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Poll: Typically, how long does it take you to reply to an email from a regular client?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:18
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Dec 9, 2019

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Typically, how long does it take you to reply to an email from a regular client?".

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Rita Utt  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:18
Member
English to German
+ ...
Are you constantly checking your mails ? Dec 9, 2019

If you answer in 5 to 15 min time, that means you check you are constantly checking your emails....

Bettina Dauch
Aurora Ferrandes
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Dec 9, 2019

I usually respond to emails within 15 minutes of becoming aware of receiving them. However, I only use free webmail services, mainly Yahoo mail and Gmail, and the former has been less than reliable lately. For example, a few weeks ago one client sent me a job via both accounts (I normally use the Gmail account as backup) on the Wednesday. I received it more or less immediately and delivered the translation within 24 hours. So, I was surprised when on the following Saturday I received the same or... See more
I usually respond to emails within 15 minutes of becoming aware of receiving them. However, I only use free webmail services, mainly Yahoo mail and Gmail, and the former has been less than reliable lately. For example, a few weeks ago one client sent me a job via both accounts (I normally use the Gmail account as backup) on the Wednesday. I received it more or less immediately and delivered the translation within 24 hours. So, I was surprised when on the following Saturday I received the same original email via Yahoo which had been sent on Wednesday. In other words, the Gmail message reached me almost immediately, but the same message via Yahoo took three days to get there
And on another couple of occasions recently, receipt acknowledgement messages from a couple of clients were not reaching me, as I found out when I asked again if they had received my email requesting receipt confirmation.

However, I don't have my email accounts linked to my phone, as I don't think it would be useful. I already check my email accounts several times throughout the day, and if I'm away from my desk I don't really want to be pestered with alerts that I can't really do much about until I get back to the office anyway.

And before anyone pops up and cheerfully recommends me to get a bespoke, paid-for email service, I can assure you that I have looked into it and 99% of the time I get by fine already with the free services, warts and all.

[Edited at 2019-12-09 08:41 GMT]
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Josephine Cassar
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Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:18
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
"Checking" emails? Dec 9, 2019

Rita Utt wrote:

If you answer in 5 to 15 min time, that means you check you are constantly checking your emails....


No, it doesn't. I don't "check" my emails, in the same way that I don't "check" whether my phone rings, or whether there's someone at my door.

[Edited at 2019-12-09 14:06 GMT]


Liena Vijupe
Thomas Pfann
Kay Denney
Kaisa I
Alaa Mahm
Rachel Shaw
Ian Keith Jones Williams
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:18
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Other Dec 9, 2019

It all depends on whether I happen to be in my email account. In this case I might be able to reply immediately, provided I'm not busy otherwise. Otherwise it could take a few hours.

Agneta Pallinder
Bettina Dauch
diala al-ali
Philip Lees
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 05:18
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Dec 9, 2019

It depends! If I’m working at my computer I’ll read the email as soon as it comes in and I’ll respond according to the content: some messages are either answered immediately (new assignments from regular clients or potential jobs from new clients) or deleted immediately (mass emails, spam…). At times if I’m busy and do not want to be disturbed, it may take an hour or so. If I’m not working, I check my email every business hour during the week and morning and evening during the weekend.

Bettina Dauch
Linda Miranda
Franco Rigoni
diala al-ali
Matheus Chaud
Philip Lees
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:18
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
How long since when? Dec 9, 2019

neilmac wrote:
I usually respond to emails within 15 minutes of becoming aware of receiving them.


Yes, the key phrase is "of becoming aware" of them. I'm not sure what the poll asker had in mind: how soon after the e-mail is received, or how soon after the e-mail is perceived? I try to respond within 5-15 minutes after perceiving.

It also depends on how much effort is required to reply, as some clients need you to confirm a lot of information when you reply, and if I'm quite busy and don't want to stop what I'm doing just so that I can read through the information that the client sent, I may respond only after 1-2 hours. Or, I sometimes reply by saying "I've seen your mail and will read it in 2 hours" (not those exact words!), and often the client will thank me for that, unless they are in a big hurry.

Rita Utt wrote:
If you answer in 5 to 15 min time, that means you check you are constantly checking your emails...


No, you can install a notifier which notifies you in some way that an e-mail has arrived. The notification could be a sound, a pop-up message, or simply an icon that changes. On some notifiers you can set the level of intrusiveness -- do you want a pop-up or do you just want the icon to change?

I use Gmail for my work-related mails, and I can recommend Gmail Notifier Pro (only $25). It's not 100% intuitive to use, but it allows a pop-up to appear as soon as a mail arrives, or to show the number of unread messages in the icon.

