When was the last time you were “tricked” by a brand? The last time a promise conveyed via a brand’s marketing and promotional efforts was not honored or fulfilled? How many customers feel like Spike Lee when he learned that Lebron James was not signing with the Knicks?
“We got hoodwinked. Led astray. Hornswoggled,”…“We got bamboozled.” cite
Oftentimes this “trickery” is unintentional or inadvertent. Indeed, many times it’s a result of not fully mapping a consumer experience. Usability, accessibility, and readability are base-level components of any effective website, according to this research article. These elements are important considerations in designing a superior customer experience. But the article points out that an understanding of cultural nuances is equally important in elevating customer satisfaction. And it’s this angle in the article that led me to think this concept could be applied to real estate website design.
Think about it. Each of your targeted customer niches is essentially part of a distinct consumer culture. First-time home buyers’ culture differs from second home and vacation home buyers’ culture. Understanding these “cultural differences” is critical to delivering a superior customer experience that flows from your web presence to your call center to your agents. Accordingly, a first-time home buyer webpage/website will have different imagery, calls to action, content, property choices, etc, than a webpage/website targeted at fulfilling the needs of second and vacation home customers.
The biggest take-away from this article is that brokerages should not try to create a “one-size fits all” website, but to focus on creating distinct webpages/websites that recognize “cultural nuances” in these distinct consumer segments.
“The right approach is to create a “culturally usable” website where designers localise websites for each of the target cultures, taking into account all the overt and covert factors that need to be considered when designing for such cultures.”
Another point the researchers make regarding website design is for developers to ensure design consistency across a company’s entire web presence. This consistency should take the form of uniform navigational elements and layout.
Thus, to minimize the possibility of “consumer trickery” the article states that businesses should focus on understanding cultural nuances, designing a web presence that meets each consumer culture’s unique needs, with an eye towards consistency and ease of use. This article is a very easy read (about 24 pages), includes a handy design flowchart on page 15, and includes sound advice for anyone interested in ensuring that their web presence properly resonates with potential customers.
Posted By: Eric Bryn