Every small business owner makes important decisions every day. Some of them are rather difficult. In this episode, I talk about how to make those decisions really easy.
What’s up everybody? This is Michael Mignogna, and welcome back to Scrappy Wins. I’m going to tell you a little story about something that happened yesterday, and it brought to mind something that I think is really important and interesting to share. It has to do with how to decide what sort of decisions to make for various things regarding your business, your small business. Let’s do it.
The big question is this: how are small business owners like us who don’t have huge digital marketing teams, who don’t have web developers and designers, who neither have unlimited funds nor unlimited time … how can we get the digital marketing stuff done and the exposure we need to build our businesses while remaining profitable? That’s the question. In this podcast, I’ll give you the answers. My name is Michael Mignogna, and welcome to Scrappy Wins.
Okay, so yesterday, I was at a brick and mortar store, one of twelve brick and mortar stores in this particular chain of stores. Sort of consulting with them, I’m going to be doing a lot of digital marketing stuff with them. I wanted to get a feel for what was going on in their business, and we kind of went off in a million different directions. One of the things we talked about was the fact that I noticed on their website, on the home page, there isn’t a phone number to call. Okay? There is no phone number on the home page, and I thought to myself, “This is a company that is trying to compete with the larger brick and mortar stores like Best Buy, and even Amazon online, and Walmart.”
They sell a product that you can get at all of those stores, but they sell it at this particular store that I was consulting with, at this particular chain. It’s a much smaller scale. They don’t have thousands of Best Buy stores, like Best Buy does, but they have twelve stores and they specialize in selling this one product. Because they are a smaller chain, they are able to offer sort of that white glove, VIP kind of service. That’s really what sets them apart value-wise. That’s their unique value proposition is that they are able to provide a much higher level of service. The contradiction is that’s the case, but they don’t have a phone number on their website that you can just call and easily get put in touch with whomever you’re looking to talk, to or get questions answered, etc.
Here’s what happened. I asked why there wasn’t a phone number on the home page, and they get thousands of website visitors. I asked why there wasn’t a phone number on the home page, and the GM said to me, “Well, it’s because we don’t have an operator. Since we have twelve stores, we don’t know what store … Where would they be connected? We’d have to hire a full time person to answer the phone, and then he or she would have to figure out where they’re located, and then they could send that call to the store, and whatever.” That’s not a bad idea. That’s worth it if it means someone can call this one number, and then get directed to the right store.
The issue he said was, “but if we hire that person and someone calls, the person answering will probably be in this store we’re in right now.” It’s like their flagship store. “He or she might be inclined or influenced by the sales people to just hand it off to one of them, even though the person on the line might be closer to a different store.” Those sales people want to make that sale, right? There are some sort of political issues with that, and he said, “Why can’t we just send people who come to the website, who want to call, to our locations page on our website? Then they can find the location closest to them and call the number.”
Think about what that would be like. Someone would want to call. They would see maybe in the header of the website, “Want to call? Click here.” You click there, and it takes you to a page, then you have twelve different locations to look through and to determine which one is closer to where you live. Then you have to look at the phone number, and then dial it in and call. That is way too difficult. You should just be able to click on the phone number and get connected.
Let me back up and explain in principle, what it is or how I’m thinking about this, and how you should think about issues like this, or similar to this, or any sort of decision you’re making for your business. That is think in terms of what would be the best possible experience for your prospective or your current customers. In other words, what would be the dream … what is the best service you could possibly offer? That should be what you offer. Whatever that is, you need to try to engineer a process for that, or a way of that working, exactly like that.
For instance, the dream process for getting in touch with a company who is selling this thing, and you have a question, or you want to know what to do, or whatever … would be to go to the website and click a phone number and start talking to someone. Click a phone number and get connected. That simple, okay? How would they make that work? One of the things I came up with yesterday when I was talking to the GM was, “What if you called that single phone number on the website, and it asked you to put in your zip code followed by the pound sign? The system could be set up so that after you enter your zip code, it automatically connects you with the closest store?”
I’m not sure how to build that, but I know I can figure out who to ask how to build that. I think that would be one of the coolest features. You call this number. It says, “Thank you for calling the blah-blah store. Enter your zip code followed by the pound sign, and we’ll connect you to the store closest to you. If you are on the other side of the universe, press whatever and we’ll connect you with someone right away.” It could just default to one of the stores, right?
That might be a really easy way to do it, and you don’t even have to hire … they won’t even have to hire a reception person, a receptionist. That could be really cool. The takeaway here is, whenever you’re deciding how you want to handle a particular issue in your business, and it has to do with the end user … Think about what would be the best possible experience for that end user. Then figure out how to make it happen. You know what I mean? That is today’s podcast. It is Tuesday. What’s today? Wednesday, sorry, it’s Wednesday around 10:00 AM. I’m sitting in my closet, because the acoustics in here are really good. I think the clothing reduces echo and it just sounds nice in here. This is actually where I recorded the voice part of the intro to this podcast, to the opening musical thing where I’m talking and there’s music behind it. It sounds really professional.
That was actually recorded on my iPhone in my closet, and then I sent it off to a guy on Fiver.com. He put music to it and mixed it, and it just sounds awesome. I got it done for like $100. Anyway, I don’t know why I went off on that tangent, but I wanted to let you in on a little bit of what’s going on here this morning, doing this podcast in between doing a bunch of things for various clients. I wanted to share with you what I learned yesterday, one of things I learned yesterday talking to this really big client who owns twelve brick and mortar stores.
Like other clients that have brick and mortar stores, they are finding it very challenging to grow their business. Instead, they’re seeing it shrink a little bit year over year, because more people are buying online. More people think it’s cheaper to buy it in these big box stores. Sometimes it is, but in their case it isn’t. A lot of the marketing we’re going to be doing for this particular company involves educating people about their misconceptions regarding price, and quality, and things like that. I will try to update you when I can about this particular marketing strategy for this particular company, because I think there’s going to be a lot to learn. I think a lot of small businesses, brick and mortar companies, are dealing with the same thing and could benefit from a lot of the same strategies.
Stay tuned for more about that sort of stuff, and in the meantime, pick one thing in your business that you think your customers or perspective customers find a little painful. Think about what would be the best possible experience they could have doing or interacting with you, doing that thing or interacting with you in whatever way you choose. Then engineer a way for it to happen exactly like that, because man, it is all about good service now. It is all about good service. The more friction, the more painful it is to interact with a company, the less likely that company is going to get that client.
That is all for today. I hope you enjoy this podcast. This is number 26, episode 26 of Scrappy Wins. Subscribe on the iTunes store if you’re interested or Google Play. You can find all of the episodes by going to ScrappyWins.com if you’d rather go to the website. That’ll redirect you to the feed of posts on Minyona.com automatically, and that’s it. Questions? Get in touch. See you later.