During a department head meeting in which processes where being discussed, it became evident there was an information gap for our clients.  Our recruiting team was reporting a break down in information regarding who we are, what we do and what we have to offer.  The team shared how they answer certain questions over and over again.  They reported the funny misconceptions that they often hear.  I sat there listening and taking vigorous notes.  After the recruiting team exhausted their stories and tales of what our clients perceived and what is the reality of our programs, I knew I had a huge gap to bridge.

 

First stop, the internet.  When I am the party looking for information, the first thing I do is Google and look for a company website.  Once I have the website, I scour the home page for information.  I might dig a little further if warranted.  Next, I research anything I can download about the company, including press releases, white pages, media kits, etc. Final step is to reach out to the company via some type of web-to-lead module and ask for additional supporting marketing collaterals like FAQ, about us, etc.  All of this information represents passive data.  Often this passive data is the only tool a consumer will use to make a buying decision.  It is the passive data that often becomes the bridge to having the consumer actually engage with one of your sales representative and start a sales cycle.  Therefore, this information should be complete and accurate as your sales representative my never get a chance to answer any of the consumers questions or evaluate their needs if the gap between perception and reality is too wide.      

 

What my be intuitively obvious to you and your staff, might not be for your clients.  Take time to step into their shoes.  Google your website and determine if it is easy to find.  If not, look into build a plan to improve your rankings to make your website convenient to find for your prospects.  Next, view your website from their perspective.  Does your home page give your prospects the information they are looking for?  If not, from your home page can they easily navigate to the information they are looking for?  Look for ways to streamline your website to meet their needs beyond your corporate needs.  If you have collaterals that can be downloaded, examine for the easy of these download.  Test your web-lead modules to make sure they are user friendly and continue to move the process forward with proper direction.  Evaluate all collaterals to make sure they too are meeting the needs of your prospects.  Look for gaps or barriers and build bridges.  Barriers are intended to stop forward motion, while bridges are built to encourage forward motion.  If necessary, create additional landing pages, processes, web-leads, downloads or other collaterals to fill any gaps.  Streamline as much as possible for ease of use for your consumer while s till giving them as much information as they may need to determine that your organization is the one they wish to do business with.

 

Copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

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Comment by Stephanie Young on August 11, 2011 at 1:38pm
Julie and Carrie, thank you both.  It seems silly that this gap even occurred but it is a testament that as a company we need to take the time and see things from the shoes of our clients and prospects.  Sometimes in business, we overlook the customer experience as we chase the sale.
Comment by Julie Heilman on August 11, 2011 at 1:29pm
What a difference it has made to have the barrier of perception bridged with a great tool that focuses on the reality of what we do, who we are and what we offer.  Thanks for making my job a little easier.
Comment by Stephanie Young on August 9, 2011 at 1:52pm
Thanks, Marsh!!!  Sometimes it is easier to live in a fantasy world, but living in the real world is where the heavy lifting gets done and progress is made.  Now I have become a barrier to bridge contractor at the office.....and in my personal life.
Comment by Stephanie Young on August 9, 2011 at 1:51pm

BC, I could not believe the gaps that I found just by pretending to be a prospect and looking at what tools we use in our sales cycles.  I was dumbfounded at the gaps I found.  This task is now on my annual review list.  So glad to be of assistance and you are always welcome.

 

Comment by Marsh Buice on August 9, 2011 at 1:47pm
Stephanie, great content...what is perceived as a barrier can be concieved as our bridges...reality is much better than perception :)
Comment by Stephanie Young on August 9, 2011 at 11:35am
Jim, you would think it would be obvious but what a lesson learned on perception and reality.  Thanks for the compliment.
Comment by Jim Kristoff on August 9, 2011 at 11:33am
Great information Stephanie!!

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