Customer Experience News & Trends

7 reasons customers will run from your website

In many ways, your website is the face of your organization. It’s the odds-on favorite to be the first place customers go when they have a problem. The question is, what’s the customer experience like on your site?

Building an easy-to-understand, easy-to-navigate, informative website is arguably the most vital piece of the customer experience puzzle.

Unfortunately, a lot of companies have gotten it all wrong. Some have actually unknowingly added annoying features that encourage customers to bounce off their sites.

Here are seven all-too-common reasons customers will run and hide from a website:

1. It has an auto-play feature

Auto-play features are any website design elements that automatically play sound or video the second a visitor lands.

The problem: Unexpected music and sound effects trigger people’s instincts to hit the “back” button, especially if they’re in an office setting where co-workers are within earshot.

If these elements are crucial to the introduction of your company, product or service, offer the option to “Click to listen/view” before sounds start blasting out of customers’ speakers.

2. There’s no call-to-action

Sure, no customer’s going to land on your site and think:  “Hey, there’s no call-to-action. I’m outta here.” They don’t long for some button telling them to “Learn more.”

What they do what, however, is some guidance as to what they should do next.

In other words, your website should’ve been built with a single, overarching purpose — to sell your product or get customers to request a quote, for example — and your site should provide clear navigation instructions that propel them toward that goal.

No clear “call” equals a confused customer.

3. It lacks a visual

Text-only pages are hard on the eyes, and provide no “wow factor” whatsoever. They come off as boring, and nobody wants to navigate around a boring site.

Your website should have some kind of visual depiction of what it is you offer customers.

Quality photos, charts and images have a huge impact on the customer experience and conversion rates.

Just don’t go overboard. One or two photos per page is plenty.

4. The copyright dates are old

It happens all the time: A site was launched years ago, and nobody’s updated the copyright at the bottom of the page since.

This makes it seem like your company’s fallen asleep at the wheel or, worse yet, that the website has grown old and stale.

Anything pre-2012 should be updated to say 2013.

The only place old dates are acceptable are buried deep in your companies blog or news page.

5. It lacks contact information

These need to be on your website: a phone number, an email address and a full postal address.

Missing any? If so, you’re giving customers a reason to pause and ask themselves, “Why don’t they want me to call?”

That’s a scary thought to a customer who’s thinking of spending a lot of money.

Customers want to do businesses with companies that are accessible. And if you’re hiding your contact info, accessibility isn’t exactly the first image that springs to customers’ minds.

6. The text is overwhelming

Anything more than two short paragraphs of text and one bullet list is too much.

Save the story of how and why your company was founded for your “About Us” page.

At a certain point your explanatory copy begins to have negative effect. And that point is at about 100 words.

When customers feel overwhelmed they leave, never to be seen or heard from again. They’d rather move on to the next site than read a novel.

7. It has poorly focused videos

A lot of companies are jumping on the video marketing bandwagon.

If you’re thinking of doing the same, proceed with caution. There are a few things to keep in mind — besides not having them auto-play:

  • Keep them small. Huge videos take longer to load, which hurts the customer experience. They also aren’t always as visually appealing as smaller videos.
  • Make sure they are related. If prospects click on a video and it turns out to be fluff, they’ll leave. Yes, funny viral videos are all the rage, but they don’t belong on your homepage. Make sure they’re deeper in your site.
  • Keep them short. Customers’ attention span starts to wane after 30 seconds. And almost nobody hangs on to watch a video that’s longer than 60 seconds.

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