Monday, March 16, 2009

The Challenges of Customer Service in The Digital Age


Where's My Proof, Why haven't I heard from you?
What to do when client e-mails get to you, but all your replies to them get filtered out.

Here at Art Paw I try hard to provide a very high level of customer service and yet occasionally things do go wrong. I am currently struggling to proof a client that did everything right and filled out her web-form and paid on-line. I thought I had done everything right as well, e-mailing her within about a week of payment with a large proofing set to review. I waited a few days so she could mull over the proofs and then e-mailed her again when I did not hear back. In my 2nd e-mail I assure her if she needs design changes or color tweaks I am more than happy to oblige. A day passes and still no reply ...obviously she has a junk folder that is weeding out my e-mails. I am not receiving bounce notices so I assume they are hiding in her spam folder.

No problem, she did everything right so I have her contact details and I give her a call. We try sending from a different e-mail, and we try sending to a different e-mail. She warned us that the 2nd work e-mail she has may bounce due to aggressive spam filters, and indeed it did. All of our attempts to contact this client via e-mail are leading us no where. I am totally confused as to why nothing is working. I have added a thumbnail to her proofs from our main homepage and her artwork is featured here. It is my hope that with a few more phone calls and some verbal navigation we will eventually iron this all out. She has been really patient in all this and for that I am so grateful.


So I can be satisfied that no matter what happens I have done everything I can? Or have I? Should I take greater effort and explain to people at the point of ordering that they should use our toll-free number to contact us if they have questions at any point. Should I go into lengthy explanations about spam filters etc. and let people know that they may need to check their spam folder or filter settings? Should all of this additional info clutter up my ordering page, or should I just be happy that things work right 95% of the time? Should I risk spoiling surprises and leave phone messages every time I send an e-mail proof out?

At any rate her project was really a fun one and I am eager to see it printed out. I have to say that my frustrations are not with her or her project. The challenge is navigating the digital waters of communication. For help I googled "getting pass spam filters" to reach your clients. Of course all I could find was info on "e-mail marketing". It seems nobody has any advice on how to use e-mail for existing client interactions, or project management.

If you are a fellow artist & business woman please leave any advice you may have on this matter.

3 comments:

marisol said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Betty

http://desktopmemory.info

marisol said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Betty

http://desktopmemory.info

Rebecca said...

Thanks Betty for leaving a comment.