Email is one of those things that are mightily easy to lose track of. You have so many projects, vendors, trades, solicitations. It’s hard to keep up. And it’s hard to filter. But, clients want to be heard. And it’s imperative that you hear them.
Email is Still a Two Way Street
Every time you get an email from a client, respond. Every single time. Don’t read it and think, “ok, I’ll make that adjustment to the design.” Or, “ok, they sent me what I need.” Or, “ok, they can meet at that time.” Respond, and let them know you got their message. You may think there’s no reason to respond because you have what you need. But there is. Clients want to know they’ve been heard.
For some reason, email is often treated like a one way street. You send an email and don’t hear anything back. You think, did they get it? Are they there? Are they out of the office? Have they left the company? What’s going on? And then you have to consider, do I risk looking like a pest and email again saying, just want to make sure you got it? Or just wait it out and see what happens? And your mind continues to wonder and worry.
But email should be treated like any other form of communication, it’s two way. It’s back and forth. It’s a conversation. If someone was standing right in front of you and gave you something you asked for. Or requested that something be changed. Or told you there was an issue. You wouldn’t stand there and look at them blankly, speechless. You would respond. You would let them know you heard them. Or say thank you for what they provided you with. Or say, “great, I’ll see you there.” Let your emails be the same.
Let Your Clients Know They’ve Been Heard
No matter how simple the email, respond. Especially to clients. There’s even a way to make client emails stand out to make sure you don’t miss them. If you use Outlook, you can actually mark certain email addresses to stand out with high importance. It takes a few minutes to figure out, and every Outlook display is a little different depending on what type of account you have.
But if you search for “Inbox Rules” in your settings you should be able set it up. You simply click on “Inbox Rules” once you’ve searched for it, then click on the plus sign. You can then create a rule so that when you receive emails from certain addresses in your contact list, they’re automatically given a certain level of importance. You can also choose to send it straight to a certain folder within your inbox. And of course don’t forgot to do this with emails you receive from your website’s contact form as well. Those are obviously just as important, and need to be responded to immediately.
So, do whatever you can to let your clients know that they’ve been heard. If you think what they emailed you is just fine, don’t just think, “Ok. Noted.” Let them know you heard them. Acknowledge them. No one wants to be ignored. And no one wants to be clueless if their message was received. Email is still a conversation between two people. You wouldn’t ignore someone standing in front of you. So it’s important not to do the same with an email or voicemail. Acknowledge. Show appreciation for their message. And they’ll show appreciation for you acknowledging it. It sounds simple. And it is. It’s one of the simplest, and most effective ways, to create goodwill and a great, trusting relationship. And who doesn’t want that?
If you’d like even more ideas on how to provide the kind of client service that gets you higher fees and profits, visit the Services page to find out more!