I’m just going to jump right into it. Recently I went to a small business and purchased a few items. Upon leaving I asked the employee behind the counter if they had a website and her exact words to me were, “No, we only have Facebook.” That was the end of her “company pitch”. She didn’t try to further investigate or ask me if there was anything in particular that I needed. When I left the store I was immediately able to find their website on my own.
If you’re wondering why someone not knowing whether or not their company has a website is important here’s why. I felt like the store had a good selection of items and just in case I wasn’t in the neighborhood again, I wanted to be able to order online.
I shared my experience in a Brand Building group that i’m a part of and the stories just kept getting tackier and tackier. One woman told a story of how she went to a store to get some sweet treats and briefly read the banner behind the counter. What was interesting about the banner behind the counter, was that the banner told the story of the store’s origination and it’s founders. The store was created by 2 boys after a bake sale.
The woman asked the employee (who stood directly in front of the banner) if the boys owned the store with their parents. The employee had no idea what she was talking about and asked the woman where she heard the story. The woman (who was the customer) explained that she had just read it on the banner directly behind the counter. The employee then said she’s seen the little boys with their parents but didn’t know the story. Another woman called a store and was directed to their call center and the employee didn’t know the store hours. I guess the employee was only prepared to answer questions if the store was open?! Other commenters talked about similar issues with bigger brands, to which i’ve encountered as well .
Having said that, if you run a business, I don’t care what kind of business it is. Or how small or large it is. Your employees need to “ABC”, Always Be Closing. You need employees with an Intrepreneur mindset. You need employees who are not just great at their job, but can assist with other needs in your business as well. If they can’t assist a customer with something immediately, they need to be able to at least provide customers with the appropriate information. Otherwise your customer base will leave you for companies who not only hire, but “train up” their employees to be Intrepreneurs.
If you’re reading this as an employee and saying, “why would I do that?” That’s the first sign you’re working for the wrong company and you should probably find a new gig immediately. As you should always feel motivated to help keep your employer in business (within reason).