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Who’s Following Up Your Contact Us Enquiries?
How many times have you gone to a website and clicked on either their Contact Us form or email, completed your details and information about your enquiry and all you got back was crickets?
This recently happened to me when I both emailed and completed the website Contact Us form of a major hotel group, to see if I had left something in the room (which I hadn’t, which was great, but not the point of the story).
So what is my point?
It’s the number of businesses who have an online presence (website and email) as their main form of communication rather than a telephone contact and yet, they don’t have the follow-up systems in place to actually respond.
Or if they do, then something’s broken, and they should be finding out why.
Is this sounding eerily familiar and you think your business may have fallen into this trap?
Check your website Contact Us/Enquiry Form/Email Us.
Here are my 5 suggestions for things to check to ensure you maintain high standards of customer service and don’t lose potential customers because of your systems (or lack thereof):
1. Whose inbox does this get sent to?
2. Is it directed to a specific person or a position?
3. If it’s forwarded to a specific person, are they the right person? i.e. does this task fall into the many functions within their position description or were they just the only person available when this was first set up, and it’s never been reviewed since?
4. What happens if this person is away on holidays, training or sick? Who gets the email/enquiry then?
5. What is the expected response timeframe to firstly acknowledge the enquiry, and then respond to the enquiry?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, I suggest you head to your website and complete enquiries using every option which is presented to you (email and forms), on every page of your website.
Then see where they go, whether the links are working, what email response you get, if any (and if this is the response you want your customers receiving), etc.
You may think this is a waste of time or they are such little things I’ve pointed out, that you feel they’re unnecessary but here’s the thing …
Systems are the essential foundations for any profitable business.
Until you have pretended to be a customer on your own website (ala mystery shopped it), you can’t be certain as to, for example:
- Why your enquiries have gone down.
- Why your complaints have gone up.
- Why people are coming to your website, spending time there (by completing a form or email), and yet, have never purchased your product or service.
Imagine now that one person is completing your enquiry box or email every day, but is never either receiving a response or a response in a timely manner?
That’s potentially 365 new customers or 365 lost customers; depending on how you look at things.
How many possible sales have you lost because you haven’t spent even an hour, checking your systems are working as they should be?
So now, how quickly after reading this article will you allocate time for your ‘Enquiry’ audit?
I hope it’s today or tomorrow, rather than in a week’s time because the math only gets worse the longer you leave it.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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