Companies must brace for more customer e-mail
June 11, 1999
by Kathleen Ohlson
(IDG) -- Just when you thought you couldn't get more e-mail, the Bureau of Business Practice is predicting that online users will receive more than 7 trillion messages next year, according to the bureau's Call Center Manager's Report.
With that magnitude of e-mail usage, businesses need to stay on top of their customers' messages, the report advised. Currently, 50% to 60% of e-mail isn't answered by businesses at all, and only 20% is answered within one day, the Bureau of Business Practice said.
One problem is that marketing and sales divisions don't include customer service when deciding on an e-mail system, said Anna Maria Trusky, editor of the report. Those divisions may not know how equipped customer service is to handle customer requests, Trusky said. For example, the customer service manager may be the only one who is Web-enabled, she said.
Customers who send e-mail expect instant results, and companies must respond that way, Trusky said. They need to send instant messages saying they've received the e-mail and will have an answer in 24 hours, she said. Companies also shouldn't have messages sent to a general address for a huge range of issues, Trusky said. Instead, it needs to be clear to whom messages are sent to and who can act on them, she added.
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