One thing you’ll love about living is 2010 is that most companies have an email address in the Czech Republic. This shouldn’t really shock you, because most of us expect this. What will shock you, is that although a great deal of companies have email, Czechs are not up to speed on email protocol, and because of this, communicating with a Czech small business via email can be incredibly frustrating.
Here are some golden rules when dealing with a Czech company via email:
- If possible – Phone the company instead, because you’re likely to get a more acceptable turnaround time. If phoning the company is still not possible, I suggest a visit in person. As a final resort use email, and then continue phoning the company to maximize your change to be responded to.
- Just because you’ve sent an email, don’t expect a response. Even if you’ve taken the time to format the email in the Czech language, this means very little. Czech small businesses typically do not monitor their email addresses. If you get frustrated refer to step 1.
- If you get a late reply do not get angry, mostly Czechs don’t see email as official communication, and because of this don’t feel the need to monitor it on a daily / hourly basis.
- When your reply does not answer your question, or is “short”, again don’t get too upset. Czech culture is often a bit rough around the edges, and Czechs don’t like to spend energy on formulating clear and polite lengthy replies. They don’t mean harm, its just their acceptable protocol.
- Don’t expect Czech companies to understand English. It’s nice when they do, but not a given.