Do you ever get those auto replies that say something like
“I’m out of the office this week, I’ll be in touch with you when I return.”
This auto reply function on your email server has become named the “Out of Office Assistant” and that my friends, is today’s Word Up Wednesday!
This auto reply is very helpful for people who send and receive a lot of email. It is a courtesy for those on the sending end to be notified that you are planning on being away from your normal routine for a set period of time and when they can expect to hear back from you.
This function is available on most email servers and to use this option isn’t limited to only professionals or small business owners. I suggest setting it for your personal email as well.
A couple of key points to remember:
- Turn it on – it is important to set it up as you are planning on being away. Maybe you are going on vacation, a business trip, a conference or maybe your week is just full of meetings that are keeping you away from your normal turnaround rate.
- Turn it off. Once you have returned back to your regular routine, be sure to turn the reply off.
- Don’t over explain where you will be. You don’t have to say “I’m getting crown put in on my bottom, left molar and I usually take a couple of days to recover from any dental procedure.” TMI! Just state stimply…”I’ll be out of the office from this date to this date. I’ll return your email as soon as I get back into the office.”
- But do offer a contact of someone in your office who is covering for you if this is necessary.
- Consider giving yourself an extra day to catch up upon your return. By saying “I’ll be returning on Monday and I’ll get back to you as soon as I get back.” implies that you’ll get back to them Monday. Give yourself a little time to catch up on details that happened while you were gone instead of promising an immediate response. You won’t be able to give an immediate response to everyone.
People appreciate quick responses and we’ve come to expect it. The handy Out of Office Assistant relieves the issues of “I haven’t heard back from Tom.” This will keep your clients and customers satisfied and takes the stress off of you of having to be available 24/7.
What’s your experience with using an Out of Office Assistant? I’d love to hear if you love it or never use it – – and why.
PS – do you love inspirational quotes as much as I do. Subscribe to my ” a minute, a thought” blog for a once daily, positive message. It helps set the tone for your day. This month we’re doing all Buddha quotes.