Where Are Your Customers?

Years ago, the customer found business on the owner’s terms. Open from 9 to 5, closed at 12 for lunch, closed on Sundays. But now, with the speed the world operates at and the constant quest for more time, businesses have to meet the customer on the customer’s terms.

I don’t mean to say that 24 hour customer service and “open all night” signs should be in your revised business plan, but you need to make some sort of provision for meeting the buyer when he or she is ready to buy.

In case you haven’t noticed, the web is buzzing with talk of this concept called Responsive Web Design. What they’re talking about is the process of making sure your site is as easily accessible on a mobile phone as it is on a computer. Remarkably, only about 35% of small businesses I come across are mobile ready.

As it turns out, however, most of the world accesses the internet from a mobile device. Phones, tablets, phablets and small-screen notebooks (netbooks) are the new portals to the internet. What you’ll quickly discover if you visit a non-responsive site from one of these devices is that navigation is difficult at best.

This has further reaching implications than you think.

The new mobile web ecosystem is creating a situation where people are shopping for the goods and services you sell from the bus, train, or the back seat of a friend’s car at all hours of the day. During dinner, they may be looking for their next curtain set. On their lunch break they spend some time house shopping. They might even realize that they’ve got to order that 6 foot party sub during that secluded 30 minutes of – ehem – personal time.

Marcus Wohlsen of Wired Magazine reminds us that if we want to reach our customers, it’s best if they can find us while in the commode.

Take a site inventory. Are you ready to meet your customers where they want to find you?

Image by Corey M. Grenier

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards image and reputation building for small business owners.