My daughter ignores me. She’s just about to enter her teens and has fully established independence from all things adult related including me and her mother. So it’s not a big surprise when I’m talking to her about her responsibilities or things that would be nice, helpful, fun to do, or I’d appreciate, that I get no response. “Please clean up your room” and “when will you be done” are met with silence. But ask her if she’d like a brownie and I have to stand out of the way as she’ll come charging into the kitchen! She’s a tween. I expect this.
But when I post a note on a support forum of a theme author, plugin, SaaS website, or anyplace where the business has a tool that allows me to ask them a question – including social media, a presence in a discussion forum, a blog, contact form, or ANY place they’ve listed as a place where they can be found and interacted with – then I expect them to respond when I post a question! Outrageous, I know.
The larger businesses seem to understand this and most of the ones I deal with have done a good job of being there. My issue is with small business owners. I’m all for supporting the little gal/guy but could you help me out please?
The idea behind using a forum, social media platform, email, blog, etc is not as a podium for you to tell us how great you are or to make it LOOK like your’re available. It’s a place where you actually ARE available and will communicate with us, where you listen and respond, where we can have a meaningful conversation. This is one of my pet peeves if you couldn’t tell. If you provide a list of resources where we can reach you then you’d better darn well be there and be ready to engage. I don’t mean automated replies and canned answers. Most users can tell a canned reply when they see one – especially when someone has forgotten to change the default settings in the automated reply. We’re not stupid and we’re not [default-name].
I know it’s hard for small business owners to keep up with running the business. I’ve spent plenty of late nights working. I understand busy. All I’m asking is for you to just acknowledge my question and maybe give me a rough idea of when you can get to it. But don’t ignore me. I expect silence from my daughter. I don’t expect it from you. I expect a response from you – it’s called customer service. Silence isn’t golden. When it comes to business, silence is deadly to your bottom line.