Is your out-of-office killing sales?

What is the etiquette of the out-of-office auto response?

Are they even needed in a connected 24/7 world where unless we’re hiking the Inca Trail, we salespeople will still find a way to take care of an urgent message and an important client?

Yes.

Yes, because expectations of immediate response are so out of proportion, for most businesses, an out-of-office helps set new, more realistic expectations.

So if the goal is to educate and help the recipient, look at the harm this out-of-office can do:

Greetings,

Please note that I will be on PTO today August 18th. During this time I will have  NO access to VOICE MAIL and LIMITED access to  EMAIL. I will return your messages when I return.

Reading that, do you feel just a bit pissed off? 

Though caps and colors (on a limited basis) can be appealing to readers, highlighted negative words (n red!) only highlights the negative.

And where is the help?

When can I expect to receive a response?

Using “Greetings” as an opener?

Really? Who says that?

“Please note?” 

Are you giving me a directive, like “Posted.”

But the buzz-kill of all is this: “will have ….LIMITED access to EMAIL”.

Ah, so you have access.

You’re just choosing to not respond to my email because my business isn’t a priority for you.

Show care and pay attention to the details so your out-of-office educates rather than insults.

BONUS: 
Every out-of-office should include:
•the date the reader can expect a response
•an alternative contact if there is one
•an on-brand caring message

Every communication creates an impression.

What message does your out-of-office send?

For information on a customized email sales writing workshop for your group, please email Sue@SpeakerSue.com or complete our quick Interest form to check Sue’s availability. Count on boosting productivity, professionalism and profits!

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Hi Sue-
    I love this OOO from an industry colleague at hotel in Nashville. Not only is it genuine (I can hear him saying this!), it also makes it so easy for his customers to do business with him while he’s out. By anticipating their needs, he is able to save his client’s time and effort in getting to the appropriate person without waiting for his team to do the run around for them. His team has to appreciate this as well and makes them feel valued and important as well. This is someone I would want to do business with as I know he cares, anticipates needs and simply “gets it”.

    **OUT OF OFFICE ALERT**

    Hello clients! I am currently out of the office on vacation. However, because I am slightly OCD, I will be checking emails often and respond as quickly as possible. 🙂 I return to the office on Monday, September 11th. In the meantime, I have listed below the best contacts for each scenario – please feel comfortable emailing them and cc me:

    For ALL entertainment inquiries:
    Name
    Email
    Phone #

    For all sports/corporate group inquiries:
    Name
    Email
    Phone #

    For detailing on any sports/corporate groups already contracted:
    Name
    Email
    Phone #

    For rooming list updates, changes, copies, etc:
    Name
    Email
    Phone #

    For individual reservations – updates, changes, copies, etc:
    Name
    Email
    Phone #

    For billing:
    Amy Click
    Name
    Email

    To speak to my boss (Director of Sales & Marketing):
    Name
    Email
    Phone #

    Thanks so much, and I’ll be in touch when back in the office on September 11th – if not before!
    -William

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