Rachel Folz

People, product, and process pro.

Say ‘Bye’​ to Do Not Reply

I am calling for the end of the Do Not Reply email address. Maybe you know the offending messenger or perhaps you’ve never noticed it before. If that’s you, let me take you on a word journey.

Picture it, the Internet. You agonize over a purchase. I mean, it’s 2018 and there are a lot of places you can shop. You get the item in the cart, fight the coupon code/shipping math/create an account/payment information beast and get that bad boy (or girl) ordered.

“Ding” goes the inbox. You are looking for that amazing tracking info. Who is the email from? Oh you know, Do Not Reply.

*Sad trombone*

Do Not Reply, also known as donotreply@shoppingplace.com, is the customer service version of a ‘New phone. Who dis?’ text. It’s shady and unkind. What message does that send? “Hey, thanks for spending your hard-earned coin with us but we don’t want to hear from you.” Rude!

For instance, let’s say that you are a tired mother ordering jeans before the sun rises. You order the pants, get the confirmation email and realize, in a shook panic, that you are shipping your pants to your old address. If Do Not Reply was off the job, I, I mean, she, could have responded to the confirmation email with the issue to get the resolution ball rolling. Instead, she sat on hold for 20 minutes to essentially read the information to the customer service person.

Many of the promotional messages currently propagating in my inbox are sent from my nemesis Do Not Reply as well. Think about that – you are asking me to connect with your message but you are blocking me from communicating with you. It’s a one way street and that doesn’t work for me. I want to feel connected and engaged by brands, not fenced in. Commerce doesn’t do well with gatekeeping.

The customer service admins of the world might be asking, “But Rachel, how do I keep up with the emails that could be created if I let people reply?” Robots, dude. Robots. A well-designed chatbot can help funnel your potential and current customers to the right place. It can even guide them to the right help content. Or, re-allocate your call center resources to be online, where the people are. Look at ways to route messages across your organization so that your customers can get help how and when they need it.

Even a small organization can help respect customers preferences and communications styles by firing Do Not Reply.