I tried to place an $800 order yesterday on the website for TrainWorld in Brooklyn, where I’ve purchased trains in person before. The site hung up at the final pay option, repeatedly.
I called and a bored woman told me to read me the order with catalog numbers and descriptions. I told her it would take 20 minutes, why not just find out what was wrong with the site? She put me on hold. When she returned, she told me no one else was having trouble and so it was my fault. Then she said, “Read me your list.”
I said “So long,” and gave the order to one of dozens of competing firms on the internet, all with the exact same products.
Most small businesses that complain in a poor economy are providing lousy service in good economies but they can stay afloat. In poor economies those behaviors kill them. If you’re consulting in the SME marketplace, shop the business you’re trying to help.