How to understand your fridge noises

22 July

Today I found out that we’re not the only house that has a speaking fridge. A pic from Lottie Crumbleholme bounced into my Twitter feed today and it made me laugh. I was fed up clicking links like ‘The 5 best ways to optimise Pinterest shares’. This happy infographic made me stop and smile. The fridge manufacturer obviously knows how boring white fridge manuals can be. And they know that we need daily humour in our lives!

My big passion is for helping business owners to be human on the web. Why should chatting online be any different to chatting in person? Why do we get caught up in jargon? I believe that we should forget about our awards and benefits and look at how we can help make our customers lives more healthy/fun/adventurous/secure/delicious/meaningful… {or ‘hissy’?!} What do you think?

fridge-noises

Are you tired of ‘Top 5’ format posts? What sort of content appeals to you? Let’s get to know and think like our customers – that way, we can create content for real people. I now give one-to-one training to help businesses understand their customers and what they need help with. Let me know if you’d like some help and support – I promise, we’ll have fun!

Image credit:
This image is from Lottie Crumblehome – She is a Graphic designer / researcher at the Royal College. You’ll find her on Twitter or her website.

Reassure me; tell me more.

22 July

You might be shocked to discover how many people get anxious when they visit your website or blog. I am talking ‘mild anxiety’ here, but most customers are looking for reassurance and help when they research online. The purpose of your blog is to provide answers to their questions.

Recently, I had an architect take one of my blogging workshops. The group talked about their perception of architects and our chat sounded something like this;

mark stephens architecture ireland

The thought of having a house designed or renovations done is really exciting. We’re all huge fans of Grand Designs aren’t we? But when it comes to approaching an architect, we are petrified of the process. First of all, most websites are not customer friendly and they use language that is hard to understand. We could arrange to meet an architect but would we then feel obliged to employ them? What is the process involved and how long will it take? Will it totally disrupt my family life? Will there be huge hidden costs which might bankrupt us? You can see where this conversation was heading!

A blog is the perfect place to explain your process and reassure someone who is thinking about working with you. You can’t possibly explain every eventuality but you can show that you are open and willing to make the process as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.

Mark Stephens is an Irish architect who gets this idea. He has recently added a section called ‘The Process‘ to his website. Here, he talks to the customer in simple language about what is involved in having building work done.

Mark told me why it’s so important to understand his clients’ needs and for them to understand how the design process works;

“My creative process always starts with me thinking “If I was this person, living with their circumstances – what would be the best possible solution for them, the site/house and the planners? It is only with this mindset, where you are looking for the ‘best’ solution, that although inevitably there may be compromises along the way, the initial ‘ideal’ concept carries through.”

Can you see how this way of thinking is essential for all businesses? We need to start thinking like our customers, in order to understand how we can help them. If your website simply has a product gallery and contact information, you will lose the potential customer who needs to find out more information before making a decision.

I hope I’ve got you thinking about what your customers might need help with? It could be as simple as explaining the process of how you work, as Mark has done. Share your thoughts by email or below; I’d love to hear from you!

For more information about Mark Stephens Architect, visit the website and blog.

Photo credit: Mark Stephens