Lyme Regis is the most middle-class of English seaside resorts. Perched on the side of a hill as it falls into the sea, it’s full of cute little tea rooms, fudge shops and places selling things like sou’westers, painted wellies and knitted tea cosies.
A family spilt out of a hut into a big tent on the beach celebrating a 50th birthday with what looked like a big packed lunch and cake.
You swerved to avoid the rather large baby buggies.
You queued at quite expensive ice cream emporiums.
It was “nice”.
But the problems started in the car park. Once we’d squeezed into the rather small space (was it designed in 1975?), I couldn’t download the app to pay for the parking. No data connection. Just as well I had a bit of cash.
We got hungry, we wanted lunch. Nowhere took a card, cash only. The town’s two cash machines “temporarily out of order”. And, of course, we hadn’t brought any.
Once we did find a sandwich bar that proudly proclaimed “we take cards!”, they struggled to get the connection that would allow me to pay.
Now, you could well say, “Oh, first world problems, just get on with it”. I get that. But most of us are living in the first world and businesses have to function in the environment in which they are placed.
I don’t blame the businesses for not taking cards, it seems the infrastructure to allow them to do so is not there. One of the west country’s most popular resorts – just look in the estate agents’ windows – has no modern infrastructure for doing business. The only Wi-Fi connection I found was standing outside Costa Coffee.
How would your customers react if you made it that difficult to do business with you? Are you struggling to find more ways for them to interact with you?
You could perhaps ask me to help you. I’m something of a devil’s advocate and quite good at making good ideas great. Get A Devil’s Advocate In Your Business could be just the thing for you.
And next time, I’ll apply my own medicine and take cash. Get A Devil’s Advocate In Your Business.