It appears that very little is changing in the world of online customer support. Over the past year study after study has shown that companies are incredibly bad at replying to customer support emails -- even when they're super fast at replying to sales inquiries. The reasoning behind this is ridiculous, of course. Customers are already paying you money, and therefore probably should be treated even better, so that you don't lose them. In fact, the latest study along these lines has found that, with especially desirable demographics, if you don't respond quickly they'll move on to your competitors -- even completely ignoring email responses that come in late. The company who did this study points out that the excuse companies use is bogus: "we get too many emails." They ask if that same company would tell people who walk in the door or who call that they'll get back to them in three or four days (though, there have been cases where I've called customer support and been told that the queue is too long, and am given no option to hold or leave a message, but just to call back later). Either way, it appears that part of this is due to the focus on "growth." That emphasizes the role of sales, compared to the role of customer support. Losing an existing customer who has been paying you money because you spent more resources trying to find new people to give you money sounds like a bad way to build a business. Customer acquisition is difficult. Keeping existing customers happy shouldn't be.
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