Prioritizing and Following Up With Your Email

A client wanted to focus on best practices with email management. Moving into a new role with his old company his goal was to respond to client issues within a two-hour time frame. New to his job, he’s had a decrease in the amount of emails.  As his job responsibilities ramp up and as he becomes more successful with client acquisitions, that would quickly change. Here’s what we put in place:

Use Boomerang-The plug in is for gmail and outlook. There are lots of things you can do with Boomerang to manage emails and follow up. In this instance my client wanted to be reminded of emails that he would normally file. Boomerang has the capability to ‘boomerang’ an email back into his inbox as a reminder.

Use Flags-As an outlook user he started using flags to mark emails. We defined what each flag meant. If they are not defined all of them become important, flags begin to lose their meaning. They are all read, all important and very overwhelming. Once we defined and structured the use of flags, he could easily scan emails and move forward. For gmail users, flags are called labels work much in the same way.

Create Signature Lines-We looked at ways he could rapidly respond and not have to type the same emails over and over. He reviewed his sent messages and found emails he had repeatedly sent to customers. He recreated them as a canned response in a signature line. In response to an email, he quickly clicked on the signature line he needed to send. Gmail users this is called a ‘canned response’.

Prioritize and Plan for Conflict-His mornings are filled with meetings of potential customers and it’s also the time that customers with issues would be emailing. Two worlds colliding, one with bringing on new growth and the other in keeping existing customers happy. We discussed having a conversation with his appointment setters, his team and his boss around what best to prioritize and in what instance. Who could step in if there was a crisis and how the company wanted to handle new growth and existing opportunity?

So, how do you handle email? What are the ways you prioritize email? What is your response time to customers? What best practices can you incorporate into your work? Using these quick tips can help you manage and control your email inbox.

 

Are you struggling with managing your email? Join me at Social Enterprise Greenhouse on November 13 from 6pm-7pm to learn techniques on ways to manage your email inbox. Sign up here.

 

Margo Crawford is a Productivity Coach and Professional Organizer with Wave Productivity. Call 602-677-8275 or email margo@waveproductivity.com for a consultation. Margo works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and business professionals to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace. She coaches by phone nationally and in person in Phoenix, Providence and Boston.