Internal Partners, External Stakeholders, and Your Website: Part Two

In my last post “Everyone Can Win,” I talked about the important role your internal partners should play in defining your website strategy: What have they learned in working with customers? What are the key differentiators they’ve used to help make company successful? Now it’s time to look at the other side of the coin – your external stakeholders, aka, your customers.

Customers are fickle. So how much weight should you really give them when crafting your site’s content strategy?

What Do You People WANT?!

In the smallest of nutshells, your company needs to solve a problem for your customers – fill a void, close a loop, etc. But chances are you’re not the only company offering your particular service(s), so what makes you the right choice?

You can say you know what your customers want, but unless you’ve actually spoken with them, you’re just making dangerous assumptions. As part of your user research, you need to actually speak with customers to find out what motivates them.

Start with a content audit, interviewing customers about your current website – what resonates with them, what doesn’t, and their opinions on finding information on your site. This will help you identify your site’s strengths and weaknesses, and information holes and overflows.

Next, expand the conversation to learn what drives your customers in their decision-making processes. Once you learn these motivators, you can more accurately determine how your company can address them.

Factor in as many opinions as possible: hold a few phone interviews, cast a wide net and distribute a survey, even host a focus group or two. You don’t need to talk to your entire customer base, but you do want to ensure that you have enough data to be representative. If you can connect with prospects or lost leads, even better!

Yes, This Really Is Possible

In short, talking to your internal partners can help you discern why customers should choose you.
Talking to your customers can help you identify why they would choose you.

It may seem like that’s just a matter of semantics, but the key is to take what you learn from your internal stakeholders and apply it to your customers’ drivers.

But one final caveat: Don’t be disingenuous. Speak to your customers, but don’t try to sell your organization as something it’s not. Be true to your mission, and use what makes your company unique to illustrate why you are the only choice for your customers.

Still having trouble striking the right balance? No problem – that just means it’s time to enlist the help of a content strategist. Luckily, at Flying Cork, we’re ready to handle just such a request. Contact us to find out how we can help you make your website work for all of your customers – internal and external.