I’ve recently acquired a keyboard, so I’m on the hunt for sheet music that I can download.
So, here they’ve lost me not only on their free selections, but they’ve also lost me as a potential paying customer.
When developing content/websites, organizations naturally tend to be organization-centric. They have something they want to tell you. But, they often forget that when you look at the content, you form a perception about them.Your perceptions are based on whether your experience isUsefulUsableEnjoyableOrNot usefulFrustratingDissatisfying
Let’s start by thinking about who your customers are, really.
This example shows organization-centric thinking at its worst! “Let’s just get some content up there and not think about the people who are forming perceptions about it.”
Defining personas and creating the site and its content around well-defined personas could be the most important factor in driving site performance. Talk to real customers to develop your personas. Don’t talk to your employees about who they think the customers might be. Personas, to be useful, need to be real.What is a persona?A description of your audience. You will likely have more than one persona.A persona helps to bring your audience to lifeA persona is the foundation of a great user experience; personas help you to write to your audience, not to yourself or your company.A persona has:A nameA pictureSpecific demographicsGoals…
Tactics for talking to customersHold focus groupsDirect observation (show me how you …)Interviews (casual, conversational)Work shadowing (especially for internal sites)Talk to people in your company who talk to your customersCustomer supportSales
You are NOT your customers. And, you don’t represent them. You might use the product, the app, the service, whatever, outside working hours - but you're not the customer.
Two similar vacuum cleaners onCanadian Tire’s site!
I want to compare them, so I can see which one might be more appropriate for my use.Customers need consistent information to help them make buying decisions. What we’re seeing here is useless, and doesn’t allow customers to make informed comparisons.
Here are some products from a website that sells all kinds of home supply and beauty products online. I’m trying to compare eye creams. The ones I’m looking at are similar (they appear in the same category on the website) and they have similar prices, but I still can’t tell which one to purchase, because each product is described differently.
A lot of content is designed quite nicely these days. On the surface, it looks pretty good, until you try to find and interpret the content. Good looking websites and content are not always well-performing websites. Just because they may look good doesn’t mean they provide the content your customers are looking for. This page is quite lovely, I think, and the picture changes to reflect the season. But, is this information enough for a first page? Let’s see what happens when I try a search.
A lot of content is designed quite nicely these days. On the surface, it looks pretty good, until you try to find and interpret the content. I like graphically appealing information. But, at what cost? Good looking websites and content are not always well-performing websites. Just because they may look good doesn’t mean they provide the content your customers are looking for. This page is quite lovely, I think, and the picture changes to reflect the season. But, is this information enough for a first page? Let’s see what happens when I try a search.
But, you have to know what their path is going to be, and plan for it.
Error messages are content, too. Customers typically encounter error messages along their path, but the content often doesn’t provide them with enough information to proceed!
I’m planning to take the TTC (Toronto transit) to a friend’s place, and it’s an unfamiliar route for me. So, I turn to the website for help.
And when you ask for people to give you feedback, allow them to do so!!
The customer is at the core of everything you do when it comes to content. Customers come to your content, in whatever form, with needs, wants, and expectations. They approach it from different perspectives, they apply different contexts. They expect and need consistency. They need content that makes sense, that is designed and written for them, that meets their needs. They want their experience with your content to be transparent.
Toronto content strategy group_content and the customer experience
Connecting Content to the
Toronto Content Strategy Meetup Group
Feb. 20, 2014
But you’d never know it.
Just take a look through some
of your customer-facing
content, or browse through
Free, but what to choose?
I won’t be Bach for more!
How do customers perceive their
interactions with your company?
Customer experience is about
not company intent.
You need to know
Who are your customers, really?
What are they trying to do?
How do they use your content?
Where do they use your content?
What content do they need?
How much content do they need?
Shopping for gifts at Best Buy can be
quite an eye-opener!
Do you think Best Buy talked to
any female customers when
compiling this gift guide?
Why honey, thank
you for the digital
scale and fitness
tracker. Just what I
Personas are a critical
component of every
Make them matter.
When’s the last time your
company talked to a
customer, or watched them
use your product, or your
website, or any of your
content for that matter?
You are not your customer
Your employees are not your
Your organization is not your
Consistency is also a critical
component of a content
Consistency serves as a guide
Inconsistent ways of
describing product features
make it impossible for me
Focus is on who it’s for, what it does,
and what it contains