Time after time I see business that are trying so desperately for my attention and all I can think is “you’re trying way too hard”. If you’re having to try too hard for your customers, then maybe all your efforts are actually turning away customers instead of reeling them in. Have you ever had a super duper friendly neighbor who is always inviting you to neighborhood events, leaving you treats on your doorstep, and asking you too many questions about your day? Of course they mean well, but trying so hard to develop a friendship with you will probably just encourage you to shut the blinds and avoid their friendly waves.
Successful customer interaction is very much a socially-driven task, just like befriending a new neighbor. You want to acknowledge your consideration of the new neighbor and your willingness to be of service to them without becoming overbearing and obnoxious. Businesses in this day and age have started marketing in a way that turns away customers by making them feeling uncomfortable and dissatisfied with the services. I’ve put together a list of the top ways you can lose customers instead of gaining them through your internet marketing efforts. Do you think your business is making any of these mistakes?
- You Pester. One of my biggest pet peeves when scrolling through different websites is when I get one of those pesky “Are you sure you want to leave?” bubbles. Of course I want to leave; I was trying to exit out of the site, wasn’t I? That little action that is meant to keep people on your site for longer only annoys the customers who already decided you weren’t offering what they needed and will taint their memory of your company. Don’t make it difficult for people to leave an interaction with your business. If they’ve already made up their mind that you aren’t what they’re looking for, then they’re not the type of customer that you want to market your business to anyway.
- Your Website Has Several Ads Too Many. Using ads to supplement your business’ income is a great way to generate some more passive revenue so that you can spend more of your time working on the aspects of your business that you want to work on. However, be wary of both the amount and the content of ads that you’re allowing on your website. Filling a whole sidebar with ads for online games filled with scantily-clad women is a sure-fire way to get someone to quickly exit your site. Be professional in the ads you choose to show and demonstrate your fine taste with the relevant ads you do show on your site.
- Your Site is Difficult to Navigate. Whether you’re lacking a menu or you just have way too much information on your homepage, you might be turning customers away from your site. Cut a clear path for those hurriedly browsing on a mobile phone or those customers looking for something specific. The real secret to getting your customers to stay on your site for longers is to give them an easy to use process to get the information that they came for.
- You Have Inconsistent Branding. Inconsistent branding probably isn’t a deal breaker for all clients, but it will definitely confuse new customers who might not be as familiar with your brand. Help your company stand out across all marketing platforms including social media by sharing consistent styles and content that will make your customers more readily recognize your business wherever they see you.
- Soliciting Too Much Too Soon. One way that you can turn away customers is by requesting an email address or other information immediately upon arrival to your site. Most customers will be hesitant to share much information online, especially if their interaction with your company is new, and you wouldn’t want to give the impression that you are pushy. It’s the same with customers who frequent a physical location; they’re going to feel welcomed even when greeted with just a simple, friendly “Good afternoon!”
- Not Being Available. With the advent of online shopping, customer service requests online and by phone have grown because customers aren’t able to simply ask a store representative a question while they’re in the store. This increases the necessity for contact forms and prominent phone numbers on websites so that online shoppers and researchers can easily get in touch with you. Read more about the importance of contact forms in one of our more recent posts by Whitney: How Contact Forms Benefit Your Business
Which of these easy-to-commit business sins are bringing your online traffic down? How can you implement corrective behavior to gain some of that traffic back? If you’d like to talk about your options with online marketing, we’d love to answer your questions.