Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Tawnya Sutherland

Customer Serivce - Responding to Emails in a Timely Fashion

How quickly do you respond to lead/prospect emails? Please choose the closest choice for your business protocol.  

59 members have voted

You do not have permission to vote in this poll, or see the poll results. Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

Recommended Posts

Everyone knows (hopefully) that Customer service is highly important in your business and it will make or break you. So I wanted to do a poll on how quickly you respond to emails sent to you via your website surrounding your products or services. I'm not talking about current clients but general leads/prospects emails.

 

In my opinion, responding to your emails should be as soon as possible and no longer than 24 hours later. I know for our aviation business that sells products, if I don't answer a question about a product, its simple for the prospect to click the X and move onto another site that supplies their answer.

 

I remember when I first started my business, I had my email setup to check every 15 minutes. I'd pop in and check on it regularly every hour or so and respond immediately if I had a potential client ask a question or submit a inquiry. Within 3 months, I had a full client base and I still feel to this day it was because I was there and ready to respond via email at the drop of the drop of a hat. I've heard some VAs say we shouldn't be there at the drop of a hat and I say WRONG! If you want a successful business with a full client base, get rid of the attitude and start kissing you know what a bit. Pull those clients in by going that extra mile and showing them some interest in their business and the success of it. Once you have a full client base with people waiting in line to be on your retainer list, then you can cautiously put back on the attitude hat ;) Think about it, which VA would you like to partner with. One that is on top of their correspondence or one that gets back to you a few days later? ;) Once you land the prospect/client, THEN you can set the ground rules of how quickly you will respond to correspondence. You can then state that you only respond to emails 24 hours and not on weekends (or whatever is your business protocol). But in the beginning, when trying to land them...be quicker than the next VA or you will lose them! Just my two cents and my two cents now has me a 3 month waiting list to get on my retainer list now :penny: (And as Arnie says, my attitude hat glows in the dark now) :whistlin:

 

Saying that, now that my client base is full with a waiting list from past referrals, I am not in such a hurry to respond and check and respond to my emails morning and nights before I end work. Although I never let emails go longer than 24 hours before I respond to them (unless it is the weekend when I don't work).

 

If I have to go on holidays for a long period of time, I will set up an autoresponder to respond to my clients stating I am on holidays or else hire another VA to answer my emails for me. Usually though, I have already notified my current clients of my vacation and have set into place an emergency system for them so neither is required. Plus, I usually find a way to check my email (even on holidays) every 2-3 days. If any emergencies arise, I will respond to them. This is all part of being self employed and owning a successful business.

 

So I'd love to hear what others think and please at least answer our poll.

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am obsessively checking my email and normally respond very quickly. I try not to answer within 5 minutes so as I don't look desperate! LOL... (which I'm not but I don't want people to think I"m sitting there waiting for emails). I use Gmail so it just shows up automatically as new emails arrive...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I, too, check emails almost constantly throughout the day. However, new clients tend to ask for estimates, etc. which can take a little while to put together. I generally try to respond to new inquiries within 2-4 hours, but it is often sooner than that if it's something I can just quickly answer.

 

I agree that a number of VAs seem to be so set in their attitudes that they aren't really serving as their clients/prospects might expect/desire. Maybe this is our way of rebelling against the corporate micromanagement we are escaping?! Whatever the cause... it's not healthy for your business!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also check emails constantly. I use Outlook and new messages pop up when I'm on the computer so I can see who they're from. I know that I'd like a response within 12-24 hours, so I like to make sure that I take care of my email as it comes in. Sometimes I'll get replies that say "Thank you for responding so quickly and professionally". It makes me feel good that I've assisted someone and their questions/concerns have been answered.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I check email constantly too. Even if I've been out of the house it's one of the first things I do when I return. It's like checking your answering machine for messages! :rolleyes: I try to respond within two hours.

