2011-12-04

Replying to automated company emails

Ever notice the tiny grey text at the bottom of automated emails from companies saying something like:
"Please do not reply to this email address. This is an automated email notification and we will not reply."
That's kind of frustrating if you need to reply and there's no obvious way to respond in the email or on the website. I experienced this myself recently. It would have been easier if I could have just replied. Then I got to thinking, why don't companies, with all their automated emails, enable this and forward all replies to their customer service department that responds to normal email correspondence? Or offer a helpful automated exception response with more information specific to the topic of the original automated email. I realize the tradeoffs when this kind of thing is opened up, but it's so much more simple and satisfying for the customer.

I also wonder if it's always done this way because that's how everyone else does it or because it's a case of "that's how we've always done it." If so, maybe it's worth revisiting and reinventing.

Seems like the right thing to do.