In commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Cluetrain Manifesto.
In the mad dash to have some presence online, many businesses create websites just because. These businesses don't realize that when they launch their sites, they pledged an unspoken commitment to tend to them - to keep them updated, to make them relevant, to ensure they remain living, breathing extensions of their business. This means consumers should be able to use these sites the way they would a brick and mortar version. So, emails, like a customer standing at a service counter, should be addressed - and promptly!
Email carries with it an expectation that someone is listening, and when customers send emails that go unanswered, the message is that their business isn't important enough to acknowledge. Ironically, responding to an email is one of the simplest ways a business can demonstrate professionalism, care, and respect for the customer-base. In fact, an email exchange is a rudimentary form of social media, since it can create a conversation from brand to consumer, building engagement and dialogue.
The accessibility to business online has given consumers the upper-hand. They can be choosier, since comparison shopping has never been easier - your competitors are just a click away. If you own a business and you have a website, you've got to consider it an influential representation of your brand. Take it seriously, and demonstrate your respect to customers by always reading and responding the email messages they send.