Does your business have a basic response procedure in place? As a business, it’s important to have a standing protocol that ensures you send responses to prospective and current clients in a timely manner. If your book of business has to wait on you for your responses, this can affect your reputation and ultimately impede your business’s success. While it can be difficult to be responsive at all times, setting up a procedure and using the right tools can give you the edge you need to address their needs and earn their business. Let’s dive into the importance of responsiveness for your business.   

Do I Need to be Available at All Times?  

You may find yourself asking this question at different points in your business evolution, depending on the industry you’re in. As inquiries and communications begin to flow in thanks to your marketing efforts, referrals, or from your client base, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of communications you need to respond to. While having an immediate and well-thought out response sent out within seconds is the most ideal circumstance, it’s just not realistic to achieve that for every single person that reaches out (unless you can somehow be in more than one place at once). Keep in mind, there are designated times where it’s not possible to be available - meetings with clients, personal engagements, and your nightly sleep are all valid reasons that disable you from sending immediate responses. Expanding more on this thought process, you have a responsibility to yourself and your business to achieve a balance where you can take your time to recharge without feeling guilty that you’re not responding. 

What is the Client Experience?

In order to arrive at the balancing point above, you need to empathize with your clientele base - understand the experience they go through, their motivations, and the scenarios that usually occur so you can better structure a response system. Of course, these specifics will vary based on your business and industry, which is why it is so important to characterize and understand your specific clients. As you put together a clear picture of the different scenarios where you receive communications, you can establish a game plan or process to respond in an efficient and structured manner. You need to begin your process by thinking of the client, because there are many paths that businesses will take for their own convenience instead of for the customer/client. Don’t convince yourself that making things easier for you is the focus - you want to make choices that make things easier for your clients, because that is what will help your business. So, always pay attention to the client experience you are establishing when making any decisions on your response procedure. 

Take Advantage of the Right Tools to Establish Processes 

Once you identify the most common circumstances and types of communications you receive, you can take the next step in establishing your response procedure - set up processes that will do some of the heavy lifting for you. Now, because of differences between industries and businesses, you will have the opportunity to use different tools to your benefit. Remember, you should always start small and adapt to any technology you decide to use. Before you decide to start using auto-responders and other tools that can benefit your responsiveness, remember to review the client experience critically. The tools you select should allow you to create the client experience you envision - don’t get taken in by flashy bells and whistles. Additionally, make sure you have checks in place so you can correct any issues that may interrupt your responsiveness. Prioritize tools to hold yourself accountable and review your received, responded to, and pending communications - this can be as simple as adding a recurring event in your calendar. Ultimately, you’ll want to use a tool that can help keep you accountable to your communications before you start to use tools to handle the communications you receive. 

Overall, it is important to realize that it isn’t humanly possible for you to respond to everyone at all times - but, by keeping the client experience in mind you can hold yourself accountable to the communications you receive and craft a better experience than your competitors to earn new business from those inquiries (even if you’re not able to respond right away). 


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