Tuesday 16 February 2010

Abandoned orders - unsatisfied customers and puzzled sellers!

If you use an online system to order stamps and you don't receive a response from the website, how does it make you feel? Probably you go somewhere else to get your stamps, and who could blame you! But do you check all your incoming emails?

Many email systems, especially web-based ones like gmail and hotmail, operate sophisticated spam filters and dump alleged spam messages into a special spam folder - it may have a different name on different systems but that's what it means. But these systems are not infallible, and sometimes good mail gets treated as spam.

I check our gmail spam folder now and then and almost always find at least one message which is a 'good' one and needs a reply or action. Soemtimes somebody wants to buy, sometimes they are chasing an order. Do you check yours?

Our e-commerce site sends an automated 'thank you' response to every order. And because we have not yet automated payments system we also send a second email detailing payment options. Yet for some of these we don't receive a follow-up, neither a payment nor an enquiry. For some I will create a PayPal request, and often that is paid, with the customer confirming that they did not receive any emails. Of course if they register on our site with the wrong email address, then they will never see anything from us - including their stamps!

I understand why we don't hear from them again - they think we are ignoring them - but this is far from being the case!

Then there are the letter-writers. This week we received a letter from Nova Scotia, Canada, seeking stamps, a presentation pack, FDC and stamp cards. The customer includes her full credit card number, expiry date and security code, together with her name and address - and notes our address and email address on her request. But no contact details apart from the address! If I had an email address I would write; I don't have all the stamps - certainly not at the new issue prices she quotes. It will cost a minimum of 90p postage to answer this: what would you do?

So, if your initials are JH and you have a PO Box in New Glasgow NS - send me an email, and you'll be certain to get a reply.

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