A lot of business owners view a website just as a way to passively generate new business, and of course, websites are great at it, but it’s not all that they do. Because a website is not just about helping customers find your business online. The more complex and expensive the product or service the more this holds to be true. After all when was the last time you purchased a car or a house without visiting a website? If I had to guess your response, the answer would be never. Websites are integral to not just wholly online based sale processes but are also integral in effective offline oriented sales processes too.
Let’s take this concept to the maximum. Let’s say your business has plenty of interest in it’s products and services without having a website and your wondering why you even need one? Particularly if you’re doing fine without a one. The answer to this is that a website is not just the starting point for a customer’s journey to your products and services. It can also help at different stages of the customer’s journey too while also boosting your business’s productivity dramatically.
A better customer experience & increased automation
Increased business efficiency normally comes at the expense of the customer experience but not with a website. A website allows customers to tailor their sales experience to their exact needs. Removing the onerous on staff to anticipate customer concerns and priorities. In turn, freeing up staff to focus on other areas of the customer experience rather than these often routine questions that customers will happily research themselves. Ultimately, depending on your priorities this gives your business the capacity to scale or to afford you a better work life balance. For example, the social network Snapchat makes 48 million for every employee it has. This is only made possible through automation and their business model.
Better customer acquisition & retention
But it’s more than just increasing your business’s capacity to grow through automation. It’s also about winning and retaining customers now. In 2016, Google found that 84% of decision makers research a company online in some form prior to making a commitment to buy. So having a website that is content rich and able to assist them in their research is critical. Even worse than not having a website that is able to meet their research needs is having a competitor’s website that is. Even if your business manages to keep a prospect engaged, they may now have their priorities influenced by external sources. These sources may muddy your prospect’s thought processes. While exposing your weaknesses without helping to show your strengths.
Moreover, having a well-designed website allows you to have greater control in the prospect’s journey to being a customer. For the customer, viewing your website allows them to see you as reliable and an authority in your space. For example, maybe they have viewed some of your past work projects or seen that you have government experience. A website is one of the most organic ways to show these kinds of things to a decision maker and also a visually rich way to do it.
Closing thoughts & questions to ask yourself
Ultimately, a website that makes your company look professional may be the thing that gets your company over the line with it’s next sale. Because it allows you to communicate your value proposition to prospects. While also educating them on your products and your expertise. The more complex your product or the size the more you need a website. This is particularly true for intangible services like accountants and tradespeople.
When considering if you need a new or updated website ask yourself if your current website:
- Has a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section?
- Allows customers to complete, sign and send forms to you?
- Qualifies customers to match them with your expertise and price?
- Provide self-help guides for your customer’s most common issues?
- Provides all your business’s contact details & a capacity for files like resumes to be sent to you?
- Provides in-depth product or service information?
- And, showcase your expertise & why they should choose you?
Every business has different need and objectives, but with effective planning, a website can deliver results for you that go far beyond just helping people find you in search engine results. The final result can be a superior experience for your customers and a healthier bottom line for your business.