Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Out of the office? Or out of your mind?

For the past couple of years, I have been giving away Jeff Gitomer books to friends, employees, family, just not my enemies. Jeff also does a weekly e-mail. Today I got issue number 300 from which this is taken. Read it, click on the link, finish reading it and subscribe to his e-mail.

One more thing, follow this advice:

Ever send somebody an email and it bounces back, telling you that the person you sent it to is “out of the office”?

How did you feel when you got it?
How about: Why are you telling me this?
How about: I didn’t write you to find out what you’re doing, I wrote to communicate a message, ask a question, or get information that I require.

Do you stay in touch with your customers and contacts any other time than when you’re in the office?

Because email is instant, everyone feels that his or her response needs to be instant. In the old, old days, people sent letters. In the near old days, they sent faxes. When you got either of these documents, you never told anybody what you were doing, you just responded – as it should be with email. But it’s not. And it’s rude.

I get emails every day from people telling me they’re at a seminar, on vacation, out of the office for two days, home sick, or worse, that their spam blocker needs confirmation.

I have three words to tell you how I really feel: Quit doing this. You’re making your customers mad at you. And you look like a fool. Okay, that’s more than two words. But you get the idea. Stop it. There, that’s two words.

Suppose a customer is trying to place an order, and they get your stupid reply that you’re “On vacation, please call Mary.” And they call Mary and she’s “either on her phone or away from her desk.” So the customer decides to call the competition because you are unavailable.

Now you have gone from rude to stupid.

What you’ve effectively done is take care of yourself without thinking of others. And it’s those others that are providing you the revenue that supports your business and your family, namely your customers. And they could care less where you are or what you’re doing. They just want help.

I have forbidden all forms of auto-reply and spam-blocking confirmation requests in my business. In place of that, each person is responsible for figuring out what to do in case a customer emails or calls.

Read the rest of this article here...

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