Today in a newsgroup post, Rocky Phelps wrote:
Another lesson: if you are a third-party vendor and have customer support issues, you _have_ to make time to at least be communicative. “a vendor” has gotten himself in hot water with his customers many times in the past by not communicating well enough..
Id rewrite that slightly and word it like this: Another lesson: if you are a vendor, you _have_ to make time to at least be communicative. While your customers might have empathy for your home or car trouble, that doesn’t mean their needs cease to become important while you try to reassemble your life. A 2 sentence daily blog entry that informs, even humorously, about your plight today is better than silence.
If you arent communicating with your customers on a regular basis, you are leaving it up to your competitors, newsgroup trolls, the press, random wackos and others to provide the information that your customers use to formulate an opinion of your products and services, as well as your company.
A failure to regularly communicate with customers is stupid business, whether you are a software company, a car dealer, a non-profit organization or a laundromat.
Anyone who thinks there is a difference in how often you communicate with customers for these 4 types of businesses, or any other business, clearly doesnt get it.