Our clients tell us stories all the time of people who come to their store or restaurant angry only to reveal that it was something little that set them off. An online issue that the business owner has no idea about is often at the source of the problem too. When they hear these stories, though, they should consider themselves lucky. It’s likely that some of these problems result in no visit at all. Our clients don’t always hear why their customers are upset and, worse, why they’ve lost a sale.
What are the three small things you should do to make sure you have a steady flow of customers who don’t start off frustrated? Keep your online listings accurate.
1) Make Sure Your Store Hours Are Accurately Listed Online
We hear this one a lot. People look online for store hours, plan their visit and pull up only to see that the store is closed. There’s nothing more frustrating. Not only is your customer unable to accomplish what they were hoping, but they have to plan another trip to accomplish their task. More time wasted. Frustration and resentment gets built up. Sales are lost.
What can you do? Ensure that your hours are correct on your website, online listings across the web and on social media profile pages. For holidays, make sure exceptions are listed and communicated as well. Merchants across Canada (with the exception of those in Quebec, who have until Labour Day), you have until the first Monday of August to ensure that your holiday hours are accurate. It’s t to start thinking about what your store hours look like online, folks!
2) Check Your Price Lists and Menus On Search Engines and Review Sites – They May Be Old!
When people are hungry, they want fast, accurate information to help make a decision on where and what to eat. In fact, 86% of people view a menu online before dining out. But what if your menu has changed and people ordering in had no idea? Or what if they came to dine in and wanted something specific that wasn’t offered any longer?
What can you do? Get online and update your menu. Google, Facebook, Open Table, Zomato, Yelp, Trip Advisor – all of these networks need your attention – and so does your website. Update some and not others? All it takes is a handful of people to discover the wrong menu and you risk not only upsetting them, but also give them license to upset others too. How? They can simply leave negative reviews about your business for anything that upsets them. That’s why your best strategy is to update your price lists and menus and keep everyone happy.
3) You’ve Moved But Haven’t Properly Communicated The Change Online
This one is a classic online mistake that small business owners make. When you move down the street or to another neighbourhood, you have so many details to think about. Phone lines, internet connections, moving companies, insurance and bank account updates, and the list goes on. Everything needs to be changed, including your online listings so your business is pinned, mapped and easily found by the people who matter most – your customers.
What can you do? Again, get online and make those changes. Think about your listings on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Bing, Yahoo and, if you’re a professional (think dentist, doctor, psychiatrist, lawyer, accountant, etc…) make the change on industry specific sites as well. Remember, for every error in your listing, you risk upsetting customers, not ever getting found, or getting penalized by search engines because they’re not fond of inconsistent listings. If you don’t, the result is lost sales. And you can do better than that.
If keeping your online listings accurate seems daunting, the task doesn’t have to be. There’s a low-cost solution to your problem, just ask us how we can help.