Poll: How quickly do you answer your clients' requests?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 19:31
Sep 4, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How quickly do you answer your clients' requests?".

This poll was originally submitted by Mette Melchior

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:31
Italian to English
+ ...
depends on client Sep 4, 2008

The clients who pay punctually get more immediate attention than the others!


Miranda Joubioux  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:31
French to English
Honestly, whenever I check Sep 4, 2008

I started by wanting to put every 10 minutes, but that would not be honest. I have my mail configured to drop into my mail box every 5 minutes, but if I'm working on a project that requires concentration I don't necessarily look at my email. In addition to that, I'm not always in the office. I have meetings, etc.

However, this said, I consider myself to be pretty quick off the mark when I'm available.


Mariana Peralta
Local time: 00:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
depends on the request Sep 4, 2008

I generally receive request for quotes, so the answer depends on the files format, quantity, word count and type of job (translation, proofreading). The more to analyze, the later the answer. And finally, it depends on the time I receive the request, as sometimes is so late I answer the next day.


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
ASAP Sep 4, 2008

... unless they are slow payers, non-acknowledgers of received jobs etc in which case I like to make them suffer a little. Spain is like that ....


Andres & Leticia Enjuto  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:31
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
As soon as possible Sep 4, 2008

We usually reply e-mails within less than 30 minutes, or faster if possible.
Sometimes it is just and acknowledgment, stating we will get back later after analysing the issue. Other times it is an immediate refusal to a job, which clients appreciate since it saves them time and uncertainty.

This type of continuous quick replies convey a feeling of "I'm here for you". We have experienced this over and over again from different clients that say: "Thank you for your prompt reply".

Have a nice one,


PS: We also like colleagues that answer quickly when we consult them for availability!

[Edited at 2008-09-05 02:51]


Reed James
Local time: 00:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
Within 10 minutes Sep 4, 2008

I answer as soon as I can but not sooner than I can think out my answer. It is a good business practice to answer all business-related e-mail ASAP.

However, care must be taken when answering issues such as deadlines and rates. You don't want to lock yourself into a situation before you've thought it over.

I have never practiced a two-tiered system in my business. Unless I think that the e-mail message is a scam, I answer all business-related e-mail as soon as I can. You never know what your good service will reward you with down the line.


Amy Duncan (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:31
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Immediately Sep 4, 2008

I'm usually working at the computer, so I get e-mail alerts and answer the e-mails right away. If I'm away from the computer I can still hear my Blackberry telling me I have a message.



Daniela Koleva  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:31
Member (2008)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Immediately Sep 4, 2008

I would say immediately after I get the request. Which of course involves 'as soon as I check my e-mail' sometimes. If the request is sent in normal business hours and I am in front of the computer it means that I would reply immediately but only after I have well considered the request and my reply, of course. And if I'm not in front of the computer - it means whenever I get access to the Internet again.

Most of my regular clients tend to call me after sending the materials for translation as to check whether I have received the e-mail or whether I confirm it.

So far I don't remember to have seen a request after the deadline, for example. Or I don't remember I've left a client without an answer - positive or negative.

I think, that with odd clients it makes good impression if one replies immediately.


Local time: 04:31
English to Swedish
Other Sep 4, 2008

Totally depends on the client, situation, the request, time of day, workload ...

I have almost instant email alerts and I'm almost always at my computer so I receive and read messages within 5-10 minutes. Whether I reply totally depends on what they want.

I used to do the "acknowledgement" email, but I stopped because 1) it stole too much time, I might as well make a "proper" reply and save time in the long run and 2) my brain ticked off the email as "replied" (as did my email client) and then I would forget to go back. Now I tag all my email (in bright colours I might add) so that doesn't happen as often, but I still consider it a risk. So.. yeah. If the client usually responds quickly - so do I. The ones who hardly ever replies or replies very late... they're not so lucky.

See, it's all context dependent, just like translation ;D


savaria (X)
Local time: 04:31
English to Hungarian
+ ...
ASAP Sep 4, 2008

I always try to answer my clients' requests ASAP.


ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:31
English to French
+ ...
What do you mean by 'request'? Sep 4, 2008

Is a request a request for quote? Or is it any kind of request, like a question about a term another team member is trying to figure out? I don't handle the different types of requests the same way, especially when I'm working with diva clients who write me an e-mail each 15 minutes and mess up my productivity.


Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:31
English to German
+ ...
If it's related to a current job, right away - any other inquiries or messages have to wait a bit. Sep 5, 2008

Why? Because I want to finish the paragraph / the page that I am working on / I don't want to lose my train of thought. Work comes first.

Courtesy, politeness, etiquette - perfect. I just can't be front-desk lady, office manager / accountant, technical help desk and what not at the same time. Oh, I nearly forgot: translator.

I call it time management or simply discipline. At times this doesn't work out and I get to focus on my own work in the late afternoon after the phone has finally quieted down and the mailbox stopped saying "Ping!" every other minute. Guess, who is working late hours then.

My clients know that and - if it's really urgent - will give me a call instead. This saves time.


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Poll: How quickly do you answer your clients' requests?

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