If a customer called you with a question, would you hang up on him without offering an answer?
If someone someone asked you face-to-face about your business, would you ignore her until she finally gave up and went elsewhere?
Of course not. That would be rude, right?
Do you answer customer emails?
Do you address comments, messages, and questions via social media?
Are you monitoring your website’s “Contact Us” page?
During the holiday season, I endured FOUR less-than-shareworthy online experiences:
- On December 11, I sent a Facebook message to a major entertainment venue asking about the logistics of an upcoming concert that my wife planned to attend. As of today (1/15), the message has not been read.
- On December 13, I contacted a cafe through its “Contact Us” page to inquire about purchasing a gift certificate for a friend. As of today, I have yet to receive a reply.
- On December 4, I purchased a Christmas gift from an online seller. Two weeks later, I had not received my item or a confirmation of shipment. On December 18, I sent the seller my first email. On December 20, I sent the seller my second email. On December 23, the seller finally responded, but only after I had him sent a THIRD email. (The package arrived on Christmas Eve.)
- Two weeks ago, I uploaded a printing project to a locally-owned branch of a nationally known company. I was told the project would be finished by 11am the following day. When I arrived at 1pm, the project was not finished. In fact, until I mentioned it, the employee hadn’t even seen the order yet.
(cue forehead slap)
It’s not rocket science.
If your business has a social media presence…
If your website features a “Contact Us” link…
If you share an email address with your customers…
If you offer online orders…
…you have two options:
- Take 15 minutes to address, answer, and confirm any online questions, comments, and orders at least three times a day (when you open, after lunch, and before you close). If you don’t have the time, delegate an employee to do this every day.
- Deactivate your social media accounts, take down all contact information, cease online orders, and become a virtual hermit.