I’d had another idea for a post this morning but while I was putting off writing about procrastination and how it annoys me, I encountered an issue that has inspired a different blog.

I have been asked to deliver a 20-minute ‘Marketing Strategy’ talk by one of my clients. Great! It’ll be good to help them with direction and a strategy that will enable greater engagement with their customers. So, I will be spending time this week writing crib notes and designing slides. I have been told that the room I will be using is not exactly over-run with IT equipment. To make sure that I don’t waste valuable planning and work time, I decided to contact the venue to ask if I would be able to ‘borrow’ some I.T equipment for the purpose of the talk. I googled the venue for contact info. I found one email address on their website (general enquiries) – perfect! Or so I thought. I clicked send and within 30 seconds I received an automated reply –

Thank you very much for your enquiry. We will respond as soon as we are able, but please allow at least 1 month for a response.

What?! This organisation is within the charity sector, surely they need to respond to queries quickly to avoid losing valuable donations? I wouldn’t expect an immediate response as I know they are strapped for cash but…. really?! So, I will now be phoning this afternoon to get the information I need.

Personally, I don’t think businesses should promote a contact email address on their website if it is not fit for purpose. Who on earth is going to wait up to a month for a reply to a simple question? I know, from personal experience, that this organisation also takes 2 days to respond to Twitter/Facebook enquiries.

We are constantly being told that organisations should be fast-paced, minute to minute, efficient machines because of consumer’s use of smartphone communication, and small businesses need to align themselves with current communication trends. I disagree. I think that only huge multi-national companies have the capability to respond quickly using online chat, email and social media. The rest of us have financial and time constraints that mean speedy responses aren’t always possible. many of us have to find time outside of business hours, whilst at home with our feet up, to respond to queries submitted via social media or email.

That said, a month?

Really?!