A Tale of 2 Plumbers – What your website says about your business
We don’t have a ton of them, just a few residential rental properties. Always looking to add to the mix too.
This makes it important for me to have a good list of professionals to call on.
Plumbers, Electricians, Handymen… etc.
If you’re a homeowner – you get my drift.
Recently, one of the places needed some work.
It wasn’t an emergency, just a few things we noticed that seemed a little out of whack with the gas hot water heater.
The key point here… it was not an emergency.
We just needed a qualified, trusted professional gas heat technician to take a look, assess the situation and make a recommendation, then perform the repairs.
A few weeks ago, in a small emergency situation – I tried a different plumber. They were closer to the property than my “normal” plumber (who also happens to be a client).
For clarity… The client is: “PTP” and let’s call the new vendor… “brand x.”
So brand x treated me right a few weeks ago in an emergency situation. They showed up and got the job done the same night. I was happy. I finally found another good plumbing and heating company.
I figured… let’s give brand x a shot at this additional work.
Ha… no such luck.
Let me tell you my interaction with brand x so you can feel my pain and the first lesson of the year is driven home…
Step 1: Call brand x to let them know I might have some problems they could fix.
Step 2: Ask them if it makes sense for me to send some pictures along of what we noticed might need fixing. Strike one – the person answering the phone, did not know their email address… Wow? Huh? So I said… “OH, I see it, it’s on your website so I will send the pictures to that address, OK?” They say OK.
Step 3: It has now been almost two days with no call back and no reply to my email. So I call them. No – they did not receive my emails with the photos. Hmm… let me check and verify the address… I sent it to the one on your website… yada@yada?? “NO!, that one does not work. Send it to blah@blah.” Hmm… why is the wrong email address on your website??? No clue. Wow.
Step 4: A week goes by. I call back and now I get the owner. I re-explain what I am trying to accomplish. He says, OH, OK… let me have (lady I’ve been talking to) call you tomorrow. Me: Uh… oooookkkkkk.
Step 5: Tomorrow comes. No call.
Step 6: I call one more time. Ask for confirmation on the email and then very politely lay it out clearly… “Do you want to schedule this job?” The reply was…. “Yes, but I do not have my schedule in front of me.”
Oooookkkkk…. And did you get the email with the photos? “I don’t know, my server is down.” What do you mean your server is down, I sent the email a week ago. Plus, you have a Comcast email, all you need is an internet connection to check email, NOT a server. To that she responds with something along the lines of… “Let me get my schedule and call you back.”
Wow… that was my que to exit stage left and be done with this interaction. I don’t have the time.
I called PTP and sent the photos. My usual tech got back to me within a few hours and told me what it might be. Meanwhile PTP’s version of the nice woman who answers the phone already had it scheduled for the next day. The next day came and the job was done. BANG.
You know what this interaction taught me once again…
It reconfirmed how I just don’t give a shit.
Let me explain.
When I look at PTP’s website and overall web presence I see professionalism. I see a company who cares about their image. And that mindset translates to real-world service and getting the job done.
When I look at the website for brand x I see a sloppy mess. And based on my experience, their business, while it might be “busy” – is also a sloppy mess.
It reconfirmed for me how our company – A company that thrives by helping small businesses attract clients and customers on the web – A company that helps small businesses put forth a professional image online doesn’t really work with or care to work with the “brand x’s “ of the world.
The brand x’s of the world… while they may be “busy”… are clueless about the whole picture.
“We’re too busy, we don’t need a decent web presence” is a common misconception.
And because we are not management consultants, we can’t fix “brand x’s” logistical and management issues with a decent web presence. If you’re always “too busy” and chasing your tail, it’s a business coach you might need (not us).
And because the brand x’s of the world are apathetic about their websites and web presence – they also come across as apathetic about their entire business – we can’t work with them.
You know what is sad though…
When you see a well-run business with a bad web presence. It’s almost like they are being miss-represented. And yes… it is true… books are judged by their covers.
Not complicated to have a rockin web presence…