Copy · Customers

Dealing With Potential Customers that Contact You and Not Write Back

Aleksandra Czajka

May 16th, 2014

I have this phenomenon, with quite a few of my potential customers, where they will contact me through my website... VideoInterviewPractice.com with the contact form and request more information... I answer... and then they don't write back. 

Here's what one potential customer wrote "Looking into this tool as a resource for my clients."

Any idea what that might be about? I mean, it's not like I'm even telling them the price. So, that could not be it.

Here is my typical response...

Name,

Thank you for contacting Video Interview Practice. In order for us to come up with the best quote fitting your organization, please take a moment to answer the following questions. 

1. How many users will you have using the system monthly?
2. How many users will you have using the system yearly? 
3. You are allowed to configure the platform with your own list of interview questions by category or you can use our own interview questions. Do you have a list of questions that you would like to configure the platform with?

All my best,

-- 
Aleksandra Czajka
Founder, Video Interview Practice
Twitter: @VIPractice
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Michael Brill Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products

May 16th, 2014

My $0.02 is that you are acting like you're in pricing configuration mode while you're still very, very early into sales mode. People contact you to just get a conversation going to understand more about how it works, use cases, success stories, etc. They don't anything so you are responsible for guiding that conversation.

Your current response jumps the gun and will be viewed as intimidating. Unless I was dying for this solution I probably wouldn't respond to you either. 

Also not clear whether they came in from "Learn More" or "Request a Demo" ... that'd help you respond a bit better.

Oh, also, it's not clear when a visitor tries out the site whether that video is being destroyed or whether you guys are looking at it and making fun of the person.

All this is easily fixable... might be best to just find a friend/colleague who doesn't know so much about what you're doing to spend a couple hours scripting the interaction.

*Might* also want to consider putting pricing up or at least make it easy for them to try service without having to go through a complicated sales process.

Robert Huebner Executive Producer at Firemonkeys (EA)

May 16th, 2014

I agree with some of the previous posters.  

Short version - the customer contacted you for information, and all you replied with was questions.  Putting myself in their place, I would rather have received a pricing sheet or at least some hard data to advance my understanding of the product in your reply.  

Responding to a question with a question is not best practice in this sort of situation.  I would feel like you're wasting my time or being evasive.  

Simon Storm Director, Enterprise Applications

May 16th, 2014

First, a lot of people may not write back because they continued their search and found someone else who better matched their needs or they simply changed their mind and don't want to take on the project.

However, one thing to be very sure about is how you are sending your email. If you have a custom email address, it is very likely that it could be getting caught up in their spam. I think a best practice is to make a phone number a required field in your contact form. This way you can first send an email, but then follow up with a phone call just to make sure they received your email and to see if they have any questions. 

Clynton Caines SharePoint Developer at Discover Technologies

May 16th, 2014

Hi,

I didn't see it mentioned, so... keep in mind that it could also be spammers trying out your forms (often with automated scripts). Like others have said, craft a simple welcome/thank-you message to start a conversation - and don't assume that a real prospect has entered your sales funnel.

Good luck

Vincent Harris Entrepreneur, Filmmaker, CEO at Hoozip, Inc.

May 16th, 2014

I wonder if a more conversational tone might put them at ease. I could see how your response could communicate that they're receiving a canned response. Given that this is not a service people have likely seen or used before, they may need some handholding. Try something that invites them to have a call with you. You'll be able to get answers to those questions

Jasmine Alexander

May 16th, 2014

It's possible that your reply is going into their spam folder. I would wait a week or two and resend and a month later resend. It's also possible they thought it was a good idea at the time and then got caught up with something else. Follow up at appropriate intervals. Send them a newsletter or an offer with a specific call to action. Jasmine Alexanderjasmine.alexander@outlook.comSign up @ www.jazmine.com+1 917 693 6996

Sandy Naylor Product Management and Development

May 16th, 2014

Maybe it would help to keep your response friendly and informal? Since you have the time to read each contact individually, you might get higher response rate with something like: Hi (customer name), I'm Sandy and I'm the founder of Video Interview Practice. I am glad you are interested in our service! I am here to help. Let me know if you have any specific questions or if you want to connect over the phone. All the best, Sandy [using my own name here not yours :) ] Asking the customer for info like # of users may feel like too much work, so they abandon.

Austin Cornelio Co-Founder & Frontend Engineering Consultant

May 16th, 2014

Like a few others mentioned above, I think that you'd benefit greatly if you crafted a warmer, more engaging reply. Your reply sounds way to automated. Customers want to deal with real people not machines or automated responses -- your response sounds automated in my opinion.

Also, i'd be taking the opportunity to split test your replies. Try different variations and see what sticks.

John Cavanaugh Biotechnology Professional

May 16th, 2014

Alekandra, People really want to know a range. I would provide a dollar amount right away. .e.g "packages start at _". Most people don't have the time to engage in a dialogue they want quick information to decided whether or not to move forward. Good Luck, John

Michael Calleia Product/Experience Design/Strategy Leader. Founder, Humanist partnering with clients to build great products and brands

May 16th, 2014

Get to a phone call faster.

Give them just enough information to get them interested in a chat. You can dig deeper during the call, which will make the process feel more consultatory and like things are being tailored to them. A conversation will also provide more feedback to you.

If you do not already have it, consider Olark for chat as a contact point or including an optional field for a phone number (perhaps with a drop down for selecting preferred contact method (if they pick phone, you can make phone conditionally required).