Treat Online ‘Guests’ With Respect

Treat online guests with respect

Why do so many businesses lack respect for online customers?

It’s bizarre, especially in this day and age with Internet usage and spending relentlessly on the rise. Perhaps with so many suspect websites hovering in cyberspace, even credible companies tend to lose perspective.

Maybe it’s time to start thinking of visitors as online guests. It’s a simple ‘mind shift’ that might get companies to better recognize how their websites communicate with those they intend to serve.

For instance, consider promotionally-driven pop-up windows. Would any credible company have a salesman jump out of nowhere and shove signage in front of a customer’s face?

Or there’s the all-too-common self-centric web content going on and on about how marvelous a business is, and not paying heed to what it is the customer actually wants or needs. It’s like having a loud, obnoxious salesman greet you in a showroom by endlessly boasting how great he is.

It’s time to pay your online guests the same respect you grant people in your stores and offices. Here’s a checklist to ensure your business website provides your guests the respect they deserve:

  • Spam – Are you boring or irritating your guests with marketing hype? Your web content should be informative and objective. Be sure to back any statements up with facts and figures.
  • Approach – Don’t be arrogant and bore guests with self-absorbed web content. Put your guests first with customer-centered messages. You’ll enjoy greater success by focusing on what they want versus what you sell.
  • Style – Speak to your guests, not at them. It’s effective to demonstrate authority with insightful, useful information, but never talk down to your audience.
  • Pop-ups – In almost every situation, pop-up ads will only frustrate guests and turn them against you and your advertisers. That’s why the vast majority of Internet users now employ pop-up blocking software.
  • Deceitful ads – Disguised ads and misleading links confuse and frustrate guests, prompting them to leave your site. Clearly identify ads and plainly tell guests where a link will take them. Get too cute and you’ll hinder your site’s ease of use.
  • Content that flashes or moves – It’s amateur from a design perspective and distracting from a usability standpoint.
  • Slow-loading web content – Again and again, Internet users state slow-loading web content is one of the main reasons they abandon websites. Streamline and optimize your site, and eliminate those unnecessary intros.
  • Automatic sounds and music – If music is necessary due to your business or industry, give your guests full control. Otherwise, it’s best to keep it quiet so you don’t annoy your guests and cheapen your brand.

There’s no denying the way you treat your online guests directly impacts your bottom line. So drill it into your culture: old-fashioned respect goes a long way, cyberspace included.

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