I’m trying to buy something–please call me back…

Over the past few weeks, I’ve attempted to make several purchases using email, online order forms, and voicemail.  I can’t tell you how many times it felt like I had spoken into a black hole.

On the most recent occasion, I left a voicemail at the number listed on the website saying I had used the product before and wanted to make another purchase if someone would contact me.  That’s a sure-fire sale, right?  No call back.

Next, I went to the website and sent an email to the address listed.  I REALLY wanted to buy this product because I like it.  Nothing.

Not knowing of another company who did exactly what I wanted, I made another attempt and filled out the “contact us” form on the website—only to get to the bottom of the form and discover that there was no “SUBMIT” button.

Can you believe that? 

I’m finding that more and more companies are setting up systems to gather information, but not setting up the mechanisms for handling the responses on those systems.  They are spending money that they will never recoup — and they’ll lose good customers in the process.

If your company has a “contact me” path on your website, make sure you know where those contacts go and that you have a process for responding to them.  If you have a general voicemail box, make sure someone is responsible to check it and respond to messages.  Look at all the avenues you set up for customer and prospect contact and document the process to take those contacts to fruition. 

If you don’t have the staff to handle these requests, outsource it–or remove the request option.  In today’s market where fewer people may be buying, you certainly don’t want to anger someone who is trying to buy your product or service.  Take the time — play the part of a customer and try to contact your own company.  Have others test out the system for you occasionally to see how they are handled.  The feedback will help you take better care of your customers.

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