This article was originally written by Heather Thorkelson on freelancetofreedomproject.com.
A few months ago I needed to replace the garage door on a house I owned but didn’t live in. I knew I’d be in town (where the house was) for a short period of time and needed someone who could work around that schedule with me.
I googled garage-fixit-companies (that’s the technical term) in Toronto and got a handful of hits to choose from. I usually choose based on who has the most user-friendly and personable website but each of these websites looked like a teenager in the 1990’s built it, so I had to look for secondary criteria.
Bear with me here.
By secondary criteria I mean sending out an email request to the two companies I’d narrowed it down to:
I know you might be wondering what all this garage door business has to do with running an online business.
Well, good business principles are good business principles, no matter what type of business you’re running.
My experience with the garage door folks brought to light how easy it is to miss the mark.
They were the perfect opposing examples of a business that’s oriented towards making the sale vs a business that’s oriented to serve their customers.
Customers can tell. They’re savvier than ever and have more choice than ever. It got me thinking about how that same is true online. It’s so easy to miss out on business because your first point of contact with a potential client is “off”.
If you’re not sure how you’re coming across, try asking yourself these three questions:
Being a service provider doesn’t mean you should always be selling people your stuff. Sometimes it means simply being of service.
A potential client might contact you for something they need, but you soon see you’re not selling what they need.
Being of service means either meeting them closer to where they’re at (if your business structure permits) or recommending them elsewhere.
The article goes on to include:
… continue reading here.
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