Vodafone today released some research that showed that 1/3rd of UK Businesses expect a response to a new business inquiry via email within 2hrs.  Scarily 11% of businesses now expect a response within 30 minutes!

The headline is ‘30 Minutes And Counting…The New Email Time-Bomb For UK Business’

Whilst I can’t question the evidence – I’m really not sure I have ever experienced that speedy a response from a business that I’ve inquired to via email.

Normally if I inquire via email it’s either because I’m doing it at a strange time of day (late at night) or it’s not a priority so I just fire an email off.

If I really need a fast response I would probably pick up the phone and call them.

This research spurred me to check out Xobni on my email and looked at responses both internally and externally.  For internal Microsoft emails the median response was 2hrs.  For external email from customers I get a response with a median of 1d 3h.

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The slowest response I had was from a vendor I was buying something from – they took 53d 10h and 45m to respond to my email!  Well at least they responded :)

The article seems to imply a need for more mobile email solutions which whilst that will help in certain scenarios it doesn’t address the underlying issue.  If customers do want email responses rapidly then organisations need to look to automated intelligent solutions to deliver that response.   Those systems need to ensure the simple requests are dealt with automatically allowing the ‘skilled’ and ‘knowledgeable’ people to focus on using their skills with those customers that need them.  Not to just drown them in email. 

You can read the rest of the Vodafone release HERE