I was at a restaurant last week sitting on the patio (socially distanced of course) with my bestie from California. We were chatting away as you do with someone you’ve known since middle school. Several minutes passed and the waiter asked us, “are you ready to order?” We were both surprised by the question because he never gave us a menu. He said, “oh sorry we have a QR code on here,” pointing at a small flimsy triangle folded piece of cardboard that had nearly blown away a few times since we got there. I had assumed it was a drink menu or something. “Got it!” We scanned the QR code and were able to see the menu at that point, after he explained it to us.
It’s the little things (like having to access a menu via QR Code and not explaining that upfront) which create friction in the user experience and make it hard to do business with you.
So, in GovCon how can we make it EASIER to do business with us? Here’s a few suggestions that pop out to me, but you may want to pose this question to your team and come up with even more ideas…
- Website. Your website is like your storefront. Is it easy and clear to understand your offer and what problem you solve for the customer? Do you have your contract vehicles you’re associated with listed on the website? Is it easy to figure out how to get in contact with you? Do you have a chatbot that allows people to leave a message?
- Partnering/Teaming. Do you have a strategy or a clear ask when you reach out to a teaming partner? Do you have a clear opportunity or set of opportunities in mind when you reach out. I can’t tell you how many times companies reach out to me wanting to do business with us, but they can’t intelligently discuss the opportunity (or opportunities) they want to partner on and why it would be good for us. Sometimes they ask me to just “keep them in mind” for the next opportunity. Honestly, I would love to do that, but I talk to businesses all the time, so they need to really distinguish themselves to be memorable.
- Variety of contracting approaches. Stay abreast of the different contract vehicles and approaches. The more you have access to, the better. Different agencies and contracting officers have different preferred vehicles and contracting appraoches. Also consider more commercial-like approaches like Other Transactional Authority (OTAs) and Rapid acquisition process (RAP) as new buying avenues.
Hopefully this gets the wheels turning on ways to make it easier to do business with you.