Email communication is more than 70% of how you will communicate with potential clients, current clients or customers. Customer service is not only needed via face-to-face interaction, but it is needed and required through every interaction within your business. This is a very major key to the overall success of your business.
As a business owner, the quality of your work can be A1, but your customer service can trump how far you go in business. As a wedding and event planner, I am a very big advocate on first impressions. If you can’t communicate with me effectively, I’m not going to have my clients spend their money with you. Sorry, not sorry. If you are directing potential clients to contact you via email, this is the perfect time to try and close the sale. They were obviously interested enough to contact you, so do the rest of the work correctly. You should be on top of your email etiquette because it is a representation of you. If you have someone responding to your emails on your behalf, for example, your assistant, they should be trained on how to properly and effectively respond to emails, whether it is a complaint or an inquiry.
If I am a potential client and I reach out to you to inquire about your services, make sure that these key points are in your email as your response:
Acknowledge the person that you are responding to. For example: “Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening Brittany” or “Hello Brittany”. Please & Thank You!
Thank them for contacting you and inquiring about your services and that you appreciate it. There are thousands of other people who do what you do, but they are choosing to reach out to you because they see something that they like. Have the decency to acknowledge that because they could have easily overlooked you.
Answer the questions that they asked. I don’t think I need to elaborate on this one because this is a no-brainer.
Close out your email. It’s not necessary, but it’s professional.
As a business owner, you should have a signature. Stop treating your small business like a hobby
and treat it more than what it is. It’s not hard to create a signature, Google & YouTube can help
you with this. You don’t need a super fancy one, but you do need something.
BONUS: Please get rid of the “Excuse the typos, I’m sending this from my iPhone” or however it goes, at the end of your emails. It’s stupid and it doesn’t make sense. If you are prone to making mistakes while you are typing, they you need to proofread before sending your email.
SECOND BONUS: Respond to emails within 72 hours (3 days). That’s just common courtesy. We are all super busy, but I think you should be able to schedule one hour in the morning and one hour at night to respond to emails or however you want to do it. If you decide to respond 7 days later, you may just want to chalk that up as a loss, UNLESS they really, really want to work with you.
That potential client may decide to not move forward in working with you because your price point is more than what they expected and that is absolutely fine. However, don’t let the reason of you potentially coming off as rude within an email be the reason why a client doesn’t choose to move forward with your services.
There will be a part 2 to email etiquette for consumers and how some of you approach businesses.
Zeinob Amoo, is the President and Lead Event Planner of Stylishly Alluring Events, who caters to the busy and stylish client, with almost 6 years of experience. They are a boutique event planning firm that specializes in weddings, upscale birthdays and baby showers and much more.