Many believe that e-mail is instantaneous. Depending on the current network status many times e-mail is pretty darned quick. But there will be times, due to network traffic or geographic issues that will cause e-mail to take longer, sometimes several hours or more to get to the other side.
Regardless of how speedy that e-mail is received by those you send to, that doesn’t mean they are required to drop all of their other responsibilities and immediately respond to your e-mail. They may not even be online or in front of the computer checking e-mail to know you’ve sent them a message!
Yes, expectations do matter and it is important as a business owner to live up to what your contacts expect of you. As I’ve discussed in previous posts, in the competitive online world fast responses do rule the day!
Senders should realize that to expect an immediate response, and then when you don’t receive one, to send a follow-up e-mail 30 minutes later can be viewed as overly demanding. Then, a phone call 15 minutes later? If the matter is that important you probably should have started with the phone call in the first place!
We all should do our very best to respond to e-mails as promptly as possible. However, with the expectation of instant receipt, to have an expectation of an immediate response is simply unrealistic.
Patience is power.
Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is “timing”.
It waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way.
? Fulton J. Sheen
Sometimes folks are busy. They have other responsibilities and activities that require their full attention. They may be in a meeting, out of the office, trying to meet previous deadlines or commitments.
But I want a reply!
As a general rule of thumb you should not send a follow-up any earlier than 24 hours after you sent your first message. Offer a dash of courtesy to those you e-mail and give them time to respond.
If you have a deadline or date specific that requires their input note that in your e-mail and be patient. Can’t wait 24 hours? Then e-mail is not the appropriate venue for your request. For matters of urgency pick up your phone and call!
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.