Companies get into business with the best intentions and they have a goal to provide top-notch service. But then they miss out on the most simple opportunities to please customers/clients and prospective new business partners.
I have always tried to respond to requests and inquiries the same day. You would be shocked how slow some companies respond. In fact, I get a lot of new business from companies who are tired of being ignored and for slow service. I have heard from companies that many companies actually can take up to two weeks to make a simple text edit. We at RooSites many times respond within minutes. I don’t put things off, and it makes clients happy. This seems so elementary, right? Yes it does, and that is why I say responsive is the keyword you need to remember.
I recently had an inquiry from company looking for a specific service. I wrote to a guy I did business with many years ago to see if he be interested as he was perfect for the job. Unfortunately I didn’t hear back for days. I also left a voicemail and I texted him. It is beyond me why somebody looking to give you business would be ignored. These are the same people that complain to you how tough it is in business these days. I always find it intriguing that people aren’t responsive yet whine about a a lack of business.
Now this works both ways. Sometimes I’ll get a question from a prospective customer and reply right away. Sometimes I won’t hear back at all, even when I follow up. This too is not OK as this leaves a bad taste in someone’s mouth and they’ll probably never hire you or refer you, which is so important in today’s business world.
I had a former colleague tell me that they thought I replied too quickly and I set a bar too high, and people would always expect such great service.
It is funny, when companies leave me which doesn’t happen too often thankfully they’re always expecting a new provider to give the same service.
I recently had a nonprofit decide move to a provider offering cheaper hosting and support services. They were just trying to save money and went with the cheapest possible hosting solution. I won’t name the company, but you know the one; They put 50,000 sites on the server and then people wonder why the performance is terrible and it crashes all the time. Well within three days of transferring, I went to the site to make sure it was up and running and what do you know, it had crashed. White screen of death. Now as it was a WordPress site, I know exactly what happened. Updates came in and they made them without backing up the site and it crashed. Now with my hosting solution, I back up every single day so even if this happens I can get the site back up and running within 30 seconds. As it has now been over five days, I know they’re having trouble. Sad, but cheap does not always equate to good! They do a good job of covering how price isn’t always the best deal in the Forbes Magazine article When The Lowest Price Is Not The Best Deal.
I would just like to reiterate that it can be very simple to please customers/clients. Respond quickly, NEVER ignore inquiries. When asked for your support, put yourself in the shoes of your customer, get the work down. This will help your company grow and succeed. Everyone likes to recommend companies that provide good service. Be That Company!!
After the pandemic, a lot of things will go back to normal for small businesses. But, some things will remain changed forever. Here are five things that I think will change permanently for small business websites around the globe.
There will no longer be companies without an online presence. Up until now most companies are on the web, but some still (somehow) have not developed websites. What Covid – 19 has taught us is that you have to be able to do business online. At very least you need a site to communicate to people when you are closed or have special hours and circumstances. Now, that doesn’t mean everybody is selling 1 million products or have a full-fledged e-commerce site, but every small business needs a website. Chances are the companies who don’t have a website will not be long for this world. They are dinosaurs and will become extinct.
Even traditional brick and mortar stores that don’t sell online, will need the ability to do so. That may not be your entire product line, but it’s a good idea if you have some standard products that can always be bought online. That way your business is never totally shut down no matter the tragic circumstances.
If you are a professional service, such as a law firm or CPA, you now need the ability to be paid online. One of my clients is a law firm that has been around since the 1800s. They recently had us build an improved payment solution for their website. The new functionality has lead to quicker payments as well as a savings of of over $12,000 a year. People during the pandemic have been scared to even go to the post office in many cases. So, having the ability to get paid online is crucial. If your website is not set up to accept payments, then that would be a good place for you to start and be ready if this horrible circumstance ever comes around again.
Too many websites are still stagnant, static sites and when the pandemic hit they had no way to quickly update their websites. The days of building a site and never making changes are gone (as they should be!!). Every site should be built using a Content Management System or CMS that is user friendly.
The percentage of people viewing sites on cellphones and pads has reached an all time high. During traumatic times, people have little patience for websites that don’t display on their device of choice. So if you are a late adopter with a site that doesn’t look good everywhere, now is the time, make it happen!
Look, if I had told you that we would have a pandemic that would shut down the world, forcing millions out of work, you would’ve said I am crazy. But like a scary movie, our world became a nightmare with Covid-19. Similar to 911, some things changed forever. After 911, everything from travel, to the way we purchase stocks and our normal behavior shifted forever. The same thing has happened with the pandemic. Now, as no one could’ve predicted this, very few were ready for the new world order. Some companies actually thrived during this horrible time. Some have survived and sadly many will go out of business forever.
But, looking on the positive side (if there is one) we now will be planning ahead for the next pandemic. Our small businesses will be far more ready, as we have to find a way to keep business says surviving even during the worst times when we cannot conduct business face-to-face. Most of us will never go back to our normal jobs, going into an office 9 to 5, as many will remain working from home. But the work will still need to be done, just in a different fashion. We have to be ready.
My recommendation for small businesses is this: take a look at your small business website, figure out what you can do in the event of another global catastrophe. Determine what is the bare minimum you need to keep your business afloat and make it happen. And of course, if you need any help at all, please contact us, we are happy to assist.