The Journey: Stu’s Old Website Needs an Update
Ever wonder what the customer journey is like for a small business with an old website? Read the customer journey of the most common experiences when an old website needs an update.
Business Changed Yet the Website is the Same
The company manufacturers building components for wholesale suppliers and large construction companies. There has been a recent downturn in the economy. The downturn caused a decline in Stu’s orders. He decided to reduce the range of products and reduce the production volume. At the same time, he had to reduce his staff. He cut the hours for remaining staff.
The young administrative assistant decided the financial stress was too much. He moved into a more lucrative job closer to his parents. Stu asks his wife, Gemma, to take over managing the office. They hire an outside sales rep to develop new business.
The outsourced sales rep lets Stu know his old website needs an update. The text needs to feature the smaller list of building products and the new toll-free number. The sales rep makes an additional request for access to an email address at Stu’s company. Stu turns to his wife, “Comedy is tragedy plus time. I’ve had enough happen this month, we just need more time to do it all. I know we will laugh about it later.”
Who Runs the Website?
Stu asks his wife, Gemma, if she remembers who was updating the website. Gemma calls the admin who left. When contacted, the former admin has no idea how to get into the website or even who was billing Stu’s company for the website. Stu says to Gemma, “If at first you don’t succeed, redefine success.”
Stu meets up with some colleagues at a community service event. Stu mentions his old website needs an update. One lady says it cost her $5000 to upgrade her online store. She was spending around $180 per month. The price included inventory tools, a custom online store, and two virtual cash registers in the shop (Point-Of-Sale system).
Another member suggested UpWork, where Stu could outsource his work to overseas web coders. One member mentioned one of the ladies in the group, Shauna, kept the group’s text and pictures up to date. A fourth member had his admin build a website in one of “those free tools.” The work was done over the last 3 months.
Time, Knowledge and Confusion
Gemma started researching all the ideas Stu picked up. She started with the retail POS (Point-Of-Sale), but quickly realized she didn’t need the expensive inventory, in-store transactions, and sales promotions tools. The business had a few, large, custom contracts. Customers paid by invoices. Stu sighs, “I remember a Jack Benny quote, ‘A rich man is one who isn’t afraid to ask the salesperson to show him something cheaper’? Let’s keep looking, Gemma.”
Gemma created an account on UpWork. She had no idea what the website should cost and decided on the arbitrary number of $250 USD. She was flooded with dozens of offers from Pakistan, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Many wanted more time (and money) to complete the work. Others offered to create a new website for a higher price, and several people were hard to understand. Many of the contractors asked technical questions. A few asked for the password to the existing site. She told Stu, “I don’t have a solution, but I now admire the problem.” Gemma’s overwhelm set in.
She called the member who was updating the group’s website. Shauna shared how she managed the text and content for many websites. Gemma was worried about the cost and she wanted to be relieved of the work. She thought about a Les Brown witticism, “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” Shauna had a fixed rate price for editing or writing 5 pages. She asked Gemma to explain the situation with her website.
The conversation continued. Shauna could see the website was running in an outdated version of Joomla and was hosted by a reputable Australian web host. She noticed the website was listed as being owned by a web designer. The designer appeared to be out of business. Getting the login from the web host would probably take a couple weeks because of the complications.
The correction of the ownership would likely require proof of ownership of the business and a little paperwork. The work would take 1-2 weeks. Once the ownership was back with Stu’s business, the web host could reset the password. Stu’s business would have access to the email and the website.
Alternatively, Stu’s business could get ownership of the web address (domain name) and use it in full-service system like WordPress.com or SquareSpace. The email controls and access could be moved to gMail. Gemma would have to work within a template. The template would limit the customizations Gemma could make to the look or design.
Gemma and Shauna brainstormed further. Shauna recommended signing up for the full-service system with a new web address (new domain name). It may be less labour and cost to create a new website. The full-service system updates the software and security for Gemma and Stu. The full-service system also has good online help files and optional paid customer support. Gemma ponders, “Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can fall together. I’ll think about a fresh start.”
