Pemerintah memblokir Telegram karena aplikasi obrolan tersebut menjadi saluran komunikasi teroris dan progapanda radikalisme. Sebelum memblokir, pemerintah mengaku sudah enam kali mengirim surat peringatan kepada pengelola Telegram, dari Maret 2016 hingga Juli 2017, namun tak ada respons sama sekali. Akhirnya akses via web ke layanan Telegram pun ditutup.
Bagaimana kasus itu dilihat dari sisi public relations? Bagaimana mencegahnya agar tak terulang?
Insiden itu menunjukkan bahwa pemblokiran itu ternyata juga dipicu oleh macetnya komunikasi antara pemerintah dan pengelola Telegram. Kemacetan komunikasi ini bahkan berlangsung hampir setahun. Setelah seseorang di Twitter mencolek akun CEO Telegram, Pavel Durov, barulah muncul respons. Durov mengaku bahwa selama ini dia tak memerhatikan email dari pemerintah dan baru menyadarinya setelah diberitahu bahwa Telegram diblokir.
Kasus kemacetan komunikasi seperti itu juga sering terjadi di mana-mana, termasuk di ranah public relations. Sudah biasa para konsultan bertemu klien atau wakil perusahaan yang lamban merespons email yang ditujukan kepada mereka, misalnya email berisi proposal sebuah proyek maupun permintaan persetujuan anggaran.
Di era digital seperti sekarang, komunikasi lewat email merupakan sesuatu yang lazim karena praktis dan menghemat waktu. Email mempercepat proses pengambilan keputusan. Setiap kelambanan respons akan menimbulkan ketidakpastian, terutama bagi pihak pengirim email. Tidak jarang pengirim email bahkan merasa stres, karena si penerima tak kunjung membalas.
Menurut Peter Boyle, penulis di blog Have A Word, ada beberapa alasan mengapa klien membutuhkan waktu lebih lama untuk merespons email kita, yang mungkin saja tak ada kaitannya dengan kita. Cobalah kita menempatkan diri pada posisi klien dan pertimbangkan beberapa faktor–yang mungkin saja merupakan penyebab mereka lamban merespons. Penjelasan Boyle dikutip utuh sesuai bahasa aslinya, seperti ini:
Proportion of Workload
If the client you’re having trouble connecting with constitutes a large portion of your income (which they shouldn’t be!) then their deliberations could well be costing you a fair amount of cash.
They might be one of your primary clients but you might be a five or ten percent of their workload, especially if said client is a very large company. They’ve likely got a ton of other work with a higher priority meaning that you’re in the unfortunate position of just waiting it out.
We’ve all seen it happen, and I’m sure we’re all guilty of doing this at some point in the past as well. In my last full-time office job I used to receive around 150 emails per day. I’m oddly proud that I was able to clear this every day, but once a month or so I’d miss an important email which would often be followed by a rather angry chaser a few days later to ask why I was ignoring them.
Accidents happen, don’t be the person who responds poorly to a slow response, it makes clients less likely to want to work with you in the future.
Confusion or Lack of Experience
A lot of writers I speak to have at least one client who hasn’t used freelancers before. The nature of freelance work is a completely different kettle of fish to what most people are used to and could well cause a client to delay a response for a number of reasons.
If your client is still learning the ropes in regards to working with freelancers try not to be impatient, instead help them through the process and outline what your usual processes are. They’ll be far more grateful for the effort and think of you first when it comes to new work.
Their Role in the Decision Making Process
Your contact at ‘Company X’ might not be in a position to make any large decisions relating to your working agreement, instead having to refer everything to a more senior employee. Obviously adding an extra link into the chain is going to slow things down.
Bringing Them Back into the Fold
Before you take to penning a chaser for the client remember to put yourself in their shoes. It’s easy to get worked up and send an email that you may later regret.
There’s a few tips that I’ve picked up which help get a response out of the clients who are notoriously quiet or slow to respond.
Single Point of Contact
I once had a gig writing for a large american payment solutions company at which I had no less than fourcontacts. This obviously made it a nightmare to get anything done. Contact A would make a specific request which was completely at odds with contact B’s needs. I eventually got them all in a conference call to iron out the details and designate a single point of contact for the project.
Don’t be afraid to be a little pushy with your clients if it really calls for it.
Send a Chaser
I usually wait around three to four working days before sending a quick chaser to the client. We’ve already covered some of the many reasons why you might be waiting on a response so be sure to keep it professional and polite. Include the original email you sent to them and ask if they’ve got an update on the projects progression.
Pick up the Phone
If a client is being particularly elusive it’s time to pick up the phone. It’s often the best way to get the issue sorted and get the ball rolling again. I know a lot of writers would prefer to rely on the written word for communication but if the future of a project hangs in the balance you have to take action.
If you have called a client be sure to email them a full report of what was agreed on the phone and ask for confirmation from them so it’s all in writing.
But remember, when you’re chasing a client for an update on a project try not to burn your bridges. Useful contacts will move around and you don’t want to get a reputation as being difficult to work with. However, don’t reserve precious writing time for the clients who can’t keep you up to date. Put their project on the back burner and work with the clients you can rely on for timely responses and a steady income.
If things really get bad, don’t be afraid to end the working relationship. Every minute you spend chasing a non responsive client is a minute not spent increasing your income.
Demikian penjelasan Peter Boyle mengenai kiat menghadapi masalah klien yang lamban merespons email. Tulisan lengkap Boyle bisa diakses di Have a Word.