Email @ Response Speed Thoughts
I’ve been thinking about response time with regard to how fast we answer email queries for author support.
If we provide intra-hour replies, it almost instantly causes a cascade of 2nd, 3rd and often 4th or even 5th follow up emails in the same day. Would all of these responses have happened if we had this conversation over a 4 or 5 day period? I don’t think so.
Now, the question: Is the upside benefit of improved relations and goodwill worth the additional labor expense to provide faster response.
The easy answer is that there is zero economic immediate benefit to us in the short-term, but there most likely is a benefit in the long-term good-will build up.
Downsides to fast response: Very labor expensive and zero economic impact in the month that we provide the fast response.
Upsides to fast response: Improved relationship, pace setting, could lead to improved quantity of quality submissions, etc.
We’re going to try an experiment on Thursday by forcing ourselves to not respond to any emails from authors until Friday morning. With the extra 5 hours of time this will buy us, we’ll work on creating FAQ’s and other related self-help areas of the site so that authors can get more support without having to ask similar questions.
What are your thoughts about this issue?