What does it mean to ‘build customer experience’ on a website? Too many companies don't know -- and it's costing them a lot in terms of market share, customer loyalty and return business, as well as general visibility. Today's customer performs the majority of their research online. If their website experience on your site is not intuitive and deliver value to them, they will go to the next of many links they found in their Google search, or worse, they will visit your competitor.
The basic idea is that with an inbound marketing approach that is based on value, companies are using their passive assets, websites and other digital resources, to actively reach out to potential customers. Every company is trying to attract people to its website -- that's why inbound marketing and an active website experience are so important.
One of the first steps toward a real inbound marketing strategy is to show real value on a company website. This involves the creation of curated, quality content that will genuinely interest readers and engage people who are likely to become customers in the future.
For a web design business, this high value material would be content that talks about revolutionary “Web 3.0 designs.” For an HVAC business, this might be content showing the actual challenges that homeowners face in maintaining their properties. No matter what industry it is, there is a target idea or set of ideas that will help the company to really reach people who are landing on its website. Businesses can further target visitors by creating content that focuses on an interest or a problem that their customers may be seeking information about.
When that initial value is in place, a company with a good inbound marketing strategy evaluates where people are going on the website, which indicates their interests. Then the company builds on those interests. However, it is not sufficient to study page visit analytics. Businesses should analyze the behavior of visitors who convert into an active lead and study their behavior because they want to encourage more from other like minded prospects. Aggregated analytics don't enable this type of analysis.
If marketers see enormous page views and conversions for a set of pages about maintenance or product support, they'll write better articles and white papers about maintenance and product support. They’ll craft the content toward what visitors want and what they need. As a result, they’ll often see big improvements in customer engagement. Lots of companies understand the value of this strategy, and numbers bear out the idea that better inbound marketing works – for example, a report in Impact on the “ROI of inbound marketing” shows that “nurtured leads” which are developed in a more active marketing context make purchases 47% greater than non-nurtured leads.
Building on this basic inbound marketing strategy, it's possible to go much further and make a website more sophisticated in many different kinds of ways. For example, taking a page from the playbook of e-mail marketing, there is the idea of ‘customer segmentation’ -- reaching customers at all stages of engagement. The company might have one set of resources for first-time visitors or casual shoppers.
Then there is another entirely different set of resources for those who have made several points of contact and are more interested in knowing about products and services. Closer to the end of the deal, the company will add specific web forms and content that help these already interested people ‘convert’ into customers. Many website platforms enable a business to change the content on the fly based on data they gain from each visitor - called "smart content". Now, that may seem a bit creepy but what better way to target a buyer than customizing the content they see based on analysis of their likes, wants and needs.
Then, last but not least, the site maintains yet another set of resources rewarding loyal customers for their actions, and helping them to create long-term relationships with the company. These loyalty resources are often hidden from the other categories of customers as a ‘VIP’ or ‘elite’ part of the customer experience.
Along the way, the best companies will combine their content strategies with convenient, comfortable interfaces that make it easier for target audiences to follow that company’s path. Successful inbound marketing integrates elements of Web design, e-mail, social media and more to effect a multi channel strategy that always keeps customer convenience and comfort in mind.
What does this look like? It depends. A premier customer experience can take many forms. First, many of these digital resources are made for single click access or other more straightforward user control -- so that visitors don't have to keep wandering around the site trying to find what they need. In other forums like social media, a better customer experience often has a decidedly visual element -- companies are looking to engage with pictures and videos, and really show people what they have to offer, without requiring the target audience to take active steps to find the company and research what it brings to the table.
If you want to build a truly optimized customer experience you need to do it from the ground up by mapping out the content for each page and where in the buyer's journey for information each element resides. Be clear to communicate the best information at the right time - while always delivering value with clarity.
Bristol Strategy can help any business to achieve these basic principles and more. We excel at working with our client companies to integrate the philosophies that make a great customer experiences possible. Our inbound marketing consulting takes a mediocre website to a whole new level, and makes it a revenue generator for a business that would otherwise struggle to reach its customers. Ask about what Bristol Strategy’s knowledge of inbound marketing can do for your business.
Bristol Strategy is a full funnel inbound marketing agency and inbound sales agency offering the full complement of Inbound Marketing services that enable our clients to surpass their business objectives by transforming the way they engage with their buyer on-line. Reach out to us to learn more about how our experience and capabilities can help your business grow.Image Copyright: mangsaab / 123RF Stock Photo