It’s not always intentional, if ever it is, but there are things we can do online to tell our clients, prospects and visitors that we don’t care.
I know we’ve gotten to the point where doing business online with people is pretty common, but the rules of engaging or connecting with people still apply. There are things we must do to show everyone that we are approachable and want to do more than just sell our own product.
Think of it kind of like networking. Who wants to talk to the guy that only talks about himself and never lets you get a word in edgewise?
They say the best thing to do in networking is ask good questions and listen actively. I think the same idea applies online. Do you want to show them that you care? Show that you’re paying attention to your visitors. We’ll talk about how you can actively listen later.
First, I’m going to outline a few things that may make your audience feel as if your company doesn’t care about them and how you can fix them.
- Hard to find contact information
This is a big one for me. You have hundreds of pages about your product or service, but the most difficult thing to do is find your phone number or an email to get help.
51% of people think "thorough contact information" is the most important element missing from many company websites. (Source: KoMarketing)
Once on a company's homepage, 64% of visitors want to see the company's contact information. (Source: KoMarketing)
44% of website visitors will leave a company's website if there's no contact information or phone number. (Source: KoMarketing)
I’ve seen it become more difficult to contact a company even after I’ve paid for their product or service. I didn’t have any trouble finding the sales line, why is it so hard to find a help line?
Often times people feel great during your sales process. They even feel good about their purchase until they need help with something other than buying.
There’s no better way to say I only care about you buying my product then to make it challenging to get help after a consumer buys from you. Instead of saying thanks for your purchase it should just have “Gotcha” in big bold print.
Here’s a blog/case study from KISSmetrics going over an A/B test for a site with and without a phone number. It was a small study, but it shows positive results for online conversion as well.
Solution: This is very simple. Add your company phone number in the header or a button that links to the contact page. Include a simple call to action to make it sing. Don’t make the text too small or too big, but make it stand out and easy to see.
Here's an example from Zappos. It's pretty obvious they want you to know you can always ask for help.
Consider providing separate contact info for sales and support. It can go a long way if you have a phone line and email dedicated to helping existing customers.
- Not responsive or mobile friendly
One of the fastest ways to make your audience feel like you don’t care about your customers is by not having a responsive website or mobile friendly design.
61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience.
In today’s world responsive web design is a must. The number of people who use smartphones to search for solutions is incredible.
40% of smartphone and tablet owners search for B2B products on those devices. (Source: KoMarketing)
Between December 2013 and December 2015, smartphone internet consumption grew by 78%. (Source: comScore)
Designing for mobile lets users know that you understand them and have considered them. Designing for mobile says you know that they are busy and have considered the convenience of their smartphone which allows them to look for information now vs waiting until they get home to look on a desktop.
Between December 2013 and December 2015, tablet internet consumption grew by 30%. (Source: comScore)
Solution: Make your site responsive. Even a mobile site would help. This is so important nowadays that Google tells its users which results are mobile friendly on mobile devices.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: It's possible that Google will only display mobile friendly results to mobile devices. If your site is not mobile friendly it may not display in Google search results on mobile devices.
I’ve even seen a tool on my smartphone that forces non responsive sites into a more mobile friendly layout.
- No social presence
Consumers expect companies to be present on an average of 3.4 different social platforms. The social platforms they like and use, not the ones you like and use.
Approximately 46% of online users count on social media when making a purchase decision.
Your fans want a place to connect and get information from you. They want to read reviews and learn about your product before they buy. They often look to social media to see what others are saying about your business, service or product.
You may say a newsletter; right, right! But many consumers don’t want to surrender their email addresses.
25% of consumers who complain about products on Facebook or Twitter expect a response within 1 hour.
Your consumers want you to engage with them on social platforms. Not letting them know where to connect with your business is saying you don’t care to connect.
Solution: Add social links to your site. Try to use the platforms that your consumers are on most. Let them enter your experience wherever they are most comfortable.
Bonus: This is not about adding a social feed to your site with your latest post on Facebook. We don’t want to send users away if they are on your site. This is more about re-engaging users that aren’t ready to buy right now.
- Slow loading site
KISSmetrics states that 47% of consumers expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less and 40% of people will abandon a website that takes longer than 3 second to load.
Not having a page that loads quickly in today’s world is like saying you don’t care that the front door is jammed on your retail store and they should make the extra effort to get in on their own.
In today’s world there are too many ways to ensure that your site loads quickly. And you should want your site to load quickly. A fast loading site is part of providing a better user experience.
