Are you in or out?
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 lets your clients know that you do care about them and that their email hasn’t got lost in cyberspace. I know I hate if I send an email and don’t hear back within a few days. I’m not one of those people who expects an instant response as I believe people shouldn’t be slaves to their inbox.
Here’s the important thing about out of office messages
You need to remember to turn them off once you get back from your course/trade show/holiday etc
Ask yourself this. If an out of office message says that the person will be back on Day X and then you look at the calendar and see that today was Day X, then what does that tell you? What do you think if Day X was a few days ago?
1 They got the date wrong.
2 They’ve been abducted by aliens.
3 They just forgot.
Reasons 1 and 3 would make me wonder about their attention to detail. Reason 2 – well that’s a fair excuse!
So if you set an out of office message, look to see if there are settings to automatically turn it off on your return date. Or put a reminder in your calendar so you don’t forget. I actually like using digital sticky notes to leave myself reminders. If you haven’t used them yet, check out this guide.