Personas & Your Website | Create Strategy With Customers In Mind
We used to talk about the importance of customer service. But now your dealership’s success depends on something broader in scope: customer experience. It’s no longer enough to be nice, you have to know your customer so well you can think like them. That’s why we develop personas to represent key audience segments. Taken together, personas and your website can drive increased traffic and increased sales.
Customer experience is the totality of every interaction a prospect has with your dealership, from the first website visit or phone call onward. From a digital marketing perspective, you have to use every appropriate channel to provide a superior experience.
Relevant, consistent, repetitive.
You need to be relevant in everything you deliver. Taking the time to create personas that are as realistic as possible, then putting yourself in their shoes when you plan and execute your marketing, will bring you the best results. You have to be consistent, delivering content across all channels to ensure you’re “present” when and where prospects are looking. And you have to continuously study your analytics to learn what’s most effective so you can replicate that. Again and again.
Here are some ideas to help you create a superior customer experience:
On your website.
This is your primary marketing, tool, so it has to provide positive customer interactions at every buying stage, to guide them smoothly and happily from initial interest to long-term loyalty. Do that by studying how people use your website. Creating a “social graph” depicting how your prospects use social media can significantly improve your results.
Make sure your website is always integrated and coordinated with content you’re delivering via other channels, to ensure consistency. And focus on results-oriented analytics such as leads generated, downloads, registrations.
For landing pages.
This is critical territory, because landing pages are high-converters. Do yours give visitors exactly what they expected to get when they clicked on your link? Pare down your contact forms to request only essential information, to increase conversion. Use A/B testing to identify top-performing design, form fields, calls to action and other content.
For mobile users.
Whoever they are, your top prospects are using mobile devices, and you must accommodate them. Confusing visuals and difficult navigation are just as deadly here as they are on your website. Using your personas and your website, try to create a parallel experience for the small screen. Use A/B testing to improve conversion by ensuring CTAs, landing pages, etc. display effectively.
For email marketing.
Email remains one of your strongest marketing options, especially to strengthen relationships as you nurture leads. But here, too, relevance and consistency are paramount. If you’re finding it difficult to achieve that, you’re in good company. Industry-watcher Marketing Sherpa says 95% of companies say it’s somewhat or significantly challenging to deliver highly relevant content via email.
But take heart. Make a special effort to segment your email lists – use those personas – to improve your ability to send the most relevant content. Reduce unsubscribes by making sure your delivery schedule – timing and frequency – and the type of content you’re sending match what your prospect expected to receive when they opted in. And have we mentioned A/B testing? Use it to evaluate and refine your email marketing, too.
Buffing up your listening skills will help you be relevant and consistent. That includes making sure the social media networks you’re using are the ones your audience is using. Pay attention to the conversation, to learn what content will be most valuable. And don’t forget to cross-promote your content among your social media platforms.
Being nice still counts, too. But think of well-defined personas and your website as ignition keys to help you deliver across-the-board content that’s relevant and consistent.