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434 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 113798 28-Jan-2013 17:53 Send private message

Why does it seem so common to have simply zero response if you email a company with an inquiry. 
Are they just not used to doing business this way, do more emails never make it to the destination than we think, is email simply not suitable for doing business.

  • 5 years ago I emailed rebel sport asking for the price on a kayak, never got a response, bought elsewhere.
 
  • Early December I emailed a local marine shop asking for the prices of some outboard motor parts. I gave all the details they needed. Never heard back and never entered the shop.

  • Recently I asked about the price of some car parts. A few months ago I did this and heard no response so i resent it, they said they did not get my initial email, maybe they didn't? maybe they thought of me as a hassle? Anyway I emailed them again the other day early morning (knowing they did not get my first email last time and were quick to respond when i resent it) I resent the email at 4.45 pm and got a response in 10 minutes including prices totaling $250. I responded saying I would take the lot, one full working day has passed since then and I have heard nothing ?
  • Edit/ just thought of another example, Emailed a specific division of my university 3 working days ago after I could not get hold of them on the phone. Guess what? no response.
I know that is only a few examples, there are probably more but the fact remains true that dealing with businesses via email does not seem like the way to go, but why ?

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 752155 28-Jan-2013 18:11 Send private message

Very common. They treat it as a lower priority than phone. I find the same problem trying to get support from some NZ companies. They will reply immediately to phone calls, but if you email them they may take several days to weeks, if you get a reply at all. I have recently emailed a number of companies for a project and probably only get a reply to about 40% of them. A followup email usually bumps that up to 80%.

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  Reply # 752157 28-Jan-2013 18:14 Send private message

Very common and obviously they have no idea they are losing customers. I simply go somewhere else if I don't get a reply.

Absolute idiots.




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 752161 28-Jan-2013 18:18 Send private message

Some companies are not very tech savvy, so the emails end up with the wrong person. Quite often, the emails end up going to the web site admin or IT person instead of the sales department.

You can ensure that emails go to the right person - however people move around and most businesses lack tools to keep track of all the email aliases their systems have.

Many of the smarter companies are implementing contact centre systems where emails and social media inquiries end up with the contact centre or sales department in the same way as calls. However, this kind of software is very expensive and very few companies can afford that.

We are actually developing something more affordable for medium size and smaller businesses, so watch that space :)

Regards,
Igor.




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  Reply # 752319 28-Jan-2013 21:38 Send private message

I think it also depends on the question. If the answer is just going to be a few lines which can be answer quickly, then I find companies can be quite good. But if they need to provide pricing or are going to need to spend a while replying, then some may not chose to reply, as it could result in wasted time for them if it isn't going to go anywhere for them. I receive inquiries myself, where it may take a good half hour to reply, and then you never hear back from the person you replied to. So it make you a bit jaded to reply to some enquiries, especially if you are busy and you think that the enquiry isn't going to go anywhere. But in those cases I tend to just copy and paste answers I have previously sent.

One com[pany I spoke to told me that they hardly ever reply to the first enquiry via email, because they get so many enquiries that don't go anywhere. So they have learnt that if it is important, the person will follow it up with another email. 

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  Reply # 752326 28-Jan-2013 21:52 Send private message

mattwnz: if they need to provide pricing or are going to need to spend a while replying, then some may not chose to reply, as it could result in wasted time for them if it isn't going to go anywhere for them. I receive inquiries myself, where it may take a good half hour to reply, and then you never hear back from the person you replied to. 


I think if the inquiry goes to someone who is charged with sales in the organisation they will only be too happy to take the opportunity. Sure, you have tire-kickers in every sales scenario (email, phone or even walk-in), but a professional sales person would have developed a technique to deal with that. For me part of this is to ask for a phone number and then call to qualify that the inquiry is genuine.

Waiting for a second email sounds like another such technique to deal with tire-kickers, but that is treating every potential customer like a tire-kicker, a "guilty until proven innocent" stance.

I prefer to engage with the perspective buyer immediately and keep the conversation going so they don't go to competition, in case they are a genuine buyer.








434 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 752327 28-Jan-2013 21:52 Send private message

mattwnz: I think it also depends on the question. If the answer is just going to be a few lines which can be answer quickly, then I find companies can be quite good. But if they need to provide pricing or are going to need to spend a while replying, then some may not chose to reply, as it could result in wasted time for them if it isn't going to go anywhere for them. I receive inquiries myself, where it may take a good half hour to reply, and then you never hear back from the person you replied to. So it make you a bit jaded to reply to some enquiries, especially if you are busy and you think that the enquiry isn't going to go anywhere. But in those cases I tend to just copy and paste answers I have previously sent.

