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More e-mail rants
Posted on 2-Jun-2005 10:57 by M Freitas. | Tags Filed under: Blog.

Why companies publish a Contact Us page if they have no intention or people to reply to inquiries? And why some companies publish skinny press releases?

A couple of years ago I contacted DLink Australia through e-mail. Don't know why, that time I sent the e-mail with a receipt request. And guess what? 35 people read the e-mail, but no one replied to me. After waiting a week I contacted DLink USA, which forwarded the request to Australia.

I then received a reply from someone in Australia explaning that they don't usually reply e-mail inquiries. So why do they have a Contact Us e-mail address?

This time it was a problem with multiple companies. E-TEN released a very short blurb about their new device, the E-TEN M600. Very short indeed with no picture. And no reply to my e-mail requesting a picture.

Then we have Asus. Their press information about the MyPal A636 Pocket PC (which sounds great with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS) was just three lines. And no picture. The Asus contact page is full of addresses for support requests. No media contacts, no marketing e-mail, nothing.

Not counting the endless number of companies that publish e-mail address that bounce - I can't remember the specific name, but there was a company that bounced my message with "No such e-mail address:", which was clearly the e-mail on their web page.

Why customer care is such an ordeal with these companies? There's an article on ZDNET showing that "... 15% of the companies surveyed by Customer Respect Group did not reply to email inquiries, and another 14% did so only partially. Overall, 40% of all inquiries sent to retailers resulted in a timely response, with 70% of those responses arriving within a day."

Vnunet has published the results of a survey in Britain, where "A 'catastrophic inability' to provide adequate online customer service leaves most UK firms unable to provide answers to even the simplest customer queries."

Continuing, the article says "According to research published today, over two thirds of leading consumer websites answered fewer than two out of 10 of the most often asked customer questions. Only 16 per cent were able to answer five or more questions successfully."

And finally "Research carried out by customer service software provider Transversal found that almost half of the organisations surveyed also failed to respond to customer questions escalated by email. Those that did took an average of 33 hours to reply."

How bad is that for customer service?

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