I’m not sure if this is a huge pet peeve of mine because of my training at Kimpton Hotels or if it would be equally bothersome no matter my hospitality background. We were taught that no matter the inquiry, no matter the effort, all customers were to be replied to by sundown on the day their inquiry was made. Even if that reply was acknowledgment of said inquiry and an explanation as to why an answer might not come by sundown, at least that inquiry was registered and the client knew when he or she might have an answer. Now, anything short of that, for me feels like I’m being ignored.
It’s such an easy rule to adhere to too. Even being out of the office is no excuse, because an appropriately composed out-of-office message suffices because it lets the client know of your inability to get them an answer. And if its created properly, it might even give instructions to that client for an alternative way to get to the answer they need.
I am an extremely patient person. I don’t mind waiting so long as I’m told to wait and I’m given some idea as to when I’ll cease waiting. Then I can at least get back to my clients with reasonable expectations as to when they will know what it is they need to know. But silence? What can I do with silence? Silence is an infuriating fuel. Do your clients a favor – get back to them in a timely manner. It’s the easiest way to win and keep business, this I promise.