One company I spoke to told me that they hardly ever reply to the first enquiry via email, because they get so many enquiries that don't go anywhere. So they have learnt that if it is important, the person will follow it up with another email. 

Yes I understand it from the business perspective too and can see how it would be time consuming and they don't want their days filled up with endless price checks. Therefore I think they should have prices listed on their website but I understand their is also a cost in maintaining that. On a quick side note, I wonder in this day-in-age how much companies miss out on by not having a website stock list whatever you call it, For example supercheap have every product listed on their website, repco don't. I do not go into repco just to see what is in the shop, I simply go to supercheap. Although I do understand they are targeting different markets, repco have a much bigger range in stock therefore it would be harder to maintain an online price list. 

Anyway,  at the end of the day I think do you wan't my business or not?

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  Reply # 752334 28-Jan-2013 22:06 Send private message

qwerty7:

Anyway,  at the end of the day I think do you wan't my business or not?


A price check should be simple for them, and pretty instant, such as no more than a days reply, as there is hardly any work involved.

Putting prices online for some companies is difficult, because they may price themselves higher than other companies, but provide better support and service. So some are possibily catering for different markets.



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  Reply # 752846 29-Jan-2013 18:39 Send private message

oh for frick sake, so I emailed a second hand parts place to see if they have a certain part in stock? One working day = no response. Is it wrong for me to expect a response in one working day? Why have an email on your website if you don't use it. If you want product inquiries by phone and not email say so, al though I think that is stupid

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 752847 29-Jan-2013 18:40 Send private message

There is a very good book written by my former marketing lecturer, the late Dr Richard Buchanan, titled When Customers Think we Don't Care. I highly recommend it.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 752851 29-Jan-2013 18:57 Send private message

@GeoffisPure Your link is incorrectly inputted.




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 752863 29-Jan-2013 19:21 Send private message

I've gone one step further - if I don't get support via Twitter I try not to deal with the company at all.

Amazing which ones you find with responsive Twitter accounts. Blows me away the level of support I've had from all sorts.

P

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  Reply # 758634 9-Feb-2013 10:57 Send private message

PaulBrislen: I've gone one step further - if I don't get support via Twitter I try not to deal with the company at all.

Amazing which ones you find with responsive Twitter accounts. Blows me away the level of support I've had from all sorts.

P


Is Twitter that popular/well used to expect that kind of service?

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  Reply # 758638 9-Feb-2013 11:20 Send private message

For support? Maybe. But if a company has a Twitter person replying all the time to the same questions then obviously they could do a better job of making their website easier to use, or giving more training to help desk people.

Some companies are currently taking "social network sites" as their ow site. I've seen a few .com redirecting to a Facebook page. Basically they limit the number of customers who can buy from there (not everyone is on Facebook, and some people don't want to be) as well as completely losing their ecommerce abilities.

I've found a .com redirecting to a Facebook page where there was no product description, no way to ask anything (except for wall posts) and no way to buy anything.

And as Jeff Atwodd says when announcing Discourse this week:

"Get Satisfaction, UserVoice, Desk, etcetera? Sorry, customer support isn't the same as community."

There are many different web sites: institutional, corporative, government, ecommerce, community, collaboration, software as a service, support, social networking and others. Each are different from the other and people mistakenly use one type or another thinking they are all the same.

And then there are people who think put a site on the Internet and it will sell without them having to do anything, not even reply to emails.




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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 758639 9-Feb-2013 11:25 Send private message

DarthKermit:
PaulBrislen: I've gone one step further - if I don't get support via Twitter I try not to deal with the company at all.

Amazing which ones you find with responsive Twitter accounts. Blows me away the level of support I've had from all sorts.

P


Is Twitter that popular/well used to expect that kind of service?


The companies that are on twitter, have usually seen some of the epic social media fails and know how bad service can go viral.

If they are savvy enough to be on twitter, they are savvy to know its power ( or potential power) all you need to happen is to be retweeted by someone with a few thousand followers in NZ and its all over rover

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  Reply # 758648 9-Feb-2013 11:42 Send private message

Skinny's Facebook page has backfired on them big time,  it's given their juvenile and very vocal users a place to voice any number of either pointless or exaggerated complaints, it also seems their are teenagers who are unaffiliated with Skinny answering questions and offering support...

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