miquando.com mobile site

Back in February we talked about how mobile (tablets & phones) had overtaken non-mobile (desktop/laptop) in terms of the devices used to access miquando.com.  This was slightly earlier than we predicted last July when we launched our mobile web app (http://m.miquando.com) to accommodate this changing consumer behaviour (more..).

Mobile Devices 58% v Non Mobile 42%Today, less than 6 months later (July 2016), we see mobile phones alone are now the most popular device for our visitors.  This is a critical tipping point, because if your business does not have a mobile friendly website, chances are you are undoubtedly missing out opportunities to engage with the modern consumer.

Analysis of the devices used, has revealed a second valuable trend.  2 years ago, tablet usage was in decline, but with the recent introduction of new devices into the tablet market, there is currently a resurgence in tablet use.  This month, analysis of our visitors shows almost 60% now using mobile devices.

Miquando mobile site images
This is important because, whilst your ‘old’ website might be just about usable on these large screen mobile devices, unless you have designed it to be ‘responsive’ i.e. respond according to the type of device being used, it will likely be a pretty ugly experience for your consumer.

The first great thing about listing your business with MiQuando, means that even if you don’t have that ‘responsive’ website yet, people searching for local businesses like yours, can find you on miquando.com, looking great on a mobile friendly web site.  That way you won’t be missing this rapidly growing group of customers.

The second, is that by enabling your business for online booking, you are opening your doors 24hrs a day to mobile wielding consumers across the globe.

 

If you’d like to learn more, arrange a call back today – http://bit.ly/DiscoverMiQuando

 

Find this useful?
Book Now Button

Many visitors to the Isle of Man are looking to enjoy the peace and tranquillity this fair Isle offers.  Some come for the breath-taking scenery, coastal walks and outdoor adventures available.  Others come for sporting challenges or to see the thrills and high speed excitement of road racing around the Mountain Course and Southern 100.  And then there’s business travellers and people visiting friends and family.

These visitors come from far and wide, and like most people they will have researched and probably booked all or some of their travel arrangements online.  What we are now seeing is, an extension of this online behaviour with visitors looking to firm up their plans and make arrangements online at their destination before they travel.  And this is where significant numbers of people are taking advantage of online booking from MiQuando.

Thank you image to our 10,000 customers

In recent months, we have seen a wide range of Isle of Man businesses receiving online bookings (over 10,000), from visitors far and wide across the globe.  Whether it is the business visitor setting appointments with Advocates and Accountants, someone needing to hire a wheelchair for a week, groups celebrating and hiring a hot tub for the weekend, sportsmen and women needing a bit of physiotherapy or a soothing massage, the bridesmaids booking in for those special treatments in the beauty salon and virtually all of them reserving tables in local restaurants.

In short, customers just love the convenience and flexibility of booking online 24/7/365.

The visitor economy plays a huge part in, and is a significant contributor to the economies of not just small Islands like the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, but also Great Britain as a whole.  As such it is vital that every business from the smallest up, needs to be in a position to take advantage of this visitor behaviour.

And that is where Online Booking powered by MiQuando comes in to play.  A simple, reliable, low cost online booking service that works for virtually any business, opening the doors to customers worldwide, all day, every day without adding a penny to the wage bill.

If you want to learn more about miquando.com and how online booking can help grow your business, arrange a visit or book a call back today at miquando.com

 

#bookingeasy

 

Find this useful?

Customer service is dead, long live the “Customer Experience”. In the jungle of the online world, the opportunity to enhance what used to be customer service is gathering speed.

Not eighteen months ago, we were still telling each other that sms, emails and even chat bots were a flimsy substitute for a good face-to-face conversation. The noise about how impersonal electronic communications can be is now becoming a distant hum as perceptions are changing, thanks to a new generation of businesses.

This new breed of business focuses on the customer service experience, in relation to the product, service and overall business model; this of course takes the focus away from large and expensive marketing strategies. The old adage of “personality goes a long way” really can go a long way.

“I might not have a flawless complexion but everyone wants me at their party baby!”

Focusing on the customer experience affords the business the opportunity to develop its personality / USP in a more meaningful way. 58% of consumers are destined to become returning customers if they have a great experience; and, as with any great experience, the customer is going to talk positively to a handful of people about the experience. Empathize with them and understand what they want, value them and show them you appreciate them, a special offer here, a gift voucher there.

