Every business, no matter the size looks to gain an edge on their competition. If you’re in that position, there’s good news; it doesn’t matter if you have a massive marketing team or you’re one person wearing many hats, marketing, sales and business growth strategies are only as good as the customer experiences they create. That said, there are still many companies missing the customer experience target. This leaves plenty of opportunities for their competitors (you) to experience more business growth.

Wondering if you have room for improvement? Think about these tips as you forge ahead into 2017:

Self-serve is key for great customer experience

Analysts at Forrester agree, most prospects are self-serving the content that answers their questions and helps them become better educated before they pick up the phone, send an email or buy. These visitors also spend time on company pages to gain an understanding for who works there and what’s important to them. In addition, they frequent answer pages like FAQs along with blogs and products and solutions pages before reaching out. Therefore, companies that include testimonials and put answers in in places where they’re easily found are often ahead of the curve.

Don’t just write… tell, show, and make the customer feel understood

We’ve all heard the term ‘lip service’ and we know it means – all talk, no action. When it comes to customer experience, it’s important to remember what makes for good experiences. Typically they elicit a response from more than one of the five senses and creativity is a vital element in that process. Therefore, making it central to all aspects of the company’s online presence is key. Services companies should give visitors a feeling of what they can expect while graphic designers need to be focused on creating those feelings in the visual realm. You probably inherently know this but it’s easy to forget and when it comes to analyzing web properties, think about it from the visitors’ point of view. What do they expect from you and how can you lead, show, and tell them your story in a way that’s unique and demonstrates how knowledgeable, personable and easy to work with your company is?

Updated information is key for business growth

Think back to 2015 when Google began downgrading mobile unfriendly websites. Two years later and we still sometimes click a link on our phones only to let out an “ugh” because – it’s 2017 and they forgot; everything needs to be mobile responsive! It’s ok though, right – because all you do is back up and select a different link… right, that’s what prospects do too and now they do it when it’s mobile unfriendly and also when the website content is outdated. Today, more than ever, it’s imperative to ensure all content (written, video, photos etc.) remains current and aligned with the overall look and feel the website intends to portray. And above all else remember, design and words are critical to positioning an organization as knowledgeable and relevant.

Say no to negativity

Positivity has always ruled when it comes to social graces and it’s imperative during person-to-person or telephone contact as well as a smart practice on social media. But, have you ever considered how positivity matter in blogs, web copy and other online content pieces to drive business growth? Nobody wants to do business with companies that appear boring and outdated. They also don’t want to deal with negativity no matter how knowledgeable you are. Look critically at all aspects of your online content and ask; is anything about it negative or could anything be construed that way? Then course correct as needed.

Customers want to be heard

Current customers can be a treasure trove of great information when it comes to executing a content strategy that maps to customer happiness. They have unique buying habits and can share why they’re happy with you and what you’ve done to differentiate yourself from the competition. This information is invaluable to content creation. Use it to write to your target audience and you’ll facilitate more business growth.