Self Employed at Consultant
24 February 2004 17:12pm
Am I alone in getting increasingly concerned (nay, annoyed) by the large proportion of emails I write in response to the invitation for email contact on a website for which a reply is never forthcoming. Worst still are those sites with an auto response saying "we really value your communication and will reply as soon as possible". I would crudely estimate that over 80% of emails I send to the 'enquiry' desk of commercial websites never get a response.
Whilst much attention is rightly given to the problem of spam impacting on legitimate email marketing, if our own contempt for the medium is such that we don't reply, how can we expect our customers to do so?
As I same, am I alone with this concern? Does anyone have any more factual input? What should we do about it (I can ensure I always respond promptly but what do I do about all the rest who don't). Should we sponsor a 'black-list' of poor responders - I could name some very high profile 'internet savvy' companies whose record is appalling.
Director at ISSEL
25 February 2004 09:19am
I think there are 2 issues - technical and manaagement.
If the problem is that for some reason the email response system isn't connected in to the right channel in the organisation then shame on the site administrators.
But my suspicion is that the main reason is the same that bedevils all organisations and response/customer services departments ie management and prioritisation. Having received your communication (it could just as well be a coupon from a magazine) someone has to do something about it and the more complicated the question the more it will be put on one side to be looked at after the simple issues have been dealt with unless the buying signals shout out rom your message. And there is no easy answer because you are dealing with human nature. Techniques of measurement against KPIs help by flagging up problems so management attention will be focused to those areas.
I've got some candidates for the 'Appalling Customer Service Award 2004' too and they are some of the same companies that appear in bad light in the Consumer pages of the newspapers. (When am I going to get my deposit back Stelios?)
The net is a great way of publicising appalling service and I recall that someone set up a blog describing their customer service hell with Dixons Group. They invited visitors to respond with the amounts they had NOT spent with Dixons because they preferred to shop elsewhere because of the attrocious service. The sums involved reached about £500K very rapidly but whether this made Dixons look at their customer (lack of) service I don't know.
Marketing Consultant at Email Marketing Solutions
27 February 2004 14:27pm
>am I alone with this concern?
Not at all!
I'm sure we'd all be shocked to realise the amount of business that is lost every day through lack of communication & customer service. Personally, if someone wants my business, they'd better respond to enquiries within an acceptable time-frame or I'll go elsewhere.
However, those that "get it" will gain a competitive edge over their competition, in addition to increased customer loyalty & satisfaction.
Managing Director at Emailcenter UK Ltd.
18 March 2004 16:41pm
Something some readers may find of interest is a solution for managing the hundreds of emails that arrive at generic email addresses such as 'email@example.com' every day. We still come across people who are trying to manage 1000 customer queries every day through manually forwarding them to staff via Outlook.
This system routes emails like a call center routes calls. Agents answering the emails are given 5 answers the AI engine suggests are suitable to respond with. Management can also track how efficent their customer service department are being.
Anyone interested can view a demo of the system at www.emailcenteruk.com/software_akiocenter.htm
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