If you are a business owner could you please take a few minutes to double check a couple of things about your "online presence?"

Here are a few things that as a consumer or customer, I am noticing a great deal more. Yes, I know that sometimes you have paid other people to update your website, or to send out your emails, but double check, double check, double check.

On your website, wait do you even have a website or is it just a Facebook page? Either or both is fine as long as your information is up-to-date or accurate. So many places have had to change their hours because of the pandemic. Are the hours that you have listed the hours that you are open? That you are returning emails? That someone is answering your phones? I have also run into situations where I have checked a businesses information on Google and the google info does not match what the business is doing. Check your business info on google and if applicable Yelp. Does it currently and accurately represent you, your address, phone, your hours, website etc? These are all things that you can fix, it just takes time. Taking the time to be accurate, has got to save you time, money and frustration going forward with your customers, right?

Have you listened to a customer tell you something about your business? Your hours are not right? You are constantly out of their favorite product? They like you, but have to make a stop at another store to get all of the items on their list? Any of this sound familiar? I personally have had to shop at two places because, while one has 90% of what I need, inevitably that they are out of one if not more items which means I have to make a stop at another business because they are out of the items. What will happen? Eventually, I will just go a bit further to the place that has all of the items I need, even if I have to drive a bit further or spend a little more just to save time and aggravation. If the customer takes the time to tell you, via rant, angry email, etc. Think about it. They are telling you something, you don't have to agree with it, they might not be right, you might think that they are just complaining, but stop, is there one item that you can learn from? There probably is. The rest of it is probably blah, blah, but there is something there, even if they are saying the workers don't smile at them, or no one says hi to them or thank you to them when they leave. People have a choice where to go when they need something be it a deli sandwich, a new fence, a bottle of wine or a new car. This is feedback. Would you like to have it or just have a customer never come back?

When was the last time you looked at your website? Do you even take the time to say once a week look at your own website? Now, look at it like a customer? Click on items, how do they look? Then look at it on more than one browser? How does it translate to a mobile device? A tablet? Does it work on Chrome but not on Edge? Why? What do you need to change? More and more people are accessing sites via mobile, shouldn't your customers be able to see all of your site or have it mobile optimized? I have tried to order products on a local business mobile site, and then not been able to find the cart, or the check out cart takes up so much space on my mobile phone, that I can't even access the checkout buttons. What did I do? Went to Amazon and bought the item.

Also, misspellings, ugh. Spell check people! Turn on the spellcheck, and while it might not catch everything, it is a start.  How are your pictures? Are the photos looking great until you click on them and then they are super distorted when they get bigger?

What is my point in any of this? Details. You have less and less time "in front" of a customer, so the only way you can get some solid one-on-one time together is through your website? Make sure it works, looks good and is above all accurate.

Do you send out emails for your business? Awesome! Thank you for being one of the many things I either open or delete on a daily basis. Just kidding, I read or glance at about 100 emails per day, personal emails, and work emails, that number is even higher. Are you making them worth my time? Does the subject line say "Read Me?"

Here's a tip. If you have links inside your email? Can you make them work? Or at least actually link me to the item that you would like me to look at? Not whatever it was last week? Or just make sure there is a link there? Not the wrong link or the wrong promo code?  Yes, I love your business, but there are so many others that are trying to also get my attention, make it easier for me to shop with or learn about your business. How many times in the last two months have you had to send out a 'oops the link works now email?' Take the extra two minutes to check every link in every email before you click send.

These are just a few things to remind you that there are loyal customers who love you and want to shop with you or patronize your establishment, but you are actually making it super easy for me (and others) to shop somewhere else.  Will you listen to any of these suggestions or will you just think that I am full of hot air? As a business owner, take all of this under consideration and ignore or implement as you find is necessary.

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