By Jeff Jahn, CEO of DynamiX.
We live in a world where there's an almost infinite number of options for anything we could wish to do, have or accomplish. Moreover, access to information about those options has never been easier to come by. It's little wonder then that it no longer works to run your business focused on being average while expecting even status quo results.
The funny thing is that being extraordinary doesn't mean tripling or even doubling your ad budget. It doesn't mean creating a catchy scheme designed to woo new customers or a jingle that can't be forgotten. Rather it means doing the uncommon small extra step or two that sets your business apart from the rest. For example, virtually every website I visit today suffers from the same handful of issues, ones that are blindingly obvious when pointed out but often completely invisible to the business owner and employees. These include:
A Lack of Clarity Behind the Site's Purpose
You might say: "The purpose of our site is to generate business!" Is it though? Or is it also to help current customers get support, allow vendors to see your payment terms and to help companies on the fence about you to see you as better than the others in your space? It may seem obvious, but I'd bet that at least one of your key reasons for the website's existence is not being adequately served on your homepage right now.
Forgetting That Your Customers Are People
I have no doubt that when you speak with someone one-on-one, your passion and energy shine through and it excites customers about what you have to offer. If it didn't, you wouldn't be in business and we wouldn't be having this conversation. So why is it that your site content is not written to engage your prospective customer? There's a false perception that site copy has to feel extremely professional and businesslike. The reality is you do business with people, and people make decisions based on how they feel about that business more than anything else. If you feel like a robot, you'll be ignored. Instead, let that passion shine through, explain what makes you great and back that up with real customer feedback.
Answering the Wrong Questions or Answering Questions in the Wrong Order
While each business and industry is unique, the same foundation is necessary to get across quickly in virtually all cases. This includes a clear indication of what your company is great at (and sometimes even what it's not a fit for), how you will work together, proof that customers enjoy working with you and, finally, how to get the process started. Skip a step and you'll be seen as a half-solution (if you have no reviews online, people will wonder what you're hiding). Get the order wrong (for example, if you have a contact form simply at the top of the page instead of at the right engagement point), and you'll have people wondering how they're supposed to move forward.
To remedy this, find a friend who is not in your business and ask them to navigate your site, observing their activity. You'll be able to tell where they are ready to "buy" and it will be clear whether there's a tangible next step available in that area or not. You'll also learn what they are asking at home but would otherwise never take the time to reach out about.
Of course there are many more ways to become great, and most of those don't cost anything beyond a little time and mental energy. The good news is that if you aren't doing this, chances are your competitors aren't either. Taking just one day with your team and the three points above could mean the difference between being average and being great.
Jeff Jahn is a digital expert & 6x founder, recovering introvert, speaker & occasional author, CEO of website/software company DynamiX (900+ awards).