There are a lot of great things about email and…
…there’s a lot that isn’t great.
In truth, though the difference between the two is mostly about how YOU choose to manage it.
A friend once showed me his inbox over some beers one fine Saturday afternoon in The Paddington Inn.
I almost spat my beer when I saw the state of it. 10,000 unanswered emails….I had no idea the counter icon went to five figures before that.
“Come on, smart ass”, he said jokingly. “How do you fix that?”
So I deleted every single email in his inbox.
There was no way he was ever going to clear it and if any of it was actually important, he’d get another email. When someone really needs to contact you, they’ll email again.
Email is one of the biggest time-sucks ever, and I could write a book (well, maybe a pamphlet) about it, but let me pick one.
I also suggested he shouldn’t be managing his own inbox, and not allowing his team to do manage theirs.
I’ve blogged about shared inbox systems before, but I strongly believe NO advice business with more than five staff should be managing individual inboxes.
When you allow this kind of de-centralised management with little (if any) transparency of who is doing what, you are completely depending on individual people to stay on top of things – regardless of role, capacity or workload – and to make sure they’re doing the right thing
It’s the difference between operating as a unified country versus many little islands.
Best case scenario…
- something goes missing.
- Some emails don’t get answered.
- Someone says the wrong thing.
- Someone deals with something the wrong way. And eventually, that becomes a training issue, which becomes a compliance issue, which we don’t want.
Worst case scenario?
It involves someone sending a bunch of your client’s money to someone who it turns out wasn’t them but did a good job of putting together an email that sounded like them (and yes, this has happened).
When you centralise everything, so email comes to a central place to be managed collectively, you solve all this, magnify your efficiency and more..
Ever had the feeling you’ve written this email before, or spend ten minutes searching through your sent box for that masterpiece email you sent last week…
Writing the same emails over and over and over again because you don’t have your template game in order is another sign you could be wasting more than a few hours a week because you lack a system that allows you to create a common library of responses.
A research piece commissioned by Front recently spelt out the top five benefits of a shared inbox, as reported by those who use one.
- Productivity, which was by far the biggest benefit seen.
- Efficiency, and working better as a team.
- Time-Saving (see #2)
- Increased personal productivity (see #1)
- Faster time to market real-time information (no idea…)
Ready to be productive and fix your email management problems?
For the first five people signing up for Leveraged Online before 31 August, I will personally help you set up your Shared Inbox system.