December 22, 2015

Customer Service Tip: Checking In with US Counterparts Before Vacations

Do you work on offshore client projects? Do you work in long term projects, say more than four or five months at a stretch where building rapport with the client or colleague is important? 

If the answer is yes, I would like to share a tip that can help you to build instant rapport with your long-term clients. Once we know their holiday or vacation plans, to show our support we can send them a short note two or three days before their vacation starts to ask them if they have any last minute requests before their vacation starts. Below are a few example email formats that can help with this kind of acknowledgment and request. 

Example email to send before the Christmas and New Year Holiday:

Nancy, 

Good day. Happy Holidays. I know you would be taking a 10 day vacation for the Christmas and New Year holiday soon. I am also writing to ask if you have any last minute requests I can fill before the holiday starts.

Thank you,
Regards,
Your Name

Example email to send a few days to a week before Independence Day: 

Nancy, 

I heard it’s US Independence day on July 4th. I think you may be going on a long weekend. Would you like me to fill any last minute requests before you start your holiday? Thank you and have a great break! 

Regards,
Your Name 


Your client or US based onsite colleague would answer the email one of two ways: with a request or with a thank you for asking, but there are no other requests at this time. Regardless of the answer received, it's customary to send one more acknowledgement email back. Examples follow: 

No Requests: 

Nancy, 

Thank you for letting me know there are no last minute tasks. Now you can surely rest easy on the break! We shall catch up after your return on January 3rd.

Regards,
Your Name 

Some Requests Were Made: 

Nancy, 

I have received your email. I noticed there are two quick tasks you'd like me to do before the vacation starts. I am glad I asked as we have two business days before the vacation starts, and these tasks will take about a day a half. I will keep you updated as I complete the tasks or if I have any questions.

Thank you,
Regards,

Your Name 

Tips on Acknowledgement Emails: 
It's good to add a little small talk in the email so it doesn't sound so directive and blunt. Small talk makes it sound natural and conversational. It also adds a friendly tone to the words on the page. The reader will feel more at ease with a little friendly banter. Try it out and let me know how it goes! 

Jennifer Kumar helps build effective onsite and offshore teams through cross-cultural and business communication coaching programs. Contact us for more information.  

Related Posts: 
How did it go? A common question in American English 
Examples of Acknowledgement Emails 
How to Answer Holiday Greetings and Birthday Emails 
How to Impress Americans at Work 

Photo credit: Joe the Goat Farmer at Flickr

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