Staying Small vs. Playing Big
I’ve been following this kick-ass thread from Tara Gentile on those must-have elements for businesses to be taken seriously. In a discussion in the comments about phone numbers (yes, you need one!), an 800 number service (or similar local number with a phone tree and whatnot) came up. And I gotta say, it made my skin crawl.
If you’re a small, indie business, looking to connect with people one on one and tell your story, why the hell would you pretend to be a big-britches business? It doesn’t say “ooh, I’m successful!”. It says “I’m untouchable”.
Now, I’ve worked on the other end of this. I answered the main phones for a 70-person company once upon a time, and I *loved* that we had an automated system, and folks only got to me if they didn’t know the extension of the person you are trying to reach (end professional operator voice). But yanno what? Our clients hated that system, and I heard about it all the time. C’mon, when’s the last time you called your car insurance company, or called for warranty support, or heck, even your doctor’s office and thought, “Oh, goody! The automated phone tree!”?
Why pretend to be something you hate?
There’s a huge movement right now to buy from the “little guy”. To shop not just local, but indie. And that’s awesome. In the face of that, why would you pretend to be something we’re all trying to get away from?