In the fast-paced realm of modern commerce, success hinges on the ability to connect with customers effortlessly and effectively.
Yet, there remains a perplexing trend among some businesses that seem determined to thwart such connections.
A recent personal encounter underscores the undeniable truth: those who fail to prioritise consumer accessibility are destined for long-term failure. "I gave up after 10 minutes," says Nic Fren, CEO of Bespoke Media.
In the midst of my own pursuit to engage with a real estate industry giant – a company renowned for its impressive footprint – the stark reality of inaccessible customer communication came glaringly to light.
My intention was simple: to place an initial inquiry, to gauge the feasibility of an idea. But a ten-minute hunt for a mere phone number transformed my intent into exasperation, ultimately driving me to seek refuge with a competitor.
"In an era where convenience and speed reign supreme, it's baffling that some businesses continue to resist this simple truth: consumers crave uncomplicated interactions," he says.
"They seek information, answers, and solutions in a manner that reflects the fast-paced nature of contemporary life. The digital age has raised expectations; the era of jumping through hoops to connect is irrevocably past."
Sadly, there was no contact number whatsoever for this international company and it took messaging them on Instagram to ask for a contact number to be told I should send an email and someone would respond.
It took ten minutes of searching the internet before I reached out on Instagram.
As a result, I put this company in the too hard basket, called their competitor.
My point, I was actively chasing/searching for this company because I really wanted to work with them on some level. I wasn't just a casual scroller.
For someone keen to try and track them down to lose interest due to not being able to contact them, imagine how you can turn off a casual enquiry.
4 ways a real estate agent/business can make it easier to connect.
1) Have a phone number on your website.
It sounds basic enough, but if you don't have a phone number or feature to call from your website, you run the risk of losing the customer at that moment.
2) Have a phone number in your email signature.
Again, a simple one. I traced back some emails from around a year ago from a representative from this company as I expected there to be a phone number in the email signature. Maybe not a direct line, but something at least, there wasn't.
3) Phone number on social media.
Have a number linked in your Instagram account. Again, something so simple, but overlooked. Your customers are living on social media so why are you making it so difficult for them to reach you?
4) Make it easy.
If a customer does message you on social media, asking for the number of an appropriate person to speak with, either give it to them, or ask for theirs and have someone from the company follow it up with a call.
The message is crystal clear – consumer behavior and preferences have evolved. No longer is the act of connecting a mere step in a transaction; it's a crucial touchpoint that shapes perceptions and influences loyalty.
It's a juncture that can either cement trust or breed frustration, ultimately guiding a consumer toward a long-term relationship or into the open arms of a more accessible competitor.
When we delve into the psyche of the modern consumer, it becomes apparent that time is the most precious currency.
Faced with options aplenty, individuals are inclined to choose the path of least resistance.
This brings us back to that elusive phone number – the symbol of an organization's willingness to accommodate its audience.
Businesses that cling to convoluted communication models are essentially waving the white flag in the battle for market share.
They're turning away potential patrons who demand efficiency and convenience, and in doing so, they're relinquishing their foothold in the competitive landscape.
The lessons of history, laden with the stories of once-mighty enterprises undone by their refusal to adapt, should serve as a sobering reminder.
In a world where technology has amplified connectivity to unprecedented heights, businesses have an unparalleled opportunity to build relationships. Yet, some are content to sabotage their own potential by erecting barriers to entry.
The inevitable outcome? A loss of trust, a faltering reputation, and ultimately, a loss of business.
The lesson is unequivocal: simplicity and accessibility in customer interactions are not mere luxuries; they're the bedrock of enduring success.
Businesses that fail to grasp this reality are signing their own obsolescence warrants.
The age of customer-centricity demands that convenience be placed at the forefront of business strategy.
In the end, those who make things cumbersome for the consumer are inadvertently crafting their own demise in the competitive arena of commerce.