Your website should be a working part of your business. In fact, some business owners view their website as an integral part of their sales team! If your customers don’t view your business website as a way to get information, communicate their needs, or get customer support, you might want to rethink your website design.
It’s tempting for businesses to think about a website as an electronic billboard or advertising space. That’s certainly one way in which your business website can be used, but most visitors expect a higher level of functionality. They’re interested in what you have to show them, but they also want to know how they can interact with you!
If you want your website to work harder for your business, it’s important to know why your customers are visiting your website in the first place. Your website design should meet the informational needs of first-time visitors and potential customers, but it should also meet the ongoing needs of your established customer base.
Your website design can include a service portal through which your customers can get the information and services they need, and you can provide the service that makes your business stand out. How can you go about making your website more useful?
Start by knowing (or finding out) what your visitors will be most likely be looking for and work from there. If your business sells products, providing a product catalog with complete product information will be helpful. If you want your website to generate product sales around the clock, adding shopping cart functions and payment processing capabilities will also be critical.
After the sale is complete, consider offering functions that help your customers track their order, make changes and communicate with you about concerns or problems. Provide multiple avenues for customer service assistance, including a direct phone number, live chat, and email. You may also want to add a self-help section to help customers troubleshoot common problems. Include downloadable product manuals, frequently asked questions or a knowledgebase. Your customers can use this anytime, but it’s especially helpful during those times when your customer support team has gone home for the day.
Time spent on navigation for your website design is time well spent! Make it easy for customers to move around your website. Add a search function and offer live chat options, if you can. This can be especially important for websites that facilitate on-site customer purchases.
Consider adding a mobile application to your website design that extends your website functions to a customer’s smartphone. Don’t forget to make your website mobile-friendly!
Grantstreet Creative can design a professional website for your organization, and deliver the exceptional website design services that will energize your business website. Contact our creative director Dave Ramsell by email or by phone at (330) – 243-0651 for a consultation and let us show you how to put your business website to work.
Photo Credit: ruffin_ready, via Flickr