In grade school, I was always excited to go to the book fair and buy the newest Choose Your Own Adventure book. You remember those, right? At the end of each chapter, you were presented with two options, and you got to choose the next step you wanted, turn to the appropriate page, and continue on your adventure.
I was fascinated by how I could seemingly control the outcome of the story.
After I finished the book, I would go back and take different paths. It didn’t take long to figure out that the paths all lead to a limited set of outcomes.
So, my perception of having control over the outcome was simply an illusion. Nonetheless, I loved the journey and was an avid fan of the books.
I view a company’s customer experience to be the same type of adventure.
As a business owner, you have the ability to guide a visitor’s adventure through content, imagery, format, and functionality. You have the ability to create impact and connections at specific points of the adventure through relevant content presented in memorable ways.
Today’s consumers and prospects want to access information and data at their convenience on their terms. They want to find your product or service quickly from their phone, maybe their tablet or laptop. They want to feel a connection to your company within a few seconds of landing in your world.
They want the control of convenience. They want the power to evaluate and select.
Most small and medium sized companies don’t get this concept. Victims of their own ignorance, they don’t understand their audience. Most websites are nothing more than repositories of stale, non-strategic content that has no real value to readers. They are left to languish in the black hole of the Internet as business owners hold their breath for far too long.
The opportunity to differentiate your company from the masses of mediocrity is within your grasp. And it’s not that difficult.
Take the first step in choosing this adventure: create a compelling, inspiring story.
Let the story be the theme of the user experience, the common thread that is present throughout the customer’s adventure with your company. Tell the story of your company’s background, qualifications, personality, but let the customer be the hero of that story. Tell consumers your “why” by articulating what problem your customer solves when using your product or service.
Shifting the focus to be on your customer changes the entire experience. You have given prospects the control to discover, learn, and choose your company.
By producing content that connects, pairing it with imagery that resonates, and laying it out in a user-friendly online experience, you empower the user to make decisions that let them think they are choosing their own adventure while ultimately driving them to the end you have already written.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Patterson is the President and CEO of The Alias Group, a company devoted to helping businesses grow through inside sales and digital marketing. The company has been active for more than 25 years and works to bring customized, individual sales and marketing solutions to clients and continues to emphasize growth on both sides of their company/client relationship.
He got his start by building on the successes of his father's sales and distribution company, expanding into more aspects of industrial sales and adding an entire marketing division. As the company grew, the sales and marketing services evolved into a new brand: The Alias Group. The company underwent significant improvements as it grew. The facility, technology, corporate structure, and culture evolved; internally, The Alias Group refined to a team structure, instituted an open PTO plan, and actively applied The Alias Group's core values: Unique Focus, Genuine Connection, and Deliver More.
Mike is dedicated to the company's work and steady expansion, but when he is away from the office, he’s enjoying travel, visiting Dewey beach with his wife and three sons, or spending time on the sidelines of sporting events (whether they are those of his sons or The Ravens).