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Why Make it Hard to Order?

Mark Edwards

Every Christmas, I send gift baskets to some of my biggest clients. I decided on one supplier to send out all the baskets rather than choosing one from each state as I did last year.

I visited the website of the chosen supplier and selected a suitable basket.

I prepared the inquiry with the exact basket I wanted, the quantity required, and provided the addresses for all of the recipients. I then asked for a price to prepare and deliver them to my client list.

The first reply email gave me a price for the baskets delivered to my office in Brisbane. Not what I requested, so I asked for the price to include delivery to the list of addresses I had previously supplied.

The second reply email asked for the addresses so they could calculate the freight cost.

I first thought this was a joke. I pointed out that the addresses were in the email.

By the third reply email I finally had my price! But there was still a problem. Their website clearly stated that corporate orders of my size were entitled to a substantial discount. I had sent my enquiry to their corporate orders address and used my business signature, however, I had not received any discount.

If they couldn't get the price right after three attempts what confidence did I have that they would get the deliveries or the message right? Very little.

I sent the enquiry to another site.

Correct price first time. They won the order.

If you have a website, be aware of what offers you are promoting. Thoroughly read email enquiries before asking the customer further questions. Websites who manage to do this convey professionalism and give customers a feeling of confidence. After all, your email performance is replacing a face to face or telephone conversation.

Get this wrong and you miss out on orders.

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