The first contact between customers and companies takes place increasingly through the Internet. Just as a shop window, the inside of a shop or a business card offer us the first impression of a business, a corporate website also sends us a message. It is for this reason that companies should manage properly the image being transmitted through their website.
What are customers looking for?
The design of a business card can communicate valuable information about a company. However, a card with no contact information is completely useless. Similarly, we must ask ourselves what information customers will look for in our website, because if they do not find it, they will just leave.
One of the major shortcomings of the corporate websites is to provide information that the company considers important, but that is irrelevant to the customers. This is due to the “photo album phenomenon”: we all love flip through our family photo album because it brings back wonderful memories. However, our album has no value for someone who does not belong to our family.
With our corporate website is the same. We must make the effort to put ourselves in the customers’ shoes and ask, “If I were a client, what information I would want to find?”.
Offer something that they don’t expect
The details are what we least expect and what we remember most. Once our site has fulfilled the primary role of providing useful information that the client may need, we must remember the first commandment of the Internet: to give.
On the Internet, to give means to offer free and valuable information. To offer something that we do not need to give, but that we give because that is our way of showing that we care about our customers and we want them to enjoy while they are with us.
It seems surprising, but one of the major mistakes of corporate websites is the way of presenting the contact information.
On more than one occasion, we have all had the unpleasant experience of entering into a shop where it appears that customers are not welcome. The shop is closed and there is no information about the opening hours, we cannot see the inside of the store from the outside, the store clerk seems upset or ignores us when we make a question … This is the same sensation that offers a website where it is difficult to find contact information.
Solving this problem is very simple. We only have to put a space at the top right of our website called “Contact us” where we will include our address, phone and e-mail. That’s it. Why? Because it is the place where the customer expects to find this information, it is the most visible place and the first that appears.
Related to this issue, there is a growing tendency to put contact forms in lieu of the e-mail address. Do not do it. The forms always give the impression that the message was not sent successfully and they are impersonal.
Another growing trend in corporate websites is to include images from banks of images showing businessmen and women. These images can be of great quality, but they are not original and give no information about the company.
Instead, it is preferable to include real images of our company. But, be careful. We must avoid photos of the board because it sends a message of egocentricity and of a too hierarchical company.
Fom the images above, which of them says more about a company? Which of them would you trust? (The image on the right belongs to the Bill’s Prescription Center).
No Intro, please
One of the most useless practices in corporate websites are the intros with music. The truth is that they are really annoying. No one (except the company itself) would like to see a flash with the company logo while bad taste music invades our concentration.
Deeds, no words
Words are just words. To explain how wonderful we are has no point without proofs. Do not explain what you do, just show it. Have you worked for important clients? Great, show what you did; let your work be your best publicity.
This is an example of a good portfolio. This image belongs to the website of EspaiGràfic. They are web designers, but all companies can show their work on their website, no matters what they offer. We can make a video, we can show photos of our products… Just be creative!