Thunderbird (which I use for non-work related mails) shows a little mail icon in the system tray whenever there is a new message (and by "new" it means a message in a folder that you didn't check recently), and I can set it up to show a pop-up for new mails, too. Too many popups can become annoying, though.


[Edited at 2019-12-09 10:31 GMT]


Bettina Dauch
Kay Denney
diala al-ali
Matheus Chaud
Philip Lees
 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:18
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Depends Dec 9, 2019

Serious, work related mails - as soon as possible.
All the rest - when I got the time for it (and feel like it).



[Edited at 2019-12-09 12:46 GMT]


diala al-ali
 

Anna Herbst  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 16:18
Member (2008)
English to Swedish
+ ...


Posted via
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MODERATOR
It depends... Dec 9, 2019

If I am at my computer working or reading on my tablet I will generally check new e-mails and respond as soon as I take a break from what I am doing, which would be within an hour at most.

If I am away from electronic devices I will reply as soon as I am back in work mode, which may vary depending on where I am and what I am doing. I usually check my e-mails before going to bed, but I am too old to embrace the 24/7 work week, so am trying to teach my clients that late evenings, week
... See more
If I am at my computer working or reading on my tablet I will generally check new e-mails and respond as soon as I take a break from what I am doing, which would be within an hour at most.

If I am away from electronic devices I will reply as soon as I am back in work mode, which may vary depending on where I am and what I am doing. I usually check my e-mails before going to bed, but I am too old to embrace the 24/7 work week, so am trying to teach my clients that late evenings, weekends and public holidays I am likely not to be on call.
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Bettina Dauch
diala al-ali
Philip Lees
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:18
Member (2018)
French to English
. Dec 9, 2019

If they're offering work and I'm available, no more than 15 minutes between reception and answering - basically the time I need to finish whatever I'm doing, look at the file and decide whether to accept or refuse. My phone will ping when it arrives, so there's barely any time between reception and perception.
If they're answering a message about a translation under way, I'll likewise respond asap.

Unless I'm at the swimming pool or on my bike, then you add on a couple of hou
... See more
If they're offering work and I'm available, no more than 15 minutes between reception and answering - basically the time I need to finish whatever I'm doing, look at the file and decide whether to accept or refuse. My phone will ping when it arrives, so there's barely any time between reception and perception.
If they're answering a message about a translation under way, I'll likewise respond asap.

Unless I'm at the swimming pool or on my bike, then you add on a couple of hours.
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diala al-ali
Local time: 07:18
Arabic to English
+ ...
It Depends on Dec 9, 2019

It depends on our availability on computer while we receive the email, how much email continent is necessary to reply immediately or could be delay to reply on in free time, free not busy. Otherwise we also could be little bit non professional or formal and reply quickly via phone device (it depends on how much clients are flexible to accept replies via phone), but as it is work and clients both sides prefer to be more professional contact and reply via computer.

 

Laureana Pavon  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 02:18
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
So far, close to 60% have said they reply within 15 minutes or less Dec 9, 2019

That's amazing, specially considering that the poll wants to know how quickly we reply to our regular clients.
I'm definitely not dropping everything I'm doing to answer an email the minute I receive the notification. The whole point of having regular clients is that we both know and respect each other.


Philip Lees
Bettina Dauch
Nadja Balogh
 

Liena Vijupe  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 07:18
Member (2014)
French to Latvian
+ ...
5-15 min. during business hours Dec 9, 2019

Laureana Pavon wrote:
The whole point of having regular clients is that we both know and respect each other.


Maybe one of the reasons why they're regular is because they know they won't have to wait too long to know if I'm available.
I usually have e-mail tab open when I'm working on my computer and also receive notifications (no sound) on my phone when I'm away, so I can quickly reply to yes/no type of inquiries and continue what I was doing.

It may take longer when more information is needed or I'm too busy. I also take the liberty not to reply in the evenings or on weekends (you can adjust notification settings accordingly).


Kaisa I
 

Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:18
Member
English to French
+ ...
Against the trend (it seems) Dec 9, 2019

I usually reply within the hour or so, only during office hours (my email client is closed during focus periods of 50 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, and my phone is in silent mode during that time). Outside office hours, the "right to disconnect"…

I’ve noticed most emails from regulars come in the morning, which is nice (most communications being concentrated within a short time span) but unfortunate because it is also my most productive time of the day.


Rita Utt
 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:18
Member (2012)
French to English
16-30 minutes Dec 9, 2019

Before replying, I upload the job and see if it's something I can do for the requested deadline. I don't want to answer instantly and regret it later.

Christine Andersen
Rita Utt
 
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