First an admission – I’m an inbox zero junkie. Not because of any motivating
Getting Things Done videos like the one below (as an aside, I’ve always found
the GTD evangelists to be a cross between fundamentalist televangelists and
snake-oil merchants) but simply because I like closure. My reader site at zero
unread RSS items by 7am each morning, my Gmail inbox is almost always empty of
unread items (not because of a "mark all as unread" function either) and my
to-do list is mercifully short – most of what I need to do, I do then and there.
With that admission out of the way I thought I’d talk about response and
specifically how much corporate and personal credibility is tied to it. In one
of my previous businesses I experienced no end of heartache caused by a couple
of staff who simply didn’t consider it a priority to respond to emails or
voicemails in a timely manner – maybe they were too busy, perhaps they were too
useless – I don’t know. Either way for someone who prides himself on quickly and
speedily dealing with things it came a surprise to experience the other side of
What has surprised me even more is the poor level of response from many
vendors and their PR staff. In the past I’ve gone on record casting
my doubts over the PR as an industry – while I am dubious about PR generally I
will admit that it serves a purpose to filter and screen communications for a
busy and time constrained company.
Which is all the more reason that I’ve been surprised and disappointed in
some of my experience writing my Accounting 2.0 series.
Some vendors and PR people have been fantastic – replying to questions and
requests quickly and accurately. Some however have been abysmal – I’ve had requests for demo accounts, screenshots and specification details ignored or not responded to for weeks. I’ve had promises of contact calls missed. Pretty much I’ve been turned off by a number of vendors.
Of course I don’t let this impact on the reviews I write of their offering but I ask you – if a vendor can’t find the time to reply to a media request how on earth can they manage to be responsive to a customer issue – critical or otherwise?
Vendors – your response, and the timeliness thereof, does matter!