June 20, 2005
Half of Mid-Sized Businesses Don't Read Email
So says a study conducted by eGain, a CRM vendor.
Smaller companies are dropping the ball on responding to customer’s e-mail, even more so than enterprise-scaled companies are, a Benchmark Portal study sponsored by CRM technology provider eGain Communications Corp. has found. The study, which focused on companies with revenues of from $10 million to $250 million, determined that 51% of the surveyed companies didn’t respond to customer e-mails at all, versus 41% of the enterprise companies that Benchmark Portal surveyed last year. For the study, Benchmark Portal sent e-mail queries indicating high-value purchase intent to small to medium-sized businesses representing retail and four other industries.
70% of the smaller companies failed to respond to e-mails within 24 hours compared with 61% of enterprises. In addition to timeliness of response to the survey’s e-mailed questions, the smaller companies were rated on response quality. 70% responded with inaccurate or incomplete answers.
Note: I used "mid-sized business" instead of "small and mid-sized" in my headline since the study only goes down to companies of $10 million... which isn't all that small. We all sell companies much smaller than that.
I imagine that once you get down to the sole proprietors, small LLCs and partnerships, you probably do see higher email responses since it is vitally important for very small firms to be responsive to customers.
So maybe $10 million is the line in the sand that says you're big enough to start ignoring your market?
These figures are still shocking even though most of us have had this experience when emailing an info@ type of email address - I would add phone calls to this as well that are rarely returned.
When smaller public companies miss Wall Street estimates and they complain about the reasons why they missed their numbers, I never hear them say, "We failed to respond to buyers when they wanted to buy our products" but I KNOW it plays a huge part.
Posted by: Tim Bourquin | Jun 21, 2005 9:50:36 AM
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