Monday night, 10pm. I was watching something forgettable on TV and listening to the dryer squeal when I realized something… I had visited a local service company’s website and put in a service request to get that squealing dryer repaired. I gave them my email address, my home address, and my cell phone number. And now, here it was two weeks later and I had not gotten any response whatsoever from the service company. Am I going to give them a call and encourage them to come and fix my dryer so they can get some of my money? Not hardly. When it gets fixed, someone else will do it.
In this business environment where people (aka CUSTOMERS) are a simple click away, there is absolutely no reason for a customer communication to go unanswered (he says while looking at the list of calls he has not yet returned). This is a sure-fire way to send your customers to your competitors. The number one rule of Customer Service is “Respond in a reasonable time frame“.
Since my request was submitted via their website, I can only assume they should have received it by email. Which brings up a good point: If you have a contact form on your website, who gets the email it sends? Is anyone responsible for receiving and following up with requests? If not, you may be losing business you never knew you had. How long has it been since you TESTED your contact form to make sure it was working?
With the state of wireless communications and media tools like Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, Instant Messaging, and just plain old Email, today’s consumers are more connected than ever before. If your business is going to compete for their business, you need to be as connected as your customers are. Instant response might be asking a lot… but responding in a reasonable time frame isn’t.
Oh, and that service company? I think I will give them a call after all… they might need a new website.
How do you connect with your customers?