It’s the simple stuff that kills us.
As communicators, we dive into the details of how to best communicate to key audiences. What’s more titillating than a comprehensive audience analysis, psychographics included? Our brains explode with ideas and tactics that integrate and initiate action and interest.
I found this out during the last few weeks not as a communicator but as an everyday consumer. Actually, I was interested in getting more involved in something beyond my “self.” Volunteering for a non-profit was of interest so I outlined the organizations of interest, went to their websites and looked for key contacts. Most didn’t offer what seemed to be relevant contacts for volunteer opportunities, just a basic Contact Us online form. So I filled them out.
Tick, tock. Tick tock … tick …
It’s been weeks. And now? While I still respect the mission of the organizations I queried, I certainly don’t think as highly of them. As for volunteering for them, not likely. So what’s the issue here?
- Option 1: Messages go into some black hole and are never checked.
- Option 2: Messages go to a specific person who ignores the inbound correspondence (intentional or not)
- Option 3: Messages go to several people so that “someone can handle it,” with each person assuming someone else will respond – or no one does.
Regardless, the system is flawed. And the organization is screwed. Volunteers get miffed. Donors get miffed. Anyone and everyone gets miffed. Guess what happens during the annual fundraising event? People remember.
4 Questions to Ask Yourself about Your “Contact Us”
- What is my company saying when key contacts are not listed online—and only offers an impersonal form?
- Have I filled out the Contact Us form to test the process in which responses are received and resolved?
- Do I know who is solely responsible for receiving and responding to incoming inquiries, and are they shared with personnel that need to know, i.e., sales, product development, customer support, etc.?
- What is the cost per sales lead at my company? Assuming one of three “contact us” inquiries are sales related, how much money is being lost when a response is not provided? Ouch.
Enough said. Go to your company website. Fill out the form. See what happens.
And make changes fast. It’s just good communications.