Ignoring customer enquiries? That’s marketing madness!

If a website visitor asks you a question, you’ve hooked ‘em

Obvious, right? Not necessarily.

I found a great picture frame site last week. I was all set to place an order. But first I had to ask a question: can I buy frames without glass? I reckoned their range made the answer worth waiting for. So I emailed customer services.

A day later I was on the ecommerce warpath again, this time on a mission for window insulating tape. One supplier stood out, with the best range at the lowest prices. Before buying I enquired – again by email – which kind of insulating tape was most appropriate for our particular windows.

A week later, no reply from either.

But this is marketing madness! How many businesses can afford to ignore a genuine request that will result in a sale? How many think it makes commercial sense to put off a prospect who’s on the verge of becoming a customer? And how many think it’s OK to alienate a visitor who’s mad keen to buy?

Plenty, it seems.

I’m miffed. I spent time and effort tracking down the best supplier for the job. I asked each of them a perfectly reasonable, very simple one-line question. I used the customer contact interface that they’d provided. And I exercised an appropriate amount of patience… surely a week’s enough time to respond?

In a wobbly economy the strong survive and thrive. But the cowboys and lazy arses fall by the wayside. Does anyone dare bet me a tenner that these two will be out of business this time next year?