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Should distros answer emails?
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Conservationist



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 2751

PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:07 am    Post subject: Should distros answer emails? Reply with quote

I know a lot of us rely on this means of communication, but...

Every online business I've ever peeked into has gotten an assload of email. When you remove the obvious spam, there's a lot of scam (customers trying known ways of indirectly ripping you off), complaints, randomness, people asking impossibly detailed questions that should be obvious, etc.

You could spend your life answering these emails and never get around to shipping packages.

Should distros just handle all official questions through user support requests in their ecommerce section, and filter out email entirely?

Amazon seems to do it this way.
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Shadow Kingdom



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 1456

PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

YES: no matter how insignificant the question might be, If it's important enough for them to send an email about it. It should be important enough for you to answer. Otherwise why are you in business if you're not going to have customer service? All successful businesses have good customer service. It's essential.

I've run into a lot of people not following through with agreements - then disappearing.

Bottom line, there's a lot of flakes...
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Speerhead



Joined: 04 Nov 2009
Posts: 942

PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's frustrating as all hell when distros (and labels) don't answer emails, but I also don't think putting prescriptions down on how underground music distros should conduct their customer service is the way to go either.

Firstly, these tend to be small operations run by people who are into the music first and foremost, rather than entrepreneurs. And secondly, demanding that all distros deliver a "satisfying shopping experience" like mainstream commerce feels too close to the very thing underground music is supposed to oppose.

But let's face it, you will naturally feel compelled to buy stuff from the distros that do communicate with you, and get your stuff out in reasonable time.


Last edited by Speerhead on Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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snaps666



Joined: 25 Jul 2007
Posts: 1093
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personaly I hate when labels/distros don't answer , and I'll most likely NOT order from them because of that.


So I always try to answer every email I get regarding my distro/label... Even those endless requests from useless bedroom black metal bands who want me to release their crap.
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darkdescentrecords



Joined: 25 Nov 2009
Posts: 2562

PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, this has been something that I know I need to improve on but it's very difficult to answer every email. I've been trying like mad but I have to prioritize between orders and other requests. There are some days when I wake up at 5 AM and check my phone only to see dozens of new emails...surely doesn't help the sleeping problems I have.

I even try to answer the "how much does it cost to ship one shirt to (insert country here)" emails despite there being a shipping estimator in the shop.

So, while I aim to answer every email, sometimes they may fall between the cracks occasionally.
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Mikael



Joined: 26 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

darkdescentrecords wrote:

I even try to answer the "how much does it cost to ship one shirt to (insert country here)" emails despite there being a shipping estimator in the shop.

This is a good example why certain info like shipping costs should be very clearly mentioned (and on various places in the shop) or people will email you instead of searching through the site.

Many people will first check your shipping and handling-section, it could be a good idea to write it there how a customer can see the shipping estimate. Not everyone will understand that you have to add the item to your basket before you can use the shipping estimator.

This is not about any shop/distro particular, but besides the shipping costs (and clearly mentioned payment methods), the other main reason for useless emails is most likely the inadequate pressing information. Many places don't write down what exact pressing they're selling and people will email about it as these days many albums have multiple pressing, some wants the bonus-tracks, some search originals.
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darkdescentrecords



Joined: 25 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mikael wrote:
darkdescentrecords wrote:

I even try to answer the "how much does it cost to ship one shirt to (insert country here)" emails despite there being a shipping estimator in the shop.

This is a good example why certain info like shipping costs should be very clearly mentioned (and on various places in the shop) or people will email you instead of searching through the site.

Many people will first check your shipping and handling-section, it could be a good idea to write it there how a customer can see the shipping estimate. Not everyone will understand that you have to add the item to your basket before you can use the shipping estimator.

This is not about any shop/distro particular, but besides the shipping costs (and clearly mentioned payment methods), the other main reason for useless emails is most likely the inadequate pressing information. Many places don't write down what exact pressing they're selling and people will email about it as these days many albums have multiple pressing, some wants the bonus-tracks, some search originals.


You're absolutely right. That's a good idea.

Though I do get some people emailing me about costs without ever going to the shop. Still, this may cut down on some inquiries.
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throneofmight



Joined: 25 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately I don't make a living off the distro but still try to dedicate as much time as possible for it. I'm usually slow with emails (certaintly not with packages) but try to make up adding free stuff on every order.
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Cursed Emperor



Joined: 30 May 2011
Posts: 630

PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mikael wrote:
the other main reason for useless emails is most likely the inadequate pressing information. Many places don't write down what exact pressing they're selling and people will email about it as these days many albums have multiple pressing, some wants the bonus-tracks, some search originals.

I find this really annoying. I like to know what I'm buying. I'm always after a certain version when there are several pressings of a release.
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ticino1



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put it simple: If somebody doesn't want answer customer questions, he/she should not work in commerce. Customers take you seriously so far you take them seriously. No customer care = less or no money.
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mithrandir



Joined: 28 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If spend my hard earned $ in your distro you better believe I expect an answer to an email if I send one
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Orionized



Joined: 23 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I answer ALL e-mail reasonably fast, even if it's just a "no, thanks". Firstly, I fucking hate it when some other guy/label/distro/band doesn't answer to my messages (don't do unto others...); and secondly, maybe due to my previous working experience at a customer care department for years, I believe that a smooth communication is the key for any kind of transaction. A good service to my customers is definitely what matters the most to me.
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Carlzilla



Joined: 07 Aug 2009
Posts: 2298
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The absolute best is when labels don't have an updated e-shop and rely on e-mails for orders, but then don't reply to those e-mails. No matter how many of them you send over the course of a few weeks! Thankfully, these people still take the time to add new things that you can have your inquiries about ordering ignored to their distro list!

I love that level of dedication to the "I don't give a fuck, I'm metal" lifestyle.

I'm looking at you Bestial Desecration Records.
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PeterVenkman



Joined: 11 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mithrandir wrote:
If spend my hard earned $ in your distro you better believe I expect an answer to an email if I send one

This.
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da666



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

edit
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Last edited by da666 on Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:48 am; edited 2 times in total
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