Responding to emails really is good business ettiquette

How many times have you opened your business email inbox and just deleted or ignored any emails that you deemed ‘unimportant’ this week?

How do you know that they were unimportant, if you didn’t even bother to read them?

We all understand how important it is to embed good communication skills and etiquette into the running of a professional and successful business. However, in today’s fast paced, technologically advanced business environment, it seems that increasingly people are turning their back on these beliefs, and are playing the delete/ ignore/ respond game with their email inboxes.

Yes we all receive huge numbers of emails every day from a variety of sources, including: colleagues, customers, suppliers, manufacturers etc etc but increasingly how or indeed if, we choose to respond to them, seems more cut throat and aggressive than ever before.

However, what we seem to be forgetting is that people ie colleagues, customers etc have taken the trouble to communicate with us - be that to ask or answer a question, provide information, or any manner of other reasons. If then, we choose to ignore or not respond to them, they will feel underappreciated and undervalued, and as a worst case scenario, could potentially take their business away from us.

All in all, this ‘I’m too busy/ important’ or ‘can’t be bothered’ mentality that is being adopted as emails are being scanned each morning, is leading to a much colder way of running businesses. And sadly, it will eventually lead to the downturn of businesses.

Therefore observing proper etiquette for responding to emails should be a key component of a communications strategy for any business.

We should be responding to emails within 24 hours as a sign of good etiquette. If we are able to respond sooner then we should be doing so. That way customers etc will be assured that they are being listened to and their needs attended to, and above all, feel that they are valued.

Yes we are all busy people. Yes the modern world revolves at an incredibly fast pace and we spend our lives trying to keep up with it. However, we should not lose sight of good old fashioned politeness and business etiquette in the process.

So here’s your challenge for next week – open every email that you receive in atimely manner and reply to the sender with an appropriate friendly, professional response - and let’s start to put the business etiquette back into our email communication.