When someone submits a contact form, please respond

If you’ve got a contact form on your website, please respond when someone (like me) makes contact.

Here’s my story:

One of my weeds

One of the weeds that has invaded my yard.

Our lawn is in real bad shape. It’s gotten away from me. It needs help. It’s embarrassing.

We decided to do something about it.

So, upon the recommendation of a neighbor, I looked at a local lawn care outfit.

I first checked their website, where I found a link to a contact form on the home page, right where it belongs. That’s the good news.

After surveying the site, I clicked “Free Estimate & Information Request Form” and filled in all the details – name, email, phone number – with a note about my problem. And hit “Submit.”

Then I waited – and waited – and waited. In fact, I waited almost 24 hours and never got a response. Never. Nothing.

No email. No phone call.

I finally had to call them to make an appointment. And I was told someone would stop by “sometime next week.”

Another weed.

Another weed.

In the mean time, I submitted online forms to a couple of national franchises. One got back to me by phone within an hour. The other called the same day, within 8 hours.

To say the least, I was disappointed in my local lawn care company.

The opportunity was there to knock my socks off with an extraordinary customer experience– to attend to me like there’s no one else.

And, with today’s technology, it’s possible.

Instead, they left me wondering.

Maybe they’re just overwhelmed with a lot of late requests (it is the beginning of June, after all). I get that. I understand. Small businesses have to juggle a lot of stuff.

But whatever their bind, there’s no excuse for not responding.

A third weed (you can see why I need help!)

A third weed (you can see why I need help!)

The fact is, I need to make a decision, Now! Before we get to far into the season!

I think most customers are like me in this day and age. We expect instant gratification. We don’t like to wait. We can’t always wait. There’s no real reason to wait.

At the very least, my local guys could/should set up an instant email reply. Autoresponders do what the name implies: they respond automatically. Compose it once and you’re done.

So, how about a quick email: “Thanks for submitting your request. Someone will call you within 24 hours. We value your interest.”

You might even put an appointment scheduler on your home page.

It’s as simple as that.

Please, don’t leave prospective customers wondering.

And, please, don’t minimize or dismiss my critique. This is big.

Like I said: If you’ve got a contact form on your website, make sure you respond quickly when someone (like me) makes contact.

If you want to compete, you must respond!

Otherwise, don’t include a form. Just give me your phone number.

Customer Experience grade: 1 (out of 10, on first impression).

There’s more to this story.