Everyone is reasonably sure that email causes stress, especially when it piles up on you. However not a huge amount of study has gone into this until recently. Having to sift through and find out whats important or not can take time up that could be better spent doing other things.
629 managers found 45% agree that having too many irrelevant emails in their inbox makes for a stressful workplace.
Email is an important way for web-based businesses to communicate with their users and customers. Email is a great tool for sales, providing support, and keeping your customers informed about what is going on in your organization.
But as a business grows and gets more users and receives more emails it can get harder and harder to ‘keep up’. You get more and more incoming emails. The inbox starts building up with a older and older emails. You spend more and more time re-scanning your inbox to figure out what actions you should take. Or worse, you simply do not reply to an email that you should have (resulting in a lost sale, or an unhappy customer).
At rimuhosting.com we get hundreds of emails a day. Pretty much all of them requiring a response. And many of them involve requests for us to perform work on our customers’ servers. It is a mix of sales inquiries, quick tasks and often some pretty long and involved support project requests.
This post describes how we use a simple ‘one touch’ technique to help tame our inbox, get it back under control and reduce our inbox handling stress.
The term ‘triage’ has medical origins. It was used for assessing wounded on the battlefield. The wounded had three (hence ‘tri’) statuses: those who can survive with immediate help, those who can wait, and those who won’t make it no matter what.
You can perform email triage in the same way.
If you are checking your email frequently while doing other tasks then you are multi-tasking.
Multitasking is the art of distracting yourself from two things you’d rather not be doing by doing them simultaneously #.
When you multi-task you will be less productive. Your brain cannot easily switch between tasks. These context shifts require mental effort. So when you are multi-tasking it is easier to get tired and stresses, and the work you do will not be your best.
Fix: figure out how often you need to check your email. Check only that often. Check between other tasks (never while you are in the middle of doing them). Or if you’re lucky and do not have lots of time sensitive issues, then just check your email once a day an hour before you leave.
Looking for a tool to help you and your team better prioritize, allocate and respond to your customers’ emails? Then try out our browser-based email triage tool, InboxHarmony
Why not have delighted customers?
It seems a lot of companies go out of their way to disgruntle their customers. They refuse to acknowledge problems. Avoid responsibility. Make it difficult for customers to reach them. Only do things their way, never the customer’s way.
This can help reduce their time and costs spent supporting customers.
It will likely also mean those companies have fewer customers to support. That will save a lot of support costs, but really will not help the bottom line.
Would it not be better if all your customers were fans of your business? Became repeat customers. Raved about you to their friends and in the twitter feeds and blog posts?
You, too, can have customers that rave about you. Just follow four simple rules…