Avoid turning e-mail auto-responses into auto-enragers
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).
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And that’s it for today, everyone. Have a great week, and see ya next Monday.
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