When my husband and I got married we bought a new Queen Size bed and sprung (no pun intended) for one of those super fancy (*read: super expensive) memory foam mattresses. After two kids and a lot of not-so-comfortable morning snuggles, we are thinking of switching to a King Size bed (four people in a Queen is not so comfy).
When we bought our mattress eleven years ago, we went to a store and lay down on a bunch of mattresses until we found the one wanted. Today, no such thing exists. If we want to replace our bed and its matching-size mattress, we go online and order it. The problem is that with so many choices (springs, no springs, firm, medium, soft…) how do we know what’s what?
In an online-driven world, good communication is crucial. Here forth, my best tips on how online companies can communicate with their audience better:
The devil’s in the details. And so are the saints. When your brokerage offers several different account types and trading options, traders can have a hard time making a decision on what works best for them. Listing as many details as possible about what each product/package offers and what pain points it addresses can help them make an educated decision. Using product filter widgets on your website is an easy way to help guide traders in making the decision that best suits them.
Chit chat fast. How long do you take to reply to a customer’s inquiry is a direct reflection of your company’s customer service level. Today’s customers don’t limit themselves to one channel. They will contact a company using your website contact form, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, phone, etc and you must meet them wherever they’re at and quickly.
A live chat feature on your website can help maintain visitors on your website longer and increase conversion.
Establish rules for how long it should take your company to respond to inquiries, have personnel dedicated to monitoring channels and responding to customers’ inquiries and measure response times constantly so you can improve upon them.
Research has shown that customers want to be self-sufficient when it comes to getting their issue resolved and want to contact the company only as a last resort. Automating your conversion funnels can help make your processes more efficient, reduce the need for personnel and aid in the customer conversion process in a non-intrusive but helpful and supportive manner.
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Make their lives easier. Sounds simple enough, but the number of companies with purchasing processes that make Alice in Wonderland’s Curious Labyrinth seem like a piece of cake is enormous. A good website should be designed to turn 100% of visitors who are ready, willing and able to trade, into traders. How can you make the online conversion process a smooth one?
- Make the purchasing process easy. If you want your website to convert, you must make sure your website guides users through the conversion process. Automating conversion funnels as we mention above is a great way to do so. In order to convert clients into traders, your Calls-to-Action (CTAs) must be clear and obvious and buttons must be visible. CTAs should be if at all possible kept above the fold so users don’t have to scroll down hunting for a “start trading now” button. Allow your traders to easily enroll with visible buttons that have a clear call to action: while “enroll now” is good, “start trading now” is even better. Once within the trading platform, make sure they can easily deposit and trade as well.
- Make your site accessible to people with disabilities. This isn’t just a legal obligation in many countries, it can also affect your sales volume. An inaccessible website can cost you about 5% in lost sales at best, but at worst, it can prevent search engines from indexing your site.
- Work with multiple browsers. 80 to 85% of internet users use Internet Explorer, which means that neglecting other browsers can cost you 15-20% in potential sales. This is part of meeting your audience where they are at.
Help them trust you. You are asking traders to hand over their hard earned money to you and so you should consider it normal if they are cautious about it. Forex and Binary Options has a less-than-stellar reputation and so you must work twice-as-hard to give customers a reason to trust you.
Adding an address to your site is a good way to start. Provide a phone number and actually answer the phone (don’t send them on a “press x” expedition before they can reach a human being and don’t disconnect their call if they don’t press the correct number (the number of times I’ve just given up on companies because they disconnect me when I press zero… aghhh, don’t even get me started). Add your regulatory license information, SSL certification and a clear terms and conditions section.
Use video. No method of communication beats a face-to-face, but for FX and other online businesses servicing non-local clients, video is the next best thing. Seeing someone’s face is by far the number one way of building trust. There is something about looking someone in the eye and picking up on body language that simply makes things happen. How can you use video to communicate with your audience?
- Create promotional videos that explain the main benefits of your brokerage and your offerings and put them on your website. 64% to 85% of website visitors are more likely to buy from you after they see a video.
- Create educational materials and how-to guides
- Showcase social proof through testimonials
- Schedule video calls. This may not be possible for every single client, but if you have repeat business from a trader, video can be a great retention tool and for clients with a portfolio exceeding a certain threshold, you should be making the time to engage face to face.
Website optimization. Given that a website is one of the first ways in which your audience communicates with your company, optimizing it should be at the top of your priority list. Include meta titles and descriptions, place keywords within your content, tag your images, renew your content constantly and validate your code so your site can be easily found, and avoid using intensive applications that take too long to load.
Nothing turns off a customer like a painfully slow-to-load website. People have no patience today and delayed gratification is not a 21st century thing, so do something about it and make sure your site loads up quickly.
Keep clients informed. If you are in business you are bound to have issues. Some you will resolve quickly and smoothly, some will take long, some will be within your control to fix, some won’t. It’s a fact of life. If your platform provider has an issue or your merchant account is not processing correctly, these are issues that you can’t fix nor avoid, but what you can do is keep your customer informed at every step of the way. While you may be working diligently in resolving the issue, if your client isn’t seeing you do it, they are thinking you are slacking and don’t care about their business.
Keep them informed often about the status of their inquiry or complaint and they will appreciate it even if the actual issue isn’t resolved promptly. How will this communication improve conversion? Well, a satisfied customer is likely to speak favorably about your brokerage and recommend you with friends, family and in online communities.