There are many clichés in the world of business, and as a seasoned entrepreneur, freelancer, or professional, you’ve probably heard most of them many, many times over the course of your career. Perhaps one of the most famous (and infamous) is, “the customer is always right.” Aside from being a cliché, most of us know that, at least on a literal level, that this declaration is far from true – there are many situations when a customer can be wrong. However, when understood on a much broader level, this cliché should define almost every decision you make about your business, because without your customers, you’re out of business!
Why Your Customers Are Always Right
When it comes to customer-centric design, your customers are always “right” in the sense that if something doesn’t feel “right” to them, they’ll quickly take their business elsewhere. If you have misjudged or are too narrowly focused on the needs of your business, rather than the needs of your customers, and if an asset of your business like your website or online store looks and feels “right” to you, but feels wrong to your customers, then it’s time to take a fresh look and a fresh approach to making things “right.” How can your business begin to integrate a customer-centric focus into your digital assets, including your website, blog, and even your social media profiles?
What is Customer-Centric Design?
Customer-centric design starts with knowing who your ideal clients are. It comes from stepping into their shoes and seeing what information they need. Its writing content that is authentic and true to your company or brand voice. Customer-centric design is focused on creating an exceptional customer experience: from beginning to end, from online to offline. Its providing your services with intention to making your clients feel great when doing business with you. Focus on the how your services are delivered and truly connect with your clients.
Making The Customer Experience Easier, Faster, And More Convenient
When was the last time you sat down at a computer with your website and pretended to be a potential customer, asking questions such as, “Is this business open on Saturday?” or, “What is the return policy for online purchases?” How quickly were you able to find the information you needed on your website? How quickly are you able to complete an online order? Can you successfully search for a topic of interest on your blog? Finally, how easily can you locate your contact information on both your website and your social media profiles? By spending an hour or less pretending to be a potential customer, you should be able to reasonably determine how customer-centric your existing website, blog, and social media profiles already are. It’s important to remove any existing prejudices or insider-knowledge you may have, such as how much your existing website cost to develop or why you chose to include or exclude a certain feature or piece of information – your customers aren’t going to know these things, and they have no bearing on the customer experience.
Fixing Problems And Issues With Your Website
Once you determine how customer-centric your website, blog, and social media profiles are, it’s time to identify, resolve, and correct any problems or bottlenecks you experienced during your testing. Be as honest as possible, but don’t go overboard either – problems with a website can often be fixed without have to scrap the entire site and starting over. If you experienced problems navigating or searching through archived content on your blog, it may be time to upgrade the Content Management System (CMS) or blogging software used to power the blog, or a plugin may be malfunctioning, requiring an upgrade or replacement.
Fixing Problems And Issues With Your Social Media Profiles
As we all know, many Internet users now seek out information about a product, service, or business by reviewing social media profiles and feeds on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. While your social media profiles are not sufficient replacements for your website and blog, it is still very important to ensure that your accounts are providing a customer-centric experience as well. However, you may already know that most social networks don’t allow you to alter the design, layout, or content fields of social media profiles, so how can you improve your customer’s experience? By improving the content! If your profiles are missing key information such as your contact information, hours of operation, links to your website, blog and other profiles, or a complete and concise profile of your business; or if the information is jumbled or appearing in the wrong places, you should immediately work to include, correct, or revise the content as needed. These steps will help to ensure that your customers have the best possible experience no matter where they encounter your brand and business.