Because today’s world revolves around instantaneous communication, response time is very important. An untimely response to an inquiry or request often indicates poor customer service to your potential clients, and a consistently slow response time can result in the loss of multiple customers and the associated revenue.
If you respond to a lead within 5 minutes rather than 30 minutes, you’re 100 times more likely to turn a lead into a client. Responding quickly to any client communication could mean the difference between getting the sale and losing out to a faster Pro.
Use the following tips to help improve your response time and streamline the response process!
Try to respond within 24 hours. Even if you just reply to let them know you’ve received their email but you’re very busy, it helps the couple to know whether or not you check your email on a regular basis. It doesn’t take much to send a quick reply explaining that you are short on time and will get back to them as soon as you have a free moment. This could be accomplished with an auto-reply email or a personalized email response. Don’t forget that many couples reach out to multiple Pros at once, so you don’t want to miss out.
Be careful with auto-responders. Auto-reply emails are a great idea in theory, but the details can sometimes cause Pros to slip up. You don’t need to fully describe your services or go through your business’ mission statement in your auto-reply email! You want to find the sweet spot where you’re providing helpful, valuable information but without repeating everything they’ve already read on your website. You’ll also want to keep it conversational so that your auto-responder doesn’t seem so mechanical. For more auto-reply best practices, use our Pro Tips.
Use a questionnaire to collect information. With our Questionnaire tool you can build a custom questionnaire for your prospective clients to complete before you even speak with them. This will make your first conversation more productive, as you already have the basic questions out of the way and you can spend time with the client and deciding if they are the right fit for you. If you have time to respond right away, let the couple know that you’re sending along a quick questionnaire to learn a little bit more about them and their needs for the big day. You can also incorporate questionnaires into your auto-reply emails if you usually have trouble keeping up with your email. Here are a few question ideas by service category to help you get started!
Follow their lead when it comes to replies. If a couple contacts you via email, it’s a safe bet that they prefer email over the phone. Reply with an email back before you call to make sure you’re respecting their wishes. Once you’ve had a few email exchanges, you can share your phone number and perhaps ask for theirs, but don’t force the issue if it’s not something they’re willing to provide. Many couples do a lot of planning during work hours, and they may not have a private space to speak with you. When the time does come for a phone call, your prospect will be at a higher level of comfort with you and the entire call will be much easier.
For more tips on response time, check out Alan Berg’s post about optimizing your email replies!