imagery on your website? Does it give the same feeling or trigger the same emotions as some might have walking into your store? The contrast between a website’s greeting and a greeting at a storefront can be startling. And yet, the website for your business is most likely the number one way customers interact with your brand.
Let’s take it one step further. In your physical locations a considerable amount of time is spent getting everything just right. From the first things a customer sees, to the way your products are organized. The big difference here is that in your store front, you have staff there to help guide customers or even way-finding signs that direct people to the right location. This same amount of thought should be applied to your online presence. Are your products grouped properly? Does the organization make sense to someone who has little or no knowledge of your products?
You can no longer think of your website as just another billboard, brochure, or piece of marketing collateral. Your website is your biggest location. It has the most information and will see the most interaction of any touch point. With that in mind, what is the greeting customers are receiving on your website? Are you yelling at them about all of your product offerings? Has your sales team forced you to put every discount or product offering right on the home page?
When deciding what the focus of your home page and even your website will be, think back to the greeting your staff gives people at your store front or even on the phone. Most likely they do not open the conversation by running through every product that is on sale this week.
Traffic on a website is diverse. Not everyone is coming to the website because they are ready to buy your product or service. Some are coming just to figure out what options are available or to see what your business is about. Your website has to be a resource for all different types of visitors. When a customer comes into your business or calls about a product, most likely your staff takes the time to figure out what they are looking for and tries to educate them on what is available that could suit their needs. A website is no different, you have to position yourself as that reliable resource. Once a customer views you as a resource, it is much easier for them to decide to do business with you and make that financial commitment.
Look at your site. How are you greeting the visitors who show up at your virtual storefront? If it doesn’t match how you greet visitors in person or on the phone, it is time to rethink your approach.