The people behind the technology

WE CONSTANTLY get requests for advice on websites.

Many business owners focus their efforts on search engine optimisation, websites and local listings.

But is this the correct approach?

Recently I got off the plane when it landed in Brisbane and promptly left my reading glasses on my seat. I was heading to an extremely important meeting and could not have carried it off without my glasses. As luck would have it, the meeting was delayed a couple of hours.

I spent this time resourcefully searching the internet and reading reviews of various optometrists. I found I could actually buy a set of reading glasses over the internet. How risky is that?

When I found a store that had some good reviews and was close by I went to check it out. The customer host was extremely welcoming and the optometrist was free at the time.

We had a great conversation about their business and clearly the well-trained customer host loved her job and was extremely professional in what she did as was the optometrist.

I explained that I was new and had never been a customer before and I needed to walk out with a set of reading glasses.

There was no managing my expectations lower.

They looked at each other and said it would be tight and they would just have to "get on with it!"

After my tests I took the time to think about the often-forgotten distinction between sales, marketing and technology.

In this era of computer search engines, various blog reviews, internet directories and service reviews it's technology and marketing that get people to your door. But let's not forget it's the human beings, not computers, which help us decide to buy.

The human touch may have had a hand in the technology that guided me to my new-found optometrist.

However it's the people behind the business who deliver the experience and tailored advice that ensure the value of what we receive. I could have got a set of readers for half the price however my eyes are too important to skimp on.

We can spend many thousands of dollars on our websites and our search engine optimisation however when customers or clients walk through the door it's all about how you and your staff make them feel. These guys appealed to my emotions reminding me of the importance of a professional set of lenses for important meetings etc. They treated me like a friend and they were well-trained and understood the need to come across as experts in their field no matter what the position was in the business.

They nurtured my trust with their honesty and allowed me to be relaxed enough to trust their judgment. When I finally got my glasses I was thrilled with them and of course it gave me the confidence to have a great business meeting.