Image of steaming mug

The best companies don’t use excessive marketing campaigns they just deliver fantastic experiences for their customers. Adopting practices that develop the customer service experience provides a solid base to build business from.

“So err, are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced?” – jimi hendrix

Find this useful?
#bookingamazing

In a previous post we talked about 5 things you can do to help your online visitors become paying customers, and in that we briefly mentioned ‘Calls to action’.  This post expands on that topic.

What is a ‘call to action’?  Basically a Call to action (CTA) is something you add to your website or Facebook page or include in an email or social media post that prompts your visitors and customers to take some action.  It is literally something that shouts out for people to take an “action.”

That something might be a line of text, an image or even better a ‘widget’ that allows your online visitor to do something that benefits them.  The most obvious place where you probably already have your basic CTAs is on your contact page where you say “Call us”, “Email us”, “Like us” etc. or maybe even have a contact us form.  So you’ve given your customers a few basic choices.

Here’s some simple examples:

1. Call 0845 564 0000 now to talk to one of our friendly team members and learn how miquando.com can help your business grow 2. It is essential to actively manage your online reputation.  If you would like a copy of our PDF on how to deal with negative online feedback, simply click the Download button below.
3. Email us at mail@miquando.com with the subject “Call me please”, and one of friendly team members will give you a call back.  Download Button

Now if your business is an online retailer, your most important CTA will likely be along the lines of

Add to Basket Button

Unfortunately, that doesn’t really work if your business is service driven, rather than product driven.  In a service focussed business e.g. restaurant, beauty salon, physiotherapist, opticians, solicitor, or virtually every other service orientated business you can think of, the most effective Call to Action is going to be…

Book Now Button

Book Now Button with days of the week showingThe Book Now button is a brilliant Call to Action for any service orientated business, simply because it is the end game for almost all customers.  It gets even better when you can give customers and indication of days they can “Book Now”, as this improves both the customer experience and your conversion rate (after all, that’s what your CTAs should do) e.g.

Now think about how good it would be, if the first thing a prospective customer, visiting your website sees, is something that makes it so easy for them to achieve their objective, it’s almost too much for them to resist. Adding a real time calendar/booking widget on to your home page or landing pages, makes it incredibly easy to convert visitors to customers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Snapshot of A Cut Above website

 

Try our Online Booking Widget right NOW?

 

#bookmeitseasy

Find this useful?

5 Years ago, the answer would probably have been “yes, you should”, but the world has moved on, and there’s a good chance your customers have moved with it. Personally, I just don’t bother – the one that’s delivered each year to my home goes straight into the recycling.

OK, so I am what you might call “tech savvy” and am pretty much always connected to the internet no matter where I am, and always at home and work (where a phone book would be!), so I don’t have a use for the phone book or yellow pages.   It’s worth noting that I’m also over 50 and supposedly part of the age group that still uses it.

Today, most marketers will be promoting ‘online’ as a mainstay of any promotional or marketing campaign especially as an affordable way to reach your audience, but quite rightly there is always the more traditional media to consider (radio, TV, direct mail, newspapers/magazines, flyers, and of course, the printed phone book or yellow pages) too.

It struck me that with so many of these printed directories lying around gathering dust, it should be a fairly easy exercise to ‘measure’ its enduring popularity, or lack thereof.  The first attempt is hardly scientific, but takes a matter of seconds and reinforces my suspicion that the fewer people are advertising in them.  How?  Simple, line them up in date order and they are visibly slimmer as the years go by.

As I said, not very scientific!  So I thought I’d better actually look a bit closer, after all what else is there do on a Monday evening when storm ‘Henry’ is passing close by.  Anyway, first thing is to confirm that the paper and print sizes haven’t changed a jot, so it can only be the content.  The only things that really take up space are the paid for adverts, so if there are fewer pages each year, this can only be as a result of fewer and smaller adverts.  There are also a lot more ‘filler’ ads from the publishers taking up space too.

Take a look at what I found…

chart - shrinking phone booksGraph shows increase in publisher own ads in phone book

 

 

 

 

 

The number of pages in the business section of the Isle of Man phone directory as shrunk  by over 30% in 5 years.   If that trend carries on, it will be down to around jut 100 pages by the year 2020.

