developing standard email responses

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Many times inquiries that come through my web form are looking for the same information, just with slightly different scenarios. I used to spend far too much time typing out basically the same reply to people who contacted me. While spending the time typing the same response to various inquiries may make you feel productive, it is actually a huge time waster.

Spend some time crafting quality responses to various frequently received email inquiries and save each as a separate draft. If you use Outlook, you can save them as individual signatures. Then, when you receive an inquiry requesting information, you can reply with the appropriate pre-written response, whether you are addressing pricing, availability, general service information, etc. I change a few key details, including their name and dates, and I may add a customized sentence or two based on extra information they may have shared via my contact form (ex: Scottsdale is gorgeous in October! I'm sure your guests will love the chance to escape the beginnings of winter on the East Coast.). These replies are different than an auto-reply in that they still have to be sent manually and and that each includes tailored information to
the prospective client's inquiry.

Because you will have spent some time up front editing to be sure the reply is exactly what you want to say, you can ensure that your communication is consistent. This is a simple way to provide more efficient, yet still customized, service to inquiries, while providing a faster email response rate.

As Tim Ferriss says, "Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of laziness - lazy thinking and indiscriminate action." Don't do busy work just because it makes you feel productive. Streamline your routine tasks so that you can actually be productive.

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