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: You Never Realize Till It's Gone  ( 1934 )
Mojo
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« : January 05, 2016, 08:31:41 AM »

You never realize just how much you depend on e-mail service till its gone. Our e-mail system went down yesterday and Mindy and I did not have any way to receive or send e-mails to customers. For an internet based company like us, panic sets in quickly and you start scrambling to find a fix or call for technical assistance.

In my case my tech support comes from my son since it is his company who hosts our e-mail system. They have massive data centers that are housed inside bunker like buildings and located in Dallas, Wash DC and Lansing, MI. I forgot how many servers they have but it is over 400. My next problem was reaching him. His little sister or I typically have to make an appointment to talk with him as he is so busy and rarely answers his personal cell phone.

I did get on to him right away and he got the problem taken care of and moved our system on to a different server with a different company that specializes in high end secure e-mail systems. All day yesterday I was sweating it out and wondering how many lost sales we could be experiencing. It appears the damage was limited and I do not think we lost any sales. We have a back log today though of e-mails we have to answer and quotes to get out.

I never have considered just how dependant we are on internet communications. Our new web site has a " contact us " dialogue box where a prospective customer can fill out a form and send it. We test it once a week to be sure it is working properly as orders come in off those.

Thankfully my son saved himself from being written out of my will and got us back up and going without having to wait in a tech support que. :)

Does anyone else rely heavily on e-mails for your business ?

Chris
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #1 : January 05, 2016, 09:36:14 AM »

When I first got my website up and running 4 or 5 years ago, the e-mails came in pretty steady.

But texting has all but replaced my e-mail traffic.  Customers can snap a pic of their furniture and text it to me all one fell swoop. The average human brain simply can NOT process an e-mail address when you verbally give it to them over the phone. They write it down wrong at least 50% of the time (even though I distinctly spell out each individual letter). Then they call back 3 days later asking if I ever got their e-mail.

My business card includes a separate number just for texting in addition to my regular landline number.

Initially, I worried that people would call or text my cell phone all hours of the night. But it hasn't happened. I seldom get a call after 5, or a text after 8.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
SteveA
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« #2 : January 05, 2016, 03:10:28 PM »

Doc - What's that text # ?

SA
brmax
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« #3 : January 05, 2016, 05:24:19 PM »

Do you all link to your internet sites now from face book, or is FB taking over as your main viewed page.  Its a new route from my view, I had been curious or my excuse was on size or kb reduction in pics if auto reduced when they send them by phone text.
I tell my family to send pics to my email simply because the screen is bigger, as my tiny keyboard phone screen is about an inch and a half "way to small".
I have to say e-mail in pics is my preferred but very happy with texting any clients, and I would just transfer photos on my own time yet I do have to tell people I might not get to that task till later.
I do find myself being a bit more formal in grammar if e-mail is used, why it shouldn't matter but that's my deal anyway.
Darren Henry
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« #4 : January 05, 2016, 07:01:42 PM »

Quote
The average human brain simply can NOT process an e-mail address when you verbally give it to them over the phone

Or compose an intelligent letter etc...How stupid is the information age making us ? And what happens if it crashes for any length of time or gawd forbid, permanently?

Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
MinUph
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« #5 : January 05, 2016, 07:14:07 PM »

We rely heavily on Txt and emails. I receive both in my email on the computer and phone. If my internet does go down God forbid, I still have the phone.
  It was prefered by me to have pics in emails but the new app I use is much better.

Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
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gene
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« #6 : January 05, 2016, 07:52:29 PM »

Almost all my estimates are generated from emails with pictures. I do not have data on my phone but I'm thinking I will be adding that to my phone this year to make things easier for my customers. They will only need my phone number and can dispense with my email address.

gene

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kodydog
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« #7 : January 05, 2016, 10:13:13 PM »

We're always about 10 years behind when it comes to technology.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
Mike
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« #8 : January 07, 2016, 09:27:33 PM »

Chris I hate it when a company has one of those send a message forms and not just click on the email address. as I don't know for sure if my message went anywere,  with a email it will be sent back unsendable if the emaikl is down. and no I don't get many emails at all I have and just wasn't in the habbit of looking beyond all the trash email.



My business card includes a separate number just for texting in addition to my regular landline number.

Initially, I worried that people would call or text my cell phone all hours of the night. But it hasn't happened. I seldom get a call after 5, or a text after 8.
I dont even have  a landline.as im always out of the shop as much as in the shop some weeks id miss a lot of calls. so all calls are on cell and I do get some texts but never after hours or weekends  unless  start the texting with a current customer usualy asking if a boat will be accessable Monday 

Mojo
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« #9 : January 07, 2016, 11:16:10 PM »

I have read alot of studies and every one pointed out the fact that these contact dialogue boxes are very popular with consumers. We put one on our site a few weeks back and are now getting responses almost daily from it.

The research and studies I read showed that these contact forms are more popular then e-mails by a 2 to 1 margin. Some companies report that their initial contacts using these dialogue boxes represent 90 % of their initial online contacts. Most large companies have started using them. With some companies it is their only avenue to contact them.

We just started logging our initial contacts by asking the customer where they heard about us at. We can then go back target our marketing in some of these areas and hitting other sites harder that we have had little referrals from.

But because our consumer base is very heavy with seniors, many still prefer calling us as the initial contact. Like many of them say " I want to hear a live persons voice not read garbage on the internet or hear a bunch of recordings".

Chris
Mike
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« #10 : January 08, 2016, 09:29:30 PM »

I gueese im just old too chris lol  for my customers phone calls are the norn

Mojo
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I'm Always In Trouble


« #11 : January 17, 2016, 09:21:00 AM »

I have to admit, I am pretty shocked. This instant contact message box thing seems to be a hit.
Not only are we getting inquiries and quotes but some of our customers are using it to contact us versus e-mails.

I have gotten several from existing customers checking on their order. Strange how some people use the internet. I think some are using it because it doesn't require opening up an e-mail program, and entering our e-mail address. We have click through e-mail links on our site but they they never seem to use them.

Chris
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