Could Your Marketing Be Hurting Your Customer Experience?
After wrapping up our 5-part series on genius business tools last week, I'm back and ready to dive deep into connecting with clients and customers.
In this "Connecting with Customers" series, I'm going to share 5 recent customer experiences I've had personally that shed light on best practices and watchouts for all small business owners.
Customer experience is part brand identity / business process / marketing (aka things within your control) and part situation /chance - we'll be looking at what you can control, so when experiences do happen, the elements are tipped in your favor.
In today's story, we'll look at:
MAKING SURE YOUR WEBSITE IS IMPROVING, NOT HURTING, YOUR CLIENT EXPERIENCE
Look - we all get busy and you may have a business website that is tough to update.
However, if your website isn't up to date with your services or products, you could be massively hurting your brand and customer experience. Let's look at why.
If your website isn't accurate, it could be creating false advertising for your customers and turning them off to your brand.
Here's a cautionary tale we're going to make sure your business doesn't fall prey to.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I headed to DC for our wedding anniversary. I spent hours researching where to go for brunch on Sunday because my husband and I both eat gluten-free and I have to eat gluten-free, dairy-free, and corn-free (and yes - also - fun-free!)
Of the many vegan and gluten-free options around the city, I was SO elated to find an all gluten-free bakery that also had vegan bagels and vegan cream cheese - according to their website and online reviews. It's been like 3 months since I had a bagel and this Jewish girl needs her on-brand carbs!
We excitedly went to the bakery on Sunday morning and I went to order. Within moments of speaking of my bagel dream, the cashier just says,
Yeah, we don't have those anymore. Our website isn't up to date. Sorry!
I went from thrilled to try this bakery to being super disappointed and frustrated. Their website isn't accurate. The way she told me was fairly condescending and had the tone of "yeah, a lot of people ask us that."
And here's the thing - we had chosen to go to this bakery because of what their website advertised and went to it over other spots.
We stayed, I had one of the 3 things they had that were dairy free and it was good - but I was still pretty sad and turned off by the whole thing. Even though what I tried was tasty, I didn't feel comfortable recommending them to others because I felt misled as a customer. I was ready to be their biggest fan and left totally deflated about their business.
The shame is that all of this could have been avoided with a simple website update.
So though I was asking for something very special in this example, it's not about the fact they didn't have it - it's about them not setting the right expectations for their customers by prioritizing keeping a current website.
Lesson here: Make sure your website is telling an accurate and current story about what you do, who you are, and what you offer.
Your website needs to tell your CURRENT business story - especially if you have a physical business. People invest their time with you and in what you do - you want to set those expectations accurately.
As I showed you, something as simple as listing a product you don't offer any more in person can really hurt your brand and others' impressions of it. The good news is, you can impact and improve this risk quickly. Check out my exercise below to make it happen in your business.
EXERCISE TO IMPROVE YOUR CLIENT EXPERIENCE IN 5 MINUTES FLAT
Spend five minutes today going through your own website and deleting any services, products, or other information that is inaccurate. Make sure all of your info is correct, your phone number is listed, as well as your email address.
By ensuring your info is current, you'll be doing more to control the aspects of your brand that aren't fully in your control - like client experience.
Let me know if there was anything you caught!
What's Coming Next Week?
In Part 2, I'll be sharing another story from my DC trip on how to manage communication between with your clients and customers.
What questions do you have about customer service and experience? Let me know - I'd love to know what's on your mind.