Ceduna, you’ve all been really sweet so far about my directory but sometimes when I invite businesses to join I see a glazed look. Like; I know I should but how much will this one cost me and I don’t really understand why I’m in the dozen I’ve already joined, kinda look.
Don’t get me wrong! I understand! I really do! Seriously how many directories are there online now and how many times have you actually used one?
I have worked online for 10 years and I have never actually clicked into a directory – ever! There are so many of them but if you’re looking for a phone number you only need to ask Google, you don’t even have to pay enough attention to type it. Just speaking into the phone and voilà – no clicking into anything, no ‘looking’ at all. So if I’m not into directories then why am I building one?
I’m so glad you asked!
This directory IS unique! And although many promise undeliverable outcomes I can honestly say that this is THE ONLY way that I can see for rural towns, such as Ceduna, to gain back some of the consumer dollar that they have lost to online spending.
You can give any number of incentives but once the new generation takes the helm you will find they won’t be all that fazed by it. It’s a ‘yesterday’ solution to a ‘tomorrow’ situation. There is ONE hope of sustaining in the new business landscape and just as it has always been, it’s about exploiting your unique selling position and winning back your customers and stop spending good money going after those who are not your market.
So what do you have to offer? The next generation are already accustomed to shopping online. They don’t care about talking to a person, in fact frankly, some would rather sew their own mouths closed. They communicate in unspoken ways 90% of the time and although they rarely look up from their mobile phone, if the thing actually rings they almost throw it across the room and fall over in a state of anxiety and shock.
Now you might think I’m exaggerating but the young people reading this right now will be sniggering at the truth of it. This is their life.
They also don’t care so much about ‘touch and feel’ before buying or most of the things that we used to care about.
Incentives are often just earning you less money for sales you would have made anyway to customers you already have – that’s losing money not winning business.
So what’s the answer? I believe it’s exploiting what you have that your competitor doesn’t and make sure you aren’t sending customers who do come through your door directly to your competitor.
How to serve the next generation?
1.Excellent customer service is no longer for special occasions! If you do not have your customer service all the way right, and over delivering on expectations then next gen, who don’t suffer from politeness in the face of arrogance will just look down at their phone (probably while you’re still talking to them) and buy it on their phone before you finish talking. Then you’ll get and unapologetic “thanks anyways, I think I’ll leave it for now”. They prefer no customer service to long, boring, unnecessary talking, time wasting or just plain bad service. BUT don’t hate this new impatient world of immediacy because this is exactly where you can maximize your position.
2.If you aren’t on Facebook or you have a page somewhere but aren’t using it or you’re using it but not replying to customers in a timely fashion then start doing so now! No time? Don’t know how? That’s where Ceduna Online can help you. Facebook is now a main source of communication for most people and if they’re talking to your business, for goodness sakes talk back. They are online. If you won’t answer their query someone else (another business) will!
3.Talk to your customers, ask them what they want and have it here. The one thing that will only become more ‘in style’ is wanting it ‘now’. This is perhaps your biggest power position. Next gen are impatient because they have always had everything at their fingertips. Every answer. Every whim. They aren’t big on focus, waiting, concentrating – they are snap decisions, impulse, gimmick culture junkies who want it now. BUT If they know EXACTLY where to go to, EXACTLY who to talk to to get it NOW / TODAY then I believe this is your best position.
4.Do you need to look at your suppliers? Your processes in house? Why does it take a week to order ink locally and it comes tomorrow if bought online? ….? ….?
This is where Ceduna Online comes in …
Half the equation is educating the local community that things are available here. Ceduna Online Social Media Marketing; running available products, offers, sales, services and businesses in front of the community and tourists heading our way. Placing what is available where the people are, where they talk, ask for recommendations, sit and scroll, get informed and make decisions. I don’t have to explain this one to you – it’s as old as advertising. Be where the people are! How Facebook itself operates.
But then there is our directory. I don’t know of any directory like it. A tool where a consumer can search the entire community, in one place / from one tool, to see if they can have it TODAY before looking elsewhere online. Why will they do this? NOT because they should buy local, not because it’s the right thing to do but because it suits them to. That is the only approach that will sustain.
Just give me what I want! Don’t make me think! Don’t make me wait!
I believe any other approach is non-productive or only slightly so and only in the short-term. But if I can get out of the car just once, or better yet have it delivered, and know exactly where to get what I want and have it today, then I probably will.
Will everyone? No! But that’s not new. There is always going to be people who just go for what’s cheapest, always has been. Be it online, Port Lincoln, Whyalla or Adelaide – this is not new.
CedunaBusinessDirectory.com.au which is the directory section of CedunaOnline.com.au is a self-built directory / website that can be searched, not just to find a business or their contact details but can be searched for items. Search “hammer”, “coffee”, and a list of all businesses offering this will populate.
Now keep in mind that I am not Google and I don’t have their brilliant staff so the search is not perfect, it is in its crudest form now and will take a lot of time to build and improve, but it is useable now as we go along. Funding is not available for this despite it’s purpose and uniqueness so we shall just have to do the best we can and work as fast as possible to build it into an entity that warrants charging for listings and therefore drawing money to make improvements etc.
Right now it’s free and I’m getting to every business as quickly as I can (please don’t be backwards in contacting me to get your listing done). In future there will be different levels of fees to suit everyone from our craft people to the bigger businesses and options to activate your listing to attach advertising and sharing your listing throughout our social media platforms throughout the billing year. Something just right to suit the many varied business types involved.
For businesses, this directory (or your listing page of it at least) can be used as a web page. It can be used instead of a website to save you that cost if it’s not needed and your listing page can consist of whatever you like. The initial build is free but a fee will apply to future edits.
I hope I have answered some questions about the directory, it’s ‘why’ and ‘how’s’ at the heart of the idea at least.
This is a blog. I am not a professional writer. These are my observations. Please feel free to suggest edits, offer contributions or contact about blogging your own local interest.
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