You want to be mindful of your visitors time and not waste it with loading. It’s more likely you’ll lose their attention and they’ll go find another solution.
It’s kind of like getting fast food. For me (Chick-fil-A). When I drive up, if I see a long line in the drive-thru, I may take a lap to see if the line is short inside. If not, I’m going across the street, even though I love Chick-fil-A.
Added thought - Chick-fil-A has a code word for clearing the lines inside and outside to keep their locations feeling approachable. I’ve even seen them send extra workers outside to help take orders in the drive-thru. They don’t want busy lines to keep you from coming in.
If getting to you is an obstacle, then I’ll go somewhere else. That’s much easier. In a user's mind, no one blocks the door, or parking lot, if they want your business.
Solution: Test your site for loading speed using google's speed testing tool. Most site grading tools will tell you how to speed things up. Google's is pretty good. Also looking into a CDN solution.
- Logo is too big and does not link to the home page.
This is not as much a not caring as much as you care more about yourself than your consumers.
There are folks who will say our logo needs to be big so they know who we are or so they remember us. “It’s branding”. (That’s actually not effective branding btw).
The truth is, they’re on your site, so it’s likely that they know who you are from how they got there, by your domain name or by reading the name of the company when they arrived. There’s no need to scream it at them.
In design, larger elements are considered to be more important elements. Having a logo that’s too big taking up space for navigation or pushing content down says that the Logo or company is more important than the solution they came to you for.
Consumers are buying a solution to their needs, not your brand. After you’ve solved a need then they will trust your brand more.
Additionally, larger logos tend to push down content or create unnecessary white space that harms the user's experience. It’s like you’re saying your content or solution is not important.
I actually read a study a few years ago that said consumers tend to trust companies with smaller logos more. It’s like they are the quiet, but confident types instead of the loud insecure types.
Solution: Don’t make your logo bigger than any of your value propositions, or titles. Take a look at a few larger brands like; Starbucks, Nike, HubSpot, Google or Apple. Then take a look at your competitors.
Focus on adding value over screaming your name. People remember good experiences and will work harder to find you; even if they forget your name.
They don’t care to look for you again if they have a poor experience.
Example: Apple's home page at scale. If a larger logo helped with converting business; the world's most popular brand would have a larger logo on their website.
Pro Tip: Make sure your logo links to your home page.
After reaching a company's website via a referral site, 36% of visitors will click on the company's logo to reach the homepage. (Source: KoMarketing)
So How Do I “Actively Listen” To Our Visitors?
If you are trying to figure out how to listen to your visitors; it’s not too difficult. Honestly, it’s pretty simple. Track what your visitors are doing on your website and on your social channels.
It starts with using great data tracking tools like Google Analytics and/or HubSpot. Google Analytics can tell you a great deal of information about the people who visit your site and where they come from. HubSpot can tell you what content people tend to engage with or respond to most.
- Pay attention to how people try to do business with you most? Do they call your phone, send an email or reach out on social networks?
- Review your Google Analytics to find out what devices visitors are using most to access your site. Some social channels will also provide data on which devices people use to access your business pages.
- Set up company pages on the most popular social channels and monitor to see which ones people are using most to engage with your company. Are there social pages already set up that you have not claimed? I’ve seen Facebook pages for businesses that have hundreds of followers, but have not been claimed by the company yet.
- Make sure that your site is well coded and install tools to help with caching and page load. Check with your hosting company for any additional solutions to make sure your site loads fast and does not experience any downtime. You may want to consider getting away from shared hosting services.
- Analytics can also tell you what links people click on your site. You can find out if they are clicking on your logo. Tools like Hotjar that record how visitors use your site can also be helpful in creating a better user experience.
- Hotjar is another great tool for actively listening to your site visitors. You can quickly discover what your users are trying to do on your site and build solutions with those insights.
If a high percentage of your users try to click on a graphic that’s just an image, you may want to consider making that image/graphic link to more information that’s related to that image/graphic.
I challenge you to take this list and look at your website and see if you are sending the wrong message to your site visitors. Like I said; if you are, I’m sure it’s not intentional.
Make a note of any issues and be sure to solve them during your next website redesign.
We all want our guests to have a good experience when they visit. Though, sometimes the efforts we make can send the wrong message.
I urge you to work to provide a great experience for your site visitors. Look for any personal preferences that are creating obstacles for them. Work to get them the information they need as quickly as possible.
If you need an outside opinion, we’re happy to help. Set up a free consultation so we can review your site together.