One of my best friends lives in a large apartment complex in Nottingham and as he lives in the centre of town we normally would have a few drinks at his before heading into town at a weekend. This particular Friday I turned up at his, got buzzed through the intercom system as usual, but instead of an empty hall I was greeted to a large box of yellow pages having been dumped in by whoever delivers them normally.
No one has touched these, they’re still in their wrappers and box. This problem can be linked to many businesses, with the problem being that every detail counts. Every person and every interaction your business has with a potential customer is important.
If you think about the amount of staff needed to produce a yellow pages I would hate to think the amount of money that goes in to producing one. My company regularly get rung and offered to be put in the yellow pages. So that’s sales staff, all lovely, polite, hard working people who are just trying to make a living. Next will be the data admin staff, the designers, the logistics team, the print etc etc all these people having to work together to produce this huge booklet which has been around since 1883 (thanks Wikipedia!)
Now the entire selling point of the yellow pages is it’s a phone book delivered right to your door, its local based but the main obvious USP is it’s delivered to your door, through the letter box basically forced upon your potential clients but we let them get away with this because it’s a trusted brand.
Now you see what I’m trying to get to here, the delivery man, who is probably the worst paid person at the yellow pages doesn’t do his job correctly, he only drops them at the building, not through the letter box, making everyone else job pointless.
I have now been back 2 weeks later to my friends house and the same unopened box of yellow pages is still sat there. I bet they will eventually get thrown away by a cleaner and that there is why the yellow pages is failing.
The lessons to take from this are that no matter how small a detail, how easy the job is to do, always do it right and do it to the best of your ability. If you’re getting someone to do it for you, make sure they are accountable as one small slip up can totally running your credibility.
Only 2 days ago before writing this I got a call from the yellow pages, and I told them that although they were offering a great deal I didn’t see the point of paying to be in a book that wont even been delivered to someones doorstep, as you can imagine they had no answer and to be honest I wont ever be using them again.
Now is the time to think about what parts of your business system are letting you down? Could you improve your phone manner? The way you deliver invoices? How meeting are booked in? How all staff talk to a client? All these are important systems to have correct.
Let’s hope the Yellow Pages can get back to its best as currently your paying to be in a book which no end user will ever see! Seems like a waste of money to me….