As you may recall, I sent an email to the makers of Silk Yogurt asking several questions. After some delay, they responded:
Thank you for your recent e-mail to SilkÂ®. We appreciate your interest in our products.
Thanks again for contacting the Consumer Affairs Department.
Consumer Response Representative
I don’t think he even read my email. This type of response could just have easily come immediately from an email auto-responder. But it didn’t. It came from a third-party customer service provider after several days of waiting.
I’m disappointed that Silk has chosen to insulate itself from customers by routing all feedback through a third party. To add to the frustration, if you visit casupport.com, from which Jesus’ email originated, you get this message:
OOPS!!!! If you are trying to reach a consumer products company, you’ve come here by mistake!
To send an email to that company via AOL, simply click on “Write” in the upper left corner of your screen.
Follow the company’s instructions by either entering the company’s name or the product name followed by “@casupport.com” in the “Send To” box.
For example, if you are instructed to use the company name and you are trying to reach “XYZ Company,” type “[email protected]” in the “Send To” box. If you are instructed to use the product name – say “ABC Product” – type [email protected]
Write your message, click “Send Now,” and your email should arrive at the appropriate destination!
Thanks for following these directions!
Good luck with those directions. Not only do you not respond to my questions nor my follow-up email but I can’t even tell who you are or how to escalate my issue.
After a little sleuthing, I found Telerx, a customer care outsourcer, owns the casupport.com domain name. Unfortunately, even they don’t live up to their own hype where they state:
Handling [customers] expertly enhances brand value. Anything less and you run the risk of creating ambassadors of negativity, not to mention lost business.
So this very post has become an ambassador of negativity. Don’t let it happen to your company.
Make it Personal
Keep in direct contact with your customers. Losing that connection will lead to you living in a false reality while customers angrily leave your business for better opportunities.
Craigslist‘s founder Craig Newmark is a great example to follow. He personally handles customer service emails. If he can do it, why can’t your company?
Answer each and every question in your customer’s emails. The customer took the trouble to ask, you can take the time to answer. Don’t ignore questions you’re uncomfortable answering. Don’t respond with just a link to a help page on your site. Answer the questions.
Tell Me Now
If you aren’t going to tell the customer anything useful, tell them sooner rather than later. Customers will understand a slight delay in answering questions if you give good answers. If customers had to wait for you to simply respond with generic babble, then you’ll just make them mad.
Customers require proper customer care. Don’t neglect them, ignore them, or outsource their care to the lowest bidder. Take the extra time and resources to nurture your existing customers and they’ll be yours for many years to come.