Companies Ignore Email Complaints, Reply Quickly To Sales Requests

from the let's-think-about-this-logically... dept

I'm sure this won't come as much of a surprise to most people, but a new study has shown that 50% of complaint emails get ignored. However, nearly 100% of sales emails get a response. Surprising? Not at all. Still, it's not particularly intelligent. Your customers are the ones who are already paying you, and thus, are much more likely to pay you again (or keep paying you, if it's a service) than any new potential sale - though, not if you don't respond to their complaints. Plus, pissing off an existing customer is almost guaranteed to get negative word of mouth going. While new sales prospects are always important, treating existing customers well should be seen as much more important. Unfortunately, too many companies have a short-term view of not caring once they've received their money. They view sales as a revenue generator and customer support as a cost center - when customer support can often be much more important in generating revenue.

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  • identicon
    Paul M Johnson, 6 May 2004 @ 9:58am

    The problem is .....

    The sales department is seperate from the complaints department. The sales department can show how much revenue they have generated while the complaint department can't. The salesmen responding to a sales inquirely might earn a commision or bonus for that activity. It is very likely that the folks in the complaits deparrtment get paid by the hour and have little incentive to acttually deal with a complaint.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Joe Schmoe, 6 May 2004 @ 10:32am

      Re: The problem is .....

      Regardless, it's foolish. A happy customer is free advertising.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        AMetamorphosis, 6 May 2004 @ 12:14pm

        No motivation


        Paul is correct though.

        Support & complaint departments are not seen as revenue generating departments while sales departments are seen as money makers.

        And its true that the complaint department people are paid hourly while the sales departments get incentives or commissions based on the volume. There is no incentive for a support person to take more calls because they are not paid for their volume.

        True, its bad business, but until corporations realize that they lose customers as a result of under staffing support departments the trend will continue.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          thecaptain, 6 May 2004 @ 7:42pm

          Re: No motivation

          Not only is the complaint dept paid hourly but they DO get incentives...

          The incentives are to keep calls short and take as MANY as possible.

          Just like tech support where solving the problem ISN'T what the goal is...its to get you off the phone ASAP.

          I really have to wonder where this disconnection with reality started....

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JoSchmo the IIIrd, 6 May 2004 @ 4:58pm

    I'm the CEO

    What do you want me to do go to the board and suggest that if we want to reach our sales plan we need to cutback on the hiring of and/or fire a few sales heads and move the body count over to customer support?

    OK.

    I think I understand what you're implying; got it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 May 2004 @ 10:28pm

    No Subject Given

    I run an online store for a small company here in Los Angeles. Sales e-mail goes to a group of office staff and all complaints and order problems goto me.
    I feel bad for the people that have problems cause I just don't have the resources to solve them in a timely matter. On the other hand the company knows of my problem and ignores it. They know they loose sales, they know they have some angry customers, they don't care. I often throw in free stuff for these people but when your order is delayed by a month, your pissed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    William Joseph Brooks, 25 Sep 2009 @ 3:05pm

    I bought a Sony GPS, it lasted less than a week, not covered

    Model: NVU94T
    Serial No: PENDING
    Work Order No: W54LQS00
    Event ID: E42065241
    I called them and told them that the screen on the gps I bought a week ago cracked. It started with a small crack but I continued to use it an it had cracked more. they said it was covered by the 30 day warrenty, so I sent it in, they sent me a bill for 213 dollars, I called them back, the representative said they needed a reciept with an ammount, so I emailed it while he was on the phone. then he said the screen was not covered, they knew the damage, sent me a work order stating it would be replaced free, that is why I sent it in. all the representative kept asking for my credit card information. This was a scam from the get-go. they lied to get me to send it in, and now tryed to trap me into paying for it. I have all of the statements they sent, and the conversation transcripts online. I used it for about a week, less than, I expected to use it a little longer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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