Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What Happens to E-mails Sent to General Inboxes?

I'm an e-mail guy. Sometimes at work I'll want to contact a company about something that's on my mind (a question, a compliment, a criticism, etc.), but I don't want to call on my company's dime (not to mention sit on hold for 20 minutes) so I'll shoot a quick 1-minute e-mail, generally to the address listed on the token "Contact Us" page. It's convenient for me and should be convenient for the company I'm trying to reach. The theory being that we can both communicate whenever time allows.

In theory that works well... in reality, I'd say I get responses on less than 50% of the e-mails I send. And most of the responses I do get come several days later, which, in modern times, is like an eternity. In other words, that's downright shameful. Terrible way to do business.

So what happens to the e-mails I send to these general inboxes? Are they totally ignored? Are they not getting through the system? Does a magical leprechaun snatch them and hide them in his pot of e-gold? Do they get tumbled through a dryer and never come out, like a sock? What's the deal?

Any marketer worth his salt out there knows that receiving feedback is a top priority for the company. If the company has no idea what the consumer is thinking, how can the company adapt and grow? Or if the customer has a question, that's a prime time to learn how to help the customer and encourage a sale. But apparently e-mailing feedback or a question is a no-no for most companies.

If you have any thoughts on this topic, feel free to e-mail me. Perhaps I'll respond by next year or so. Using a message in a bottle.

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