This month we’ve been talking about taking action, and one area of a business that usually means action is customer service. Usually when people reach out to you with a question about what you offer, an issue with what was delivered or (gasp) to thank you for doing a great job, some action is required on your part. Maybe you have to help them troubleshoot your item, maybe you need to explain what certain terms mean, maybe they just want to know that you’re there if they need you. Responsive customer service centers in a business can really be a valuable asset to a business, and likewise a poor customer service department can really kill you. After all, if there’s no one to help you, wouldn’t you leave a bad review and tell people not to buy from them?
Recently I learned about a surprising stance that eBay has on customer relations: unless someone has spent money with you apparently it’s not required to respond to messages that are sent to you. Yes, I had a question about something that was being sold and I wasn’t getting a reply from the seller, so like any smart individual I went looking for answers (aka the nearest door to beat down and complain about the seller) and I discovered eBay’s policy.
So let’s just be clear what this means: there’s a good chance that if someone inquires about a product you sell that they’re at least 50% of the way interested, after all, if they weren’t really interested they wouldn’t make the effort to contact you. And YET it’s apparently logical to not reply to queries. Sounds like a great way to increase your sales, doesn’t it!? Needless to say that buyer lost that sale from me and any potential future ones.
So we’re back to one of my pet peeves: communication. If something as simple as a quick email reply could get you a sale, wouldn’t you take the time to do it? What do you think?