Meeting the customer’s expectation is fundamental in building trust and making a sale. It’s done by having their best interests at heart, delivering on your promises and being responsive to their requests. That includes communicating with them in the manner they prefer. Put more bluntly – if you get an email, respond with an email.
We’ve made this point numerous times in our writings in many different contexts. Let me make the point again based on a personal experience.
My mother expressed an interest in relocating to be near me and several of her other children. Knowing what I do, she asked me to collect some information and look at her options. There is a community within blocks of my house, close to my siblings and very near the church we all attend. The perfect fit. As it was the weekend, and being the typical consumer, I requested information through their website using the Comments section to ask specific questions. I also knew I would be traveling much of the next week, and email would be the most convenient way for me to receive information and converse with the salesperson. I expected to receive an email in reply.
So what happened? I received a call on my mobile phone the very next morning that I wasn’t able to answer. I then missed three successive calls to my home number during working hours over the next week. None were picked up. Each message was pleasant, asked that I get in touch, and shared that they were anxious to speak to me about my mother and her situation.
Here’s the lesson. During a very, very busy week at work, I had checked my email hundreds of times from the office, road and home. And I responded to both professional and personal emails. The most effective way to reach me, and engage with me as a prospect, was to reply to me via email based on my initial email request. I was looking for an email, I was ready for an email, and I preferred an email.
Email isn’t the enemy. Email is an effective and preferred way to communicate with many prospects, especially adult children. If your sales process requires a return call, or your sales metrics don’t consider email communication on par with a phone call for call-out quotas, I’d rethink that. The goal is to make a connection, get a conversation going and qualify the lead. All effectively done through email communication.