The Customer Journey is Real - SMBs Demand Flexibility in Simplicity

AUG 25 2015

Defining the customer journey for online presence is not about defining a beginning and an end. It is a continuous journey that small businesses are moving around in all directions. There is no real end point and the starting point could be a number of places. For the service provider, the end point might be to get an SMB in the most expensive product tier and keep them there as long as possible. But what driven, entrepreneurial business owners do you know that settle once they’ve reached their initial goal? Or how about when things don’t go according to plan? Goals evolve and SMBs need their online presence to be able to keep up and adjust accordingly.

Service providers should respect the journey of a small business and cater to their needs rather than try to fit them into product offerings that are defined by the constraints of their own technology, sales force, or other internal factors. Without flexibility SMBs will be forced to churn and use their money with a new provider who offers what they need next.  It’s no easy feat, but there are technologies and sales approaches that can help service providers be less rigid in their product offering, allowing them to create long-lasting and trustful relationships with their SMB customers.


On a panel at the BIA Kelsey Interactive Local Media conference last December, Stacey Sedbrook, VP of Strategic Sales Consulting, showed findings from BIA Kelsey’s most recent Local Commerce Report indicating that there are different preferences for DIY, DIWM and DIFM across the lifetime of a small business.

  • Newly established businesses prefer DIY
  • Established and growing businesses prefer DIWM/DIFM
  • Established and ‘maintaining size and share’ businesses prefer DIY

While it’s not necessarily in a vendor's best interest to offer a Chinese menu of products, there are effective ways to cover the spectrum of delivery models with good products.  Offering integrated DIY, DIWM and DIFM products give an SMB the flexibility to evolve with the vendor instead of churn.  If a provider keeps their DIY customers happy, with a product offering that is truly easy to use and still professional, the SMB is more likely trust the same vendor when they need more help in expanding their business online.


SMBs simply don’t have time. They don’t have time to manage their own digital marketing and they don’t have time to manage several vendors who aim to do this for them, either. In Street Fight’s 2015 Local Merchant Report, 42% noted lack of time as their biggest challenge when it comes to digital marketing, and 58% of SMBs surveyed indicated that they work with one provider for their digital marketing needs. Thrive Analytics went one step further asking for actual preference and 76% of SMBs surveyed said they prefer to work with one vendor. It’s not a coincidence.  Vendors need to find ways to be their SMB customers’ trusted digital advisor through the years.

It also means that when SMBs are ready to expand their digital marketing activities, regardless of their service model, there is an easy way to do this with their existing vendor.  Our CEO Louise Lachmann recently sat down with Street Fight for an interview and when asked about what it takes to ‘win’ as a service provider, she explained that to win, service providers must first be on the side of the small business and genuinely want to understand their needs.

"You can’t be just a Do-it-yourself provider, or just a Do-it-for-me provider. I think you need to understand there’s a DIY space, a DIFM space and with more and more SMBs wanting to take back control, there is the Do-it-with-me space.  You need to find a way to cater for that need and the whole customer experience. You can’t just look at it from the products you have available.”
- Louise Lachmann, Mono Solutions CEO

Part of this work is certainly about educating the SMB, again regardless of their service model. DIY products require good online resources and maybe even a personalized experience to get started and from there, work on their own. Street Fight’s Local Merchant report found that just below not having enough time, 33% of SMBs said their biggest challenge with Digital Marketing is not having enough knowledge or expertise. This is a barrier that service providers need to try and overcome when offering DIY solutions but it can easily be done with the right partners and the user-centric technology.


For us here at Mono, the needs of the SMB are in our DNA. It’s the reason we started this company eight years ago. We started off with a pure DIY model in our home Scandinavian market, and while we’re proudly and successfully still running this channel, we have evolved as a company to bring a easy-to-use technology to the masses via our partner model.
As a technology provider, it’s important for us to help our partners sell and support the platform. We urge any service provider to demand the same from all their partners. Our success is ultimately dependent on the success of the SMB and to ensure this, we work closely with our partners and take learnings from our direct channel in order to provide the best resources, product features and integrations for a true turnkey solution.  


We are proudly rolling out the newest version of our editor, V5 as the ultimate platform for SMB online presence. We built V5 to be even more intuitive and provide our partners even more options for customization at scale in order to provide the best website solution for SMBs, period. V5 covers all aspects of the customer journey in a unique and effective way using a system of flows and permissions. 

For ultimate customer acquisition and DIY, V5 has plenty to offer both service providers and most importantly, the individual SMB:

  • Super simple sign-up flows
  • Automatic site creation based on existing customer data (e.g. vendor CRM data, Facebook business page, etc)
  • DIY-friendly templates
  • DIY-friendly editor configuration (limitations)
  • Plenty of upgrade incentives
  • White label support resources

Service providers can move users from a DIY configuration to a DIWM or DIFM model with just one click.  In a DIWM or DIFM model, the editor offers advanced editing options including:

  • Global styling for quick and efficient CSS editing
  • Ability to add custom CSS
  • Fully customizable grid layout
  • Advanced navigation options
  • Advanced header and footer options
  • Customized user permissions

And hopefully you've guessed it by now, but Mono V5 allows you then move a users' permissions back to a DIY configuration if desired. This is often desired in DIWM scenarios, to ensure users don't make serious edits that require fixing by the design team. Simply put, no other site builder gives the flexibility and power to successfully support the entire customer journey.

We’d love to show you the world of V5. Contact us for a demo!


Svenn Andersen

Product Director

Mono Solutions