One of the greatest questions in the age of the interactive web 2.0 is:
“Given the new technology at my fingertips, how do I use these tools to improve customer experience?”
Certainly, there are enough widgets, applications, social buttons, and the like to allow your customers to interact with your business in many ways. However, some businesses make the mistake of throwing everything and the kitchen sink into a site with the intent of forming one amazing community that no one will ever want to leave.
What could possibly go wrong?
For starters, such an approach is unoriginal and represents a failure to look beneath the surface to determine what a customer actually wants from a site. What you get instead is a Web presence that offers too much while catering to too few.
However, it is easy for me to sit here and say you need to revamp the content on your site to perfectly match what your customers want. Obviously, that’s impossible. Interests and tastes are far too varied to choose the perfect image, text, font or content for everyone.
The truth is that you don’t have to have those things. Businesses are in the habit of overloading their customers (and their sites) with fluff. Fluff can be defined as those things that are important to you, but that your customers care little about.
In addition to being uninteresting, fluff is also static. People are looking for dynamic experiences, and human interactions are about as dynamic as it gets. There is a reason people play on social media all day.
One of the best ways to facilitate interaction is to host a blog to initiate the exchange of ideas and comments. When it comes to blogs, the content is the initial draw, but the conversation is what keeps people coming back. Another woefully underused feature is forums. Sure, many sites have them, but I am amazed at the number of businesses that set them up and then never review them.
Obviously, the integration of these contributes to a strong social presence. If you can listen even better than you can talk, you will have a leg up on 90% of the businesses out there.
That’s the key, really. When everyone has a gigantic megaphone to their mouth, the business with an ear to the ground, paying attention to what their customers have to say, will come out on top.