One of the common difficulties that individuals or companies will have to face is e-mail. E-mail is a wonderful tool that allows us to communicate cheaply, easily and across all barriers. But there is a downside.
How many companies have an firstname.lastname@example.org? Most of the businesses that I have come across do. Why do they have it? Because they want to be reachable and able to do business. Only 10 years ago one company that I worked for in Holland use to record every letter that came and went out by snail post. This way the company could ensure that if somebody sent a letter to them that they would get a response. With modern communication that fine art of reply has shifted. But it is still as valuable now as it was then.
I send a lot of e-mails in sales and I can divide each one into categories of interest and how the company is organised. This does not count for every e-mail but certainly for the important ones where a receipt is asked for:
Receipt received; the e-mail has been read: The company or individual is interested.
No receipt for e-mail: They have read the e-mail
E-mail was deleted without being read: The company or individual has not read the e-mail
What can one do with this information. There are no hard and fast rules. Obviously if they send a yes receipt they are interested and so forth. Recently a couple of companies sent a very dignified reply before I had even called them. Saying yes, we are interested but not now. This last group of companies will in my opinion be the most successful. Why is that? Because they have a process to deal with e-mails. They were able to answer a simple email and to express their opinion. For me it meant that I did not waste time pursuing it, they did not waste time in realising that what their current situation is. Result, everybody is happy. In the last situation, although I have not got the business from the company yet, I will recommend them to anybody that asks because if they can answer an e-mail that is addressed to email@example.com. In today’s environment then they are way above the average the company.