Constant Contact
  • Maggie Franklin
  • November 5, 2013
No. I’m not talking about the actual company by the same name. I’m talking about the concept of keeping in touch.
 
Lately, I’ve found myself frustrated from dealing with a handful of companies that seem not to have gotten the memo about this Information Age we’re currently living in.
 
I don’t need a customer service department that holds my hand through every step of the process, but when I place an order online, I DO expect a confirmation e-mail. I DO expect to be notified that my order has shipped, and I DO expect to be informed if shipment of my order is delayed for any reason.
 
A few weeks ago I ordered some stuff and never got the shipping confirmation. A week later I e-mailed an inquiry about my order. Two days later I received what translated as a rather snippy e-mail that essentially read, “Some of the items you ordered do ship to us from distributors. When all your items have been received, we will ship your order.”
 
This particular company should invest in a course on interacting with customers. But why didn’t they send me a simple e-mail that said, “Oops! Looks like some of your items are out of stock. We’ll be shipping your order soon!”
 
And I most certainly want to convey my gratitude to the gel-polish company that promised to send me replacements of the colors that had cured in the bottle. I did receive all five replacements, even though no one ever asked for my shipping address. I don’t know if that’s because they had my address on file because I’m registered with their website as a professional, or if they took the time to look it up from my website link in my e-mail signature, or maybe they’re spying on me on a regular basis. They didn’t dispatch a private driver and deliver it on a silk pillow — it came UPS. But I got it and I’m pleased that the company didn’t give me grief about the process.
 
But the company representative that I was corresponding with also didn’t really keep me “in the loop” during the process either. It was more like me e-mailing them to say, “Hey! Your product is turning to crap on me!” (No. Of course I didn’t say it like that.) And a single reply e-mail that asked for the names of each color and the batch numbers from the bottles with a single “so we can send you replacements” line. And then complete silence until the UPS guy came to the door about a week later.
 
This just isn’t the world we live in anymore. Most people expect a little more contact than that. It doesn’t matter that more contact isn’t really required as part of the process, it’s just the world we live in now. If the connection goes dead, we assume you’ve abandoned us.
 
One of my no-shows from two weeks ago recently texted me in a similar fashion: Two weeks after standing me up with no notice, no explanation, no contact whatsoever, I get a text acknowledging that she had an appointment a few weeks ago but she was in the hospital and now she wants to rebook.
 
I can’t help but feel like I missed part of this conversation. She was in the hospital? OK. So maybe she missed her appointment for a good reason, but why wait TWO weeks to let me know why she missed her appointment? And then text me for a new one like it’s no big deal that she missed her last one?
 
Actually, she hasn’t let me know why she missed her last appointment, she just casually mentioned being in the hospital. For all I know, she was visiting someone.
 
I don’t think I’m crazy for expecting people to keep up their end of the conversation.
 

Keywords:   clients  

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