How to Answer that Frustrating Email

Is there anything more frustrating than coming up with a great piece of link bait or a really cool web application, and it going right over your client's head? They don't get it at all, and in fact they become very defensive. Worried that you all of a sudden don't understand their business model and what their objectives are with the website, they respond to your idea with criticism and fear.

I found myself in the same situation just the other day. What made it more frustrating was the fact that this had happened before with the client. Maybe it was a case of the Mondays or maybe I have a shorter fuse than I realize, but I was really irritated. I was really excited about my idea/strategy, and now I'm being forced to defend it over and over again. I don't think it was the fact that I had to justify my idea that made me mad; it was the way the email was written to me. I hate dealing with clients that talk down to you, and I was dealing with that very thing.

I instantly started writing my reply to him, but was interrupted (thankfully) half way into it. When I went back to finish my email I read where I had left off and couldn't believe my tone. You could easily tell how irritated I was, and I knew that would only make things worse. Lesson one: never write back right away to an email that pisses you off. I decided to get up and go for a quick walk. It is amazing what a ten minute stroll can do.

I got back to my desk and scrapped my original response. The first thing I did was skim through the belittling comments made, and get right to the questions. I pulled them out one by one, and just focused on them. It made it a lot easier not to get worked up again. I wrote out my responses and proofread them after they were all written to see if I had injected any rude tone or comments myself. I didn't notice anything wrong, so the next task was crafting the opening.

Writing the opening sentence to an irritating/rude email is probably one of the hardest things to do. Try and keep your cool and keep it as brief as possible. I wrote out a short sentence and sent it off. I had copied a few of my coworkers on the email and they instantly said, "Wow, you sound really degrading in this email!"

I started panicking. "What do you mean? Which part?"

"The first sentence. It sounds like you are saying to him, Ok, here are the answers but try and keep up.' But the rest of it looks great."

Just that one sentence opening can ruin it all, though. Lesson two: have someone proofread your email response when you are pissed off. Luckily, the client didn't seem to upset about my response.

There are going to be many times when you get frustrated with your clients. You're in the fast lane because you're an expert in this field, but your client can't always see the picture as clearly (even if you have trained them.) Take a deep breath, take a walk, and have someone proofread your email for you before you send it out. You might not be as lucky as me if you don't.

Category: SEO Viewing 6750 | Added in February 3, 2014

0 Responses

Add comments:

Your name: Your website Some styles: Add button:
Your comments here:




Wise Words

"When we finally presented it at the shareholders' meeting, everyone in the auditorium stood up and gave it a five-minute ovation. What was incredible to me was that I could see the Mac team in the first few rows. It was as though none of us could believe that we'd actually finished it. Everyone started crying."

- Steve Jobs

Outside of subject

The wrong direction

Although this is the first post about my four hour workweek, it did not just start for me. If you read the about me section, that was almost a year ago. So how did I do? Well, I've made some progress. By falling and standing up. By making decisions and ignoring some. After my breakdown I...

continue reading

Going crazy – doing crazy

I ended up going on a trip to Oxford (UK), visiting some international friends I made by tango dancing, while it also was an opportunity to go dancing in London and Oxford.

Staying over with a friend was very nice and also useful. It made my trip cost way less, while I also had some...

continue reading

What you know about earning on blog posts

Service post on the blog: a dollar sign is the cheesiest - the process of verification of the blog.

Today, every blogger has the opportunity to receive a small remuneration for his work on the blog, write a short message or a review of a web resource, service, or company.


continue reading

My worry about losing the Queen

My worry about losing the Queen would be that she would still be entitled to take money from the Crown Estates. I hope when negotiations are taking place after the referendum, that the SNP would not go soft on this and on a number of other matters, like being over generous with the entitlement...

continue reading

How to get indoor an orchids to grow and bloom?

The thing which, apart from Climate Gate, really knocked them sideways was that bitterly cold December 2013.

Louise wouldn't remember it because she was with Chris Huhne in Cancun at the time and kept telling us how warm it was poolside — while it was –15ºC here and...

continue reading