A few short years ago websites were basically just glorified brochures. Instead of physically turning pages we navigate through information with the click of a mouse. We live in a time where websites have to do more than merely save paper.
When I’m in a client meeting I always ask “what part of your process could be done online?” Some people are surprised by this because this question refers to their current clients. Most people think their website is just meant to gain NEW clients. From our phones to our TVs, we are surrounded by technology, all designed to make life easier. Why not apply that concept to your website?
When we review a potential clients current site we look at the process of becoming their client. In most cases you can divide it up into steps. We evaluate that list and simply ask, “could this step be done online?” If the answer is yes, you have the opportunity to save yourself and the client time.
Here is a great example. I have a friend that owns a barber shop. Everything I buy for my hair is purchased through his shop; shampoo, conditioner, and styling product. Notice how I said shop and not website. The shop has a great website, if you’re not already a customer. The website does a great job of giving you the right information to justify calling them to make an appointment. But, what about me? The site currently doesn’t have an online store or online appointment management. So, if I run out of product I have to run down to his shop. The same is true if something comes up and I need to reschedule my hair appointment. I can’t simply go online and reschedule, I have to call them. This may not seem like a huge deal to you, but my time is the most valuable thing I have. This company’s website used to cost me some of that time. I now buy all of my hair products from another company that will sell it to me online.
By now we all know a company’s website can be their best (or worst) salesmen. Yet, so many companies don’t see that it can also play a role in customer service. Whether it’s a good or bad thing, we live in a world that prefers texting over calling. The same is true online. People would much rather deal with your website than YOU. Sorry, you’re not that cool anymore.
So, how could your website save people time?