This past week, I’ve had a bad taste in my mouth about a few things as it relates to responsiveness. The first unsavory issue is a client I’m working with wears me out with his inability to respond to emails timely. I have to text, call and email multiple times to prompt a response. Simple yes or no emails go days and days without a reply, and I find myself spending so much time chasing simple answers…and it drives me nuts.
The second unsavory issue is a potential client required me to participate in four interviews and prepare a presentation as a part of their hiring process for a consultant. I completed a ton of prep work for the presentation and each interview was an hour in length. The kicker: it’s been three weeks, and I’ve heard nothing. At this point, I don’t want to work for anyone who is disrespectful of my time and generally impolite.
Can I get an amen? I know you can relate to my frustration.
I got to thinking about WHY I feel the way I do…because frankly, I’m ticked off that people treat each other this way.
I was talking with my husband about my frustration. He was telling me that one of the client service values at his company is “responsive reliability.” What does this mean exactly? It means that RESPONDING PROMPTLY SHOWS YOU CARE.
*BTW – his company is an accounting & auditing firm called BKD…check out their unmatched client service values here.
I have three tips you can easily implement to increase your responsiveness and overall professionalism.
Before you start your day, review your calendar. If you have meetings all morning and can’t check email, then make sure to respond before you finish your day. Set expectations up front. If an email request is going to take a significant amount of time to respond, reply with your timeframe as to when they can expect your full response.
When checking email/text/voicemail, respond to low hanging fruit first. I have a process that I call the “two-minute rule.” If something is only going to take me two minutes or less to respond, I’ll handle it immediately. Move it off your plate.
Set your email auto-responder to alert incoming emails when to expect a response. It’s irritating if you’re out of the office, not replying to emails…and no one knows you’re out of the office.
Communication is key to ANY relationship. People want to be heard, acknowledged and want to feel that you care about them.
My rule of thumb is respond quickly. Prioritize people, and they’ll speak kindly of you.