Do you like the idea of supporting local businesses?
Is that like asking a politician if he’s for more jobs and against crime?
But … and it’s an awfully big but … your locally-owned business has got to meet me MORE than halfway. Sorry if that seems unfair. Heck, it is unfair.
Get over it.
- Twice before the holidays, I called for delivery and was greeted with ‘hello?’
- Both times, it sounded kind of like I was bothering them by trying to offer them money.
- I asked if I was, indeed, calling the restaurant. Both times, I was greeted with a self-righteous, “yeah.”
- The second time, I was abruptly cut off twice when asking simple questions.
- Neither time did the phone person say ‘thank you’ or ‘good bye.’ Each time, they simply hung up.
Help you beat the chains? Help yourself.
<insert Superfriends transition sounder> Meanwhile …
One of those nasty chains – Target – answered the phone over the holidays at not one, but two different stores in two different towns by nicely saying,
“Hello, this is Target. What can I help you find today?”
That’s right. A real, live, human being person answered. No automated phone tree. Also no hangups or entitled, snippy, self-righteousness.
Target obviously had a system in place. How exactly was that evil? That’s like calling kittens evil.
Your locally-owned business has got to meet me more than halfway.
Or you’ll lose.
It’s not a temporary inconvenience. It’s the new reality of your business, and you best embrace it and – more importantly – develop chain-like, repeatable systems to do it better.
Remember, in this age and day, whether you deliver an exceptionally good or bad experience, social media will only accelerate the inevitable.
I want to celebrate our independents. I really do. I’m sure you feel the same way to one degree or another. Help me, please.