Previously in this series on website development, we’ve
talked about selecting one message or theme to be
communicated to your customer as a means of defining your website, and considering the customer’s perspective in terms of how the website is developed and presented. Now we’ll discuss how your product or service can be explained to the customer simply and concisely.
Let’s ask this question. When you’re surfing the ‘net, how
long do you want it to take at any particular website for you to figure out if the website has what you’re searching for? Not long. When potential customers are surfing the Internet, you have a matter of seconds to get their attention and convince them that your website has something that’s worth more than a cursory glance.
Some webmasters attempt to accomplish this objective by using a lot of “bells and whistles”, flashy things or goodness forbid, sounds and music. Things like electronic greeting cards, screen-savers or free email services are just a few of the tools used to try and get potential customers to stay at a particular website for longer periods of time. It’s affectionately called making your website “sticky”.
And there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of those methods, unless the purpose of your website is to sell vacuum widgets to your customers. If that’s the case, your customer will be little interested in anything other than the smooth, efficient and economical operation of their vacuum equipment, and the products or services that will help them to accomplish that. But, back to our subject.
Your objective then, is to get your customer’s attention and communicate to him simply and quickly what your product or service is and how its purchase will benefit him. This is best accomplished by utilizing the basic question model employed by journalists in developing a news story: Who, what, when, where, and why? For your purposes, you’ll only need to answer three of these: Who, what, why?
“Who” explains who you are or who your company is. This gives you an opportunity to demonstrate either yours or your company’s experience or expertise in the area of the
customer’s interest or concern. “What” explains your product or service, and provides you with an opportunity to highlight for the customer its features. “Why” explains the benefits of using your product or service, and also offers an opportunity for you to distinguish yourself and your product from the competition.
By answering the above questions, you can completely but briefly give your customer enough information to determine whether or not they’re interested in what you’re offering.
Another thing that’s important to remember when introducing your product or service, is to communicate with the customer as if you’re sitting down and having a nice conversation. No one wants to feel as if they’re reading a novel or trying to unravel Shakespeare. In fact, it shouldn’t feel to them as if they’re reading at all. It should feel as if they’re involved in conversation.
Keep things simple, concise and uncomplicated. If you choose to use humor or wit, that’s great because it can keep the interaction interesting and engaging for your customer. Just make sure that you have the talent to be humorous or witty. Otherwise, you may appear disingenuous and your customers may be turned off.
Next: How can the customer be guided to buy/buy now?
See you next time!
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