There is no right or wrong answer here but if you are running a business, you need to be aware that responding to your emails is as important as answering your phone. If you don’t feel you can manage emails then do not have an email address but then that would make you look pretty unprofessional and behind the 8 ball. So better to master email.
We live in a world of immediacy, we all want it now and are not prepared to wait. If we do not get an answer in a reasonable time frame we move on to the next person who can. When it comes to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google + I would expect to have a reply within hours, however studies have shown that we want a reply faster.
Did you know that:
The average response time is 13.7 hours?
But people would like you to answer in 30 Minutes…..that is a lot of pressure but the reality of doing business in todays world
45 % of questions asked to business’s remained unanswered on social media. Nuts!!!!
I am finding a similar experience with email. Here I would expect an answer within 24-48 hours. I email companies with questions with intentions to purchase or engage their services, request payments from customers etc. I often get no response even after multiple emails. It is extraordinary.
When I do finally get on to people whether it be my phone, email or SMS I get these types of responses:
- Sorry it must have gone to junk mail – this is just an excuse as it is very easy to check your junk mail folder on a regular basis especially if it has a little number indicating there are emails in there.
- Sorry I/my child/my husband/my cat were sick – What!!!! I know it is harsh but the customer just does not really care, they just want to do business with you. I will still check my emails in bed on my phone no matter how sick I am. If your child is sick, I am sure it is not for 24 hours a day for a week.
- Sorry I have been busy. I can fall victim to this one too but again your customer or client is just wanting to engage with you and what goes on behind the scenes is simply not their concern.
- Sorry I have been on holiday – It is wonderful you are away but again your customer does not care. To me this one is the worst one. PLEASE utilise an email auto responder. It takes minutes to set up and your potential customer will not need to go purchase a crystal ball to work it out.
If you are on GMAIL, go into settings, then general and you will see where to add it in.
If you are using Mac mail here are some instructions on how to set it up.
It is easy to google any other email accounts.
You really need to stop for a moment and look at it through your customer/client’s eyes. They are just wanting to engage with you in some manner and any of the above responses will make you look unprofessional and they will move on or not use you again. It really is that simple. I know I am the bad news fairy but everyone really has to lift their game. Set yourself apart from the huge businesses that can’t cope or don’t care and the small ones who are still feeling their way.
Another easy thing you can do to stay on top of things is to to make sure your smart phone is connected to all your social media platforms and email. Switch on the notifications and you will never miss a thing. I answer quick emails and Facebook posts whilst waiting in lines or outside school pick up. If it requires a long response I still answer and tell them when I will be able to send a full response. It often only takes a moment but it keeps your customers extremely happy.
There are so many people out there competing with your business so no matter how small or large your business is you absolutely MUST focus on good customer service and prompt responses. It’s $$$$ in the bank.
If you require any Social Media Consulting I am based in Geelong.