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Is this approach suitably people-centered or is it customer-insensitive?

by Tom Austin  |  February 29, 2012  |  Comments Off on Is this approach suitably people-centered or is it customer-insensitive?

Many of you will recall my earlier blog post “Do not reply to this email!” Here’s a new, related example:

This morning, I awoke to learn that a favorite company of mine has decided to stop taking requests from its customers via email. The only mediums that will be accepted are filling out a form on their web site or a phone call. No emails.

There are potentially lots of reasons for making this kind of change.

  • Filling out a form provides more structure for the request.
  • It makes it easier to handle (i.e., labor cost for handling the requests can be reduced).
  • Requests can be tracked (improving customer service) although it should be noted that there are email applications that will track disposition of incoming requests.

And, by leaving open the option to call for customer service, well, the firm is still trying to project a very positive, supportive, responsive image, right?

So, they shut off email service for their customers. No email service requests for anyone!

Is this a good move, or a bad one? Or, more precisely, when would this move be a good idea and when would it be a bad one?

What do you think?


Tom Austin
VP & Gartner Fellow
20 years at Gartner
41 years IT industry

Tom Austin, VP, has been a Gartner Fellow since 1997. He drives Gartner's research content incubator (the Maverick Program) and is leading a new research community creating research on the emerging era of smart machines. Read Full Bio

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