There is a right and wrong way to use email services like auto responder. The right way is to make your message clear, while the wrong way is to use a simple phrase. Using improper responses only serves to irritate the client receiving the email. In fact many of the improper responses are assumptions the client has made with regards to the email. The consumer has spent a great deal of time to create an email so they want more than an answer to their assumptions.
The Mistakes when Using an Auto Responder
- I have received your email
- I will read your email as soon as possible
- Thank you for your message
- Please expect a response within 24-48 hours
Your client assumes you have received the email, so this one line response is going to irritate them. It is good to show you have not ignored incoming emails, but you need to be more specific. Using ASAP is vague and it should not be used. You need to give a proper time frame for how long it may take you to get to the email and then send a response for this to be appropriate. It is great to thank someone, but you need to add more to it. Again vague responses are where the mistakes lie.
If you combine all four of these into one email then you would have a good auto response. These services are designed to build a relationship between you and the consumer. Unless you already have a deep relationship with everyone you are going to email, your auto responder needs to be specific and you need to follow through.
Appealing to Your Client’s Good Nature
An auto responder is used for several reasons. One is that you may be extremely busy; therefore, unable to respond right away. You may be asleep but have clients in a different time zone. You can set up different auto responses depending on the services you use.
For example as you appeal to the good nature of your client when you are busy you might write something like this:
My inbox is extremely full at the moment and work is overwhelming. I am making my way through all messages and attempting to do so in a timely fashion. I may be slower than usual; however, I will respond. Thank you for being patient and understanding.
You may also try a bit of humor in your response to lighten it a little. If you do not like being formal, humor is a good way to go. You can be lighthearted, even a little clever, but do not make a mistake in the response by attempting to be so. Make sure your humor shines through.
If you are sleeping at the time emails roll in you can respond in similar fashions, but make it clear when the working hours for your company hour. This way the person will understand they have missed you for the day, you will receive the message, and will answer back as soon as you can.
Be Brief and Make Only Promises that Work
You need to be brief in your email responses when you use auto responder services. You also want to remain friendly and provide enough detail that it will help the client understand what your aim is when you receive emails and how you will respond.
Being vague is going to be a mistake unless you offer more than a one line response as mentioned above, but you also have to be careful with your response. You cannot make promises that you are not going to keep. For example if you cannot respond to every email within 24 to 48 hours do not say this. Use something else instead like you will respond as soon as possible, it may take longer than your usual response time, which is up to 48 hours.