After reading the article “Room to Improve” (MW December 7), I have decided it is time to blow the approach to e-mail monitoring and management wide open.
Recently I have read many articles about how companies promote their websites but then fail to live up to customers’ expectations in terms of service levels.
The answer is simple: treat your e-mails as you would your telephone calls and you will have no problem.
Many contact centres today have very tight control over their telephone traffic because they have a complex Automated Call Distribution (ACD) switch which is complemented by an even more complicated management information system (MIS).
Ask any contact centre manager if they could do without their MIS and they would probably prefer to lose a limb. But ask the same manager if they have the same MIS to manage e-mail traffic and the answer would be no.
So, all a contact centre needs is an MIS which will tell them what is happening with their e-mail traffic in real time and have the ability to produce historical reports so they can monitor the growth in e-mails received.
Most contact centres openly state that their grade of service for e-mails is to reply within 24 hours. But why is it acceptable for a potential customer to wait this long? You would not leave a telephone ringing for 24 hours before you answered it. Just think what competitive advantage a company would have if it advertised that it would reply to an e-mail within 30 minutes, or even while you are still online.
PS. I also think another useful monitor for your top 50 website article would be to monitor how long it takes for the companies listed to respond to a customer enquiry. A company may have the best looking website, but if you do not respond to the customer quickly, then what is the point?
Product manager – Entelligence