Your email inbox may fall to the wayside when you’re really busy. But some new research suggests you may not want to let that happen.
A survey by MailTime, an app that helps organize email, found that most people—52 percent—expect to get an answer to work-related emails within 12 to 24 hours, according to MarketWatch. Only 3 percent of respondents said they were willing to wait a week for a response.
In reality, many people do answer work emails quite quickly: Nearly one-third of workers said they respond within 15 minutes and one-quarter respond within 30 minutes. (When it comes to personal emails, however, nearly 60 percent of respondents said they often wait two days to respond.)
The results suggest that prompt email responses are an important part of keeping your customers and colleagues happy and meeting their expectations. Business owners who wait too long to respond—such as days instead of hours—risk upsetting customers or prospective customers.
A 2013 survey by Toister Performance Solutions found that 61 percent of people expect a response from a business within one day, while about 30 percent expect a response within four hours.
“I have both landed and retained business because of how promptly I respond” to emails, Jonathan Bernstein, president of public relations consultancy Bernstein Crisis Management, told MarketWatch.
Millennials—today’s 20- and 30-somethings—are even more impatient when it comes to email. Most are used to using instant messaging, texting and Facebook, where they can normally get a response within minutes, or even seconds, Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding, told MarketWatch. “If you don’t hear from someone in an hour, you immediately feel like they are ignoring you because you’re used to instant gratification,” Schawbel adds.
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