And no, for once I’m actually not talking about online!
Recently I was looking to buy a product, I won’t say what it was as I would prefer not to identify a specific business. This issue doesn’t arise with a specific business, it happens ALL THE TIME!
Somebody suggested a company to me who do the product, so I did what most of us do and googled them.
Firstly, they are hard to find online, and when you do find them the information that you need to know is not easily available. They don’t have a website, they seem to live on facebook in the online world. Their facebook page has minimal information, doesn’t have opening hours, very little information about the products that they sell and as a result looks quite temporary. This company has been around for decades, they are anything but temporary!
The one thing that they DO have on their facebook page is a map. So when we decided to go to them I clicked on the facebook map, it opened in Google maps on my phone and off we went following Google’s directions. We proceed to get lost. VERY LOST. If we hadn’t known that the company were good at what they do we would have given up at this point.
I then searched for the company in Google maps itself, found it, we followed directions and we finally found it (after driving past and back again because the sign that they had at their entrance was mostly hidden).
We went in to the premises and got talking to the owner (we think) of the business. When we said to him that they were difficult to find he told us we should know where they are!
Please, please, please, don’t assume it is your customer’s responsibility to know where you are and to put in the effort to find you. Don’t give them reasons not to choose you, make it as easy as you can for them. This applies online as well but even more so offline. Whatever about asking somebody to click through too many times on a website, leaving them driving around the country trying to find you will put them off and make them choose to look elsewhere even faster. The last thing you should be doing is giving them reasons to choose somebody else!
So what to do?
The most obvious first. Make sure that when somebody gets to your premises that they can see where you are. A clear sign, easily identifiable, and clearly visible. Get family or friends to test it and give you feedback about whether it is working, leave nothing to chance.
List your business on Google My Business, this makes sure it is on Google Maps along with accurate information about your opening hours, website, photos, etc. This also helps you to be found, as Google will show your business to people searching for what you do in your area.
Possibly the most important thing is that the information you publish online – on a website, on Google Maps, on Facebook – is accurate. Check that the pointer on the map is in the right place! Don’t leave it to chance, don’t wait for people to tell you they got lost, ask somebody to test it out if you need to.
Oh, and don’t tell people who have struggled to find you that it is their fault for not knowing where you are!
Photo by stockcatalog