Yeah, I’ll get back to you on that one…

To the surprise of practically no one, a new Australian study has found that the most common response to enquiries sent via a company’s ‘Contact Us’ page on their website is… thundering silence.

The company conducting the study, contact centre company Strike Force Sales, sent email enquiries to 460 companies, and 59% of them never replied. Those that did reply took an average of nearly two days to reply. As Strike Force Sales MD Chris Moriarty said, “No wonder I reach for the phone! Who wants to wait that long?”

Only 15% responded by phone, and they took nearly 3 days to do so. No industry sector fared very well; e.g., only 38% of retailers replied to enquiries.

Moriarty writes, “I still remember the three-ring rule… a business has to answer the phone within three rings in case the person phoning in decides to hang up and try another supplier. That was back in the 1970s when business moved at a much slower pace than today. If a prospective client is trying to get in touch with your business, what are the chances they are prepared to wait 1 day, 17 hours and 59 minutes for you to respond? What are the chances they are going to persist if you don’t respond at all… not ever?”

Amen to that, brother! Why bother providing your email address if you’re not prepared to provide the service that goes with it? What I’d really like to know is why on earth companies keep doing this? Those that are quick to respond are certainly reaping the rewards. It beggars belief what makes companies do this (or rather, not do this)…