Take My Money
“Wear a mask - social distance.”
“Get tickets for our first ever virtual conference!”
“You’re on mute.”
“I’ve watched all of Netflix.”
And of course, our favourite brand new overused phrase for 2020: “In these trying times…”
Despite feeling like the entire topic has been talked into the ground, dragged back out, kicked around a few more times, then burnt down with prejudice, it’s still pretty rare that conversations don’t eventually work their way around to how things have changed for us all.
Just last night, I had a half laughing, half frustrated conversation with a friend of mine who owns a business in Saskatchewan about how things have changed for her. She mentioned that many of the trade shows she regularly attends have of course been cancelled, and that she’s missing the opportunity to see and select products for her store in person.
However, she adjusted to virtual conferences, and is now adjusting to online trade shows. That wasn’t the frustration part.
The frustration part was the online experience she was having with distributors, companies with whom she regularly spends thousands of dollars a season. She was provided a list of companies with website links and directions to buy online. Then the fun began.
Many of the websites she was directed towards were non-functional. Some were highly and aggravatingly disorganized. Most annoying, however, were the sheer number of sites that required her to create an account just to VIEW the products.
She had an 11 page list of distributors to look through, go online to find, and then she had to create accounts over and over and over to get at product ordering that she has done for years very easily in person.
All these hoops to jump through and what for? So that she could give these companies HER MONEY.
That’s right. When people come to your website, they WANT to give you their money. Why are you stopping them from giving it to you?
As a business owner, you should love people who want to give you their money. Good grief, that’s why we’re all here right?
So why do so many businesses make it so hard to provide simple, fast, well organized, well designed online tools to facilitate the transfer of money to you, and transfer of goods and services out in exchange? Why would you do anything to prevent this smooth transfer?
Companies that have been in business for decades can be the worst culprits. They are slaves to their processes, and cannot see past that to smoothing the online path between their goods and the client’s desire to buy those goods.
As far as business ideas go, not having a smooth customer journey in every avenue along which a potential customer would like to journey is a mistake. Yes, if you don’t have it in place, it costs money to smooth the path between your clients and online money transfer, but does that mean you shouldn’t do it?
If you have a storefront, would you not repair your front sidewalk or replace your front door if it was blocking your clients from entering? If you have a sales team waiting to take orders, would you leave broken phones unfixed, leave reception desks empty, leave answering machines full and unchecked just because it costs money to keep that customer path maintained?
No, of course you wouldn't.
You need to invest in your online customer journey just as you would your in person customer journey. You need to think about what’s keeping clients from giving you their money, and figure out how to fix that. It’s the most important thing that you can do for your online business.
Take. Their. Money.
They want to give it to you. Make sure you don’t leave them outside wanting to get in and meeting nothing but barriers. It’s worth the investment.