Providing clients information via e-mail

Subject: Providing clients information via e-mail
From: Roger Morency <rogerm -at- ONTARIO -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 14:53:45 -0500

Can anyone point me to a web site or white paper discussing the following
issue?

We are having an internal debate about the use of e-mail to communicate with
our clients. Traditionalists are worried about the potential ramifications
of e-mail sent to a client with wrong or inaccurate information. Others are
pushing for increased use of direct e-mail to clients for everything from
support issues to sales. We have started our own list server for clients to
participate in product discussions, so they are willing participants in this
exchange.

Some questions that come up include:

1. Should all e-mail sent to clients be reviewed and approved by a
central clearinghouse? The argument for this is that it reduces the chance
of wrong or misleading information being sent to a client. On the flip side,
it is argued that we do not screen what our service representatives say over
the phone, so why would an e-mail discussion be any different?
2. Should a disclaimer be attached to the end of all e-mail
transmissions that would limit the company's exposure?
3. How do other companies handle this issue?
4. Should only a subset of employees be allowed to communicate with
clients using e-mail, or should client e-mail addresses be made available
company wide.

We are trying to deliver information to clients in a variety of forms and in
the quickest way possible. E-mail seems like a great way to do it, but we
need to make sure we do it the right way.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

Roger Morency
Rogerm -at- ontario -dot- com

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