Email Correspondance between customers and companies is getting harder and harder with each passing day. This is due to the filtering done by email account services and it makes it harder for the customers to receive the responses they require. There are a few steps a business and also a customer can take to minimize this issue.
Have you ever been in this position, where you order a product, you hear nothing within a couple hours, so you send off a email that is accusing and demand things to be done?
If you have, stop for a second. Do you realize that for the most part there is a real person on the receiving end of your emails? Do you realize that there are issues beyond the companies control as to why you did not receive the product/service?
Due to so many scams out there, people now do not even give the smallest benefit of doubt because they have been scammed and lost money so many times and this has hurt their pride and their pocket book. So the next time something does not happen immediately, they jump to bad conclusions. They make false accusations, threaten to go to government agencies or spread the word while jumping to conclusions before they even attempt to find out what the problem was and try to get it rectified.
I am positive that every company out there that has an excellent reputation, like ours does, faces these issues day in and day out. It is a part of doing business online. What I believe, is people forget that there is a real person on the other end.
Do you think these rude and accusing emails would occur if the business was a true brick and mortar? Heck no! Because these same people would have to look the other person in the eye and realize the person is there and real. They know there is a place of business they can go to and get things taken care of. This does not hold true for most online businesses.
So what are the solutions to this? There are many solutions for both the company and the customer but in order to help these situations both parties need to provide certain clear information to help the process along.
If you are a business that takes pride in providing customer support and being there for your customers then you must accurately display this on your website. The traffic coming to your website needs to see the following:
FAQ - Frequent asked questions that address issues that may come up - If you take the time to provide information on most commonly asked questions, this will be a great way to help ease your customers mind about the quality of your company, product and service.
Contact Information - This includes a phone number, mailing address and also a way your company can contact you via email or helpdesk. This information should be linked on every page of your website, so there is no issues about how to contact you. Your contact information should also be provided in all payment receipts as well. By having your contact information clearly displayed, this eases your customers and there is a better chance they will do business with you.
Quick Customer support - If you dilly-dally in responding to your customers, this leaves a bad taste in their mouths. They start to doubt your company and you as the owner. I have seen some companies take up to 10 days to answer. This is uncalled for! Most business communication should be dealt with within 48 hours if not within 24 hours. The quicker you deal with your customers, the faster their concerns are laid to rest. A happy customer is good for the business!
These are just a few of the things you can do that will help your customer with finding information they need but also see how you do business. The more info you provide to help your customer the more your customer will know you are not a scam.
If you are a customer and you submit payments to gain access to products and/or services, here are a few tips for you:
Research - Before you purchase, do a bit of research on the company. Go to Google, type in the company name or program and do a search. If the company has a lot of negative issues found in the search, then you may want to stay away from them. Each company whether good or bad will have some negative issues, there will always be a customer somewhere that is not happy no matter what is done for them. So do take this into consideration when doing your search. If you only find a handful of bad complaints or negative reviews but a lot of great reviews and responses, then you can probably be assured that this company is a good one. Now if you find that the company or product is listed on scam sites etc, this is probably one you want to stay away from.
Use a professional business email address and not your ISP - A MUST! Many customers use Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo, Comcast, MSN and other email addresses that are notorious for blocking and filtering email you want. If you want the business communication about your purchase, it is up to you not to use email addresses that cause issues. This is the #1 issue most online businesses have. The order is filled, communication is sent out and the customer does not receive it because their email account filtered it out or blocked it and they never received it. The next thing the company knows, is the customer is ranting and raving about not getting their product and the company is a scam etc etc. This whole issue could stopped with the use of a proper business email address. I can not tell you the times this has occurred to our customers, it is no fault of our own, but ISPs and many free email accounts, have taken it upon themselves to decide what you should and should not get. You are missing email and you may not even realize it. Get your own domain and setup an email account for it and use it specifically for your business orders and business communication.
Communication - If you have issues or concerns, contact the company as soon as you have the issues. Best way of contact is to use a help desk system for customer support if the company has one. This is the best way, because if their response to your question is not received by you via email due to blocking by your email account service, you can login to the help desk and view their reply online! Picking up the phone is another great way to get any issues resolved. Do not wait to contact the company after a few months of the original purchase and let them know you had issues the whole time. How can a company address your issues, if you did not give them the opportunity to know of these issues in the first place.
A negative experience on the net spreads like wildfire. If your issue was caused by your email address blocking their communication, or you not understanding the program, or you not asking for assistance when stuck, then this is not the fault of the companies and you may compromise their stellar company record by your negative reviews. Research, review and communicate with the company before you go off the handle with emails and help desk tickets that can not be taken back once you send them.
The main point to remember is this, when communicating with a company you have ordered from, do not make false accusations, have the full facts first. Give the company time to answer your questions or concerns. If the company fails to reply to you despite your attempts, then yes, it is time for you to move on and find a company that will answer your concerns!
So with your next email to the company you are doing business with, remember there is a real person on the other end.
My Grandma always said.. you get better results with honey then you do with vinegar.