We would like to share a true story a young friend shared with us that happened over the holidays.
Sadly, due to circumstances pretty much out of his control, a friend found himself nigh on homeless just after Christmas when his flatmate threw him out late at night. He was already pretty new to the city and hadn’t made a lot of friends or knew much about the locale.
So here’s how it played out….
- He had his mobile and some possessions with him.
- First things first – to get somewhere safe and warm so, using his mobile, he googled “Taxi City” and came up with a choice of three that were top of the page with instant call now options. He told us that he didn’t bother scrolling down the page – one of these would be fine.
- After safely getting to a friend’s flat and a good night’s sleep, he was ready to face the day and finding new accommodation. Indeed he was in the position of actually being able to purchase a flat. But it was the holidays and nowhere was open. Estate Agents were shut. But using his mobile again –the only internet ready device he had to hand – he entered property for sale in “City”.
- Some sites came up as mobile friendly with simple to use interfaces and searches and some were truly horrendous. Some major property solicitors indeed had dreadful sites with awful navigation. He said that he didn’t even bother looking further than the first few lines on these sites –he didn’t have time and wanted a quick result.
- Having found a few likely properties he viewed them in between Christmas and New Year and was ready to make an offer but didn’t want to give his business to the big expensive solicitors – he was hoping to use someone less expensive, perhaps a smaller company. He asked around for recommendations, got a few and, in preparation for them coming back to work, reviewed them on his mobile.
- Goodness that was an experience he said. Some didn’t even have a website, some were unreadable due to lack of a mobile friendly site. Some had no indication at all of how previous clients rated them. All of those options were binned – why take a risk he said, he wanted to be sure of who he used and trusted online reviews and how they ‘appeared’ online as his guide.
What are the lessons from this for business owners? We think they are quite simple:
- Be findable when searching and be at the top of the page
- Be more than just mobile friendly – be mobile excellent with a specifically design site
- Be online – we actually asked a couple of those solicitors who don’t have a website why. They said they were quite busy enough and didn’t see the need. We think that’s a bit short sighted.
- Be visibly ‘trusted’ – we live in a review validation world – think Amazon for example
And to end this story – we are delighted to say that our friend has now sorted all the issues and will be safely ensconced in his new house soon.