Getting More Out of Your Web Site

The cost of not returning phone calls has been documented extensively. Here’s some data on the cost of not returning emails.

Pizza Hut: Missed Call Costs $5.40

So according to a report The Cost of a Missed Call (link has expired), they have established a policy to return 97% of all calls. (Not sure how they arrived at that number, but they did set a goal.)

From the same article:
“Ford dealers who responded (or auto-responded) to e-mail inquiries within 15 minutes were able to achieve an 18 percent closing rate whereas e-mails that were answered more than two hours later yielded a 10 percent closing rate. The closing rate is nearly two times higher in the first instance; imagine what it could realistically be in the case of dealers who don’t respond at all.”

So people put up a web site, it has an email link, and they want to get leads. People go to the site, people email them, and then they don’t respond! Go figure. (And that’s a worst case scenario of course, but all too common.)

So, Does This Affect You?

One of our guiding principles at Bare Feet Studios is to look at each client and each situation as being case-specific. Clearly, this kind of data is more relevant to people in the retail end of the business spectrum. When a customer is out looking to buy something, they want a response and they want it now. At least, that is how I am when I want to buy something. I can wait a little while. But not very long. What about you? How long are you willing to wait for an email response? How do you interpret a slow or nonexistent response from a web business? How much of your stuff is bought by women?

Women Buyers on the Internet Depend on Speed and Email

According to an article in Wired, “Another reason is women seem more inclined to use the Internet as a time-saving device, flipping to sites to do shopping or research as opposed to seeking entertainment, said Linda Meyers-Tierney, president of the e-commerce consulting firm Meyers-Tierney and Associates.”

And women are checking their mail three to four times a day. The same article reports that “almost three quarters say that email influences their buying decisions.”

How Will I Use This Info?

We at Bare Feet are facing a challenge. Historically, we’ve been committed to responding fast to emails. We’ve spoiled many of our clients. But in a recent customer survey, “fast response” was nowhere near the top of the values they expressed. And, we find that we are not getting our work done as efficiently as we would like, as the volume of email has become a significant interruption throughout the work day. So we’re using this info to launch a re-evaluation of our SLA (service level agreement). For our current clients, we think they want us to be as efficient as fast, as that lowers the actual cost of the job. When it comes to new leads though, I am still inclined to reply within a half day, so they know we are on the job and paying attention. Our long term clients know that already.

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