Thursday, October 04, 2007

E-Mails, Phonecalls and General Communication Skills


I've worked in the retail world for blinkin' ages now, and if there's one thing i've learned (learnt?), it's that customer service is the most important thing. I also think that this translates to day to day life. What I mean is that if someone asks me to do something or asks me a question, then I will do my best to respond to that, in a fairly prompt way.

Example a. I get an email from someone i've never met and who lives in another country, but has read the blog and wants to offer me some encouragement.
what do I do? I read the e-mail, and reply saying thanks very much for taking the time out to offer your support. And I genuinely mean it.

Example b. I get an e-mail from someone asking if we will stock their book when we open. It is about Llama Farming in Stockport
what do I do? I reply saying thanks for the e-mail, but to be honest it probably isn't our market. I may suggest they get in touch with Llama farms or a bookshop in Stockport.

OK, so I've been sending a few e-mails recently to various people letting them know about our bold and exciting venture (opening a bookshop in Wood Green), and wondering if they could help in anyway or if they knew someone who could. I've done my best to send these to people who I genuinely think are appropriate. I'm sure they're all much busier than me, but the response i'm getting is a little thin on the ground. Thanks to all those people who have replied, even if it was a 'no, but good luck' type of thing.
Am I deluded in thinking that I should get a reply from more than 10% of the people I e-mailed, or is the 'delete, delete, delete' function one that is to be expected, and i'm just an annoying little twat, who should just shut up, and stop sending e-mails.

I realise that when my Mum reads this she'll be on the phone straight away telling me that I never return her text messages, and that I still haven't sent my Auntie a thankyou letter for my birthday, but I really mean to do it soon.



A note on e mailing (cold e-mailing): If you get 3% response (of any kind) from this activity, that would be a lot. You should be happy with about 1% response. Google "direct marketing or e-mail marketing response rates" and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Best, Matthew Rose / Paris

Vanessa said...

I know what you mean. I've had some publishers who have been lovely and really helpful - offering to send authors to me, sending advance copies of books and even several dozen Maisy Mouse Figures for goody bags! But some, when I email to introduce myself and ask whether they have any authors who might be interested in visiting the shop to do a reading/signing don't even have the manners to reply.

I do find it odd. After all an indie is more likely to handsell books and building a relationship with that shop can only be a good thing surely? And isn't it the job of the marketing department to talk to us???

Talk to Walker Books though - they're lovely!

Angela Young said...

Your communication skills have obviously worked at PN online news:

Sorry - horribly long link, but thought you might like to see it.

MarkFarley said...

Whatever happened to The Llama Farmers? They were a great band!