The other day the store that carried my pooches favorite brand of dog biscuits quit carrying them. My dog has been pleading with me to find another supply. Looking on the packaging as I doled out the last biscuit I noticed a website address. I thankfully emailed the company with a request to send information on other suppliers.
That was over a week ago. My pooch, Coco, is so terribly sad.
This happens all the time with all sorts of services and products. I've emailed a manufacturer of a specialty device, with the same results. Companies that, for whatever reason, post a wonderful, informative website; then don't maintain it and, worse yet, provide contact emails and web forms and don't allot resources to respond to inquiries.
A growing segment of the population likes communicating via email. Email (and email via web forms) is a great way to avoid telephone tag. It is a pretty efficient way of communicating for both parties. Not only can someone send a message during 2:00 A.M. insomnia, but the answering party isn't required to respond during that Monday morning rush period and can provide responsive service back at a more convenient time.
But even companies with the most responsive telephone service often fail miserably when it comes to email. If you are doing your first website or revamping your current site, take a moment and commit resources to answer that most convenient of customers---those willing to wait for your convenience for an answer to that question---your email/website customer.