I recently needed a carpenter to do some shelving work for us, and not knowing any or having a personal recommendation I resorted to just Googling carpenters in my area and hoping I could find a good one. I found three I liked the look of – A, B, and C. They were all on the website checkatrade (worth a look by the way) and had good testimonials. I chose carpenter A. Everything worked out fine, but what made me choose carpenter A over B and C?
Well, Carpenter A had a good website. It wasn’t an afterthought, it was a proper attempt to say “this is my business, and this is me” and that last part was crucial. He didn’t just show off his work, he put a face to his business by blogging about it. There were some really helpful tips as well as articles detailing how he set about restoring an old house, with photos and anecdotes. I immediately warmed to him and got in touch.
The internet has increasingly become about personal connections. Not only facebook, but twitter, e-mail, blogs, newsletters and all forms of social media, some of which probably haven’t been conceived yet! When we do business on the internet we have to engage with that and embrace it. People bemoan the death of the high street and the local shop where the chap behind the hardware counter knew customers names, or your butcher knew what kind of cut of beef you liked, and rightly so. Customers should not be seen as just a transaction to be done with as quickly and quietly as possible, it should be seen as the chance to build a long-term relationship that benefits business AND customer.
I propose blogging to many business owners, some of whom are reluctant because they feel they “have nothing to say”, or that it’ll be “too boring”. But once people get started they realise that they really do have a lot to say about their business. It’s what occupies most of their time, so people are often surprised at just how easy it is. And the benefits can be fantastic – firstly you give your business a voice and a face, and secondly you establish your expertise. This leads not only to sales, but a relaxed customer who feels they are in good hands. Thirdly and finally, it gives you a chance to share some opinions and talk about why you do things the way you do. A blog can be very relaxing!
Websites that act as just a static brochure are increasingly looking like dated relics. In a fast-moving marketplace, it’s so important to stay a step ahead and for me that step is simply realising the importance of the personal touch.
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Why choose us? “Why” indeed! I see this on many websites as the lead-in question, presumably to attract the reader’s attention. In my opinion, it does probably attract your attention but, subliminally, it’s placing a doubting question in the mind of the reader. They’re already thinking “why should I choose these guys over someone else”Continue Reading