Have you chosen not to update your website because of the coronavirus? Or maybe in spite of it?
We can imagine some reasons people might make that choice:
- I’ll just have to update it again in a week or two.
- I’m trying to cut expenses to keep my business alive.
- I don’t know how.
- I have other things on my mind right now.
In fact, that third option is the one I mentioned when I saw this exchange at Facebook the other day:
Consumers aren’t thinking about the reasons a website might not be up to date. They say they’ll take their business elsewhere if a website is not updated, that they expect an up to date website, and they also think they should get to see a current menu.
On the one hand, if your business is suffering and you are quarantined and worrying about the future, it might seem as though your customers should be feeling empathy for you, not complaining that your website isn’t keeping up. On the other hand, there could be real consequences for your business if consumers feel frustrated with your website.
Here are some things to consider if this problem is one you’re having to cope with.
People aren’t as tech-savvy as you might think
You may not be able to update your website yourself. You may not be able to remember who has access to your website, how to make changes there even if you find the person who know hows to get into the files, or even how to find someone who can make updates for you.
But what about your customer? In many cases, they don’t own a website. They think that updating a website is roughly the same as using Facebook. They’ve seen ads about making a website for free within minutes.
They just don’t believe that it isn’t easy for you to post your current menu.
They’re experiencing stress
Right now, people who have spent half their food budget in restaurants for years are having to figure out how to shop and cook. They have to work from home (and a lot of them aren’t that tech-savvy, remember) with their kids underfoot.
Being unable to get a haircut seems like an enormous problem. Mostly because of the stress of being in the middle of a global pandemic.
And they have no other way of getting information, in many cases, besides the internet. If that doesn’t work, they feel even more helpless.
An out of date website is a much bigger deal to them than it would be under normal circumstances.
They might hold a grudge
While people are suffering from stress and relying on the internet for information, they’re also discovering that they can manage without a lot of things. People who would throw away a shirt rather than sew on a new button are figuring out how to make virus-stopping facemarks.
They’re making their own coffee. They’re finding alternative ways to meet their needs.
If your website causes frustration, they may move on. And while they may not hold grudges, they may very well switch to one of your competitors and stick with them.
It’s worth the effort
The Facebook conversation I showed you above continued, with business owners saying that they were worrying about other issues right now, not their websites. But the consumers’ responses showed their frustration. People are stressed right now, and a little tetchy. If your website makes it easy for them deal with you now, they’ll be more likely to come back to you once your doors reopen.