I was inspired to write today’s post because I had a bride-to-be share with me her headache of dealing with vendors that don’t respond in a timely manner or at all until she had to track them down. It always seems the vendors are eager to return your call or email before you sign the contract, but then it’s like pulling teeth for a response afterwards. There are two sides to this situation, the business and the client.
For many, email is much more efficient since time is limited these days. As a business, you should always reply to emails or phone calls from clients or potential clients. Otherwise, it comes off that you don’t want to do business with them and it is a bad reflection on your business. Taking weeks to reply to an email or never reply is rude and shows that you don’t care. I understand that everyone is busy, but most of us have our phone or laptops glued to us and can reply to an email easily. Even if you have to write, “Thank you for your inquiry. I received your email and will respond with more details soon.” This at least lets the client know that you’re not ignoring them and will respond to them. If you truly don’t have time as a business owner to respond to emails, maybe it’s time to hire an assistant.
As the bride-to-be we are so excited and have so much to plan. We want our answers yesterday! Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen as we’d like. Here are some tips for emailing or calling vendors:
- Keep it short and simple. If you’re trying to connect with someone that is very busy, don’t send a long email. They can get overwhelmed with a lot of information, and if they don’t have time they might freeze and not respond for awhile or never!
- No response- give it four days tops and follow up again with a reminder email or phone call. Don’t be afraid about feeling pushy. If you want information ASAP, you have to let them know. Otherwise they might take their time.
- Still no response– Practice patience (easier said than done!) Give it another week or two and follow up again. Try giving them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they never saw the original email or it went to their junk mail. They might’ve been out of the office or on vacation. We can all sympathize with how many emails we come back to after being out and need at a least a few days to reply.
- Radio Silence?- Keep it moving girl! If you’ve reached out three times and still don’t have a response, look elsewhere. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Do you really want to do business with someone that doesn’t even have the courtesy to respond to you?!
Below are some additional tips to keep in mind for brides:
- Keep in mind that April to October is “wedding season” and most vendors are very busy running around and barely have time to breathe as they’re servicing the current weddings! Usually vendors are working Friday, Saturday or Sunday. If you’re trying to contact them during that time, you may have to wait a few days to get a response.
- Typically, an engaged couple gives themselves a year to plan and budget their wedding. Most couples getting married in the next three months are definitely getting more attention currently than the couples getting married next year. More than likely, vendors aren’t trying to ignore you. They probably have numerous clients to deal with at the present moment that require more urgent responses.
- Due to smart phones and social media, people expect to hear from their vendors ASAP. We are an “instant gratification” society. Keep in mind that you’re not their only client. It doesn’t mean they are ignoring you. They might have a certain time blocked off in their day when they respond to emails. So if they have 100 emails before you, it might just take some time to respond to you. Hang in there!