Improve the Face of your Business – Your Website

by | Mar 24, 2015 | Customer Service

“To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart”. -Thomas Watson, Sr.

What is the face of your business – your employees first or something else? The face of your business is primarily your company’s website. A great website is one that is attractive, easily navigated and provides consistently updated information for your customers and a larger audience. An increasing number of people are moving towards doing business online – making purchases, deals and decisions based on what they see of the company in the virtual world. Irrespective of the size of your business, maintaining a great face of your business is becoming absolutely crucial. A report indicates that businesses maintaining a great ‘online face’ and presence have seen over 23% in growth.

What makes for a great website – the face of your business? While each company would like to portray their company in line with the vision and culture and the products they offer, what must be standard is the clarity, easy navigation and an artistically done website. An efficient and effective website is the first door of opportunity that generates interest that can potentially convert to enquiries and resultant business. A badly done website has quite the opposite effect, as people form negative opinions about the company. Such lost opportunities prove to be blessings for competitors that may have a better website than your company.

However, to create a professional, good looking and efficient website is only half the work. Constant monitoring, tweaking and updating of the face of business are equally crucial and will determine how well your website will work for you in the long term. It is also equally imperative to monitor what information on your website is being accessed the most, how much time ‘visitors’ are spending on each section and what they seem to prefer or things they completely ignore. This data in invaluable and helps companies assess their websites to make them better from a customer engagement point of view.

What do you keep in mind when trying to improve the face of your business? We have some ideas here that serve as general guidelines for this crucial part of your business.

  • The website of your company is the gateway to business and hence must be clear and compelling and should actually be a value-added proposal for each visitor. They should be able to answer questions like what’s in it for them, what value they can derive from buying your products, what more can they expect and such questions. Your company’s USP must be kept in mind while building your website and so only focusing on colour and fancy designs and graphics, will not achieve the website’s full potential.
  • Ensure that your website is user-friendly since a tough to navigate website will be visited less, thereby dropping the amount of business you get. Difficult to access websites create frustration for the users and they most often land up at your competitor’s website and if they are able to buy from there, guess what – they will recommend that site and company to their friends and associates. So not only are you losing out on the one customer that visited your website, it is a whole stream of potential customers that walk away even before trying you out. The face of your business is already not good enough for them! Study reveals that companies lose at least 5% potential business due to a partly inaccessible website. As the ‘flow of traffic’ reduces to your website, popular search engines too stop picking up your company’s website even when there are relevant search words used. This could be potentially disastrous for your business – slowly but surely.
  • If the website is the face of your business, it should ideally be put together keeping ease of use for the persons visiting. The formats and graphics should be easy to use and be readily understood else the content and other matter on there would be of little value.

A combination of clarity, accessibility, uniformity and usability is what contributes to making a website work for a company and actually serves as the clear and unambiguous face of your business. Make your website work for you – converting visits to queries and queries to sales.

When people visit a website looking for a product they should be able to gather complete information about the product. This is true even if the product is out of stock. In case your company is not stocked on a particular product, ensure that complete information is provided – the product is out of stock and by when stocks are expected. It is very frustrating and annoying for a user to choose the product and reach the end of the check-out process only to be told at this stage that the product is out of stock. Also all charges for in-stock items must be completely clear and precise. If there is a shipping cost, ensure that this is mentioned along with the product price and specifications.

The other reason that people don’t convert their queries to a sale is when they feel that too much information is being sought. You really don’t need to know someone’s date of birth and year if they are making a purchase and paying for it. This information and other such is deemed as private and not everyone is willing to divulge it unless absolutely mandatory. Websites that ‘force’ visitors to create an account before ‘proceeding further’ often lose out on business – this data is not compulsory for buying, so don’t make it appear so from your website.

Ensure that your website is a safe website since there are risks associated with online shopping and customers are cautious about with what they are buying, from whom, and how they pay for their purchases. It is of prime importance that your site is seen as a reputable shopping site by being secure. It should have Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology that allows encryption of personal and credit card information during the online transaction. Give your online customers a reason to trust the face of your business.  It seems like an obvious thing, but a number of companies disallow other methods of payment apart from credit card payments. Not everyone visiting your site has a credit card or is willing to use it – consider having more than one payment option. You will find a lot more people visiting and buying from your site when you allow this flexibility.

Of course, if your website is making it easier for people to buy, it should be easy for them to return the product if they are unhappy with it or it is not what they expected it to be. Customers are happier to buy when they know that it would be easy to return something if required. Another thing that customers are extremely impatient with – is the arrival of their product. Ensure that they can track their shipment online and make it easy for them to know exactly when they can receive their order. In cases of cash on delivery, knowing the arrival time of the shipment will make it possible for the receiver to keep the amount ready.

Everything put together, will ensure that your company and website is memorable and helps users to make swift and clear decisions and also move towards buying and returning to buy. Happy online users are extremely likely to recommend ‘this great new place to shop’ to their friends and associates. Being memorable is also about displaying more – things that customers cannot get from anywhere but from your website. Creating a great face of your business is about giving your customers reason to talk about your company and offerings and continue to return to you even though there are other players in the market.

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