Introducing "The S.T.A.N. Plan"

Lights Are On, But Nobody's Home

Lights On But Nobody's Home

Dear Customer Service,
   I was in your store today but couldn't get waited on, so I left. I appreciate you putting all your nice price tags out there for me though. Now I can shop in confidence and buy it cheaper elsewhere.
   It wasn't like I didn't try to buy from you. I was there for more than 10 minutes looking around.  I went in all of your showrooms. I even went to the office where I thought your people were. The sign said Contact Us, But Nobody said "BOO" or anything.
     Maybe that's why no one was in your store. I didn't see anybody at all.  You should get a new manager or something. It's unacceptable. Oh... I almost forgot to tell you.  Here's the address of the store I was visiting. .  Signed... Ima Buyer

Why Am I Writing This

    I'm in Chris Brogan's Blog Master Topics Class {affiliate link}and one of the members +Desiree Scales wrote an article this morning about Lookie Loos . As it turns out, another member of the class +Cynthia LaLuna had written a similar article.  If you own a brick and mortar store, you should read both of them. What they are talking about is happening in your store right now. But it's also happening on your website, and all your social media platforms. 

Nobody Likes To Be Ignored

     You've experienced it.  Everybody has.  You spend an hour looking for the perfect product.  You think you want to buy it, but you need a question answered.  But, there's nobody around to ask.  It could be as simple as, 'How much is this?"  Or it may be a question about return policies. Or delivery times. Anything.    The point is, there was nobody there to ask.

It's The Same Thing ONLINE

     Why do you build a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google Plus page? Because everybody else is doing it?  Fine. As a father I'm supposed to ask you "If everybody else was jumping off a cliff...?". But I'm not going to do that. Instead I'm going to tell you that if you don't have someone greeting the customers WHEREVER THEY ARE, you've already jumped. You need a parachute, a hang glider, or a "Going Out Of Business" Sign.  You choose. Either wait on your customers, or they will find someone that will. 

How Do You Do That?

     You can learn how to link all your websites, socials, telephone, email and 5GB Toaster Ovens to some sort of monitoring software.  You can get that up and running in about a day, but only after you've invested a big chunk of time.  So figuring in the learning curve, you should be 100% operational in about 5 years, give or take a decade.  That's if  you give up your day job.
     Remember. These sites are up 24 hours a day. 

You Should Hire Someone

     It shouldn't be that expensive. It depends on the requirements. Unless you are a big outfit, the person hired would probably be watching more than one site.  They can help you 'pool' the cost.  If they are watching five sites @ $20 an hour for five different customers, that would be $100 an hour for them. That's not exactly poverty level. 
     Yes, I do that sort of thing.  You can go here to begin exploring that. But that isn't really the purpose of this post. The real purpose is to point out that the very thing that is happening OFFLINE is also happening ONLINE.  If there's nobody there to serve the steak, why would you hire a cook? 

But Wait There's More

I didn't have but about 45 minutes to put this post together.  I expect it will change dramatically after my fellow members of the BMTC {affiliate link} get to it. You should join that community. Then you'll know what a real community is, and why I posted this.  And you'll know what I do :-)

Ok BMTC... give it your best.  I gotta get ready for today's Hangout! 


Unknown said…
This is SO great. Wow, makes me hang my head in shame.
Desiree Scales said…
Wouldn't you agree that customer service matters just as much online as it does offline? There are some terrible retailers online as well with horrible customer service. I think that is overlooked sometimes. Great post Stan as usual!
Anonymous said…
You are beating my drum. I am a customer service fanatic. Admittedly, I'm not a marketing superstar but I have amazing customer service. Thus, I haven't had to worry about not being a superstar at online marketing.
Unknown said…
Stan, you are absolutely right. If I can't get someone to give me the attention on this transaction, I am outta there. Thanks for publishing this because it is uber relevant online as well.