Designing a website for your company is about more than just making it look good; it’s about creating a solid, professional, guided experience for your customer. Whether customers arrive at your web page through your social media feeds, through a friend’s recommendation, or through a search engine page, they need to quickly understand what they’re looking at. It should be immediately obvious to know where they need to navigate to find the information relevant to them.
One amateur mistake companies make when designing their webpages is to never exactly say what they do. They talk about how they’re the best at it, how it’ll change the customer’s experience, you need to understand what the customer is looking for, then consider how to give it to them.
Customers usually end up at a website because they need information about a product or a service. This is true whether they’re looking for the most complex SaaS solution available or a landscaper in their town.
Customers, more than ever before, they actually call a company and try to make a purchase. Making information easily accessible to them is going to increase the number of customers who actually make a purchase.
At your website, your customers want to get a sense of who you are as a business. Are you formal and buttoned up, or are you a little more casual and lax? Customers may not have a particular (conscious) preference about what kind of business they want to deal with, but your website will help them understand who you are. That will influence what they think about your company.
One example could be wedding photography. If someone is having a very formal wedding, they are not going to be as drawn to photographers who showcase their candid and journalistic photos; if someone is hoping to show off how fun and wild their wedding was, a solid portfolio of carefully posed shots are less likely to be attractive.
Ultimately, the most important facet of that will improve customer experience is simply making it easy for them to find what they need. Your website design can be absolutely gorgeous and still be utterly useless for your customer.
Accessibility and availability need to trump a slick design each and every time. If customers can’t find what they need on your site, they’re going to go looking at your competition. If your competition’s website is easier to navigate than yours – even if it’s not as pretty or as well designed – then you may very well lose that business.
Once a customer is on your website, they may want to know more about your company than they can find there. Right now, customers are intensely focused on learning more about the faces behind a company. They want to know that there are people they like who support values they agree with behind the dollars they’re spending.
What this means for many customers, especially younger demographics, is that they’ll go looking for your . It’s all well and good to say that your company supports various causes, but if your CEO regularly tweets an antithetical position, your customers will notice – and react accordingly.
Sometimes companies make it harder to contact customer support, as if that will somehow stop customers from needing help. This practice is actively ridiculous. The harder customers need to look to find who they can talk to, the angrier they will be when they get there.
Many companies have which pops up at the corner of the screen shortly after the customer arrives at the page, asking if they can help with anything. This is often a chat bot, and if well designed, this can be a significant boon to the business. But if this isn’t a bot, or it’s a poorly designed one, and there isn’t a response once a customer does ask a question – this is frustrating, and will negatively impact the customer’s experience.
Customers should be given several different methods for contacting customer support. Phone calls and email are the bare minimum that should be available, and more and more customers prefer a live chat option.
Even if you need to rely on free website templates as you get started with your business, you can still create a simple, easy to navigate page that interests your customers and improves their experience. Focusing on improving this simple piece can increase your sales and improve your overall business strategy.