September 15th, 2019

Ok, we have to hold our hands up to this one. We've had a complaint. And after checking it out, it looks like a fair cop.

A client of ours got in touch to say he was very disappointed with the amount of enquiries generated by the site we made him. More than disappointed, actually. Angry. So much so that he demanded we take drastic action. Or in his words: "Ya bastard, take the site down now."

Embarrassing, eh? Not much of a testimonial for us, certainly. And definitely not the sort of thing you'd admit on you’re own blog. So why on earth have I confessed to this major gaff?

Well, the truth is, we're proud of it.

Because the complaint was that we'd generated too much business. Yes, too much. The client was livid because the SEO strategy we'd carefully devised for their site was just too darned good.

They were being flooded with calls and they simply couldn't cope. Enquiries were on average worth approximately £25,000 a pop, but there were so many that they stopped answering the phone. And ignored the emails. And hid under their desks. Well, I'm not sure about that last bit, but they might as well have done.

Enquiries were on average worth approximately £25,000 a pop, but there were so many that they stopped answering the phone

Which goes to show that there's more to ecommerce than a website with a shopping basket function. How a company deals with enquires is just as important as getting them to notice you in the first place. Creating an online shop window is just the start, because the sales transaction doesn't finish as soon as the money's handed over. As the saying goes, it aint over until the fat lady sings about how the karaoke machine she ordered arrived exactly as advertised and she's posted a favourable review, tweeted it, Youtubed the unboxing, plastered her satisfaction all over Facebook, Snapchat, Friends Reunited and god knows where else.

Having a website without a robust post-sales or -enquiry system is like running a shop the way Basil Fawlty ran a B&B. You've welcomed them through the door with an elaborate bow, given them a tour of the delightful items on offer, then when they've come to the desk to make a purchase, you've essentially slapped them in the face with a wet kipper. And unless that's what they've come to buy, they're going to be very disappointed.

Do it better than Basil

So what's the alternative to kipper-slapping and hiding under the desk? Make sure you perfect every part of the customer experience so people enjoy browsing, find paying painless, and get follow-up communication checking that everything was as it should be.

Marketing jargon-spouters like to call this stuff 'the Conversion Optimisation Strategy'. Or as normal humans would say, it's just about making shopping nice.