Dear Small Business Owner,
As a potential customer of your small business, I’m frustrated by your lack of response to my email, tweet, Facebook post, Instagram Message, text message, Skype chat, etc.
I think I know what happened that led to my frustration.
You’ve got an established or new business.
At some point in the business life cycle, you decide to build a web site. (“Hey! You totally need a web site to drive more traffic!”). As you realize building web sites is not core to your business, you spend some hard earned income to invest $200 in a web site.
To your untrained eye, you may not recognize the Microsoft FrontPage style template that $200 bought.
Not only has the web designer created some static content, they’ve thoughtfully created:
- A blog
- An e-mail address
- A “Contact me” form
- The Full Social-Package™, including but not limited to: Twitter, Facebook Pages, Instagram, and Skype.
After an all-too-brief explanation, you, sit back and wait for new business opportunities to arrive, digitally.
And nothing happens.
Maybe a blog post will help. So, you create the first (and last) blog post.
And still nothing happens.
So, business resumes as normal. The web site goes unmodified. The blog post remains, dull, and outdated.
E-mails aren’t flooding in, so the e-mail address that was set up isn’t checked frequently or at all.
So, when a potential customer uses one of the social options or an email to contact your business, there is no timely response (if there’s one at all).
And then…, you’ve lost a customer.
Sorry, but I’m going to find a different business that meets my needs.
If a small business doesn’t check and respond to voice mails once a (work) day, they may loose business. If that same business does not check their email, social accounts, MySpace pages, etc., they also may loose business.
I’m sure they meant well by having a web site with an email address, etc., but if it’s not used, it’s no different than not answering the phone.
So, what happened? It started with unreasonable expectations.
A blog, social-media accounts, email accounts, do not directly create new business opportunities. They are simply new channels for communication. It’s two-way. If your business doesn’t have a plan for these new forms of communication, they will fail.
You will miss out on new customer opportunities. And worse, you may lose existing customers who may transition to using the other forms of communication you’ve claimed to offer. Spend an extra $100 to have a daily (or more frequently) plan developed to consistently use these communication options. Delete and remove any that don’t fit your business needs or that sit unused. If you don’t understand these forms of communication or how to integrate them effectively, there are lots of on line resources that can help, both paid and free.
I like buying local and will support businesses that work best with my lifestyle and communication preferences.
Small business owners can do better. Please.