Sunday, August 14, 2016

"Websites Are Important, But They Do Not Substitute For An Actual Contact With Us"

Most of us have websites today, and we rely on them to help tell our story to people who might be interested in using our services. We want the website to make the introduction for us and to let people get to know a little about us and what we offer before they actually contact us.

That said, there are some people who might argue that we should count someone as a return visitor who has visits our showroom or warehouse or who schedules an appointment to meet with us in their home after they have been to our website (earlier that day, the day before, a week earlier, or whenever). While they might gain a perspective about us and what we offer from the website, it's not the same as meeting us in-person.

When someone walks through our front door for the first time or invites us into their living room or kitchen to meet with them, they are - by definition - a first-time visitor to our office or with us personally. Website visits are nice, but they don't count - except for letting people know a little about us and in getting someone to visit us or schedule an appointment.

We want our website to be a great reference tool for people and to introduce them to what we are offering. It may have photos, floor plans, videos, virtual tours, testimonials, and more, but it is not the same as seeing, experiencing, and talking with us - in-person - firsthand. Nothing can replace that. Watching a TV show or documentary about Paris or somewhere else we haven't been before may help us recognize the scenery and some of the landmarks when we eventually get there and have an enhanced appreciation for it, but it's not the same as being there. We would never tell someone that we had been to Paris just because we had seen a movie of it.

So, the fact that our customers have seen our website (when we hear this from them or learn it through some of our early questions as we are speaking with them on the phone or as our face-to-face is getting underway) just means that they have a little more understanding of the types of services, products, and solutions we offer and what they might expect if they choose to work with us. We should use our website to anchor and supplement our presentation, not replace it.

If we accept the notion that a website visit counts as the initial visit or contact with us, then you do not need to discuss all of the preliminaries when we meet with someone like we normally would because they would already have seen or heard it on our website. All you would do is verify which solution or product they have selected and pick a date to get started. Obviously, our solutions are tailored to the individual needs of our clients and customers and can't be circumvented by selecting something that is discussed or pictured on our website.

We want people to use our website to create a comfort level in working with us, but the solutions and products we recommend will have to be suggested after we physically meet our clients, evaluate their needs, determine a budget, see what they have now, and suggest specific remedies to what we feel will solve their concerns.


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Steve HoffackerCAPS, MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.