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Giving People the ‘Silent Treatment’

In resent weeks I’ve been emailing a large number of companies. Not like hundreds, but a fair amount. I’ve so far gotten two replies. Two!? I don’t expect to hear from anyone the same day, or even within several days, but after a week or two. What’s taking them so long? Is giving people the ‘silent treatment’ really good for business?

The first rule in marketing and customer care is to reply to emails, even if you have nothing to say. One company sent me an automatic reply stating ‘we’ll get back to you asap…’ The other company sent me a short message saying ‘sounds interesting, we’ll reconnect when we have an offer’. Fine. Great! Dandy!! But how about the rest?

Drowning in E-mails

I understand that a company can get an awful lot of emails and other messages on a daily basis. It can be hard to keep up, but to never reply…? What kind of message (no pun intended) does that send to the person who sent the request? ‘You are not important to us.’ Well, even someone applying for a job is a potential customer or client. And how about colleagues and co-workers? Do you reply to their messages?

At my last steady job I would send questions to people in offices in other parts of the country. Obviously because I couldn’t walk over to their desk in person. Many of these people never replied. Not even to say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘check with NN instead’. Nothing. That made it impossible for me to act. I was just hanging in the balance, endlessly waiting.

Replying is Customer Care

Personally I’d reply directly, either to say ‘I’m busy right now but I’ll get back to you tomorrow’ or something similar. If I have the time I’d reply or send them information about who to contact. It doesn’t take long and the person on the other side knows that at least their email didn’t end up in the spam folder.

To be honest, I don’t really understand the ‘silent treatment’ you get whenever you write to smaller and midsized companies especially. Maybe they need to either get an automatic reply to their email service, or hire a secretary or someone to actually reply.

Is Ignoring People the New Trend?

I don’t know, but I do believe the silence will eventually hurt the company, if it happens on a regular basis. How hard can it be!? I’m still waiting for a person to reply and I emailed them about 1.5 months ago. Still nothing. Am I supposed to take a hint?

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

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