 

I also acutally answer my phone when I'm not involved in a tasks that I can't break from. One of my new clients, okay they're all new for me ;) , told me he was impressed with actually getting me on the phone and not an anwering machine.

 

It's great to hear what others do!

 

-Karen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Chai

I keep my outlook running and minimized on my computer so I receive the emails immediately. Depending on the content, I will either respond immediately or within the day

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I first started, I responded within 2 hours ;) Most of my prospects, the ones that I'm going to want anyway, come to me through referrals from other clients or from other VAs. They are pretty much already sold on me. It does take some of the pressure off of me. My email downloads into Tbird every 30 minutes, I do browse through it, but unless something is life-shattering, I generally hold off until I'm ready. Prospects email, I try to return within 24 hours, but if it's a heavy payroll week or whatever, it might be 48.

 

As I was saying in the chat room last night though... I really need to be more diligent about email. I try to stick to David Allen's Getting Things Done system and for the most part, I do okay, but when things get hectic, I tend to just let the emails pile up, then it feels overwhelming so I pretend it's not there... LOL... you know that whole drill... I'm working on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Arnie

I think that 12-25-4 hours is just fine. I do not expect email back quickly either. I look atit this was, If I want or need a quick response or answer I pick up the phone. My expectations of someone who emails me is the same. If they needed me right away they would have called.

 

A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

I receive my emails 24 hours a day 7 days a week, my email is forwarded to my blackberry and depending upon the urgency of the email I receive, all emails are responded to within one hour. If there are emails that can wait than I mark them unopened so that the next morning that am in in front of my laptop or in the office I sychronize with my outlook and start responding. It keeps me on task as well with projects and appointments. :D

 

 

De'Ann

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

What a great topic and reminder of how important and vital email customer service really is! I check email constantly throughout the day and LOVE my VANA toolbar email notifier :wub: - it helps organize the 6 emails I check. Since I am still developing my business, I am very obsessed with email and the computer right now. I have to try reeeaalllly hard NOT to be on the computer when my husband comes home so we can do the *Yea, Daddy's home!*. As a SAHM it's my connection to the outstide world!

 

Take care,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

I agree when you are trying to land a new client be quick. It makes all the difference in the world. I have to admit now that I am busy I do not follow up right away. But I do try to follow up within 48 hours at the most.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Jorren Company

I learned the hard way. When a potential client contacts you, be ready to respond immediately. Now, I always try to respond to emails as soon as possible. I prefer to be prompt, because I feel others don't have all day to wait.

 

Dusty

Edited by Jorren Company

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Hi all

 

I have just watched an interesting video on You Tube. Business person Tim Ferriss talks about the negative effects of checking email regularly. He makes some really good and valid points. Worth 5 minutes of your time!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX3eJRwJq

 

This also caught my attention. Virtual Assistant - Virtual CV Video! Got me thinking. Why are more VA's not doing this? Once it’s on YouTube it can be embedded into a VA website and/or sent as a link to a prospective client.

 

The Dub

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have just watched an interesting video on You Tube. Business person Tim Ferriss talks about the negative effects of checking email regularly. He makes some really good and valid points. Worth 5 minutes of your time!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX3eJRwJq

 

Hi Dub,

 

Glad you found your way to our forum. Please introduce yourself and let us learn more about you and your virtual business. Your first link didn't work, it said: The url contained a malformed video id.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Want to Become a VA?
    Invest in The VAC!
    How Do YOU Startup A



    Are You a VAinsider?
    Virtual Assistant Organization Association
    Upgrade Your FREE Account & Receive Today...
    * Access to Our Job Board *
    * VA Training Tracks*
    * Group Coaching *
    * Private Mastermind Area *
    * Business Templates *
    * Contracts & Forms*
    *Checklist & eBooks *
    * Seminar Archives *
    * Plus VAinsider Perks! *
    UPGRADE HERE

    Virtual Assistant Organization Association





    HootSuite - Social Media Dashboard


    Click to see your AD here!


    Cool Virtual Assistant of the month!

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.