When we also factor in the fact that there are an increasing number ‘filler’ ads placed by publishers themselves then picture is even less rosy.

So, now we have done a little more research and looking at things with some hard data and facts to substantiate what we first thought, it is fair to say that the phone book or yellow pages type business section is falling out of favour with advertisers fairly rapidly.

So whilst each business must look at their own demographic and measure the response from previous phone book ads (if you can), here’s a little bit more information to help you evaluate or negotiate when you next get ‘the knock’ from ‘the phone book people’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find this useful?
Photo of Manx money

You’ve invested, time, skills and probably a fair few quid building an online presence for your business, but is it working for you?  If your website, facebook page, or app doesn’t convert visitors to paying customers it’s not really doing its job and needs a second look.

Here’s a 5 things to look out for…

  1. Does it look good?
  2. How does it “speak” to a potential customer?
  3. Do your “Calls to action” engage people?
  4. Are you making the most of your reputation?
  5. Are your online directory listings up to date?

 

1.      Does it look good?

Make sure your photos and images look good, by using high quality images to help make a great first impression. There’s plenty of decent ‘stock’ photos available for just a few pounds, but even better is a photo of your own business in action.

Think about what a potential customer might like to see and take that shot. For example, how many times have you looked at an empty restaurant and thought “hmm, I’ll keep looking.” So, take a photo of your restaurant when it’s full of life, or maybe get some shots of some freshly made, colourful dishes that make people hungry at the very sight of them.

 

2.      How does it sound?

So your great looking photos have caught the eye. Now they’ll start reading.   Does it sound like something they want? Are you talking your customer’s language?

Take the food scenario again – you need to talk the language of the customer you want through your door. If your target is couple’s maybe focus on romance and intimacy. If it’s larger groups, make it buzz, or if it’s all about the food, tell them about the food.   Oh, and try and make sure it matches your photos too.

 

3.      Calls to action!

Right, you’ve caught their eye, tickled them with your text, they’re hooked! Now all you need to do is land them.   Do your calls to action reel them in? Convert a prospect to a customer? Or is it just a sad old “contact us” page or form?

This is your chance to grab some new business, make a few quid, so don’t screw things up now! People today, expect to be able to connect (chat in real time) or seal the deal there and then. Back in the restaurant world for example, they want to make a booking – instantly and then tick a job off their “to do” list. Ideally you want your calls to action to be effective 24/7 too – because your customers will too.

 

4.      Your online reputation

Building and leveraging your online reputation is pretty straightforward. Not only does your reputation help visitors make the choice to become customers, asking for and getting feedback from your customers is a great way to engage them and build loyalty.

Let’s be honest, nobody puts any stock in the “quotes from customers” you put on your site 2 years ago. However, the moment they see recent feedback and comments from real customers on an independent reviews site, they will believe what they see. Add links to or embed ratings and reviews in your site, and to convert more visitors to customers

 

5.      Review your online directory listings

Up to date and accurate listings in online directories will help drive visitors to your website, social media pages. Directory listings with out-dated information and broken links can cost you both visitors and money.

Clear your cache or use incognito or InPrivate mode, to make sure you get a default set of search results and look for your business. Check the results to make sure your directory entry details are up to date, or make changes where necessary. You can also include your website and social media links to help drive traffic across all of your online channels.

Find this useful?

Today’s customers don’t hang around.  If they can’t speak to you, find what they need online immediately or get a speedy reply to a message, they’re off – and usually to your nearest competitor !

Image of stressed busy lady

Not being able to answer the phone, or taking too long to reply to an email enquiry is why most small/micro businesses are losing sales on a daily basis.  Read on and take a moment to understand how much these missed calls and contacts are costing you and we’re sure you’ll want to know how you can make 2016 the year you stop losing so many sales unnecessarily.

 

So how much does every missed call/contact cost? 

  • Around 85% of people whose calls are not answered will not call back !
    • Approx 75% won’t leave their name, number or any message!
  • 60% of consumers will go elsewhere if your response to their email takes longer than 12 hours

Example Costs

ABC Physiotherapy is run by Jayne.  She get’s around 60 phone calls a week and maybe 40 email enquiries.  Because Jayne is often busy with clients, it’s difficult for her to answer her phone during the day, and emails often have to wait until the evening or weekend before she get’s a chance to respond.

