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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

E-Mail!

I am not an email “freak” although with my blog at azcentral celebrating its fifth anniversary on December 1st, I have answered thousands of comments from readers which I guess could be considered about the same as answering emails.

However, I look at those replies as being a bit different from an average email. Comments from people relating to a blog text impress me since they are the ones who took the time to read what I had to say and cared enough to give me a reply.

To be hung up on email in general is what I would call an addiction. We discussed recently how everyone seems to be staring at their Droids as though they will die if they don’t hear from somebody soon. Sometimes I think they send all those texts in the hopes of just getting an email answer to satisfy their addiction.

There is a guy named Dean Newlund who is a corporate trainer and executive coach. He is also extremely hooked on email to the point where he usually checks it about 40 times an hour. That’s about once in every 1 and 1/3 minutes! He says he checks it the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.

According to John Freeman’s book, “The Tyranny of E-Mail”, here are some email facts:

1. The average worker spends 40% of their day sending and receiving about 200 email messages.

2. They misunderstand the tone of emails 50% of the time and failing to respond to a sender can lead to a breakdown in trust.

3. E-mail has conditioned workers to talk and think in short bursts slowly eroding their ability to explain points or topics in a careful and complex way.

4. It takes workers 25 minutes to get back on track after an interruption and those interruptions equal 28% of the work day.

So, how does one get out of the dreaded and mostly unnecessary plethora of emails? When I was a salesman, I was an overachiever to the point where I never wanted to miss or be late in returning a customer’s call. In those days there was no email so when I checked my calls every three or four hours, I had plenty of time to maintain customer satisfaction via the phone.

Today, with email being so instantaneous, customers may expect faster service so what does one do? Newlund says to check email only at 8 a.m. and 4.p.m. and use the “out of office” assistance to let callers know you will not be responding immediately.

As far as email manners, don’t clutter customer inboxes. Use “cc” and “reply to all” sparingly and never ask for a receipt.

If email can’t handle your customer or personal connections take care of your situation the old fashioned way: face to face. Don’t hide behind email!

Whew! I’m a bit exhausted after this keyboard punching. Being a modern guy on the go-go, there is no time for coffee so I’ll pop open a 5 Hour Energy fix and drug my way through the rest of the day!

Welcome to the 21st century!

I simply MUST send this email!

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