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Innovating Service With Chip Bell

Customer Care

Is Your Customer Service Accessible?

Or do your marketing needs trump your customers’ needs for access?

Published: Monday, September 18, 2017 - 11:01

What if you were required to fill out an online form if you wanted the phone number or address of an enterprise with which you wanted to do business? Let’s say you were driving to a meeting at their location and you needed to contact someone to let them know you were unavoidably detained. You would have to pull over on the side of the road, fill out the online form, and wait for a response, which would make you even later. Sound ludicrous?

I continue to be amazed at the number of businesses that brag about their customer-centricity but make an email address impossible to find on their website. If you want to communicate, you are required to fill out an online form. I know some smart marketing person offered the website form as the gate so that names and contact information could be captured. Their message is clear: Our marketing needs trump your need for access.

There is another argument for keeping email addresses super-top secret. If we let the world know our email address, we will be inundated with unwanted emails. Really? Does your telephone number on your website yield hundreds of daily crank calls? Does your corporate address on your website result in truckloads of junk mail? Are you putting up a gate that is actually unnecessary?

Once upon a time spammers used bots to grab email addresses from websites for their spam software. But today professional spammers have gotten savvy bots that can litter your contact form or hitchhike on a blog comment. So, using a contact form is like a gate with no key.

Customer accessibility should be simple, easy, and through many channels. Sure, there are a few misguided souls who might abuse the access. However, you could still provide an online form for website visitors to complete should they would like to be on your mailing list.

We live in an era of effortless. Customer communication is your pipeline to success. Open the gates and let your customers and prospects come in.


About The Author

Innovating Service With Chip Bell’s picture

Innovating Service With Chip Bell

Chip Bell has helped companies dramatically enhance their bottom lines and marketplace reputation through innovative customer-centric strategies. For the sixth year in a row, Global Gurus in 2020 ranked Bell as one of the top three keynote speakers in the world on customer service. Bell has authored 24 books; seven are international best sellers. His latest book, Inside Your Customer’s Imagination: 5 Secrets for Creating Breakthrough Products, Services, and Solutions (Berrett-Koehler, 2020), shows how co-creation partnerships enable you to tap into the treasure trove of ideas, ingenuity, and genius-in-the-raw within every customer.