With life the way it is today, we are always connected to the internet…desktops, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, there is so much technology at our fingertips every day, all day.
Because of this, we get our emails instantly. So, unless you are sleeping or without your technology (crazy thought) just like with a text message you are inclined to respond to an email immediately.
It all moves so quickly, almost second nature but you might want to rethink responding right away to a client and here’s why…
I’m sure you might be thinking, the sooner the better especially with a client, you probably figure they expect it and of course you want to come across as always available, right?
When you give an immediate response, it doesn’t allow you to think about what you need to say, we tend to just write what is on our minds at the time. This is not always a great idea for a professional situation.
The first thing you need to do is decide is if the client is reaching out to you because it is important or is it urgent. Doing this will help you be more effective in how you respond and more successful in accomplishing it.
So, ask yourself, is it important or urgent?
Emails can be a big part of any client communication. You may wake up to dozens of emails every day or even hundreds. So, go through the pile and read each one to see what the topic is about and whether or not it needs to be in the urgent category.
If it’s something you put off until today then do that one thing FIRST.
I suggest, if you can’t get through an email in 1-2 minutes, email them saying you’re looking into it and you’ll get back to them by the end of day, week, etc.
If it’s a straightforward question that you need to dig a little deeper into then send a quick response back telling them you’re working on it and as soon as you have an answer you’ll let them know.
You need to manage their expectations.
Overall, a good guideline is to respond to emails within 24 hours.
When you take the extra time to think about what you have to say, it shows that you have put thought into it while managing expectations.
Sometimes you simply don’t have an answer, it’s OK to tell them that, but let them know what you are doing to get the answer and when you expect to find out.
It will go a long way towards managing their expectations.
How do you handle your clients’ expectations?
Dave Baney is the founder and CEO of 55 Questions, LLC. We work with successful top executives with a driving ambition to crush their competition. We help CEOs and Entrepreneurs improve alignment, communication and accountability throughout their organization. www.55Questions.com
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