Across the past couple of weeks I’ve had four occasions arise where a web form has popped up as the way for me to contact a business to secure information.  Though none of these contacts were with credit unions, there is a valuable lesson for credit union leaders in the experience.

It’s been over 7 days since the last inquiry and 15 days since the first.  During that time only one response has been received.  That’s right.  Only one of the four businesses contacted using the format for contact that they defined has bothered to respond.

In a world where business is done at the speed of now this lack of responsiveness is UNACCEPTABLE, and there are no reasons, excuses, or explanations that would make it OK.

Here’s what this means for your credit union:

1. Make sure someone is responsible for responding to inquiries that come in via tools you provide to your customers (and to those inquiries that creative customers find ways to get to you);

2. Review everything on your website and make sure that all forms, links, and e-mail addresses are not only working, but that they are going to the person who can and will respond; and

3. Communicate the importance of prompt responses to inquiries, even if the response is that you are looking into it and will get back to the person.

The bottom line is this:  Your credit union has an online presence and the online world demands instant responses.  Make sure your systems are in place and working the way they are supposed to and you will create more loyal member relationships.

ACTION ADVICE: Review all of your online points of contact today and make sure they are working as you envisioned them:  Are the links all going where they are supposed to go from the member’s side of the site?  Do the messages get sent to the right person internally–the one who can actually provide a response?  What is the average length of time between inquiry and response, and how can it be shortened?  What’s missing from your current response options that would improve member access to the information they need?

It’s Your Turn…What’s your experience with using web forms to solicit a response from a business?  Share your best (or worst) example…we can all learn from what others are experiencing.