A recent chance visit to the 'CRM Blog' website drew me toward one of their header tabs - "What is CRM?"
Whilst we all have our own ideas as to what CRM means to US, what it does for US and how WE use it, I thought it would be interesting to get someone else's insight into how THEY perceive it. The fact that their entire site is called CRM Blog made me think that what I was about to find was going to be a revelation and open my eyes to a whole new way of thinking about CRM.
In reality, what I found left me disappointed and feeling somewhat cheated.
With anticipation mounting, I clicked the header tab to the 'What is CRM?' page (crm.blogs.com/crm/what_is_crm/) and was met with a page containing Google sponsored links to CRM providers down one side, a list of Featured Sites and Recent Comments on the other and absolutely no content in the centre of the screen at all. Not even a title or, worse still and, as far as I am concerned, Public Enemy Number 1 on the Internet, an "Under Construction" page (but I'll leave that for another rant!). No, I got nothing for taking the time to look around their site.
Now, don't get me wrong. I know this happens all the time. We all go to pages, or websites, only to find that it either doesn't exist, the page has moved, or the content is so old as to no longer be applicable. But surely if a company or individual is going to put all that effort into creating a site, marketing it, drawing in the viewer to the extent that they are not only looking at that one item they searched for, but are staying to look deeper into their site, it is only common courtesy that one of the header tabs (and let's remember, this isn't some auto-created link list - this is a tab which someone has had to physically set as a header) which is key to the topic of your entire site, should actually go somewhere?
I view this omission in almost the same way as being invited to a dinner function by a business contact, only for them to tell you on arrival that, whilst the table has been beautifully laid out with the best silver cutlery ,glassware and a dinner service that would make Josiah Wedgewood blush, there is unfortunately no actual food to eat. Not only that, but that the experience you had in getting to the table should be enough to satisfy your hunger. If this were to happen in real life, you would be excused from either leaving immediately, vowing never to attend another of that contact's function or from shouting at the top of your voice how disappointed you are, how you feel the whole event has been an anti-climax and making sure that everyone else knew your feelings.
Whilst this second approach may not make you too popular with the host of the dinner, it would certainly make them think twice about pulling the same trick again, especially if you then went on to publicise on the Internet about the whole fiasco.
Some of you may now be wondering whether this blog post is simply a rant at a particular website because a page I wanted to read was missing? That, because I had built it up in my head that the next click was about to be a "Eureka" moment which was taken from me, I wanted to name and shame one site?
No. What I am using this one page to highlight is that when you are setting up links to blog posts, tweets or articles on your websites, it is paramount that you link to REAL content. There's nothing worse than having your viewer's appetite whetted, only to be present them with an empty plate.
Not only is it wasting your viewers' time. It could also be damaging the reputation you worked so hard to create.