Walkie Talkie Blog

Email Etiquette: Is there anybody out there?

January 25th, 2011  |  Email Marketing

In today’s world email has become one of the primary ways businesses and people communicate. It used to be that an email was an informal hello you sent occasionally to distant friends. You didn’t expect a quick reply and you might not check your email more than every 3 or 4 days.

But times have changed greatly since then and it’s time you change too! In today’s fast paced world people expect quick answers to their emails and business inquiries. Unless you respond soon, they will move on to the next contractor. Sure, they could pick up the phone and call, but they don’t want to, and in todays’ business world the burden falls on you.

With that in mind, business owners really have to be in touch with their email inbox. Because quite honestly, if you are one of those people who only check their business email once every couple days you are better off not having email at all.

So let me ask the questions again, “Is there anybody out there?” Are you really there when prospects email you about your services or you receive a form submission from your web site? Do you know where your web site sends the information your valued prospects submit?

One of the most frustrating experiences for a consumer trying to find as solution to there problem is to be left without an email response for more than 24 hours. Anything beyond that is unacceptable and the sooner you answer the better.

So if you struggle with timely email responses – and many of us do – here’s are several tips to help ease the hearts and minds of your eager prospects, clients and vendors (it works for mothers too).

  • Work at it. It takes hard work to get into the right mindset about answering emails. Everyone lets a few slip by from time to time. You must first realize how critical it is to answer emails promptly and completely.
  • Create a policy for your employees. It reflects poorly on your business when emails aren’t answered promptly. From the customers perspective it says they aren’t important enough to receive a quick reply.
  • With smart phones being so prevalent these days, most people assume you see their email just a few minutes after they send it – whether its true or not. Do everyone a favor and get a smart phone that allows you to keep up with your emails throughout the day. Even a timely but short note like “I got your email, I’ll be in touch soon” can make a big difference.
  • Do not let an email go unanswered for more than 24 hours. If possible close the gap to 1 or 2 hours.
  • Do not let any email go unanswered. It makes people feel important when you send a quick reply even to the most insignificant email. Just a “thanks” or “that’s funny” can make a customer feel validated and cared for by your organization. Not responding to that comment or insignificant piece of trivia can make them feel unsure and leave a wrong impression.

These few tips can make a big difference in the relationships you have with your prospects, clients and vendors. Email may be a new means of communicating for you, but many people rely on it almost entirely. Make sure others know you ARE out there, totally engaged, and ready to serve!

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