Maybe you’ve seen the avatars (talking characters) on web sites (how do you like mine) and wondered if these avatars were really helpful or just eye candy?
Sitepal has published a 4 page guide listing the benefits of an avatar for your web site. The guide also lists 3 pitfalls of deploying an avatar. They include:
– Using the character too much and having it speak every time a visitor visits your web site
– Poor audio is another no, no. If you are recording the voice of your avatar make sure it sounds well and vistiors can’t hear your copy machine in the background
– Stale characters. Just like brushing your teach – from time to time use a new character and voice to freshen things up a bit.
An avatar is not going to make a web site with poor navigation and a terrible design much better, but it will bring an already great web site to a whole nother level.
I’ve found that creating an avatar is quite fun and easy to use.
Some other things you could do is adding a calendar to your site, ensuring that vistors can get updats on specific web site content via RSS feeds, adding as many self support customer tools as possible.
For example, why should customers have to call you to find out where there package is, if you enable them to track it online?
If you sell clothing or furniture work with a programmer and designer to have a virtual designer on your web site so customers can see how their clothing will look on a virtual body (like Land’s End does) or how their furniture will look in a virtual home.