Here are the excuses people like to use:
- “We have too many customers, we can't respond to all their messages!”
- “People keep asking the same things”
- “It costs less for us to ignore people than to help them” (Ahem.)
Luckily, by not providing a contact link you'll eventually not have these problems, because those troublesome customers will leave you.
Most people just want to be heard. Go to any relationship counselor and ask: the #1 problem in relationships is that people feel like they're not being heard. When people aren't being heard, they get angry, irrational, and mean. And that's not good for your business.
I consider myself a pretty level-headed guy, but the lack of contact info can turn even me into a raging anger machine. A few months ago I was having trouble getting access to my Livenation tickets. But no matter how hard I looked, I couldn't find a way to contact Livenation directly.
So I blew up.
Woah. That's quite the accusation.
Livenation quickly tweeted me back and through Direct Message we resolved my issue. Turned out it was my fault. Oops.
What would have happened if I had found a contact address on Livenation's site? I would have sent them a very straightforward email explaining my issue. They would have cleared it up for me, and I would have happily gone to my show.
Instead, Livenation garnered some seriously negative PR on Twitter. And people noticed. I got numerous replies agreeing that Livenation sucked (someone even called them bloodsuckers)…even though in the end the issue was my problem. Plus they ended up having to pay someone to do support via Twitter anyway.
If you can't handle the volume of support requests you're getting, you need to evaluate a better solution than hiding your contact link. Provide easy-to-find FAQs, use canned responses, or implement something like UserVoice's Instant Answers, which brings up relevant FAQs while your customer is typing you a message. I don't even care if you use our product…just please stop infuriating me and others with this childish behavior.
Screaming photo courtesy of pollobarba.
Crowd photo courtesy of rjsfan4ever.