"Think You Know What Makes You Happy?" This headline shouts at you from a new book called "Stumbling on Happiness" by Daniel Gilbert. It's a very thought-provoking look at how we think about happiness. To be happy, there is something we all want. If you're thinking it's money, you're wrong. It's CONTROL! We all want to control what happens to us and go to great lengths to feel "in control."
For online marketers, this brings up the eternal question, "Who is in control, you or the customer?" With the advent of Web 2.0, I think the answer is the customer. Corporate attorneys aside, the customer needs to feel in control of the buying process from start to finish. New technology allows the customer to weigh-in on every aspect of process.
Web 2.0 technology now gives the customer the ability to comment on products and services in a way that was previously impossible. Bloggers impacted the last election and have caused at least one bicycle lock manufacturer millions of dollars. Someone posted a demonstration of a way to break the lock and the manufacturer had to replace them.
Take a look at your website from this "customer control" perspective. Here are five
things I recommend you think about
to get yourself started in the right direction.
1. Marketing message: Is the message clear? Do you use strong benefit copy? In order to feel in control at the beginning of the buying process, customers need to immediately identify how this product will give them something they want.
2. Product/Service information: Do you provide enough visual information, specs, audio and video about the product? Try to make the customer feel like he has the product in his hand and you are explaining its benefits. Don't skimp on this. Whatever makes your product unique and desirable should be detailed.
3. Price: Have you made your case for the price? Understand that if you have positioned your product at a higher price, you need to communicate the quality and customer service that comes along with it.
4. Buying process: Is your shopping cart easy to use? Recruit some non-employees to go through the buying process as your team watches. That's always an eye-opener. You'll see where the 'loss of control' kicks-in.
5. Ongoing communication: After purchasing, a buyer wants to feel in control and glad she made the purchase. "Buyer's remorse" is just a symptom of not feeling 'in control.' Make sure to follow-up with the customer and reinforce her purchase.