No News is Bad News

How often have you dealt with someone (or some organization) that did not respond to your call or email in a timely manner, or left you hanging about some issue, project status, etc? A few recent experiences have made me acutely aware of how a lack of response or follow-up can really irk people (especially me).

The old adage that ‘No News is Good News’ is wrong – ‘No News’ typically means that someone is becoming frustrated from lack of communication. Where customers or employees are concerned especially, “No News is Bad News”…
When customers or employees call or email – get back to them in a timely fashion (24 hours max is a good rule of thumb). Even if you simply tell them that you are unable to respond immediately, your acknowledgement is important. If you can’t respond immediately, tell them when you will and then follow up.
If you are working on a project or service issue for a customer, keep them posted (see this earlier entry)
If you have told an employee that you will get back to them about something, get back to them – and if you get delayed, let them know when to expect your response.
Everyone is overloaded with too many emails, voice mails, etc – but that doesn’t change the reaction people have when you leave them hanging. No one likes to feel ignored. I am really talking about basic courtesy here – something simple (though not always easy) that makes a big difference.

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