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Fresh ideas and inspiration for your events.

Best Practices for Effectively Responding to Inquiries

As the market evolves and our target clients’ preferences shift, it’s essential that we’re keeping up with the changes to meet their needs. More than ever, today’s event clients value immediate gratification and convenience; they want answer to their questions near instantly and, if they don’t get them in time, they’ll be quick to move onto the next company in line.

While an inbox full of inquiries is certainly exciting, it can also feel like a chore to reach out to all of them in a timely manner. Thus, it’s in our benefit to develop an efficient workflow that can help us work through our emails and respond to leads in a productive and respectful way.

Here are a few tips on how you can effectively turn your prospects into clients from the very first touchpoint.

Be quick to respond

Most couples reach out to several companies at once, so the truth is that you’re in competition to be the one that remains top-of-mind. A big part of that is your response time, as it will send the message that you’re attentive and respectful of their time — two things that signify a great client experience after a contract has been signed.

The industry standard for response times has typically been in the range of 24 hours on weekdays and 48 hours on weekends. Personally, I find this to be outdated in a world where we—and our clients—are staring at our screens for hours every day. Really, you should be responding as soon as possible — I try to keep it within a two-hour window.

If an inquiry is filled with questions that you’ll need more time to answer, shoot them a quick response to let them know you’ve received their email and that you’re working on a response. The notion of being heard is just as important as providing accurate information that will help their decision-making process.

Set up auto-responders

Nowadays, you don’t even need to click send on every single email. With the help of technology, you can quickly and easily set up auto-responders that will keep your inbox in check while you’re away from it. Look into CRM platforms like Dubsado, Aisle Planner, Honeybook, or 17 Hats where you can build automated emails into your existing workflow for a streamlined process. For example, you can have website inquiries receive an immediate email that tells them you’ll be in touch or you could have a welcome email that pings once a prospect signs a digital contract.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to put up your out-of-office responder for days that you won’t be monitoring your inbox closely. Include an expected response time so those who email you don’t think they’re being left unheard.

Instill positivity

People want to work with professionals who are kind and welcoming, so be sure to infuse your communications with personality. Even if you have the best offerings on the market, today’s couples will look elsewhere if they feel like your responses are cold and disinterested—even if that’s not your intention. Be friendly and celebrate their excitement; make them feel like they are the most important people in your world.

These practices aren’t just for initial responses; you should always be prepared to follow-up with inquiries if you haven’t heard back in a set amount of time. Our team checks in three days after initial contact and again after seven days. After seven days, we’ll remove them off our sales sheet if we haven’t heard back — that doesn’t mean they won’t return later (they often do!) but our time is better spent elsewhere. Remember: most sales require many touchpoints, so don’t feel discouraged if you don’t hear back right away. Keep sticking with it!

 

Jennifer Taylor is the principal of Jen Taylor Consulting, a consulting firm that works with creative businesses of all sizes to implement streamlined workflows and organized systems to find more time and space for business growth and personal development. She is also the owner and founder of Taylor’d Event Group, a leading event planning company that serves local and destination clients in Washington State and Maui, HI.

 

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