Consumers are fickle. When they get upset with a company, they don't have to find another brick-and-mortar store to patronize. They just have to exit your site and search for another. It's that easy. Precisely what does upset consumers as they land on sites and begin to look at products and services? What causes them to have a bad experience on a company website?
More often than not, it isn't the product or service. It is the overall experience as they navigate through the website to find what they want. And there's some research that supports this. Small Biz Genius, for example, conducted a study that found the following:
So, just what are these user experience flaws that companies and their UX designers must avoid? Most of them have to do with the type of writing/content users are exposed to.
How are you introducing your brand to visitors when they land on your site? Are you presenting enthusiastic and engaging content that also explains the value that you bring to consumers? Or are you simply presenting your product, with some nice pictures, and then giving visitors the method to make a purchase?
Consumers want to be "wooed." They want to believe that you know them and that you know what they want and need. And they want to be "talked to" in a tone and style that says you know them and appreciate them.
Content does not have to be only in writing. It can be delivered in a host of other ways that will engage, entertain, and even inspire your audience. Consider, for example, this opening explainer video that greeted visitors to the Dollar Shave Club website as soon as they landed. The audience was millennial men who had a problem – trying to keep a supply of clean disposable razors at home. They forgot to stop at the store to get them; they were faced with using old, dirty razors.
The founder addressed this problem in a hysterical way and provided a solution through a 90-second video. Upon its launch, this video went viral, and the company ran out of products within two days.
As you view this video, think about the script, as well as the visuals. It was written with the user in mind – in a style and tone that he will Get creative yourself. Think about how you can provide a stunning user experience as you show how you can solve a problem for him. When you make it about him and not you, then you are developing a personal relationship.
You may be selling printers for home or small business use. How much of the tech behind those printers must be explained in detail? Here is what these visitors want to know – how fast is the printing? How many pages can they expect to get from an ink cartridge? Will it print glossy photos in great color? These are their needs, and these answers are what they want.
The same is true for the vocabulary you use. No one wants to agonize over trying to figure out what you are really saying. Any text you write must be at about the 7th grade reading level – not because your visitors/users are not educated beyond that reading level, but because they want things simple and clear. They are busy; they want to get the information they need quickly so that they can make a decision. Make that decision easier for them.
And let's talk a bit about simply writing. If you have ever read Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea, you will understand the simplicity. The bulk of the novel was in simple sentences, mostly nouns and verbs, and far fewer adjectives and adverbs than one might see in the academic essays samples on subjecto.com. Remember that you are not in college writing a formal academic essay or paper. You are looking at the needs of potential customers and showing how you can meet those needs in a language that is easy to understand.
If you do not have a live chat feature on your website, you need to get one now. Of course, you want to serve existing customers who have issues, problems, need to make returns and exchanges, etc. Hopefully, you have simple processes for these things to be accomplished, including return labels and a contract with a major shipping company where an item can be packaged and shipped.
But what are you doing for your visitors who have questions about your products or services? Live chat is probably the best solution that will provide the most streamlined method for your users. Of course, you have a phone number, but few want to sit on hold waiting for a live rep. If you have your chat feature automated, it can provide answers to the most common questions, leaving the less common questions to be handled by your live reps. In both cases, users are satisfied that you can serve their needs, and this can promote their becoming actual customers.
You have no way to know the English composition skill levels of your visitors. And you cannot assume that grammatical errors will just be overlooked. If you have grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, you don't look professional, and you don't look as if you have good attention to detail. If you are willing to be this sloppy regarding your content, then will you also be sloppy in your treatment of your customers? People can be led to such a conclusion.
Keywords/keyword phrases are important. They are what help Google rankings and drive visitors to websites. But overuse of those keywords in the site content is a huge turnoff for many and really waters down your main message – the needs of your potential customers and the value you bring to meet those needs. This has to be your focus – always.
Consumers have plenty of options when they make choices about businesses they patronize. Of course, they want quality in the products or services they purchase. But when quality is relatively similar, how do they choose a specific company? They will go where they feel honored and important, where their needs are the top priority, and where all of the content on a company website gives them a pleasant, streamlined, and valuable experience. Watch what you say and how you say it
Until next time, Be creative! - Pix'sTory made by Bridgette Hernandez
Bridgette Hernandez is a Master's in Anthropology who is interested in writing and planning to publish her own book in the nearest future. She finished her study last year but is already a true expert when it comes to presenting a text in a creative and understandable manner. The texts she writes are always informative, based on qualitative research but nevertheless pleasant to read.