Why do so many organizations and individuals who have an online presence make it so difficult to contact them?
I don’t try to hide. Just the opposite. I want people to be able to contact me. It’s simply good business. That’s why my blog “my 2 cents” is clearly marked with my contact information. It’s all right there on the page. You don’t have to click anything to find out how to reach me. If it means I may get an unsolicited call from someone looking to sell me life insurance or stockbroker services, that’s the chance I’ll take. It could also be a call from a prospective client.
I’ve always wondered why some bloggers and plenty of company websites don’t offer a clue as to how to call them or write to them by snail mail. It makes me wonder if they’re operating from home, and they’re trying to hide that fact. Or maybe they’re located in a small town or small city rather than a hub of business—and they’re trying to project a “big” image.
I don’t know why, but I’ve often wondered.
And then this week, some of my colleagues and I ran into a stone wall called Google. We’ve been trying to contact someone there on behalf of a client to see about running a promotion on its photo-sharing site. We understand there might be a fee to do so, and we’ve been trying to find out how much it is and make arrangements to pay it.
I responded to the spot on the site where it invites you to ask about “commercial partnerships.” That was more than a week ago, and I haven’t heard a peep in response. The next logical step would be to call the company.
Have you ever tried to get information on who to contact at Google? For a company that is all about sharing information, Google is one of the most secretive or closed companies I’ve ever seen. Its website has no phone numbers and no hints of whom to contact for various purposes or how to reach them. I tried the PR department. Left messages and no response. Maybe I should have lied and said I was calling from PC Magazine or The Wall Street Journal. Or maybe even that sneaky tactic wouldn’t have prompted a response.
We had similar experiences when we tried to contact Yahoo.
Someone suggested that, since these are companies who give away much of their service free, they tend to give priority attention to the smaller group of people who pay for premium services or those who are advertisers. But here’s a situation where I want to become a paying premium service user, and I can’t speak to or hear back from anyone so I can begin to pay them.
So my plea to businesses and bloggers alike is: Please don’t hide. Unless you’re doing something illegal, why put up a wall so it’s difficult for people to find you? It’s kind of ironic and a bit antisocial in this “age of conversation” or “age of connectivity” for companies to deny input, feedback or legitimate business queries.
Tags: customer service