When I first engage with a new customer it is important that I listen to who they are, what they do, what is their message and who are their customers? The initial consultation can be face to face over the phone or on a video link. I want to listen to my customer, ask them the questions and get an understanding of their needs. This allows us to work together to get a true understanding of what the website is for. I also want to get my customers to think about their customers because ultimately the end user is the person who is going to engage with the website. The website is a sales tool being used by my customers to attract their customers or clients.
A lot of my customers are professional services and can be very niche. They would be a service that has low search volumes. Very often people don’t even know that they need this service. Then get a referral and introduction. This type of service has gone on word of mouth but increasingly they need the website to back up the referral. It is almost like they are not a legitimate business without a website and email ( we’ll look at this in another blog).
Let me give you an example.
I recently was engaged by a consultant into the pharmaceutical industry. He had a successful business with regular clients. He provided a very niche service to this industry. He did not need to advertise and relied on word of mouth and referral for new clients. He got a referral from an existing client and went to meet the prospect. It all went very well. Then the client asked to look at his website. He didn’t have a website as there was never a need for one. He always relied on word of mouth. But now people are looking for a website. After he left the meeting he Googled web designers and found me online. We arranged a meeting and we agreed to work together. He was able to tell the new client that his website was being built. He already had a domain so it was a simple task to add hosting and out an under construction page up. At least now he had some presence online. We got the website completed and he was able to show the prospect that he had a website. The reason that the new client was looking for a website was as a reference tool. They had never met this individual. They were recommended by some that they trusted, but they needed to final piece which was to be able to go to a website and confirm all the details.
The customer won the new contract and the website is in place for all new clients.
By concentrating on their customers needs we can design the website around this. Not every website is this specific but by understanding what the end user is looking for and how they search then we make it easier for them to make a decision.
So next time you are looking at your website, think like your customer and see if your website is what your customers are looking for.