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Is it easy to contact the company?

One might think it would be easy to contact a company. However, this is easier said than done. It is rarely enough to add the email flag “info” to a URL and expect to get a meaningful response. A person interesting in contacting a company must do research to cut back on vague or confusing communication. Research will also help uncover a variety of ways -- perhaps even an ideal way -- to get in contact with a company. Research will also help prove if a company is trustworthy.

Before sending an email addressed to “info” at whatever the company URL might be, a person must consider some customer support issues. It is safe to assume that most companies are busy with customer communications. Unless an individual is careful enough to send an email with detailed instructions, the most likely response will be an automated letter, perhaps asking for more detailed information. Companies may have difficulties distinguishing email spam from genuine requests, and it is possible that a genuine customer email might be discarded. In addition to this, all of this information assumes that an email address beginning with “info” exists for the URL. Customer support email addresses may vary as much as the people who maintain the email accounts for companies.

Instead of taking a quick, dirty, and insufficient approach to company communication, it is wise to research the ways one may contact a company. The Internet has made this research relatively easy. Many companies keep detailed customer contact information close to the root directories of their websites. With a moment or two, a person can write down the details, as well as copy them into a word processing program. Taking this step ensures that a person has multiple ways to establish contact with a company. If email fails, one will then be able to communicate with a company by telephone, fax, or snail mail. These options may vary in efficiency and effectiveness, but having them available is a good tool for avoiding the trap of having only one type of communication.

To further ensure communication success, one might profit from researching the people and organizations that maintain companies’ telephone numbers and addresses. In email, this can be as simple as contacting the customer service department rather than human relations. It is often good that email addresses tend to distinguish between the departments of a company, though a person should make an effort to ensure the content of a message is clear in the body of the email. When contacting a person at a company by email, it is also useful to discern the person’s full name and person. The same principle applies to telephone, fax, and traditional mail communication. A wise customer should make sure the message is addressed to the most relevant person or department, and then communicate in a clear manner with that individual or individuals.

If the contact details for a company prove to be difficult to find, it may be a good idea to consider dealing with different companies. Some organizations keep contact details secret for a reason. For instance, some wholesale companies may not deal with individual customers. Regardless of the reason, it is best to consider the needs of a company as well as one’s own needs. If a company proves to be difficult to contact and its services are not crucial, it may be best to pass over that company in favor of one that is more convenient and efficient. Spending a large amount of effort on an inefficient company may be a waste.

Some companies may prove to be less than trustworthy. This is difficult to judge, since a company may change its policies, stagnate, improve, or present more than one face to the public. Research and common sense are often the best defenses that a person can use. If there is doubt about the reliability of a company, a person can research customers’ testimonies as well as complains, the history of the company, and how reliable the company is in relation to its competitors. Common sense can be equally useful, as discussed in the article “Is information on websites truthful and accurate?” In short, doubt and research should keep a person from falling into the hands of an untrustworthy company.

Finally, even after a person has established contact with a company, it will continue to be a wise idea to maintain a detailed record of the communication. A person should remember which employee or department replied to the inquiry. Remembering where the employee or department exists in the organizational hierarchy of the company is equally wise. It may also be important to understand which forms of communication that the company and its employees prefer. These steps require time and record keeping, but they will establish a good foundation for communication with a company.

In summary, a person should work to find multiple, effective methods to contact a company. Unless a person has only trivial things to say, a person should approach communication in a nontrivial way. It is not good to spend a little effort on a major project, or to put too much effort contacting a problematic company. Finding the proper person to contact, sending detailed messages, and writing down important aspects of the message are all wise communication strategies. Intelligent communication will establish a good precedent for future customer matters.

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