The Power of Auto-Responders

Posted by Kirby Turner on June 10, 2005

I purchased a pricy set of components today, or at least I tried. The browser window timed out during the final processing of the order. The problem is I do not know if the order went through or not.

I sent an email to the company’s support and sales addresses but I haven’t heard anything back yet. I find this very annoying. At a minimum I would expect an auto-responder that sends a return email saying something like “We value you business. We will respond to your request as soon as possible.” It’s been 40 minutes now with no response. Obviously the vendor does not use an auto-responder.

An auto-responder is a simple use of technology that I believe all companies selling products on the Internet should use. Heck my own company, White Peak Software, has the capability enabled to provide immediate response to client requests. It amazes me that a successful component vendor who has been in business for years does provide the simplest of services to its customers.

All is not lost though. I have learned a valuable lesson from the experience.

1) Auto-responders can be very powerful and provide assurance to customers.
2) Vendors should provide detailed information about what to expect from an online ordering experience.

This second point is very important to me as I prepare to start selling products. I definitely plan to publish a web page that explains the order process to customers. This will tell my customers what to expect and what to do should something go wrong.

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