Gone are the days of wondering and waiting. Nobody has had to wonder about anything since the advent of the internet search engine. If you want information, just point and click, and with a few keystrokes, you’ll have your answer almost immediately. Do you want to know what is in your face cream? Are you curious if your veterinarian will board your dog? Do you need to find a local auto repair shop? And are they open on Saturdays? When we want to know something, we want to know now, and we don’t want to be kept waiting.
Remember the quaint days of sending away for information? Anything you wanted to know back then was readily available; all you had to do was send a self-addressed envelope to a P.O. box address and wait. In just four to six short weeks, a brochure would appear on in your mailbox, and there was the answer to your question. In later years, if you found yourself in a hurry, you might have opened the phone book and let your fingers do the walking, but that only got you so far. If you looked under “auto repair” in the printed yellow pages, you would find phone numbers and addresses and – aside from the full-page ads that were interspersed throughout the book – that was about the extent of the information you would find. There were no hours of operation, no current specials listed, no coupons to print, no customer reviews and for most small businesses, no brand identity – just a name and a number. For their time, the yellow pages were relatively quick and informative, but by today’s standards, if someone has to wait more than a few minutes for a fairly limited amount of information, they might as well mail away for a brochure.
The lesson: Keep your website up to date, engaging and user friendly. If you are not giving your customers information “now,” you are not giving them what they want.