The other day my friend made an interesting analogy about the differences between Western and Eastern dining that I never noticed until now. He remarked that Western restaurants are a “one-service entity” which generally offer food and seating, basically what you’d expect to find in a restaurant. Whereas Eastern restaurants (particularly the one we were seated in at the time) had sofas, a huge magazine stack and a TV. At the end of the day they were encouraging the customer to spend more time in their business and soak up the environment. One would argue that if you walk past a restaurant and see it full of people that it intrigues passers-by to come in and check out what all the fuss is about.
After drawing this parallel, now, I’d like you to think about your current website. Does it offer the user the opportunity to spend more time enjoying the environment or is it a “one-service entity”?
A lot of websites out there are one-sided “business card-type” websites. They display information one way and do not have room for user interaction, which also gives the user no incentive to return. Imagine a tumble weed blowing across a desert here.
Social Media has changed the way we interact with each other but also what we expect from brands, services and business* (See this post for more information on this). In regards to website evolution it is increasingly important for websites to offer more opportunity for consumer interaction, i.e. let’s take the user social media experience and tie that into what your website offers. I’m taking about social media plug in’s, ‘like’ buttons, share options, comment options, games, forums, blogs and polling options.
Let’s encourage user interaction with your brand or service by giving the user every opportunity to interact rather than a one-sided conversation.
Every user is different: some prefer to tweet; some like to watch online videos; some like to engage in lengthy discussions, via forums. The key is to cater for every taste and make sure you don’t exclude anyone.
Why should you offer this service? How does it help you reach your bottom-line?
Just like the Eastern restaurant, it is more appealing for consumers to see that others have ‘liked’ your activity and are engaged in your brand. It presents up-selling opportunities and fosters lasting brand/consumer relationships. You will grow a niche audience that is highly receptive to your particular offering and will become strong brand advocates. Also other than initial start-up costs and investing time this is the most cost-effective and engaging experience you can offer potential customers. Constant blogging and site interaction also drives S.E.O. (Search Engine Optimisation) which is key to new customers discovering your web space and will put you ahead of your competitors.
Doesn’t this sound fantastic?! Well if you’re interested in finding out how you get on the board and make leaps and bounds into this exciting new frontier, look no further than COO’EE. We have a number of options in our arsenal to help you meet your targets.
Watch this space for more digital learning every week.