By now we assume we can find just about anything we need using Google. Right? Wrong!

Don’t blame Google. It’s not their fault. Google search is efficient, fast and generally awesome. The problem is the companies with really lousy websites that make searching so frustrating. To me, that’s crappy customer care.

What’s got my goat?

I spent 3/4 of an hour this afternoon trying to find something I need today. It’s a healthcare emergency. According to my Google search (and please know that I am not an intenet novice), I found the product I needed from a number of sources. That was the high point of my search. The rest was downhill.

Searching the internet in vain.

Searching the internet in vain.

The top search result was a company that was closed on the weekend. Today is Sunday. The next one looked like it had a decent website, but I couldn’t find the product I wanted, and there was no search option. The third: a nice clean site that offered a chat function. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. To make matters worse, it offered me a follow-up survey to gauge my satisfaction (which was nonexistent).

I doubt that I’m the only person in the Chicagoland area who needs a health-related item ASAP on the weekend. So this certainly looks like a new business opportunity waiting to launch. But since I’m not particularly interested in starting another business, maybe some tips on how companies can make potential customers’ lives easier will suffice.

Here are six:

  1. Make sure your website is easy for people to use. Don’t make them dig around and waste a lot of time.
  2. Put a phone number in a highly visible place on your web page.
  3. Don’t have an 800 number on your site if it’s not manned 24/7.
  4. Offer a chat option — especially if your company deals with products where people will have a lot of questions. Like healthcare products.
  5. Make sure there’s a search option on your site. A searcher in a hurry does not want to scroll through a bunch of images to find what they need.
  6. Don’t infer that a customer can get an item today when that’s not quite true. That’s misleading. Ordering an item and walking out of a store with it are not the same thing.

Believe me, as someone who uses Google multiple times a day, not getting what I needed today is very surprising. If anyone reading this wants to start a new business in a market where there’s a big gap, think about a same-day home healthcare supply company. There’s a whole huge Boomer market that’s going to need it. Very soon.

One last tip. If your company’s website isn’t user-friendly and doesn’t offer visitors the opportunity to find what they are looking for, I’m a partner in a web design firm. We specialize in building great websites that help you increase your business – easy-to-navigate sites where visitors can find what they want (or need) quickly.

Check us out at We understand how people use the internet.

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