You probably get emails every day, but how quickly do you respond to them? And regardless of when you actually respond, how quickly should you respond to them? Well, that depends on what type of email it is! Personal emails and business emails can be treated very differently when it comes to ideal response times, so let’s break it down.
External or Customer Service Emails
When a customer emails your business, you should prioritize responding as quickly as possible. Some people are fine with waiting 24 hours for a response from a business, but more than a third of customers surveyed in 2020 expected a response in one hour or less! This is especially true if it’s an urgent issue, like a shipping change, payment confirmation, or questions about an upcoming event.
When it comes to customer service, quicker is always better.
Internal Work Emails
There’s some fluctuation when it comes to emails within your workplace. Depending on who sent the email, when they sent it, and what it’s about, you may want to respond instantly or in a couple of days.
For example, if my boss sends me an urgent message about a deliverable due by the close of business, that will be my priority. But if a coworker sends a question about where to find our org chart, it’s fine to wait to respond until I have a free moment.
Similarly, if a coworker sends me a message on a Friday afternoon about a project that isn’t due for a week, they probably aren’t expecting a response before the weekend. They might even say so in the initial email.
Personal emails are much more relaxed! 10% of people surveyed are prepared to wait up to a week for a response to a personal email. Unless it’s in regards to a time-sensitive event, like a holiday get-together, baby shower, or bachelor party, feel free to respond at your leisure.
How to Manage Your Emails
Managing emails, especially if you’re managing multiple inboxes, can be a pain from time to time. Here are some tips to keep in mind to make sure you’re on the same page with everyone you’re communicating with!