View Full Version : the telephone & possible repair of bad transaction communications

05-14-2010, 12:04 PM
This thread is a general suggestion, not about any one transaction.

If I had $100 for every time someone posted on TTB that an email said to be sent was said not to be rec'd, and as a result difficulties began to make a mess of a transaction ... well I could retire and hang out on Blab all day.
:wink :toothy :puter (Maybe. :lol )

Only if things aren't going as planned do I suggest seriously consider phoning as well as emailing. If you actually get someone on the phone you know they got your information. If you get voicemail, send an email as well and refer to the voicemail. You're much better covered, people are more likely to get the vm than email in a spam catcher. Not suggesting phoning for every transaction by any means, just if things are not going as they should.

Emails do get lost or seriously delayed (I get some days after they were sent.) And we know everyone should check their spam-catcher, but everyone doesn't, so it can also be self-protection.

And so yes, at the time of the sale, I suggest asking for a phone # along with the shipping address. If they don't want to give it then so be it, but they know you aren't a big spam company. (And you can find a lot of phone #'s on www.whitepages.com (http://www.whitepages.com) if you need them.)

I think we become so comfortable with the computer screen that we forget that there's another way to be far more sure the other party gets the information or the inquiry. So many unfortunate transactions are posted on TTB where perhaps a misunderstanding could have been avoided with a short, polite phone call, "just letting you know, in case the email doesn't get through" or "just wanted to find out if there was an oversight or I didn't get an email."

And when it comes to repairing growing concerns by the other party, people are impressed with that level of care. Talking with them can turn impending yellows to green. Might keep a future customer.

If you are the seller and you think the other party might already be upset, acknowledge that and be concerned but matter-of-fact in tone. Most people are more polite talking with someone on the phone than they are in emails, anyway. "I know you're concerned, I just wanted to be sure you knew what's going on - in case the email doesn't get through." Hear them out, be calmly reasonable, concerned and informative, and it should be a good phone call.

If you're the buyer and haven't rec'd your model, I'd suggest starting out giving the benefit of the doubt. The very fact you called has let the seller know you won't just disappear. "Just wanted to check in case there was an oversight or I didn't get an email." And after "ok, thanks, I'll email when I get him" you can always add most cheerfully "if it isn't here by ___ I'll just give a call and check with you again." :) Some people may just as cheerfully insist that won't be necessary, but you know that yes, you'll call again if you don't get your model. :toothy

Just an idea for keep transactions on the path to happy endings. Does anyone use the telephone as a communications option? When do you use it, how does it work for you?

I once had a model hit a UPS wall of delivery failure to a rural address. I don't know if the driver had an aversion to dirt roads or what (hey the truck is already, brown, right? :wink ) but they just couldn't seem to follow the directions given by the buyer. Days were passing after the delivery date I had given the buyer. So, after wrangling on the phone to get UPS moving with more determination, I phoned the anxious buyer and explained. She was surprised to get the call! But any worries she was developing that I was deliberately misleading her were immediately put to rest. She was pleased and impressed that I cared that much, and completely reassured that yes her model was on its way. And she suggested a couple of things that finally got the driver there. After the delivery was posted by UPS I phoned her again to verify that yes, she had the model. She was so pleased that I cared that much, as well as that she got a model she wanted. For that delayed delivery phoning was far more timely, and much better with customer relations, than email. :bloom

Sweet Defense
05-14-2010, 03:26 PM
It is a good idea, but do an email at the same time. Emails stand up in court and are great proof, while telephone calls, if it comes to that, come down to who the judge believes. So, do both, the telephone call to try to fix issues, but the email in case you can't.