I spend a lot of time on the internet. Probably less then some but more then a lot of people. I also tend to judge a business on their online presence. I really like it when a business is online in all the same spaces I am. It isn’t enough to just have a webpage; I want a twitter feed, maybe an instagram account and possibly some sort of an blog.
If you are going to take online orders, make sure your shit works. This is even more true if you are a restaurant. If you are a restaurant your online ordering system should never time out or if it does it should be hours after I have abandoned my cart… not in the middle of ordering. Keep in mind that sometimes a person is ordering for 10-15 people and if you system isn’t intuitive then it can take a while.
Nothing pisses me off more then getting all the way through an order and clicking view cart and seeing it be empty. Also when this happens and I call your store to make my order and tell you about the problem please never say “oh, that happens” because that will piss me off. Nothing on a website that causes your users experience to degrade should ever “just happen”. If it does your website sucks or you better be fixing it. That is where the twitter feed or blog comes in. Tell me what is happening.
Let me know on your front page that if you are making a large order that sometimes the cart system breaks and it might make sense to call your order in. Or at least be sympathetic.
The actual point of this post (if there is one) is that if you are going to be online, be ONLINE. Work the internet to your advantage. You don’t have to be some fancy tech start-up to use social media to your advantage. I can think of many ways in which a church or real estate company could use these free systems to drive their business and connect with their customers on a deeper level.
As a consumer I am more likely to use your services if I know that you are a human company not some faceless corporation. If I can look at your facebook fanpage and see that you participate in the conversation or see pictures of your workshop via twitter/instagram I am more excited to give you money then if you have a webpage with no functionality that hasn’t been updated since 1995.