Being too helpful with online services

Online everyone tends to assume that there are infinite resources behind every website and, of course, that’s just not the case in reality.

For example, we like to be as helpful as we can to those properties listed on our holiday accommodation listings sites and to that end we offer a range of free services notably including a free website review. In practice though few people actually take us up on them normally but when we mentioned a few of them in our recent newsletter we had rather more response than we were expecting.

Now, in itself the response wasn’t overwhelming but the reviews that we did highlighted a number of common problems and so we did a followup mini newsletter telling people how to perform one of the key checks that most sites were falling down on which in turn generated rather more response than expected although again at a level we could deal with.

What we’ve subsequently done is to enable a feature we call “marketing assistant” which basically generates a short e-mail advising people as to changes that they could make to their own website to improve how it performs in searches. In fact, that’s phase one of that particular feature as we’re hoping to develop it further.

The problem is that as we move into the peak booking season, the number of e-mails generated is starting to rise and so too are the number of enquiries that we’re getting from them. So much so that we’ve had to switch the facility off for a few days to catch up.

It’s something to be mindful of: once you move out of the field of total automation online, you can easily find that you’re swamped with the responses.

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