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We'll Get Back to You

By Arleen M. Kaptur
Posted Friday, October 15, 2004

When you decide to open up a website, you are literally inviting thousands of visitors into your storefront. Some speak different languages, come from foreign countries, and live all over the world.

Information about your product or service will be read from "sea to shining sea" and possibly make its way around the world many times a day. With all the technological advances and new discoveries, the one constant or fine point of marketing that does not change, in any language, or at any destination, is common courtesy and great service. Those magic words of "Thank You" and "Welcome" are understood in any dialect. If you add a very potent one - "I'm sorry" then you have mastered the complex world of international marketing.

If you have a great product and service, why is there a need to say "I'm sorry"? Well, when translations occur, requests can be misread or even "lost in the translations." Product descriptions or service guarantees may not use terms that are readility acceptable or understood so further explanations are in need. A myriad of other examples exist, but being ready to use "I'm sorry for the delay" or "I'm sorry but I don't understand your questions or concern" should be as much a part of your internet vocabulary or responses as is "Thank you for your order" and "Thank you for letting us serve you again."

While languages differ, basic common courtesy toward people does not. A simple phrase of acknowledgement such as "Welcome" is appreciated in the grasslands as well as in a desert. If we practice enough of it, it comes automatically and we don't even have to try and remember "Thank you" or "Please be assured.." While spellings, sentence structure and other grammatical functions change in different cultures or societies, politeness and courtesy never does. If you say "Thank you" with a smile, it will be read "Thank you (with a smile)" at the other end of your communication as well. Saying "I'm sorry for a delay in shipment" and a brief explanation will bring repeat business and a good relationship with a customer faster than silence will. Also, you know how annoying having someone say "I'll call you right back" and then they never do can be. It's the same with e-mails and over the internet responses. Frustration levels increase with each automated response that says the same thing, and then somone never does. Well if you're upset over non-return calls, then so will your customers.

Discourtesy seems to be on the rise in concrete business and government communication. You ask for information, raise a question, or present a concern, and the pat "We'll get back..." strikes that thought in the back of your mind, "Sure you will." Don't let this malady creep into your internet business world, or let it fester into poor service or total disregard for the customer, with the exception of their spending their hard-earned money to purchase your product or service.

If you don't try to provide the basics in polite business practices, the next "I'm sorry" may be from the customer when you try to close a sale, or worse yet, "We'll get back to you." You can't bank on that one, and you know it.
©Arleen M. Kaptur 2002 July

About the Author
Arleen M. Kaptur has written numerous articles, motivational booklets, books (fiction/non-fiction)


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