A story about Contact Center Software

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Santa Claus - or how do I drive my customers away

Recently I received a promotional e-mail with a picture of Santa Claus in it. Or better, it was the Dutch variant - Sinterklaas, who will come on the 5th of December with all kinds of presents.
I found the appearance of Santa Claus in e-mails rather early, so I decided to make a remark. I replied to the marketing e-mail, saying that this is way too early, and that I didn't appreciated it.
Two minutes later, I had a reply. An automated one. Mailbox size over the limit. I reread the original e-mail, and apparently you cannot reply to that marketing e-mail. You need to go to the website. So I went to the website, and after some searching I finally found the e-mail address where I could send my complaints to. Which I did.
After two minutes - no reply. After two hours, no automatic reply. Almost a week later, and still nothing. What do you think, will I still order there?
No, of course not.
Why? Not because of this silly Santa Claus thing where I objected - but on the way they treat their customers. It is the only thing they have!  No customers, no business. So when you don't reply to your customers when they have a question, why should they be different in the rest of the organisation.
What did they do wrong. Let's see:
  1. Always send out e-mails that you can reply to. No matter what you need to do in technical terms. People are just plain dumb. They get an e-mail, hit the reply button. Like I did. And "This Should Just Work (tm)".
  2. Have an automatic reply. Very simple. Just say something in the lines of "Thank you for sending us your e-mail. We will try to reply within three working days". Or whatever.
If they would have played with the rules, I'd probably ordered the next item there. But they didn't. So I'm off to the next shop. There are plenty of them on the internet.
Do you want to drive your customers away with your contact center? Then DON'T TALK TO US. Or perhaps you do need your customers? Mail me.


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