Do you love James Bond? Who doesn’t? From his dashing tuxedos to his glittering super techy gadgets, Bond -- James Bond -- is the international man of mystery that all of us gentlemen wish, deep down, that we could be.
I’m a huge James Bond fan, which is why I’m particularly excited for his newest film, Spectre. But while I know the film will offer me a few hours of intrigue and nail-biting entertainment, the franchise also offers solid lessons we can take back to the office.
That’s because Spectre starts out with our dashing secret agent receiving a cryptic message from his past, one that -- you guessed it -- sends him on a wild, twisting chase to uncover some serious bad guys. And when it comes to online customer experience, even some of the world’s most successful companies are unwittingly sending consumers on wild goose chases. On screen, it’s great to watch Bond face hurdle after hurdle, skillfully maneuvering traps and dead ends without spilling a drop of his shaken martini. In the ecommerce world, however, customers want to get online, conduct their business, and get back to their lives. But as CEO of ClickTale, I see daily how digital customer experience can go terribly wrong.
So how do we stop cryptic messages as fast as Bond can neutralize Goldfinger? Read on for a few tips.
1. Reinvention is a must.
To retain customers online, you must reinvent your presence. It only takes one look at the James Bond franchise itself to understand the value of this lesson. James Bond has been appearing in films for decades. By the standards of both fiction and the real world, this franchise is old! Logically, it should be passé. But its screenwriters, producers and directors know how to constantly reinvent his character, always modernizing him, sprucing him up and adding a new exciting twist that keeps audiences engaged. This is exactly the same tactic that mature organizations need to take to heart when it comes to polishing their online presence. And just as the plot of a 007 book needs adjusting for the big screen, formulas that are tried and true for brick-and-mortar stores cannot be applied automatically to your brand’s online presence.
2. Treat your company's website like your leading man.
It would seem that switching up your leading man would be a recipe for disaster. But the James Bond films have switched lead actors numerous times, and it’s exactly that subtle shift -- from Sean Connery to Roger Moore all the way to Daniel Craig -- that has kept audiences coming back for more. Consider your company’s website to be exactly like your leading man: It must be attractive, recognizable, and both new yet familiar.
Companies redo their websites every two to there years, which is great, but in redesigning, try to channel Bond. Make sure your new product is as good-looking as your previous product. Modernize, but don’t stray too far from your core. Otherwise, you run the risk of alienating your customer base. And that’s a Dr. No-No.
3. The website journey should be both obvious and fun.
4. Know where to invest your money.
The James Bond franchise isn’t afraid to spend money on customer experience. What would a 007 film be without the expensive car chases, the spectacular sets and the gorgeous costumes? They know where to invest their money, and so should you. Digital customer experience is one of the best ways in today’s crowded online world for a company to gain a competitive advantage. Don’t be afraid to spend both budget and effort here -- it will pay dividends several times over.
5. Cunning, wit and attitude help you win.
If there’s a final lesson to take from our friend James Bond, it’s that looks are great, but cunning, wit and attitude are what really help you win. Casino Royale, License to Kill and hopefully Spectre are great films to watch not just because James Bond is a fascinating character to watch, but because we genuinely want to be like him. We want to take a walk in his perfectly polished shoes. Because we care about how he handles the challenges thrown at him and how he deals with one insurmountable hurdle after another, we keep coming back for each new film. Visitors to your site need to feel equally engaged -- they love the experience your brand can provide only, so they keep coming back for more.
If your website is like Bond, then it’s crucial you invest not just in its appearance, but also in its underlying structure (its personality, if you will). Build a site that offers a seamless experience and an exciting ride, wrapped in an attractive package -- and your company won’t just be around to Die Another Day. If you play your cards right, you’ll see a Skyfall of conversions.