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Avoid these 3 mistakes when replying to customers

Posted: 2020-05-15
Author: Artur Shapoval
Categories: For service providers

And now, all of a sudden, you receive an email from a potential client with a headline "New general request #69169" - you will think "Oh, this is very interesting!" However, it is unknown, with thoughts blurred with joy or simply without thinking, or because you have never been on the other side of the barricades (you never had to be a customer who sent a general request through the platform) and most often, without a second thought, you make one of these mistakes or, God forbid, all three at once. But it seems that answering a client’s request should be so simple…


It turns out that this is not easy at all. Over the past few months, being in the client's shoes and sending multiple general requests to representatives of different professions, I had to read many different responses. And some of the answers surprised me in an unpleasant way. I would like to see as few mistakes as possible in them, so that your services and business flourish.

Mistake #1: Ignoring what the client is asking for and sending the standard offer

The presence of template responses and specially designed commercial offers is, of course, a good thing. However, this does not mean that the templates are suitable for all potential customers. For example, if I send a request to make cupcakes for a holiday in the office, I do not need a standard price list for all pastries, which does not include cupcakes. Or, if I am looking for a photographer for a wedding photo shoot in the winter season and only for an hour, then I would not want to get an offer with summer rates and an offer for a photo shoot for the whole day. Or, for example, if I need a needle and they offer me a scythe.

Therefore, first read what the client wants, and only then make an offer. If the request is unclear, clarify it. Of course, you can add other offers and price lists to other services, but this should be additional, and not instead of what the client is actually looking for. 

Mistake #2: Thinking that the client knows and remembers you

If a client sends a general request, keep in mind that he probably did not even see your page, so when answering a question about services, don't forget to mention your page on the portal and your other websites where one can learn more about your work and services.

I have seen several letters written simply: "I can do the job. John”. This type of email goes directly to the spam folder without thinking. Why so? Because the client simply does not have time to ask to send work samples and wait for a response. So don't forget to introduce yourself and provide information about yourself.

Mistake #3: Responding in a week’s time

What does the client think when he receives a response to his request in a week? He will remember you, and the next time he chooses a service provider, he will try not to order the service from you, since you may not perform the service on time and there may be problems. Often, while you are "digesting" the message for a week, the customer will already find who will carry out his order, arrange everything, and the service will already be completed. A delayed response will simply be an unnecessary waste of time and an annoyance to the client. Therefore, the best solution is to respond to the request as soon as possible, preferably within one business day. 

Do you know more mistakes? Share them with me and I will add them to this list. Author:: Artur Shapoval