Burning cash imageResearch suggests she will be losing around 21 enquiries or potential sales every week – that’s well over 1,000 lost opportunities each year.

Jayne’s has calculated here average revenue per enquiry to be around £30.  That’s over £30,000 lost revenue, simply because she’s with a client, or just taking a well earned ‘me moment’!

How can you fix it? 

Well you could always employ someone to help, but there is an effective much more cost effective way any business can fix this problem.

  • Use an online booking service like Miquando.com – it’s quick and easy to set up, you don’t need anything more than an internet connection and it’s totally free to get started.

How does online booking help me?Example online booking screenshot

  • If you’re too busy to answer the phone, or heaven forbid you’re actually getting some time off, simply use your answer phone to tell people they can book online by visiting your website or Facebook page and experience shows many will do just that.

Even better, you don’t have to worry about trying to find out who called and spend time trying to call them back!

  • They can use your online booking service at their own convenience whenever they want, from wherever they like, using any device with an internet connection

They get an immediate response by email and/or SMS acknowledging or confirming their booking request.  You don’t have to anything!

  • You can reduce lost sales and revenue by over 50%

The end result for you is happier customers, better reviews, more profit and best of all, less hassle

 

If you’d like to know more about how online booking can help you and your business, give us a call on 0845 564 0000 or Click Here to schedule a convenient time and we can call you.

 

Find this useful?
#bookingeasy

it’s now easier than ever to book local restaurants online.  Our new booking service means people can quickly and easily book their favourite Isle of Man restaurants direct from the restaurants web site, or via the local business listings on MiQuando.com 24/7.

A quick look at our online booking stats and it’ no surprise to see most restaurant bookings being made in the early part of the week, traditionally when many restaurants will have a day off.

Most popular day for online booking

 

 

 

Tuesday is the most popular day to book a restaurant online in the Isle of Man!

 

 

 

 

Our data also shows customer’s making online bookings are made throughout the day, but peaking between noon and 2pm.

whenpeoplebookonlineHRS

 

 

Many customer’s book online when they would be on a lunch break.

Or maybe they just book when they are hungry?

 

 

 

 

By giving businesses the flexibility of adding Online Booking via their own website, facebook page, or MiQuando profile, it is now easier than ever for customers to make restaurant bookings online wherever they are and whenever it’s convenient, 24/7/365.

Find this useful?

One of the great things about having lots of data is taking the time to make sense of it – essentially turning data into useful information.

Update your free local business directory entry

One very useful piece of information we have discovered is that updating your online information regularly really does help you get found more frequently.
We’ve been analysing lots of data over a couple of years now and there’s a very real correlation between businesses that update their profiles regularly (at least every 90 days) and how often they show up in search results.

That seems to be the case not just for direct searches on our free local business directory, but also stands for click through traffic from the major search engines (Google/Bing/Yahoo etc.) to business profiles on MiQuando.com.

 

 

View this infographic shows where the biggest gains can be made from an up to date MiQuando profile.

 

Find this useful?

The latest set of Internet statistics were released this month by the Office of National Statistics.  The numbers make for some impressive reading.

Below we take a look at 3 key areas for small businesses.

1.  If your business has no, or a weak online presence you’re likely missing out with…

        • 38 million internet users every day in Great BritainGB Internet Statistics - Source ONS
        • 91% of users aged 16-24 use social media on a daily basis

Time to get online and active with social media. Related Article – A Facebook Page is Not Enough!              

2. If your business doesn’t sell, transact or book online, what happens to the…

  • 37 million online shoppers in Britain
  • 90% of 25-34 year olds buy goods and service online
Time to “e-nable” your business with a shopping cart or online booking service. Read more

3.  Mobile internet usage has more than doubled since 2010.  Your website needs to be mobile friendly to meet the needs of…

  • 54% who now use the internet via a mobile device
  • More than 25 million mobile internet users in GB

 Time to update your website and make it responsive to smartphones and tablets.

Click here for a PDF showing Isle of Man Internet Usage Statistics 2014 – Estimated

 

Find this useful?