So it’s the first week of the year have you found that the emails are still backing up or did you manage to clear them all on the first day. Email is one of the main things that impacts on time to do the ‘proper job’. Is this the year to reduce email traffic in your business…
- Do you find that your working day is lost to responding to emails and silly email conversations which result in frustration for all parties?
- Do you find yourself giving answers to people on questions that are either common sense?
- … or documented in your procedures and they either don’t know where to look or see you as the oracle of all information.
- Maybe it could it be that everyone presses the dreaded ‘cc’ button, even worse the ‘bcc’ button so that they know you (and everyone else) knows what is going on, without taking account of the fact you may not need to know some of it?
- Are people reluctant / nervous to pick up the phone and speak to someone, because it means the answer isn’t documented?
- Are customers emailing in with too many queries?
It is important to put a stop to this quickly so it doesn’t continue to spiral. Assessment Spend a couple of days looking at what the contents of the emails are this will enable you to understand the root cause or the most frequent areas that come into query.
- Is it daily MI, do you look at it – if not why, maybe its no longer useful or you are relying on someone else to analyse it, perhaps several emails can be reduced to 1 phone call from a manager to confirm that all is ok
- Are you being ‘cc’d’ on things you really don’t need to know about, are there people who are always doing this and perhaps they just need the comfort that it is not necessary.
- Could it be that there is an area of the business only you know, but a simple ‘how to’ or guide would reduce the flow;
- Do people ask you questions that they really should know the answer to, have you ever asked them what they think they should do, perhaps it is just a confidence issue?
- Do you still sign off all transactions and orders?
- Spend time with management or staff and give them clear expectations so that they know what you do and don’t want to know about. If something happens what should they do in terms of escalation, this could be identify a resolution and ring you to talk it through rather than ask you what to do next, which you may not see in the inbox for 3 days.
- It could you be that you are comfortable to allow some managers to approve financial commitments within parameters
- Ensure that all staff know who is responsible for what in the business, this could be a simple matrix, also find the answers to the top 10 queries received and publish them to everyone so that they can be resolved at point of contact.
- If you get a new query, talk it through with staff rather than just giving the answer, too often we are victims of ownership and need to let go.
- Where its customer queries, a general FAQ’s could be added to customer communication and the website.
Most importantly encourage people to pick up the phone or relay information in team meetings, why send an email asking a simple question when relationships can be built up by talking, this will ultimately support a greater working environment. What’s more, you’ll also save file server space…… If you need any help in looking at the email traffic both internally and with customers and ways to improve it please do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org call 01226 397382. Alternatively complete the form below [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"] ,