One of the most frustrating elements of customer service online is a service provider with a terrible website.
Nothing says you don’t care about your customers or their customer experience more than by not investing in the right online experience or letting your Website commit the unpardonable sins of bad Web experience.
How important is a beautiful, functional website? Statistics could assign a dollar value to a website and the resulting returns from direct customer interaction online, but on an even more basic level, your Website is a key cog in the overall customer experience journey process.
Think of the last time you were in a store and couldn’t find what you were looking for. It’s likely that you ended up disappointed and probably turned around and walked out, ready to take your business to the next service provider that could actually deliver what you were looking for. That’s exactly the same experience your customers will have if your site isn’t clean, easy to navigate, and focused on connecting customers with the results they want.
Website Experience Mistakes That Kill Customer Service
So what barriers could you inadvertently be creating for your customers by neglecting your Website experience? These common Web mistakes often keep customers from getting “in the door” and converting to paying, loyalty shoppers.
1. Bad Website Design
Poorly designed websites aren’t just bad for functionality, they can ruin your customers’ trust in your brand. A survey found that 42 percent of people polled don’t trust businesses with poorly designed websites, because they look cheap and unreliable.
A good design finds that balance between beauty and function, and it’s worth the money to find a good designer to do the job for you.
2. Missing Basic Customer Needs
The best web design in the world means nothing if your site doesn’t have the content that matters. The comedy website The Oatmeal pokes fun at the common mistakes of restaurant websites that make it impossible to spot the most basic information everyone wants to know – menu, specials and happy hour info, address, online reservations, and hours of operation. Know the basics of your industry and don’t let a flashy design get in the way of the must-know information.
3. Poor Hosting Provider
Even a perfect website means nothing if it won’t load. Choosing a reliable host is too often overlooked and can cost businesses a lot of money from would-be customers who turned to your competitor simply because they have a site that would actually load.
If you don’t know what kind of hosting you need, there are directory services that detail features, benefits, and prices and tell you exactly what you need to know.
4. Navigational Experience Dead Ends
The must-know information on your website should be easy to find. A section like frequently asked questions or local job postings shouldn’t require more than 60 seconds of searching through the home page. When in doubt, include a site map at the bottom of your home page to make every sub-page visible in one list.
5. Hiding Customer Service Contacts
How do you make an unhappy customer even angrier? Deny them the easiest format to seek out good customer service. A disgruntled customer won’t have the same patience navigating your website as the average viewer, and seconds matter when a customer’s continued service is on the line.
The easiest way to solve your customers’ problems here and now is a live chat window. They’re the small pop-ups in the corner of the screen, typically on e-commerce sites, with a live representative ready and willing to help. There are dozens of companies who can install chat software on your site and the value of a representative finding your unhappy customer before they find you could save a lot of money.
6. Getting the Right URL
It sounds so simple but it really does mean everything. A web address that matches the name of your business is important. You want to be the guy with tonysbarandgrill.com, not tonysbarandgrillatthecorner.com. As a last resort, unavailable URLs are for sale via auction if you’re willing to pay the price… it’s worth it.