3 tips on how to improve the customer experience on your website
When something is broken, you fix it. The same is true with the customer experience on your website. If you run a home service business, you could be losing thousands in potential revenue. The good news? It’s completely fixable.
How to improve the customer experience on your website
Let’s take a look at an example that I once had. You know what it’s like trying to plan a vacation. It’s always a huge undertaking to make sure everything is taken care of while you’re away. When you have pets you need to find someplace for them to stay. For one of our vacations, we decided to try a new kennel for boarding our high anxiety Labrador Retriever.
The new boarding facility was recommended by our veterinarian. For the boarding facility, a word of mouth lead from a veterinarian. It doesn’t get any better than that. A true hot lead.
The veterinarian gave us the phone number to call. I called, discussed our needs, and scheduled a time to drop off the family pet. But when the week came for us to leave I realized that I didn’t know exactly where they were located.
No problem. I Googled their business name. I found their website and looked for their address. It was nowhere to be found. On the phone, we had discussed some landmarks along the route to get there and since I’ve lived here forever I knew the general area.
The point is, this is an example of a website that aggravates not satisfies the customer. No one opens the phone book anymore, they go to the internet. With mobile devices leading the way when it comes to a user search, it is essential that your website provides content about your company, services, and how to contact you.
Let’s focus on 3 key things that will improve the customer experience on your website.
1) Business Information Needed on your Website
One of the best ways to frustrate your website visitors is missing contact information. How to contact your business should be readily available to any visitor. The two most common places that people put their contact information is on a contact page or in the footer of each page. What types of contact information should have? There is no set rule. But here are a few best practices to consider.
People like to know where a business is located. Even if customers do not visit your office or workshop in person, it’s good to have an accurate address listed on your website. Can’t a customer find my address easily online? There are many business directories out there that may have your business address listed. But many times this information is inaccurate. Having your accurate business address on your website allows you to control the flow of accurate information about your business.
Believe it or not, in this age of digital connection, some still prefer to pick up the phone and call to ask questions. With more and more people using mobile devices for web searches, it’s important that your phone number be clickable. With one click the customer can connect to you. It’s a no-brainer. As a side point with phone numbers, you may want to consider setting up phone tracking. Especially if your running ads so that you track if your ads are generating customer phone calls.
Having your email listed on the site can have benefits and it can cause some problems. Having the email address there makes it very easy for those who may not want to speak with someone to reach out to you. At the same time, the email address on your site can easily be spammed. So the best practice is to have a contact form that emails you the results of what the customer submitted. The form allows you to capture more detailed information. Which can be useful in vetting the customer.
Hours of operation
Most businesses have a set hour of operations and customers at times want or need to know that. For example. Am I calling after they have closed for the day? Do you have an emergency service? Do you have limited weekend hours? This level of detail can help a customer to make a choice of whether to contact your home service business or not.
Included in your hours might be times throughout the year that you’re closed. Like your hours of operation, this helps to set the customer’s expectations of service.
Location: Directions using Google Maps
Your location goes hand in hand with your business address. The difference here is how it is presented. By using a tool like Google Maps, it helps your customer to see where you are in relationship to them. So for example, if it’s an emergency call and your septic service company office is the next town over from where the customer is calling. The customer will be able to determine that you may not arrive for 15, 30, or 60 minutes. As mentioned previously, this can help set the customer’s expectations.
2) Pages that focus on specific services offered
It’s very unlikely that your home service business only offers one service. For many service providers, you may have 6 or more services. For example, let’s say you run a septic service company. Some of your services might be septic tank cleaning, septic inspections, septic repairs, or septic design. How do you present the services you offer on your septic service company website?
Each of these services is very different. Different details and different questions that your customer may have. Let’s say a young couple is purchasing their first home and they want to have a septic inspection prior to purchasing the home. They may have a wide variety of questions. It’s all new to them. Compare that with a property manager who takes care of dozens of properties. His questions about your septic inspection services would be totally different.
Without a page that targets specifically the septic inspection service, it makes it very difficult to satisfy the questions of these two user groups. In fact, the diversity in questions of these two users may even require specific Frequently Asked Questions sections or in some cases a separate page. Think, “Septic inspections for new home buyers, the most frequently asked questions”. That is an example of a page that is really going to satisfy a potential new customer.
So examine your services.
- Do we currently have a separate web page for each service?
- Does the page do a good job at answering questions that your audience might have?
- Should we create additional pages to specifically target our different customers with this service?
This is a good exercise to go through with any current services you may have or when you’re adding a new service option. If you satisfy your users’ questions, you’re much more likely to acquire that new customer. Especially if you have a clear call to action.
3 – Clear Calls to action
Have you ever walked into a store that you’ve never been in before? Maybe some recommended you go there to purchase something you couldn’t live without. The new sights, sounds, and even smell can be a bit overwhelming. Maybe a bit disorienting. It takes a few seconds for your brain to take it all in. To orient yourself and head in the direction to where your product is. When it’s time to check out. There are usually signs, sometimes a few signs that point you in the direction so that they can take your money.
Step back and look at your website from that perspective. A user either searches and finds your website or someone refers them to you. They land on your website for the first time. It’s all new to them. Your site does its job. It answers their questions and builds trust. Now they are ready to “checkout”. Is it clear to them what to do? Do you have a clear call to action? Do you have signs that say “here is where you checkout” sort of speak?
If not, it’s like the customer standing in the isles of a store aimlessly looking around for a way to purchase and exit. If they can’t find it they will put their items back on the shelf and exit through the door they arrived at. The same is true with your website.
Here some examples of a good call to action.
The key is consistent and repeated use throughout your website. Make it very clear and easy for your potential new customers to take the next step in becoming a customer
Acquiring customers is hard work. It takes time, energy, and money. It can take years to build a solid word-of-mouth referral machine. It takes thousands of dollars in advertising to get your company exposure to new customers. Don’t let all of that investment go to waste. Make sure your website satisfies your customer’s basic needs and questions.
And that will result in more customers making that call, scheduling an appointment, or completing that request form.