“PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS E-MAIL,” But Do Comment!

Hallmark Greeting Card’s Solutions Show Customers They Matter

Customers do not like to feel frustrated. Frustration is a leading cause of customer attrition. I get very frustrated when I receive a “PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL”. If you don’t want me to respond, don’t send it.

Many times these auto-responses are initiated when a new customer logs on to your company’s site for the first time to register and set up their profile information. The receiver of the automated, do not reply message is a new customer and the first communication they get is impersonal and robotic.  What if there is a question?  Does a customer have to first look up a company’s telephone number or email address?  That doesn’t make sense. Why not use this first time opportunity to welcome your new customer and tell them how excited you are to create a relationship and serve them in the future?

A particular pet peeve is when your account is up for renewal and the credit card on file doesn’t work.  Another do not respond email is sent and an additional opportunity to connect with your customer is lost.  In this case the customer is established and more likely than not, their credit card number was changed for any number of reasons and the customer forgot to provide you with the new information. We received one of these terse emails from FedEx the other day; it was unfriendly and annoyed me. It is possible to communicate with customers in a way that is congenial and appreciative conveying the message that oops, please get in touch so we have your updated card number. Make it easy for the customer to just hit reply if they have a question.

Today, I received a statement alert from TD Bank where I have my business account. I’m a good customer. Once again, *****PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS E-MAIL. This is an automated alert, and its source mailbox is not monitored.***** Well, why can’t it be monitored?

People are busy. Customers are busy. If your customers require information about their account or anything else, use that communication channel to always thank customers and make them feel important and appreciated. In retail, companies are touting their ecommerce sites as the way they plan to increase revenues and profits by reaching a wider audience and making it easy to do business. Continually sending DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL messages frustrates customers and portrays a company image of robots, not humans. Spend dollars to make your site look more appealing.  But, don’t spoil the image by sending customers messages that make it difficult for them to communicate with your teams.

I would like to hear your comments about this post. I can promise you I will not send you a DO NOT REPLY TO THIS POST email.

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About the Author ()

Richard R. Shapiro is Founder and President of The Center For Client Retention (TCFCR) and a leading authority in the area of customer satisfaction and loyalty. For 28 years, Richard has spearheaded the research conducted with thousands of customers from Fortune 100 and 500 companies amassing the ingredients of customer loyalty and what drives repeat business. His first book was The Welcomer Edge: Unlocking the Secrets to Repeat Business and The Endangered Customer: 8 Steps to Guarantee Repeat Business, was released in February, 2016.

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