Clear Communication Means Business

 In Business, Business Operations, Operations Management

Consumers are using a variety of online resources to look into brick-and-mortar businesses. If your information isn’t accurate, you could be losing customers. Be clear, and the business will follow.


How many times have you checked to see if a store is open before heading out for a shopping trip?  Do you have to guess a restaurant’s operating hours?  With so much commerce ensuing online, venturing out for a real-life trip to the store can be quite an adventure these days. Enterprises that aren’t carefully monitoring all resources that customers use to make decisions might just be creating barriers to new business.

We recently embarked on an effort to find some local, hometown businesses who could supply us with a few items on our shopping list. Those of us old enough to remember the phone book may briefly entertain finding the info we need in the yellow pages, but today, such a search instead begins on the internet. Finding the requisite web page for a business is pretty easy, but trying to identify when the business is open becomes a real treasure hunt!

On this occasion, we searched all over the home page of one internet site to find the business’s operating hours.  Then we tried some other sites. Already we were working far too hard to do business with this store.

Is requiring a long, lengthy search the best way to advertise your business? Or are you erecting barriers to new business by not making it easy to get the info?

Yes, of course many stores have an “email contact” page. There, you can enter information, send your message along, and trust that someone will get back to us with answers.  That is not what we were seeking.  We wanted and needed to know when the business was open and when we could come and shop – to pay them money. To us, an email exchange was a barrier to our business.

Some businesses are only open Monday through Friday, 8am to 5 pm, which makes it difficult for those who work full time to shop there.  So, in addition to poor communication about when you’re actually open, limiting hours or availability is also a barrier.

Marketing 101 stresses the importance of identifying and enticing new customers.  However, if you make it difficult for them to learn what days you are open and what hours there is customer service, you’re turning the prospect away from your door and no doubt toward a competitor down the street!

How to Make It Clear You’re Open for Business

Here are some tips to capture interest and convert it to business:

  • Ensure that your website has your hours of operation easily displayed on your website.
  • If you are willing to meet customers after normal business hours to address their concerns, say so. Be clear. Be available.
  • Tell your prospective customers exactly how to contact someone at the firm after hours to either buy a product or receive a service or perhaps even just to answer a question.

Our Advice

Do not make it a scavenger hunt for potential clients who want to do business with you!   Prominently display your hours, appointments times on weekends and after hours, your phone number, email address and other specifics about your availability on your website. Remove the barriers to new business!   When people are willing to buy, it’s up to you to make it easy for them to do so. Need help analyzing your business processes? Give us a call!


Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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