There’s a convention that corporate transactional and promotional emails are sent from email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. This is normally followed with a nice message that goes something like:
Please do not reply to this email. Any emails to this address will not be responded to.
How rude and passive aggressive.
What they are actually saying is:
Don’t even think about responding to this email we have sent you because we can’t be bothered responding to it, or even looking at it. It would seriously cost us too much money. Have you seen how much digital talent costs these days? Don’t send us an email. Don’t. You have been warned.
If I remember my communications theory properly (unlikely) every message needs a sender and a receiver. Importantly the message also needs to have a shared meaning. If there isn’t, then the communication breaks down.
Some might argue that well, the message is auto-generated and sent by a machine so it can’t actually be responded to. There’s no one there.
Bullshit. It’s lazy, rude, and customers should hate it.
The difference in email@example.com and please firstname.lastname@example.org is pretty clear. As a customer, being able to reply to an email and have it magically routed to the correct recipient and channel is pretty special. It’s the difference between me hunting for the support email, or the support forum, or the support phone number, and then waiting in a queue, or just replying to an email and the company kindly responding to my query.
There are no excuses for businesses trumpeting their digital credentials for not integrating this simple process into their email and CRM systems.
It’s about being a socially-enabled business, a business that is customer-driven, focussed on faster time to market, better products and services, more refined research, and more impactful marketing messages.
And what if it all starts with saying Please Reply, We’re Listening.