You have received a request for a quote from a client you've been trying to win for years. You are banging away on your computer, have completed your quote and finished crafting your intoxicating cover email when your computer locks up. You pull out your phone and ask Google what to do. You follow the steps as if you were deactivating a bomb and the machine remains locked. The butterflies in your stomach are the size of B52s and your only option left is doing the CTRL-ALT-DELETE three-step. You do not care how the software and hardware work, all you want it to do is work. Welcome to the digital world.  

That is the way e-Commerce works. Buy it online and if you have a problem or question, solve it online. Sure, there are exceptions, but most sites offer easy returns and very little actual live question and answer customer service. Especially those e-Commerce sites with very low pricing. Ever try to get help with missing parts on Amazon for a product you need to install now?

People do not care how things work. They just want them to work. If a problem arises, customers want it taken care of effectively and immediately. When was the last time you saw an automated chatbox on the internet answer the question: Why is my faucet leaking?

Your knowledgeable team of plumbing passionate professionals has a distinct advantage and should be touted at every opportunity.

As easy as the Internet is to navigate, it is not always the best place to purchase certain products and premium and luxury plumbing items are on that list. Platforms such as Amazon, Build and Waverly can SELL everything but do they know how to FIX anything? Your knowledgeable team gives your brand a monster advantage. But if nobody knows about them, what good is it?  

When people visit your internet homepage, make sure they know that your knowledgeable team works a bit harder than your physical and digital competitors. Take a page from Restoration Hardware, West Elm and the countless other companies promoting their sales teams as designers in residence. Your team guides and supports their customers from the selection, purchase and installation, and remains easily accessible for the life of the products.

Companies underestimate the anger (and even hatred) that business buyers feel when they experience horrible customer service.  By contrast, customers will pay more when they know their problems are handled quickly and cheerfully.

Geoffrey James, INC magazine

With all this talent, your team’s actions are creating a constant stream of stories generated by your showroom consultants, outside salespeople and customer service team. These heroic stories should then be chronicled and edited into blog posts. Topics can be as simple as how to change out a showerhead to a hand shower using a shower arm bracket to how your team customer finding a specific faucet that they saw on their vacation to New York or before and after job stories You can even create blog posts from an interesting PK meeting noting the new products and updates that we discussed. If you are shipping, repairing, building or learning, share the story. Your customers will learn how great your team is and Google will eat it up.  

With all of the recent press on the double-digit e-Commerce growth during the pandemic, it is natural to be concerned about these large digital brands taking business from your brand. And the best way to combat this, is to tell the truth. Let the designers, builders, plumbers and engaged homeowners know all that you do and all that you are capable of doing to make their lives easier. After all, isn’t the No. 1 reason customers use the internet is because it is easy?