What Your Auto-Reply Message Says About You as a Leader
There is always room for improvement
Source | www.inc.com | DAVID FINKEL
“Hello, I am currently out of the office, returning Friday, the 13th. If you need immediate assistance, please contact … “
We have all used auto-reply messages or auto-responders at one point or another. And with the majority of us still working from home, I see them more often than ever before. In the past, I have touched on the idea that being available 24-7 isn’t a good idea, and I want to expand on that idea and look at how leaders use (or don’t use) auto-reply messages within their own companies.
My company, Maui Mastermind, sends millions of emails a year to current and prospective clients and business owners. Understandably, there is always a certain percentage of bounce-back, unsub, and undeliverable emails, which we work to minimize. But auto-responders are a different thing entirely.
I typically see business owners fall into one of three categories.
Type No. 1: You have auto-reply set up, regardless of whether you are in the office or not.
These business owners have an auto-reply set up that says something along the lines of “We are currently working from home, and will get back to you as soon as possible” or ” Your email is very important to me, and I will reply to your message as quickly as I can.”
If you fall into this category, you tend to struggle with control issues and letting go. Your inbox is usually very full, and you are often overwhelmed by the sheer number of emails you receive on a daily basis. To remedy the situation, you should enlist the help of your assistant and set up a screening system where they go in and archive emails accordingly. Those that require your response or review are left in your inbox to work through. This simple daily exercise will usually cut your emails down by approximately 75 percent.
It’s also important to note that for most business owners, you don’t want to set the expectation that you will reply or respond to every email that comes your way. Some items should not make it to your to-do list. And others, if they don’t help your business move the needle forward, should be left unanswered.