Do Your Emails Care?

You’re going on vacation and hurrying out for the final day. Quickly you throw together an ‘out of office’ response for your email system and run out the door.

Bad move.

That out of office response is your customer and vendor ambassador while you’re gone. It’s wording and tone can determine if they even bother to want you to get back in touch with them.

A bad one I received recently (name hidden to protect) read in a default, terrible script:

“I am currently unavailable to respond. Your message is important to me and I will respond at my earliest opportunity. Thank you.”

Ok at least it’s spelled correctly, but this message has all the goodwill of a dead fish. You’re currently unavailable to respond? I got that by you not responding. How long have you been out? When are you coming back? Is this a bathroom break or a month-long sabbatical?

My message is important to you? How so? You couldn’t even tell me how long you were going to be out. You didn’t let me know who I can talk to if I have an emergency. This has all the love and care of a thrown knife.

You will respond at your earliest opportunity? The cheek! How long will that be? Will that be the day you get back or you know, whenever you feel like it a week later? This doesn’t sound like you care about my message at all.

Thank you.  Wow.. how generic can you get? Not even a name, not even an original farewell. Just words to punctuate the end of an impersonal email.

Please, if you are going to make an out-of-office message, make it personal, make it alive and friendly. Help the people who send messages to you. Let them know when they should realize their message got caught in spam or was looked over. Give them another way of touching your company. Be real. Be human.

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