Your website is the front door to your business. You shape the experience your customers have when they land on your website.
Let’s take a walk through a brick and mortar storefront before we navigate through your website.
You walk through the door, and the saleswoman greets you with a friendly smile. She asks if you need any help finding anything and points you towards exclusive, new products. She compliments your earrings; you tell her you got them in New Zealand while traveling. She says she’s been there too and you have a fun conversation about it. Now you feel well-hosted and helped.
As you mill around checking out what’s on display, you decide on a luxe-looking face oil and (after trying on a few things) a top that fits you perfectly. You’ve now transitioned from a shopper to a buyer.
At the checkout counter, the saleswoman asks if you’d like to join their mailing list to receive newsletters about sales, promotions, and exclusive discount codes. You say yes, and you’re now an email subscriber and likely a repeat sales lead.
On the way out the door, you snap a few Insta-worthy photos of the display at the front of the store. You’ve now transitioned from a buyer to a brand evangelist, sharing the brand with your community on social media.
In one visit the store has:
- Built a human connection with you
- Converted you from a browser to a buyer
- Added you to their email list by offering value (discount codes)
- Leveraged their artful product display into free advertising (you post a picture on social)
Imagine that your current website suddenly became a brick and mortar store.
- How are your customers greeted?
- How are your services displayed?
- Can they find the checkout counter?
- Will they want to come back?
This article is all about:
Strategically planning your customer’s experience on your website.
Using your website to encourage the customer to take specific actions.
How Do You Say Hello on Your Website?
What’s the first thing customers see on your site? A photo of a smiling face or inspiring-looking setting? An enticing, tightly-written description of your service or product? A video of you saying hello and giving an intro to your business?
Your hello is super important. Customers need to feel acknowledged but not pressured. They need to know that you’re there to help and have an idea of what to do next, which leads us to:
Where Do You Direct Their Attention on Your Website?
Part of your hello is drawing the customer’s attention to the best thing they can do next. You may direct their attention to a new service offering with a banner image and a Learn More button. You may want to build their trust by leading them to a gallery of images of your work, or before and after photos that show your service’s power.
Does your site have an easy-to-find search bar? A FAQ page? A phone number, email or contact form where they can reach out to you for help? It should.
You can also give useful information by:
- Providing detailed descriptions of your services
- Including credentials & reviews that show your expertise level and trustworthiness
- Publishing blog posts on topics related to your services
- Sharing enticing graphics about workshops, events and special promotions
Can They Find the Checkout Counter?
There’s nothing worse than blowing a lead with glitches in the purchasing/booking/buying process. Your “Book Now” or “Buy Now” or “Schedule Your Appointment” process should be seamless. It should be a joy.
Here are a few tips:
- Tell them what to expect. When will they hear from you? How are they be billed? When does scheduling happen? What happens next?
- Customize those preset responses. Your online store/booking platform should have email templates to set up automatic response emails when a customer books your service. Customize it with your logo, your colors, and your language. It’s a way of showing your professionalism and that you care about the customer experience.
- No broken links! Can you imagine being ready to buy and landing on an “error message” page? Don’t let your site go live without testing this process and seeing how it feels to be the customer buying your service or product.
Is Giving You Their Email Address a No-brainer?
I can’t tell you how many sites ask for an email address and give nothing in return. No one wants another email junking up their inboxes.
What they do want? Things like a helpful free guide, a special promotion on a first-time booking, or exclusive discount codes.
Here’s the Recap:
- You shape the experience your customers have when they land on your website. So if you haven’t already, consider how you greet them, direct their attention, answer their questions, process a sale/booking, and collect their email addresses.
- Your website is the front door to your business. Each new visitor landing on your page is like a new customer walking in. Now your mission is to make that visitor’s experience an amazing one.