Why Images Matter to Experience

by Jeannie Walters

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Have you thought about what the images on your web site imply about the experience you are promising?

Do we do anything any more without checking it out online first? Heard about a good restaurant from a friend? We look it up on our phone. Planning on attending an event with a new organization? Better Google it!

Of all the experiences we purchase, education arguably includes the most stress, money and expectations. Every parent I know worries about this. Every student I know worries about this. Before college visits are planned, web sites are visited.

University of Phoenix has some really nice commercials lately. “I am a Phoenix” is a strong statement. The focus on the commercials is clearly real people who have achieved great things. The implied promise is that you, Mr. or Ms. Real Person, can achieve something, too. And, yet, reviewing their site, the photos feel phony. They don’t look like real people who are embarking on something personally important. They look like stock photo models.

From the www.phoenix.edu home page

In comparison, check out what University of Illinois is doing. (And lest you think I’m biased…while I live in Illinois, I am a very proud graduate of the University of Missouri. Complimenting the Illini is not something I take lightly.)

The new site is full of real images of real people, including many submitted by the community.

A community member submitted photo on www.illinois.edu

The photos imply a rich, diverse experience. Is it easier to use stock photos to portray campus life? Probably. But when you are making a promise of an experience, we want to see real people who are doing real things.

Customer experience is about all your customers. Are you ignoring them by taking the easy way with your online images?

p.s. Go Tigers! Mizzou-RAH!




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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, LinkedIn Learning instructor, TEDx speaker, and President-Elect of the National Speakers Association Illinois chapter. Learn more here.

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