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Be Annoying = No New Business

Business Email Etiquette and Customer Service

Over the last several weeks, I’ve noticed an increasing trend in what I can only describe as hyper customer service. I’m going to share with you some of my thoughts with this experience to shed some light on what may be unintended consequences.

In a day where customer service many times seems anemic can the opposite actually exist? Yes, and it can be annoying.

Can there be too much customer service?

That can happen. When it is over automated and not personal. And is that truly “Customer Service” when you have systems and software just sending emails and texts over and over?

Not in my book. What I’ve experienced this week is almost stalker-like outreach.

Yes, I did contact you. I received your voicemail and text. The ball is now in my court and I’ll get back to you when I can. And if and when I want.

What about if I did not contact you to warrant your outreach? There are proper ways to cold call via email. To be honest, I’m not apposed to folks sending well thought out personalized outreach emails seeking a partnership.

When there is an obvious synergy and again when done properly.

But when you start annoying me — that’s when you start to lose me and my potential business. What do I mean by annoying?

Redundant incessant follow ups…

I expect that when I made my initial inquiry that I would receive a phone call and a voicemail. But multiple texts? I don’t remember being notified or checking a box that texting me was okay.

I don’t know you and I don’t want you sliding in to my texts to sell me something. I’ll call you back or email when I have time.

Then, every morning at 10 a.m. a different “agent” contacts me, leaves a voice mail and another text. Even the following morning after I emailed the 4th different guy noting I would be in touch? Stop it.

Ongoing follow-ups “just in case”…

Just in case what? I missed the first 5 emails? Emails pitching what you want to accomplish that benefits you more than me, that I didn’t ask for probably won’t receive my response.

Not to mention I know these are just autoresponders set to send on a predetermined schedule. Now you are a full-fledged spammer.

If you email another business, and they did not ask for your information first, the lack of response is your answer.

In most cases, I have no problem with one follow-up. But after that — enough. You’ve now annoyed me into not wanting to do business with you. And it is your fault.

Different contacts with each email…

As I mentioned above the one particular service I inquired about had a different person follow-up with me via email, voicemail and text for 5 days straight. Why wouldn’t one person be responsible for my inquiry?

You’ve just made me feel like I am just another contact being passed around every day to whomever is working that day. Not very personal.

It’s very easy to become annoying fast…

Technology allows us to automate much more than we used to. Just because you can automate doesn’t mean you do — every time or all the time.

This is where thinking out how your service processes flow, in advance, is wise. Avoid auto-pilot software bots sending on a predetermined schedule. Without a personal touch you can create an unintended negative impact.

  • Don’t over automate.
  • Don’t email incessantly when you don’t receive a response.
  • Don’t email, call and text redundantly.

Reach-out, wait for a response, follow-up once. Then, if you don’t hear back, the final follow-up should note where we can reach you when we are ready to do so.

Have you experienced anything like this? What did you think and how did you handle it?

Why not share?