Your customers are talking to you but are you listening?
Recently, I needed a couple of plumbing jobs done in my house. One was a small relatively urgent maintenance job and the other was a much larger upgrade with a slightly longer lead time.
For the first job, I found a local plumber who could come out on the day I contacted him and give me a quote. A couple of days later, the quote came through via email. It seemed like a reasonable price so I emailed back asking them to go ahead with the work and for them to let me know when they could schedule it in. The response — absolutely nothing.
The second job was a boiler upgrade. This one was going to take time. It needed someone to come out, inspect the current system, talk through the options and then send me the quote. The work itself would take a couple of days so would have a longish lead time to schedule it in.
For this job, I wanted to get the opinion of a plumber who lived in the same street as me. I visited his website and he had a “Request An Appointment” page. Perfect, just what I needed. I filled in my details, information about the job, selected my preferred time for the visit and clicked “Submit”. The response — “script not found”.
In both cases, I was trying to give these two companies some work. One of them even came out to give me a quote. However, I couldn’t get in touch with either of them. I could have rung them but given that one had contacted me electronically and the other had a “Request An Appointment” form, it seemed logical that these were their preferred method of communication.
This teaches us two simple lessons. If you are trying to have an online presence for your business, make sure that you check for any messages and that your communication channels actually work.