We know that modern consumers would rather handle things — from setting an appointment to refilling a prescription — online. While we usually figure it’s all about convenience, one website owner has a different explanation.
“We have to seek more technologically advanced ways of reaching people that are constantly staring at their phones and computers,” says an auto repair shop owner in a recent social media case study. “[Consumers are] too socially anxious to consider calling someone on the phone or building a working business relationship in person.”
We found this particularly interesting, because auto mechanics are one of the groups least likely to have websites, according to our research.
Do people prefer online tools because they’re convenient or because of social anxiety?
There’s no denying that online methods for scheduling appointments or making purchases are convenient. You can do these things anywhere and at any time, and most importantly, on your time. Of course, interacting with a screen also means that you’re not dealing with another person face-to-face or over the phone, which allows people who do get anxious in social interactions to avoid a potentially awkward encounter.
So what’s the answer? Well, probably both. Some people use online tools for convenience, and some people use online tools because they don’t like talking to people. While it could be worthwhile to determine which category more people fall under, and lots of in-depth studies could be done to provide rich data-based context, the answer ultimately doesn’t really matter. Because the fact remains that regardless of why people prefer handling business online, people do prefer handling business online.
That is, enough people want online options that you need them for your website.
People need to be able to reach you online
One survey found that millennials prefer talking to people over the phone or face-to-face rather than through digital communication. Surprising, right? Maybe not. Either way, it doesn’t mean that you should open up more phone lines and abandon all online options at your website. Even if we accept a single survey as fact – which we should never do – people still want online options, and if your website doesn’t have them, you could lose potential customers or clients to competitors that do offer online features such as a shopping cart or appointment booking.
Sure, if you have service issues you probably want to talk to a person. For complex problems that aren’t covered in the FAQ or for customer service we want a living breathing person. For quick, simple purchases or appointment requests that don’t necessarily require a human touch, however, convenience takes the cake.
Do you really need to develop a meaningful human connection and engage in deep conversation when all you want is an appointment for an oil change? Maybe. But probably not.
Whether it’s for consumers looking for convenience or for the socially anxious you need a well-functioning website that offers users a way to connect with you online. We can help you better reach potential clients and customers. Contact Haden Interactive today – via phone or through our contact form – for more information about SEO services!