If you've looked into social media for your business, you're likely already on board with the idea that social media needs to be a dialog, rather than a monologue. But Is your website also inviting dialog?
Invite Dialog on your Website
Every channel you open with your customers and prospects needs to facilitate two-way communication. Here are some options.
- Contact Us Form.
- EMail links.
- Phone number, prominently displayed.
- Chat now function.
- Rate this page element.
- Comments area.
- Share this page element.
- End content pages with a "what do you think?" type question.
Perform User Research
You don't have to be a usability expert to do user research - in fact, every website designer, webmaster and web sponsor should be showing sketches, layouts, global navigation elements and design comps to friends, family, coworkers or neighbors, if there's no formal usability budget.
Usability doesn't have to involve a lab, cameras, and appointments these days, either. We're making good use of remote usability tactics, and getting a ton of great feedback on proposed architectures, layouts and designs.
We've used the following to conduct inexpensive, remote usability studies:
- SurveyMonkey. Cheap, easy - ask questions, get answers. They support logical branching, which is nice.
- Optimal Workshop. Optimal Sort is online card sorting - grouping pages or tasks into sections that make intuitive sense. Treejack allows us to validate proposed architectural groupings, Chalkmark lets us give users key tasks and make sure they're looking where we think they will.
- PDFs and the phone. Sometimes we simply sketch out pages or layouts, save those as PDFs, and email them to participants, then schedule time on the phone. Amazingly effective.
What tactics do you use to keep up with your customers and prospects?