Tell Customers If You Can’t

In the digital age of communications, business owners scramble to cover all data information highways just to ensure that the target market finds their product or service immediately and if the need to purchase it arises, the avenues to contact, inquire and seal the deal is present.  Speed and availability is the name of the game.  Sadly though, the abundance of these so-called avenues often does not match the time and focus business owners must allocate to keep everything going all at the same time.  More than helping, too much glass balls over a juggler’s head may end in disaster especially for serious consumers who expect to basic customer service: attention.

Take this multinational cosmetic production company, for instance. With all their paid advertisements and collaterals plastered with their official website and fan pages, one blogger shared that she once tried to write them a straightforward note via the contact form available on their website for something about their product to be further clarified.  Upon hitting the ‘send’ button, a computer-generated reply promptly appeared in her inbox thanking her for her very important query with a smart assurance of “We will get back in touch soon.”

Unfortunately, several months have passed and yet, no “getting back in touch soon” happened.  To most clients, this is a sign that that company clearly does not feel that that effort poured into contacting them did not merit any kind of reaction so they will simply bring their business elsewhere.   This is a glass ball falling to the ground in pieces.

Remember that no matter what the size your business is or how wide your distribution network covers, you are not only responsible for managing customer expectations by letting your customer know how to contact you but also to actually pay attention to your customers by ensuring all these contact information centers are manned and attended to.

Review where your target market is and what avenues are easily available to them.  Is it landline voice calls, facsimile, short messaging services or email through your company website?   Depending on your capabilities to handle these lines, prioritize which ones you will adopt and ensure sustained interaction in them once you make them available and known to the public.  Beware of falling into what others call the “Always Available” trap by giving customers every option available just because you can take advantage of it but not really be capable of sustaining it in the long run.  A phone line that goes unanswered can be more detrimental to your business than an unpublished number.

Your customers are sensible enough to understand that you are not going to be available 24/7 (unless you are in the business of saving lives) but when you say “Thank you for your inquiry. We will get back in touch soon,” mean it.

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