I was walking along the Leederville cafe strip a couple years ago and was contemplating life and the mysteries it wraps us in, and as I walked I became aware that I was standing and staring in the window of a restaurant.
But as I stood there looking in the grubby window, I saw the looks on the faces of the people inside. They were miserable. None of the couples – and I mean NONE of them – were speaking to each other, or laughing or having a good time at all.
Little wonder though, the place was depressing. Plastic covers on the tables, horrible 80’s pink/peach/purple coloured plastic chairs, apricot walls, and it was dimly lit. In fact I could barely see in past the huge logo’s and special signs painted on the windows, even if they were a bit small to begin with.
The whole thing was depressing.
So I looked around to see if it was just me noticing it, when I spotted the restaurant right next door. No kidding, I mean RIGHT next door. The place was PACKED!!
The owner had removed the front walls and replaced them with huge glass panels they had opened up to the street and the smells and sounds just sucked me in! Before I knew it I was looking at a menu and wondering what had happened!
To the other place I mean.
Here I was, 2 seconds ago staring right into their windows, and now here I am eating from their competition. What was it? Was this place more expensive? Or that place? What had moved me forwards to come in, sit down and look at a menu?
So I thought about the experiences on offer. One drab and dull and not fun at all, and the other open bright and welcoming. Welcome won hands down.
Websites are the virtual equivalant, yours included. What kind of experience is your site offering to your visitors and prospective customers? Hows MINE doing? And that’s when it hit me.
If your website offers a sales pitch up front, with a bland and boring page, no atmosphere and no interation… then aren’t you doing the same thing that old restaurant was doing?
The answer is most probably yes. And the solution is easy!
Open the walls!
Your BLOG is your best way into doing business with you. Your blog offers multiple items for your visitors to engage with, thereby creating multiple points of entry to your products, services, mindset, attitude, personality, customer service and much much more.
I have coached many clients on getting a blog incorporated into their business and for every single one it has worked. No exceptions. Then, I coach the very brave ones to move the blog to the FRONT page, opening the walls right out to the street and welcoming more people inside. It starts the relationship on the right note.
This obviously spooks some people, and they think ‘no one will see my sales message’!! Guess what? They are on your website, so they are IN your sales message! Making it easy to buy from you is important of course, but in a marketplace where your competition is a click away, it’s important to ENGAGE your visitor before you SELL your visitor.
It’s not price, it’s experience. The restaurants taught me that. One empty and depressing, one pumping and full to the brim.
The difference between the 2 meals? When I paid for my meal I went to the first place and compared the prices on their menu. The total price difference between my 2 meals was $4. FOUR DOLLARS!!
But it was light years apart in experience!
What is your customer experience like with your business online?
Hows your competition look right next door?
Which are your visitors choosing?