AGREE OR NOT? Emails and phone calls Mar 12, 2019Views: 1791
Should you only answer emails and phone calls at certain times of the day?
There is a time-saving tip that suggests you should only check and reply to emails and phone calls at certain times during the working day. The idea being that the rest of the time you are focused on your business.
However, does this really save you time... or does it LOSE YOU MONEY?
So, the idea is, especially for emails, that you check and respond to them, say twice a day, for example at 10am and 3pm. You also set up an auto-reply to let the email sender that you will be answering them at those set times.
For phone calls, you let the calls go to voicemail and again, respond to them at set times.
However, while this may seem sensible to you, how do you think the person emailing or calling will feel? What if they are client needing to let you know something urgently, but now have to wait for up to four or five hours before you respond? What if they are a potential customer looking to place an order, or hire your service?
On at least two occasions I have won business precisely because I got back to the enquirer so quickly. In both cases they said I was the only one to respond. It might actually be that others did get back to them, but not until several hours later, by which time it was too late. There have also been countless times when I have been praised for the speed in which I have responded to a client's or prospect's email.
And as for letting phone calls go to voicemail (unless there is a very good reason), I used to own and run a call answering service, and I did a survey of over 100 people, asking "If you phoned a business during normal working hours and got answered by voicemail, what would you do?" Over 90% of the responses were "Hang up and phone another firm."
What people actually need, is the discipline to only deal with those emails or calls that are work-related. It is far too easy to get into a conversation about a non-work matter (e.g. arranging a child's birthday party, or sorting out where you and your friends are going on your night out). Those are the emails or calls that should be left until set times.
Anything work-related should be dealt with as quickly as possible. Okay, a customer or client might be asking a question for which the answer needs time to put together, but even then, the customer should be informed that you have received their communication and you will be sending them the answer as quickly as you can (and give a likely time frame).
DO YOU AGREE OR NOT (and why)? Comment below
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