I think you've hit the nail on the head as to why many suppliers don't respond to email inquiries quickly, if even at all in many cases. I can see the point you are making in regards to the time wasting aspect from a suppliers point of view, but it's extremely frustrating from the inquirers perspective and I think very short-sighted by the supplier.
I personally view emails as just another contact avenue, same as phone or anything else. If a business isn't going to treat email inquiries with the same level of customer service as they do phone inquiries or any other form of inquiry, then they shouldn't offer it as a contact solution in the first place in my opinion because not treating those inquiries as bona fide only serves to create a negative customer impression and ultimately, a bad customer service reputation.
I would say that is the number one complaint I see from members, no response to email inquiry. That always makes me scratch my head and wonder why any business would run their customer service like that, it might save some time, but it ultimately leads to fuelling negative feedback about their level of service.
It just makes no sense to me whatsoever and I often wonder what sort of accumulated damage to that business that lack of service incurs over time with the way people tend to vent online these days.
I think suppliers that do ignore email inquiries need to clarify in their own mind as to what their end goal is. Do they really want their phones tied up all day taking calls that lead to no sales at all because surely, there can only be two outcomes by employing this type of ignore email policy that appears to be rampant among many suppliers these days?
1, they force inquiries onto the phone and then tie up their phones with waste of time calls or 2, they get slammed online for their lack of customer service. I just don't see any positive that can possibly come from that whatsoever.
I've been involved in a business where we had a 3% conversion rate. Yes, that's 97% of inquiries were complete time wasters, but that was the nature of that business and we just had to accept that. We treated every inquiry with the exact same level of service, phone or email, made no difference.
We knew that the vast majority of emails were a waste of time in conversion terms, but customer engagement builds relationships that can then bear fruit later down the road. That's a lesson I think many suppliers in this game could learn in providing a higher level of customer service and treat email inquires with the respect that the customer deserves.