Just like in relationships, communication between sellers and buyers are key. This is especially when shopping online because as the buyer, we may not be familiar with a product or item, or we might want to know more about it before committing our money. Or we might want to be assured that you are a legitimate business we can trust.
When a company or person sells online, I’d expect a certain level of technological savviness and a reasonable turnaround time for answering email enquiries. You’re a company and you’re a business – you’re supposed to be efficient. 48 hours is the maximum time I allow personally, unless I’m informed otherwise by the sellers that they are away. I also factor in time difference and weekends. When I was a seller on ebay, I replied to emails within 24 hours – I offered what I expected to receive. Happily, I did usually receive what I expected, even on etsy where many sellers aren’t full timers.
However, when I don’t receive a response to my email enquiries after a week, I get upset. Its not that I don’t want to buy from you – I would if you’d just answer my damned email!
This happened to me just recently by the way, so I speak from experience.
I noticed that Company A was selling similar products as Company B but at reasonably lower prices. The first 3 emails to Company A were promptly answered. The subsequent ones and the ones sent most recently were not answered at all till today.
I then wrote to Company B and every single email was replied to within 24 hours max. Actually, it was replied to within an hour! Bearing in mind there is a time difference as both companies were in the UK, this was impressive.
Needless to say, Company A lost a potentially rather large sale and Company B gained it, even despite the price difference, because I’d rather pay for something I want from a company that actually communicates with me, rather than throwing money at a company that doesn’t – what if I don’t receive my products or get something damaged? I’d never be able to get hold of them!
So, note to online sellers and companies looking to sell online : If you want to inspire confidence, good communication is key whether pre or post-sale.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and whether you’ve had a bad or similar experience lately. If you are an online seller, is prompt communication with your potential buyers something you place importance on?
Note: I refer here to proper companies that choose to sell their products online, not the blogshops that are sprouting like mushrooms after the rain. I realize that many of those who run the latter are not doing it full time and I’ve never bought anything from a blogshop so I am no judge of their service or reliability.