Automatic “Out of office” messages are a great way of letting your clients know that their email has reach you but there will a delay in your response as you are out of the office. They take a few minutes to set up and can be a simple “I’m out of the office until X date” or they can have more details and give the contact details of someone else in your business who may be able help them in your absence.
It’s a little touch that let’s your clients know that you do care about them and that their email hasn’t got lost in cyberspace.
But here’s the important thing about them – you need to rememember to turn them off once you get back from your course/trade show/holiday/
Ask yourself this – if an out of office message says that the person you are trying to contact is away and will be back on Day X and then you look at the calendar and see that today (or even worse a few days ago!) was Day X, then what does that tell you? That they got the date wrong, that they’ve been abducted by aliens or that they just forgot.
Reasons 1 and 3 would make me wonder about their attention to detail and reason 2 – well that’s a fair excuse!