A Small Bad Experience Can Have a Big Effect

By on October 23, 2009

Professional lookingThere are so many intangibles standing in the way of converting a prospect into a client that it makes sense for us to focus on areas where we can make a noticeable difference. Site usability is completely within our control and we must present a perfect playing field if we are to expect our visiting player to score a touchdown!

A lot of effort goes into a typical web sales funnel. You may use several social media campaigns, article marketing, pay per click, video marketing or a combination of methods to drive warm prospects to your site, relying on the strength of your marketing message to finally convert them once they are there. Yet even the smallest “bad experience” appears to have a devastating effect when it comes to the ultimate conversion.

This seems to be especially true the closer you get to the point of reckoning. Shopping cart abandonment is a phenomenon that we are only too aware of and should do everything within our power to contain. Even if the visitor is on his fifth or sixth visit and has finally decided that he or she would like to do business with you, there is still a certain amount of trepidation or “advance buyer remorse,” maybe. The prospective buyer does not expect any surprises during the purchase phase and will likely abandon the entire process if anything is out of place.

Moral number one: make your entire purchase and checkout process as seamless as possible.
Moral number two: pay a great deal of attention to the structure and composition, grammar and general “readability” of your site. Remember that a spelling mistake here or there or an inadequately composed sentence could create just a little nagging doubt in the mind of the prospect. They are about to engage in a process of trust and you should not present any stumbling blocks, no matter how small.

Your entire site should be nothing less than fully professional, but remember that it is not all about the first impressions created by your homepage, but can also be about the “next to last” impressions contained within your registration, payment or checkout pages as well. While this is at the top of your mind, go and have a good look at your site right now!

How have you prevented bad experiences?

Matthew Toren

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Matthew Toren

About Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.