At A1WebStats we offer everyone a free trial of the system, which is supported by a process that enables people to get the best from the trial. While we have many who buy after the trial, we are disappointed with those who get to the end of the trial but don’t respond to our invitations to have dialogue that will benefit them.
It’s not that we take it personally and it’s sometimes hard to determine whether people are too busy, or are ignoring us, but it’s still a bit … well … annoying.
This may resonate with you in your business. You may have had an enquiry and have bent over backwards to give the enquirer what they asked for, but you then have to chase them forever and you get no response at all. You check the obituaries but they’re not showing up so you have to assume they’re not interested and have chosen to ignore you.
Taking this apart by focusing on our own business, here’s what typically goes into an A1WebStats trial …
- Trial subscriber signs up. Support is available if there are any challenges with setup.
- We check the trial account is tracking correctly and send an email to confirm.
- The system automatically sends regular emails giving tips on how to get the best from the system, usually linking through to videos we’ve created.
- If a trial subscriber has poor traffic then we take the time to suggest that they may not benefit from the software and could instead invest time/money in raising their website profile.
- During the trial we usually provide analysis into the website visitors data for each subscriber, supplied in the form of an email.
- At all times we’re available to discuss anything about the system.
- We offer a free telephone run-through the trial data, without any form of sales pitch, and usually providing useful insights into how to gain more success from the subscribers website.
All of the above is provided totally free. We call it customer focus.
While we’re pleased at how many trial subscribers move onto paying for the service, it’s always a mystery when we don’t have any two way dialogue with some trial subscribers. Taking the list above, point 5 in particular involves human effort and expertise to point out what we consider to be useful points about the subscribers website, as evidenced by the data recorded during the trial. You’d think that people would reply with a simple ‘thank you’ at least, but it’s surprising how many don’t.
If, during a trial, there’s been no responsive dialogue at all we have to assume one of three things:
- The trial subscriber was just inquisitive in the first place but has chosen not to actively do anything (for example, they don’t log into their account or open up the automated emails that are sent).
- The trial subscriber doesn’t like what the data tells them (for example, they may have low traffic or the wrong type of traffic).
- The trial subscriber had intentions to make use of the system but was simply too busy with other commitments.
In such cases we attempt to make contact by telephone, just to understand the reasons why there hadn’t been any interaction. If we don’t speak to the actual subscriber but leave a message instead, we hope that they’ll respond. If they don’t then we may try again. But we don’t bug people over and over.
Is customer service dead?
We think that we put quite a lot of effort into encouraging beneficial dialogue with our trial subscribers, believing that customer service is important, even when it has a huge cost in terms of time invested. We firmly believe that the human contact makes a difference to customer loyalty long-term.
But do we now live in times when some people just can’t be bothered to respond to attempts at good customer service?
Admittedly, we find it strange because we respond to most people that would like us to consider what they have to offer. With the exception of spam emails, if we have shown an interest in something but don’t go on to buy, we do at least give time to the seller to explain why, while trying to leave something positive with them to make them feel that their time wasn’t completely wasted.
What do you think? Have you had similar experiences in your business, where you put a lot of effort in, truly do care about how people view you/your product or service, but people just don’t respond? We’d value your thoughts.