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Wednesday, December 21, 2022


The following can be added to the ending of the heading of this post:  "to emails, letters, phone calls, job applications, charitable inquiries, sponsorship support and anything else you can think of."

As you can see from the above, the title to this post would have been way too long and meandering but I am sure you get the point.

The question is: why do so many businesses who spend thousands if not millions of dollars on advertising what great companies they are, don't have corporate policies on responding to correspondence? 

Some companies take great pride in replying to all inquiries regardless of the reason for the inquiry (job application, business inquiry, sales call, etc) within 48 hours. A majority of businesses do not. Why don't they? Because they do not care! It's as simple as that. They either consider themselves to be too big to fail or feel they have little in the way of competition for their products or services so don't really care if they alienate some people or, they work on the principle; lose a client or customer today, find another one tomorrow. 

What these companies fail to recognize is that every email they fail to respond to, every letter they ignore, every phone message they never return is from a prospective customer or client. I personally make it a policy never to shop or buy from a company that does not respond to correspondence. Not because I feel that my boycott will make a difference to the company bottom line, but because I am refusing to support an arrogant company with no respect for the general public. 

If during a conversation at a party or a backyard barbeque and the name of a company comes up that I boycott, I make no bones about the reason I do not buy from them or use their services. I work on the principle that if one person tells five people then each of those five people will tell five people and so on and eventually it will make a difference.

There is no reason for a business not to respond to correspondence. We live in the most connected age in the history of the world with AI becoming more of a factor in everyday business operations so really, there is no excuse. The worst culprits are big business. These companies can afford to have a department whose sole purpose is to respond to communications. I'm not talking about the retention department. This is an entirely different matter. I am talking about a department to communicate with correspondents be they a job seeker waiting hear on an application, an existing customer making an inquiry or a complaint or an organization seeking sponsorship to name just a few. The official term is Customer Communication Management or CCM. Let's call it the Correspondence Liaison Department. This department's job is to make sure all non-personalized communications are responded to and to liaison with the particular department to where the query is directed and come up with a satisfactory response for the person behind the communication.

Maintaining high standards in responding to incoming communications to your business is a sign of professionalism. Poorly structured and untimely responses or ignoring some communication altogether whether via email or postal mail makes customers feel underappreciated and undervalued and can result in lost business. 

Consequently, having a correspondence etiquette policy for responding to mail and email is a key component of communications strategy for any business, small or large.

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