I’ll admit to being conflicted by the convenience of Google as a research tool. It’s a broad and seemingly bottomless resource for everything from DIY projects to settling bar bets.
In many respects, Google is unbeatable as a reference. But as I’m sure we’ve all learned at some point, it can also be an abyss of information. A time-suck, if you will.
These days, who has time to spare? We want immediate results, instant gratification and accessible information. This can all be done with a few keystrokes or mouse clicks.
Just remember, there is still a difference between fast and right. This reminds me of one of the questions we often like to ask prospective employees. Is it better to be good and on-time, or great and late?
Think about that one for a minute. Given the bumpy spring that further tested the resilience of the ag industry, having a reliable source of support to navigate these uncertain times is soothing.
Are your customers finding fast comfort in the waiting cyberarms of Google to precision problem-solve in a vacuum? Or are you proactively being their go-to source for personalized technology service.
Visiting with a half-dozen precision dealers this past spring, and seeing them interact with, at times very frustrated customers, it was encouraging to see those specialists give more than boilerplate explanations to complicated questions and make every minute with that customer meaningful.
“If you're not coming to your customers with something useful, it is a slow slide down…”
Devin Dubois, VP of Integrated Solutions with Western Sales Ltd., perhaps puts it best when explain why dealers — especially now — need to be the primary resource of precision information for their customers.
“You have to be more useful than the phone in your customer’s pocket,” Dubois says. “Find your own information that’s real and will resonate with your customer. If you’re not coming to them with something useful, it is a slow slide down. You need to go to the grower with something.”
Do little things that can help cultivate relationships, like becoming a trusted resource for information that growers can’t get just by getting on the internet. Dubois calls it being “better than Google.”
No easy task, but a necessary one to maintain and fortify business relationships. I’ve witnessed it first-hand and it’s an inspiring interaction.
This can take many forms — from something as simple as a 5-minute follow-up phone conversation to reassure a customer taking a new piece of hardware to the field, to a pop-in visit on the way home to deliver a part or make an unscheduled software upgrade.
Google tends to deliver on day-to-day details that we might otherwise avoid — some more worthwhile than others — but important in the moment.
Precision specialists are often a primary touchpoint with customers and trusted partners, so be THE information and educational resource when it comes to precision farming practices.
Yours is an extremely influential position, so leverage it to improve the business of your customers and your dealership. Don’t leave that up to Google.