I need my microscope serviced and I need it serviced in the next week or so. Since I have a contact at Olympus, where I bought the scope, I called him for a recommendation. He gave me a name of a "great guy" named, ironically Guy, who works or owns a Massapequa Long Island microscope company. I was given the name of his company and told to look it up in the book. I never use the book, but I am typically preferential to "great guys", so I set to look up Guy's company on the web. No web site, no real web presence to speak of, but he does have a listing in some non-yellow book, non-yellow pages yellow page. I called it, and got a busy tone. I re-dialed, and now I got an answering machine. I called again, same result.
To hell with Guy!
Guy, if you want my business, answer your phone. It is really that simple.
So here's what I did. I Googled "microscope repair long island" and found ~10 listings on the side-bar, the paid listings. I chose one in the middle of the page that caught my eye because it said the word "service" in it. I clicked on the link and was taken to a nice website. On the index page of the site, I saw the phone number and location of the business, which was somewhat nearby to my office in Smithtown. I dialed the number and low and behold they answered…immediately. Suffice it to say that several minutes later I had an appointment scheduled for an in-office service by a guy named Raul and I was given Raul's pager number. The price was reasonable, though I'm sure that Guy would have done it for less, but he did not answer his phone.
I only do business with people that answer their phones before they have my money. If they don't answer when they want the sale, they will certainly not answer after they've made it.
If you want to compete and thrive, start by answering the phone and being reachable. It is really that simple.