Too Much and Yet Not Enough
Stu’s wife calls his fellow group member, Gavin who had an admin create the website. Gavin admits giving the website to the admin took his admin away from her regular work. His billing and orders were getting behind because of the time his admin was spending on the website. He feels a further pang of frustration, because whilst the admin was on holiday, the website was hacked. Gavin closed, “None of the staff knew how to fix it without her. Fall seven times and stand up eight.”
When the admin returned, she could not fix the hacked site either. Gavin hired a coder to setup a new website and email with the ample security. He spent an additional $600 on the coder to secure website and email. He commented, “That was expensive. Coders are tools for converting caffeine into code.” The owner was now dealing with his web address and email being blocked because his web address was on a blacklisted as a malicious site.
Which Solution is Reliable?
Stu and Gemma had a long talk about how expensive and unreliable the web design options can be. Stu decided to ask his suppliers and clients about their websites. He receives multiple referrals and more stories about local web designers going out of business or staff leaving without leaving the password. Stu hears again about his fellow member, Shauna, who is updating the group’s website but is hesitant to ask. Stu quipped, “I used to think I was indecisive, but now I’m not too sure.”
Gemma suggests she will setup the full-service website herself. She cannot cancel the old website because the company’s email is tied to the web address. Instead, she asks the web host delete the old business website, but keep the email running.
Shortly after signing up for the full-service web system, she gets overwhelmed with sorting several complex, large orders. She forgets where she left off on the website. Every time she goes into the system she spends hours studying with the self-help tutorials. She’s tired, frustrated, and working late. A few suppliers made calls to Gemma. They mention that Stu’s website is down. She explains the reason the site is down. Gemma wants the website done and to get back to business.
Stu wants the website done, too. He worries about the time he has lost. Stu needs someone he can trust to do the job quickly. Stu states, “If a thing is worth doing, it would have been done already.” Stu decides to go back to the web content manager who is part of his community service group.
Sorting the Email First
The web content manager, Shauna, sets up three emails using new web address (info@, sales@, and stu@). She walks Stu’s wife and the sales rep through the login information for 3 email addresses. She sets up the old email to forward to the new email, and has Stu’s wife setup a reminder to turn off the email forwarding in 12 months.
Shauna finds a copy of Stu’s old website on an internet archive. Gemma and the sales rep provide guidelines on what they want to say in a conference call. Shauna edits, loads, and formats the text and pictures within less than 2 weeks.
Stu’s wife receives instructions on how she can edit the new website for pages where the formatting isn’t easy to find in the help files. Shauna saves the instructions with screen shots into an online folder for Gemma. Gemma mentions a quote to Shauna, “Either you run the day, or the day runs you was said by Jim Rohn. I finally feel like I am running the day.”
Directing People to the New Website
Shauna sets up the old web address setup to redirect to the new web address. She writes a message for Gemma to send out to suppliers, customers, and friends. The message informs people of the new email address, new website, and new toll-free sales number. The explanation about the new web address is added to the about page and the contact page .
Shauna continues by entering Stu’s business data into Bing and Google. She works with Stu’s wife to put the verification codes into each system. Together, Stu’s wife and Shauna enter the company’s business information into LinkedIN, Twitter, a Facebook Business Page, and Google+. The social media accounts will be checked by Stu’s wife. The sales rep and Stu’s wife are looking to use social media in the future.
The final steps are when web content manager confirms with Stu’s wife that she has all of the passwords and instructions in one, safe place. Six months pass and Stu’s wife calls asking for a new product line to be added to the website. Eleven months pass and Stu’s new admin calls for training on how to maintain the website. Gemma takes over sharing industry and business news on social media.
Relief of Experienced Help
Shauna provided experienced help to Stu and Gemma. Her work allowed Stu’s lean business to focus on recovering from changes in the business. Shauna ensured that Stu and Gemma had ownership and access to their logins. They knew how to use their new systems. Shauna guided them to a full-service web system that required less technical expertise and less time to maintain. They decided the costs of reprinting business cards with the new toll-free phone number and email addresses were a reasonable cost. Stu optimistically sang, “The best revenge is massive success. That’s one of my favorite quotes from Frank Sinatra.”
Have you had a website experience like Stu and Gemma’s?