Avoid turning e-mail auto-responses into auto-enragers | SummitDaily.com

Avoid turning e-mail auto-responses into auto-enragers

ERIN PHEIL
special to the daily
Summit County, CO Colorado

Not long ago, I extolled the importance of using e-mail auto-responders to provide your customers with a “heads-up” if they should expect to experience a delay in receiving a response; setting one up while you’re away in Hawaii on a three-week vacation would be a great example of wisely using an auto-responder.

I had previously assumed that, when it came to constructing an auto-responder’s text, common sense would be an adequate guide … but perhaps I assumed too much.

Earlier this week, I e-mailed the owner of a company who had been looking to retain our web-design services. Within moments of sending my e-mail to him, I received an auto-responder from his e-mail program containing nothing other than: “Hello, I am unavailable to read your message at this time.”

This type of vague, automated response can actually cause more harm than good. In my case, I had no idea if the business owner was out of the office momentarily, for the day, for the week or for the month. I had no clue as to how long it might be before he would be available to read my message. I couldn’t understand the purpose of the message I’d just received; I was just downright confused.

Our goal here is to inform customers, not to confuse them. If you use auto-responders to share important information, simply remember to provide all the relevant details in a polite, clear manner. You’ll help strengthen, not weaken, the relationships you have with your customers.

In most browsers and on most websites, you can easily increase the size of the text on your screen by pressing the “Ctrl” key and then tapping the + key. Likewise, you can decrease the text size by pressing the “Ctrl” key and then tapping the minus key. (Mac users: Substitute the “Command” key for the “Ctrl” key).

http://tinyurl.com/2hm8de ” A handy-dandy online calculator that shows you the true cost of making only minimum monthly credit-card payments.

http://www.endicia.com ” Are you a regular at the post-office counter? Do you ship products out for your business daily? Endicia allows you to print complete, prepaid postage for any single piece of domestic mail class offered by the U.S. Postal Service. The exact postage is calculated for you ” meaning you never overpay or risk having your packages arrive with postage due. Shipping labels and envelopes can even be customized with your logo and messages.

http://tinyurl.com/4mw3vt ” One of the main questions I’m asked regularly is: “Can you recommend a free anti-virus program?” And my response is always the same; I simply say: “Yes, I sure can” and then send people to this link.

http://tinyurl.com/hte8a ” A one-page list of more than 200 helpful Firefox extensions, organized in easy-to-skim categories such as passwords, PDFs, performance, Google, graphics, etc. This is the perfect resource to visit when you know exactly what you’d like to be able to do in Firefox, but don’t know of an extension that would take care of your needs.

http://tinyurl.com/2m4x3r ” A list containing 62 (allegedly) little-known uses for vinegar. I admit I had no idea that a chicken bone will bend like rubber if you allow it soak in vinegar for three days.

And that’s it for today, everyone. Have a great week, and see ya next Monday.


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