There are valid reasons why people don’t respond to email. They might see a message, plan to reply later, and forget.
According to writer Margaret Heffernan, “How you deal with email says something fundamental about how reliable you are.”
Here are six steps for a responsiveness revolution:-
1. Make responsiveness a priority.
Accept the reality that your response time speaks volumes about your character. To get ahead in life, you can't ignore emails.
2. Get organized.
It’s impossible to be responsive without a time and an email management system. Whether you Take Back Your Life or focus on Inbox Zero, find a system that works for you and stick to it.
3. Pick a response window.
Being responsive is important, but you have to find a balance so you're not a slave to your email. Pick a window you can stick to and if you’re consistent, people will know that you’re trying and what to expect.
4. Acknowledge receipt.
There’s no excuse for not at least acknowledging a message. You'll buy yourself goodwill and more time when you respond.
5. Say "no'' when you need to.
If someone asks you for something that you can’t or won’t do, for goodness sake, just tell them. Even if a stranger sends you an email, give them the professional courtesy of a reply, It will take you less than 15 seconds and they’ll be out of limbo.
6. If you fall off the wagon, apologize.
No one is perfect, and we all miss an email once in a while. If this happens, fess up. Don’t offer excuses, just apologize and move on. After all, you’re only human, and as long as you don’t make it a habit, you’ll keep their respect.
Above all, never forget that there’s a human being on the other end of every e-mail.