The Internet and related technologies that have evolved alongside it have empowered us to be more communicative than ever in the past. We can quickly find the information we need on any subject, and chat with anyone in the world just about instantaneously.
However, despite that interconnectedness, many users feel a sense of alienation from the world, that they aren’t able to interact enough in ways that are meaningful. Some studies suggest that face-to-face communication, and other forms of meaningful one-on-one interaction, are vital for positive experiences.
Your website may need to adapt in order to offer those kinds of personalized experiences to your users. Want to know how?
The Need for Individual Experiences
First, let’s look at why. Giving your users more personalized, individualized experiences offers a number of advantages:
- Personalized solutions. Rather than leading readers down an assembly line of information and content, your engagements with them should be tailor-made to cater to their specific interests and needs. You should be able to connect users to better products, better service, and an all-around more satisfying experience.
- Offering a more personal, human touch will certainly distinguish you from your competitors, increase your audience’s brand loyalty, and give you a competitive edge.
- Taking the time and effort to address your customers individually will have a massive impact on your reputation. According to Dialpad, the simple addition of voice interaction can make both conversation participants feel more emotionally invested, so they walk away with a more complete understanding of the information exchanged.
Ideas for Implementation
Such being the case, how can you change or improve the design of your site to offer more personalized experiences to your users?
- Live chat. First, offer a live chat function on your website. It doesn’t take much, but it instantly gives your users a gateway to a personal conversation. Trying to navigate a site, find exactly the information you need, and have all your questions answered with the general, run-of-the-mill content developed for the vast majority of users can be both overwhelming and frustrating. A live chat feature gives those kinds of users an opportunity to talk to someone directly, ask open questions, and received precise responses. Consider including a visible live chat window at the bottom of your screen at all times, and make it stand out with strong, contrasting colors and possibly some directional cues.
- Phone call availability. Some people strongly prefer to speak over the phone, rather than using a live chat feature or communicating over email. The intonation and expressive potential of the human voice offers a personalized experience that text-based communication simply can’t replicate. As long as you have customer service reps standing by during your specified hours, make your phone number prominent throughout the site. Including it in the header is a sure way to generate attention, and of course, make sure you list it on your contact page.
- Social media as customer service. You might also consider using social media as a medium for customer service to deliver more personalized experiences. There are several advantages to this: You’ll engage people in a social medium they’re already accustomed to using, you’ll be able to talk to individuals one on one, and you’ll be able to exchange messages rapidly. You’ll also gain more positive points for your reputation because you’ll be doing this in a semi-public fashion. Use your site to demonstrate and showcase the fact that you offer social media as a customer service option; you can include this information on your Contact page, on any of your customer service pages, and you can even include content about your efforts on your blog or in your advertising campaigns.
- Personal branding. You can also increase your personalization potential by harnessing the power of more personal brands under your corporate brand. A personal brand is similar to a corporate brand in that it demonstrates an image and an identity to your incoming users, but the difference is these identity standards apply to a person rather than a business. For example, you can build a personal brand for your CEO, or your team leaders, or even your individual customer service reps. Once a brand or array of them is established, you can use them to communicate directly with your audience. Engaging with a human personality is much more satisfying for most people than trying to engage with an anonymous rep in some corporate network.
If you include these more personal, individually communicative experiences on your website, you can substantially increase your average user’s satisfaction … and none of these require much effort to employ.
If you’re in the process of building or redesigning your site from the ground up, these can be included with relative ease. You owe it to your brand and your customers to maintain a more personal way of operating, and you’ll reap the benefits almost immediately after you launch them.