Optimising online - Meeting customer search goals
As the country's largest internet infrastructure company, Chorus is well placed to help identify what good business broadband looks like. But we want to go beyond that, to help Kiwi SMEs with their own digital transformations so they can make the most of the world class broadband we now have in New Zealand.
In the previous blog we gave an overview of the different steps customers typically take when trying to source a product or services online. We then started going through specific goals customers are trying to meet as part of their search, starting with the goal of finding a business that is local or near to them.
In this blog, we dive into the other customer goals when it comes to online search and how to optimise your web presence so you can deliver the information they need.
Customer Goal #2: Research product information
It’s not all about searching locally. Many consumers use the internet to research a product before they buy—in fact, more than half of New Zealanders (51%) say they do this according to LOGIC1. This means that when your customers find themselves on your website, they need to be able to locate the information they’re looking for quickly and easily.
A checklist for your website:
- Make sure it’s mobile
With over half of consumers now browsing from their mobiles, optimizing your site for mobile is not a luxury, it’s essential!
- Make sure it’s up-to-date
Don’t you just love it when you hit upon a special, only to find it expired two days ago? No? Nor do your customers! Make sure you review your website regularly to ensure the content is still valid.
- Answer customer questions before they ask
Think back to the needs of your target audience and make sure you meet them—for example, are they looking for colour options? Size guides? Shipping information? Product availability?
- Get rid of the fluff
Don’t write 100 words when 10 will do, and don’t make your customers read about what you had for breakfast before they can get to the stuff they want—they won’t. Keep your text short and to the point, and include regular headings so customers can easily scan and find what they’re looking for.
- Make sure they can easily contact you
Nothing says ‘we don’t care about you’ more than not providing an easy means to get in touch. Put the info where your customers will expect it—either the footer of every page, or on a separate ‘contact us’ page with a link in the top menu bar.
- Provide a clear idea of cost
Cost is often the big question that customers are looking to answer. If you provide a service that works on a quote or individual basis, make sure to explain how you calculate your costs, or consider including a quote calculator, like Convert Calculator or Quote Calculator.
- Add engaging content
Build your customers’ connection to your company and your product by adding content that is interesting and engaging. Include high-quality images wherever possible and even video if you can.
Customer Goal #3: Finding a product review
Customers often complete their online experience by reading reviews. Not only do 97 percent of consumers read them, but they trust them as much as recommendations from friends and family.
Take control of this process by actively collecting customer feedback and posting it on your website or social media—or even encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google Business page.
Obviously, you can’t always control the quality of your customers’ reviews but don’t despair, most consumers who read them, will also read your reply. Handled with diplomacy, this offers you an excellent opportunity to showcase your exemplary customer service skills!
The products and services you sell, and how and where you sell them, will affect the journey your customers make to find you. By identifying the steps that matter the most, you can focus your efforts on honing the customer experience and ensure you don’t lose out to competition.
Coming up in the fourth blog in this series, we discuss the basics of targeting different customer groups with specific content and online advertising.