It goes without saying, but if your prospects/customers don’t have a positive interaction with your company, they won’t be interacting with you for long! And, that’s true even if you have outstanding product and service offerings. In today’s competitive business climate, there are likely many companies that do what you do. If a person isn’t happy with you, they can easily move on to the next option. Consequently, providing an excellent user experience (UX) on your website, mobile app, or any other audience/company interface is critical to your success in content marketing.
Could I get a showing of hands, please? How many of you LOVE redesigning your website? Anyone?... There are reasons why so many of us hate even the idea of redesigning our website. Traditional website redesigns take an enormous amount of time, energy, and money, they are usually implemented late, involve budget overruns, and most often produce lack-luster results over the long haul. If that's the case with your most recent website redesign efforts, read on... because we believe there is a better way.
The best salesperson your company has doesn’t even work for your company. That’s because your average human is a little cynical when it comes to salespeople, and is significantly more open to input from other consumers. While we’ve blogged in the past about the challenges associated with customer testimonials (most involving questions of authenticity), freely given, honestly reported comments can still be very powerful.
Laura is shopping online for a new mountain bike. She arrives at a company’s website and is immediately wowed by what she sees. The page design, the crystal clear photos of beautiful bikes, the clever copy. She’s hooked. And she spends almost 30 minutes browsing the site. Brad’s looking for a bike, too. He goes to the website of a different company and is immediately irritated. The homepage is ugly, it takes 15 seconds to load, and the product descriptions are confusing. He’s disappointed. And he spends exactly 22 seconds browsing the site. Company A just sold a $900 mountain bike. Company B just lost another potential customer.
From the time I was old enough to look out a car window, my dad was playfully saying "Check out that blonde, son!" which of course "delighted" my mom to no end. In fact, that might have been my first introduction to the concept of shopping. It took me a "few" more years to realize that it wasn't I that was in control of the situation, i.e. it ultimately became clear that it was I that needed to have something to offer. But by then I had been indoctrinated to the theories related to blonde, brunette, and redhead personas. (Okay, I may not have been familiar with the term personas at that time, but stick with me.)
An inbound customer experience is the quality of interaction a customer or prospective customer has with your brand online. It includes the overall impression and the degree to which your branding and messaging engages your visitor and the value he/she received from the experience. All of this is significantly impacted by the degree to which the buyer persona is understood and catered to, the overall usability of the website, the quality and relevance of the content, and how well the website and landing pages have been optimized. The quality of interaction your customer experiences is affected by how well technology has been utilized to captivate interest, solve problems, make life easier, and differentiate you from the competition. But most importantly, it's about CUSTOMERS.
It is almost frightening how little time, attention, and budget are given to website content planning, strategy, and production. While design is certainly important, it is NOT the most important part of the UX. Content, on the other hand, IS!