SOLE TRADERS and small businesses have to manage without the staffing resources available to big business. So what can you do if people are trying to get in touch by e-mail when there’s nobody in the office, or at holiday time?
By setting up an autorespond message, you can deal with this problem. Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer this facility, so you can use an autorespond even if you use a web e-mail program like Yahoo! or Hotmail.
Incoming e-mails are stored on your ISP’s server until you connect to the Internet and retrieve them. To set up an autorespond, log in to web mail at your ISP’s website and go to your set-up options.
What should you say in your autorespond message?
- Your message should thank the recipient and let them know when they can expect a human response. If there’s another contact number, this should be included.
- Your message can also be turned to your benefit by encouraging the recipient to visit a particular page on your website, or a ‘Help’ section where they might find an answer to their query.
- Finally, most ISPs allow you to forward messages to another address, and this can be set up if somebody else is available to field queries. ■
By Peter Hall
Adapted from an article by Anonymous