E-commerce: 10 Tips for a More Customer-centric Web Site
The most successful Web sites are those that serve the interests of customers rather than organizations. Practically all Web sites, whether they are intranets or public Web sites, start off with an organization-centric worldview. Following are 10 tips to make your Web site more customer-centric.
1. You are not your customer. Never fall into the fatal trap of thinking that all you have to do to understand your customers is look into your heart. Constantly research, test and change things that aren’t working.
2. Your language is not your customers’ language. Just 4,000 people per month search for “low fares” (industry language) online, while 2 million search every month for “cheap flights” (customer language). Seek out your customers’ language and figure out how you’re not using it.
3. Don’t talk about features because customers first and foremost care about benefits. Tell them why your products will make their lives better, not how many features your products have.
4. Never start a sentence or a heading on your site with the name of your organization. Customers know who you are; they’re at your Web site, after all.
5. Your Web site isn’t a murder mystery. They shouldn’t need to search high and low for what they want. Lead with the need, and make it easy to find.
6. Go easy on the flash, bells and whistles. Functional, simple designs tend to do better on the Web. Just look at Google.
7. Make sure your homepage communicates with absolute clarity exactly what you do, what you offer and what makes you special.
8. Don’t waffle. Avoid all filler content that distracts from why your customers come to see you. Customers are highly impatient. They just want the killer stuff.
9. Use the Web to listen to and get into more conversations with your customers. That’s what blogging is all about.