If You Don’t Know It’s Broken, How Can You Fix It?


Our JILLS have great things to say and we're so happy to share it! 

Belinda Wasser is the founder of Rocket Girl Solutions and a guest contributor to THE JILLS NEWS. With over 25 years of experience in business workflow and logistics, Belinda offers up practical advice on running your business so it isn't running you. We're proud to have Belinda as one of our JILLS OF ALL TRADES and welcome her expertise in working with solo professionals and small business owners as their part-time business managers. Belinda loves taking care of the daily details and minutiae so business owners can get back to the work they love doing!

I was poking around my client Stephen’s web site the other day. We just began working together and he had asked for my opinion of the site and its content.

Before long, I found my way to the Contact page. There was a form for visitors to get in touch, so I filled it in with my own info to see what would happen.

I pushed “submit” and up popped a screen with this message: “Thank you for using InstaForm Plug-in for WordPress.” Uh oh. Clearly this was a default message that should have been customized but never was.

Wait. It gets better.

A few minutes later, I received an automated “welcome message” email, one that looked like it was generated by a computer from the ’80s (courier type font). Among other things, the email said, “Thank you for contacting us. A representative will be in touch with you shortly.”

A representative, you say? Odd, since Stephen works alone (and always has). You get the picture.

Fortunately, these were easy problems to fix. But the experience highlighted a bigger problem I often come across when reviewing systems and processes of small businesses: Somebody has set something up … but nobody has ever tested it!

The moral of the story? Look at every aspect of your business from an outsider’s point of view and make sure everything functions as expected.

Here are a few places to check to get you started:

1. Your voicemail messages. When someone calls your voicemail, do they get an automated message repeating your phone number? Do they get a message that sounds flat and dry? Are they asked to “leave a message at the beep,” as if anybody in 2016 still isn’t sure how to use voicemail?

Or, instead, do they hear your happy self, asking them to leave a message and telling them you’ll get back to them. (Easy trick: Stand up and smile when you record your voicemail greeting message!)

2. Your newsletter sign-up process. How easy is it to fill in the form? How many questions do you ask (the fewer the better)? What happens after you hit the submit button? Is an email confirmation sent? What does it say and how does it look?

In short, how can you use this as an opportunity to stand out and make a great first impression?

3. Your shopping cart. Do you have things for sale on your site? Here as well, test it by buying some things and seeing what happens. Make sure the coupon codes work. See how easy (or confusing) it is to check out and complete a purchase.

Remember, fixing problems when they occur is important. But unless you are testing your processes and systems on an ongoing basis, you may never know that anything is broken! Little things matter – especially when you are a small business – make sure everything is ship shape.

Originally published on Rocket Girl Solutions: https://rocketgirlsolutions.com/dont-know-broken-can-fix/