It's not all about the @ sign

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Not sure if you’ve noticed but more and more companies have chosen not to disclose email contact information on their web site. I recently performed a check of 20 random web sites and found 65% were using web forms.

The obvious reason for instituting a web form is an attempt to reduce the volume of unsolicited email to the Inbox. But there are other reasons a company may use a web form;

Incident Details. How often have you received an email from a client stating their “fill in the blank” is no longer working? No explanation of the problem, just that it stopped working. In the software business it would have been helpful to know what Operating System, Software Version, Recent Updates, Connection Type as well as requiring a brief description of the problem. With this information in hand a support technician can begin to effectively work the incident.

Customer Data. A company may require a potential customer to provide relevant contact data for various reasons, and for future sales & marketing opportunities.

A web form may also present the customer with meaningful drop-down options to better direct their inquiry throughout the company. Defining specific options help narrow the gap of what departments are in the best position to address the inquiry. Why direct an RMA request to the marketing team when the customer service team should handle the incident.

There are more reasons why companies are deploying web forms but where I’m headed with this is even though a company is not listing email addresses on the web site, it’s not all about the @ sign. Most web forms are designed to generate an email on the back end and deliver it to the Inbox. Once the email arrives in the company Inbox, someone is assigned to parse those messages and deliver to the appropriate departments. There is a better way.

Deploying an email management system like VisNetic MailFlow means manual reassignment of email becomes a thing of the past. An effective email management system will automatically direct customer emails and web form submissions to the correct individuals and departments. Saving you both time and money, and more importantly creating a positive customer experience because their correspondence was promptly addressed by an individual trained to handle that type of inquiry.

Remember that web form where the customer was able to choose the nature of their inquiry? Using that information MailFlow would intelligently route those messages to the correct department. Options available in the web form can be added to MailFlow in what is known as a Custom Routing Rule. If the message has a specific Subject, deliver it here. If the message has X & Y in the body of the message, deliver it here, etc.

Whether your company is posting the @ sign or has moved entirely to web forms, the need for an email management system exists.

Interested in learning more about VisNetic MailFlow? Register for a personal one-on-one demonstration.