Ryan McLean : Slightly Unconventional

#5 No One Wants Customer Service

No one actually wants to have to deal with customer service. Who enjoys spending time on the phone to someone who is difficult to understand and who can’t really help you anyway?

We just want the things we pay for to work.

This week I have a REVELATION that is going to change the way I do business in 2015.

life-lowresIn Today’s Episode

Have you ever had one of those moments where you’re kind of just sitting there and you’re not doing anything extreme but all of a sudden something just clicks in your mind and it just changes the way that you think about life or you think about business or something like that. Well, that is exactly what happened to me this week and I want to share that with you in today’s episode of Instructions Not Included.

Hi and welcome to Instructions Not Included with me, Ryan McLane, as I try and navigate the choppy waters of starting a business and generating a decent living online. I don’t know what I’m doing and I don’t have an instruction manual to start it successful and run a successful business but I’m doing the best I can and I’m learning along the way and I’m sharing it with you. I’m out walking at the moment, walking up to the shop to get myself some sustenance aka chocolate and an energy drink and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to chat with you guys about what happened to me.

On Monday my wife was working and my daughter goes to kindergarten and usually grandma would take my son Branson on Thursday or on a Monday if Kelly’s working. And so she has actually gone down to Sydney for Christmas to see family who would be heading down soon and so I was in charge in Branson so that means basically no work for me. So I did some work early in the morning for about seven until nineish and in that time I did admin stuff. I had customers with issues who couldn’t log in or they had payment issues and I just did a lot of follow up and problem solving for people. I literally spend the only two hours that I could work that day doing admin and maintenance staff and that really clicked something in my mind and I was like, “Oh my gosh, running a membership site comes with a lot of maintenance work.” Like I have already been doing a lot of this sort of work and problem solving and helping people with the tech issues on my side and fixing problems and stuff like that but it always been amongst the normal day work to get other things done as well. However, on Monday, on this particular day I could only do that. That was the only work I had and so I felt like I didn’t get to move my business forward, I was just doing administration.

That really made me think in my mind, well maybe I shouldn’t be running a membership site where people are going to have technical issues and going to have payment issues and all of this sort of stuff. Maybe I need to rework my business so I’m not having this ongoing maintenance and so I talked to my wife about it, I talked to my friend Ross about it and Ross was saying, “Well, can you just outsource the admin of that?” And I was like, well I could outsource it. But that’s another thing to outsource and I would just rather create a business that didn’t need that administration at all. I’d rather have a smaller team. I would rather have something that was easier to manage by myself than to have something that has a lot of maintenance issues ongoing with it. So that really got the ball rolling in my mind as to well I need to change my business, how am I going to do this?

Currently the way I deliver my product is someone signs up and they either sign up for a monthly membership and they pay monthly fee or they sign up for an annual membership and they pay an upfront annual fee. This gives them access to my website and to a membership section of this website. On this website they get property listings. Every single day I list a new property. They can also request reports for that property so they can see the data behind that property and how much income that property generates and they’ll still get access to tools like the Advanced Property Calculator that helps them analyse properties and then they also get access to the lessons that teaches them how to do what I do, like how to research properties, how to research an area and so forth. The only way for people to get access to the content on the website is to actually log into the website which is a pain in the ass in and of itself. I’m sure that they would rather receive it in a more convenient way. And then also with the monthly payments people always have credit cards that bounce or things like that and so there’re always issues with that. As a result I’ve got a lot of people jumping off the bandwagon just because their credit card bounce and the person using which is Gumroad or if their credit bounces they have to manually go in and change their credit card details in order for it to recharge them. Therefore one strike and you’re out basically with Gumroad which kind of sucks.

I am therefore not happy with the current membership business model and so I was talking to my wife and I was saying to her, “Look I’m not happy with this what should I do?” And then as I’m talking to her, I had the idea myself that I could actually deliver updates via email. Rather than people need to log into a website to see the details of a particular property, they could just receive, maybe weekly updates via email. I’m not sure, I haven’t worked out all the details, but ideally what they would do is they would sign up and they would get to download all of the lessons or they would do able to login and stream them or whatever it may be, and then they could also sign up and in an upfront payment and pay for weekly email updates. In that way, every week I would just need to send out one email and that would be what they get and they wouldn’t have to worry about never getting a website, work out how to understand the website and it’ll also allow me to deliver things in a much more simple form that people can understand and so that’s going be less confusion and ideally less maintenance work that goes along with that. This would then hopefully free up some of my time I was talking about in the very first episode that I feel overwhelmed, I feel a bit bored and I need more time to be creative and to do things like Instructions Not Included and to do other websites as well that I want to get into. I don’t want to just be a property website; I want to be an educational business. So if I can create a business that doesn’t require that ongoing maintenance work and therefore ninety percent or ninety-plus percent of the effort I put in is to actually growing that business by creating new content or improving products or improving sales funnels and all that sort of stuff. Well then I could then actually move forward much faster and I could have the time and the freedom to go into other creative endeavours.

That was my big revelation – stop spending so much time on maintenance but create a business that doesn’t require much maintenance so that everything I do can focus on growing that business, improving that business and becoming a more successful business. This will also help in future websites that I go into to help them scale and to help me grow and bring on employees and things like that. And bring on employees that are actually going to move the businesses forward rather than just having virtual assistants or employees who are there for customer service and support, because people don’t want to deal with customer service, people don’t want to deal with emails back and forth, try to log into a website, all of this sort of stuff. Customers don’t want that, customers just want an easy way to get access to the stuff that they paid for and if I can do that, hey I’m killing two birds with one stone.

That finishes up today’s episode and I’m just going to leave you with a snippet from tomorrow’s episode. “I think for your podcasts I’d really love to see some things that you try and test and you know, test over time and tell us your results and if they succeed or fail. I’d really love to see some income reports and stuff like that as well, like what kind of money you generate and what your expenses are; and the breakdown of the areas that you generate money and the breakdown of the areas where the expenses come from.”

If you want to see tomorrow’s episode or any other previous episodes and continue to follow my journey, why not subscribe by going and searching Instructions Not Included in iTunes or Stitcher or go to nstructionsnotincluded.tv.

Thanks for listening guys. I’ll be back tomorrow with another episode and hopefully we can begin moving our business forward and I can have some ideas on how I can change that structure.

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