I’ve been thinking about something.
It’s now 2016 and we live in a hyperconnected world where everyone has at least a smartphone and, oftentimes, a laptop and a tablet too.
We live online. So why are some industries so insistent upon using only the phone? I’m specifically referring to auto repair garages, hairstylists, and the majority of contractors and handymen. Yes, there are obviously exceptions, but for the most part, these are businesses that have very basic websites (if at all), email accounts full of cobwebs, and force you to call them repeatedly to set up an appointment.
Look, I still use a pen and paper every single day, so I’m not advocating we go to an all electronic society. I don’t want the three seashells from Demolition Man. And I understand that some people go into certain careers because they don’t love sitting in front of a computer screen all day, but almost all of them have a smartphone.
I’d love it if when I want to get a haircut, I can go to a site, look at a calendar and choose a day and time that is open and then immediately put it on my own calendar. That’s far easier than having to get up from my desk and go in the hallway to make a phone call where I’ll once again have to spell my name and repeat my phone number.
There’s an easier way to do this and it’s been proven. Restaurants are far busier than any garage or hair salon, but Open Table is a wonderful product. If it can work there, why can’t it work for mechanics and roofers?
I have a friend that owns his own painting business. He’s very successful and he’s told me that, in addition to doing a good job, much of it is because his competitors are so unorganized that they’ll forget they have agreed to a job or promised to come out for an estimate, but since they answered the phone while they were driving to a job, they had no way to remember. He, on the other hand, uses electronic calendars and email marketing, as well as asking for reviews that go straight to Angie’s List and everywhere else, which only builds his reputation.
They think setting up an email account is such a hassle, but they’re literally leaving thousands of dollars on the table.
Here’s what I wrote this week:
“Maybe I couldn’t be skinny and tall but I’ll settle for being the greatest artist of all time as a consolation.”
– Kanye West
Have a fabulous weekend!
Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.