Today's Bride Pros

Communication Etiquette in the Digital Age

When millennials want something, they want it right now. Raised in the world of cell phones, Facebook, and debit cards, they expect instantaneous results and immediate responses. If you’re not responding within 24 hours, you may be losing yourself the sale.

When you’re marketing to millennials, you have to keep in mind the era they were raised in: they grew up on texting; cell phones and social media were the norm; and it was easy to get in contact with anyone they wanted to. Instant gratification is all they know, and they don’t do well when they’re kept waiting.

So what can you do to ensure that you make a good impression and stand apart from your competition when contacting your target audience? It’s as easy as one step: REPLY IN A TIMELY MANNER.

I’m not kidding. Engaged couples will be grateful to hear from you so quickly and will form a better opinion of you compared to someone who waits three days to respond. Let’s talk about some ways you can stay on top of your overflowing inbox.

The best piece of advice anyone could ever give you when it comes to answering an email is to reply immediately. As soon as the email hits your inbox, hit reply. Even if you don’t have a response, reply with some sort of variation of “I don’t have that information on me right now, but I will do everything I can to find out the answer for you,” or simply a  “I will get back to you soon!” By typing a short response, you assure your client that even if you don’t have the answer now, you are working hard to find out for them. You are showing this prospective customer that you care about their inquiry, you have good communication skills, and you are courteous when it comes to their time (rather than wasting it).

A great tip for those of us who adhere to the “out of sight out of mind” philosophy is to recommend that your client remind you if they haven’t heard back by a certain deadline. Be sure to still respond immediately, but simply add a “If you don’t hear back from me by the end of the week, would you mind giving me a call or shooting me another email?” to your typical response. And keep in mind that if you adhere to this philosophy, they might, too! If they’re not hearing from you and seeing your emails, you won’t be a front runner in their mind when they’re picking their vendors.

With so many different ways to get a hold of people these days – cell phones, email, texting, social media, faxes (do people still use those?) – it can be difficult to figure out what the proper form of communication should be. Put simply, you should respond in the same way that they reached out to you. For instance, if I call you, I’m expecting a call back, not an email sitting in my inbox. The opposite is true, as well. If I email you, you can assume that email is my preferred method of contact and I’d rather communicate through this outlet rather than over the phone. Odds are, if a prospective customer has the resources to find your email, they could’ve used the same resources to find your phone number. They chose to email you instead of calling. Do them the courtesy of responding back in the same form as they contacted you.

 

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when making phone calls is to always email them after you hang up – whether it was a conversation or you just left a message. At the end of your conversation, say “I’m going to email you a recap of everything we just discussed in case you have any questions later or are confused about anything.” That way, they have your email address and phone number and will feel comfortable getting a hold of you. Another reason this is a good idea is because it ensures that both of you will have exactly what you discussed and when it was mentioned in writing. If you only leave a voicemail, end it with “I’ll also send along an email with some basic information about…” This makes the receiver more comfortable responding (especially if they don’t like to talk on the phone), because they know they have different ways to get in contact. Instead of avoiding calling you back, they can just send over a quick email letting you know if they’re interested or ask any questions they may have.

Millennials can get quite frustrating to work with and are impossible to understand. But communicating with them is a fairly simple task. All they ask is that you reply in a timely manner (24-48 hours) using the outlet as they did to contact you.

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