How to Create a Smart Out of Office Message

Julie Trade Levitch · August 16, 2010 · Short URL:

Strategies for How Not to Lose Customers While You're On Vacation!

With only a few more weeks left of summer, many of us are trying to get away from the office for one last long weekend before the fall cooler weather begins. While it’s great to escape from the daily grind, a poorly constructed or non-existent on-hold message can simultaneously increase your backlog of messages and irritate your callers. Yes, it can even cause you to lose customers!

While you may feel like there is a long list of things to do as part of your pre-trip planning, a clear, informative out-of-office message should be a priority. Here are the key components that you’ll need to communicate to your callers before you leave.

When You’ll Be Absent
First, you need to provide details of when you’ll be away from the office. You should specify the dates, not just the days of the week. For example, “I’ll be away from the office from Monday, August 16 until Friday August 20.” By providing these specifics, it will help your callers determine what they should do next – whether to call you back upon your return or seek someone else to help them.

The Reason for Your Absence
There may be a number of reasons why you’re out of the office. If you’re on a business trip or at a training session, you still might be checking messages and returning calls. Let your callers know this. If it is a vacation, it’s a good idea to communicate that you’ll be offline and unable to return calls until you return.

Of course, you don’t need to spell out too many details of your absence. If you’re undergoing a medical procedure or having personal problems, your out of office message is not the place to discuss details. Keep it professional and only provide the necessary information that your callers need to know.

Who They Should Contact
If possible, provide at least one backup contact for your callers. Let them know who to specifically call and how to reach them.

Make Your Message Precise and Concise
You don’t need to leave a five minute rambling message apologizing for your absence. Instead, it needs to be clear and informative with all of the necessary details. Play back your message to make sure that it’s easy to understand and avoid using office jargon and abbreviations that others may not be able to decipher.

No one wants to return from vacation with a voicemail box full of messages from upset callers. By taking a few minutes to create an out of office message that provides the necessary information, you will be well on your way to be able to enjoy your time away while minimizing your callers' frustration.

And, if you want a truly polished and professional out of office message, Snap Recordings can help. With studio-mastered, custom messages for your telecommunications systems from $50.00, it’s the best way to communicate your message with your callers while you’re away from the office.


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Julie Trade Levitch

Julie is a high energy communications professional with more than 15 years of experience managing PR and marketing for local businesses, consumer products, and technology companies.

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