If your customer had a question, or wanted more information about a product or service that you sell, how do you get that information to them? Do you send them to your competitor across the street, because they have a manual on file for your customer to look at? Do you tell them to call another business to find the information? That is exactly what you are doing if you link to a distributors site, or a competitors site, for basic information. Where is it on your website?
To be more specific, here are some common examples of what I mean:
- If you are in the carpet business, and you carry certain brands, is the information and specifics of what you carry on your site, or do you link to the brand site?
- If you are in the heating business, and you carry certain high efficiency systems, do you link to the manufacturer site or the Energy Star site?
From the brand or manufacturer website, customers (your potential customers) can select to find a distributor or local seller (that’s not you!). Just because your potential customer found you first, doesn’t mean that they will return to you for the sale, when the product is available elsewhere. You are literally sending your customers to your competitors.
The information that you have on your website should be comprehensive and answer all of your customers questions. Yes, getting all of the information together takes time. Yes, adding to your site takes time. Yes, responding to customers questions takes time. The alternative is that you will have a lot of free time, because you have no customers.
Take the time to make sure that your content is there, it is accurate, and is accessible. Make sure that the information is organized, proofread and easy to find on your site. Even if the information is there, if customers can’t find it, it might as well be invisible.