Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Email Etiquette

It has been awhile since I`ve felt the need to drag my soapbox out.

Most generally I`m a pretty placid goatherder/writer as you all know. I chug along through life and try not to let things get under my skin. But every once in awhile something works under my epidermis like a sliver off a chunk of maple wood and I just have to dig that splinter out before it festers. Instead of using tweezers I sometimes like to use the verbal method of extracting that sharp bit of wood.

What has happened to common courtesy when corresponding with people? I speak of the world of emailing, which has pretty much replaced letter writing and phone conversations, making us even less interactive with real people, but that`s a different splinter for a different day. Has there been some sort of memo sent out that I missed? Is it that hard to reply to a person and let them know that you did, in fact, get their email?

It doesn`t have to be a tome, or a novella, or even a short story. Just a simple ‘Got it!’ will suffice. I find it incredibly rude to leave a person sitting and waiting, wondering if the missive got lost in that dark and binary filled world called The Internet. Did Joe get my message? Is he mad? Did I offend?

You look in your sent box. Yes, there is the letter to Joe (or Susie or pick a business because this is a terrible trend I have had to deal with over the past two months with a very prominent business I am working with) so I did reply. You wait and wonder. You don`t ever get a ‘Return to Sender ‘gram.*Insert Elvis song here* Days go by. Your project is delayed. And so, not knowing, you send another email to Joe.

Hey buddy, did you get my last email?’

Perhaps Joe or Susie or the business person replies. Or perhaps they do not. Now another week has passed. Your project is now pushed back another seven days.

Or, they do reply with a nonchalant –

‘Oh yeah, I read it.’

And you didn`t reply?!?! How discourteous can a person be? It takes three seconds to type ‘Message Received’. Maybe four if you have trouble spelling ‘received’ and need to respell a few times so Spell-check knows what word you are looking for. Four seconds. Is that asking so much?

I`m sorry, but I find this to be just as impolite as calling someone and leaving a message and they never call back. It is a slap to my face, as if my time is of no value and therefore why should they bother to respond. Well, my friends, my time is valuable. And so is my friendship and business. If you cannot take the time to respond to me, then do not expect me to go out of my way to accommodate you.

And for any business person out there here is my little word of advice. Do not make your client track you down for information. Keep them in the loop. Go through your emails daily and reply to every single customer that is sitting in that inbox. The fastest way to lose a customer is to ignore them.

Okay, now that I have that out from under my skin, I feel much better. What do you think? Am I off the mark and being too sensitive? Or are manners and courtesy sadly lacking in the world? Let me know how you feel down in the comment section.


Rose's Goats said...

Right on! Some days I feel like my computer is secretly not sending my emails because I will have a full day of replying to emails and then get NOTHING in response. Then I spend two days wondering if I need to send another email to make sure the first one was seen. It gets even worse when I see the person who hasn't responded to my email in the hall at work and I don't know if I should confront them about the email or just drop it and wait for them to respond. It sucks! Since I hate non-responders, I try to respond as much as possible. I do understand that sometimes it takes a few days to compile a response but at least I try to say "Got it. Working on it. Talk to you soon."
Courtesy, what's that??!!

Cathy Brockman said...

I agree 100 percent I respond to everyone Even if it's just a thank you. so if someone doesn't hear from me cyber gremlins ate it..

V.L. Locey said...

Thanks for stopping in folks!

Due to a staggering amount of spam being posted I`ve had to enable comment moderation. I hated to do it but things were out of control. If I accidently deleted any comments over the past few months that were not spam, I apologize.