Whethers it's a customer, a prospect or influencer.
Over the past week I’ve had four situations where I’ve reached out to product and service providers I use, or might use, and haven’t heard back from one.
I’ve been eating Clif Bars (www.clifbar.com) for about 10 years after finding out I was allergic to wheat, milk and sugar. I eat them for breakfast or dinner when I cannot find a healthy alternative. Last week I opened one that had cobwebs(?) in it. After eating more than 1,000 Clif Bars I knew this was an anomaly and wrote the company, told them where I bought the product and the code number on the package. A week later, I’ve heard nothing.
I’ve hosted my personal website at GoDaddy (www.godaddy.com) for six years. After writing a blog and having a decent number of followers for nine months, I decided to try to get my blog on the home page of my website. Apparently that is not an option according to the CSR. Then I wrote an e-mail to complain and asked for a work around. A week later, I’ve heard nothing.
I’ve been banking at Wachovia, quickly becoming Wells Fargo (www.wellsfargo.com), for 30 years. I received an e-mail asking me to be kind to the planet and switch to electronic statements. I’m open to doing so but I would like them to stop charging me a $5 fee for something trivial in return. I responding to their e-mail with the quid pro quo. A month later, I’ve heard nothing.
I work in Greensboro, NC and my daily trips to Chipotle and the gym take me by a D.H. Griffin (www.dhgriffin.com) metal reclamation facility three or four times a day. The entrance to the facility happens to be adjacent to two sets of railroad tracks so all of the trucks going in and out of the reclamation facility get jostled. This past Tuesday on my way back from Chipotle, my tire was punctured by a metal shard just after crossing the railroad tracks. I wrote the owner of D.H. Griffin and the manager of the Greensboro operation. After a week, I’ve heard nothing. However, when I went by there for lunch on Wednesday, they did have someone in an orange vest picking up all of the loose metal near their entrance and the railroad tracks.
In every case, I’m trying to help these companies out or let them know what they can do to improve their product, service or image in the community.
When someone care enough to reach out to you with a thought, a suggestion or question, the least you can do is acknowledge their efforts and thank them.
Engagement them in a dialogue to better understand their needs and wants. Odds are they're saying what others are thinking.
If you don’t, someone who is listening will.
If you’re going to give customers an opportunity to provide feedback, at least acknowledge the effort they’ve made to correspond to you.
And, as I learned a long time ago, the first thing you say to someone who provides you feedback is “thank you.”
Do you thank your customers for the feedback they provide?