How to set up your ‘Out of Office’ in GMail
If you are going off on holiday or will be away from your emails for a while, setting an ‘Out of Office’ is good customer service.
I feel it is only good manners to let your customers know when they can expect a reply from you. This is particularly important if, like me, you generally reply to emails quickly and your customers have grown to expect this. If they email you and don’t get a reply, this may be rather annoying for them – worst case scenario, if you don’t reply for two weeks, they may go elsewhere.
Out of Office tools are not only for when you are on holiday or in meetings either, you can use them to set service standards like “We aim to respond to all emails within two hours and will get back to you as quickly as we can, thank you for your business”. It’s also useful if you are working on a project and don’t want to be distracted by feeling you have to respond to incoming emails.
Here’s how to set your ”Out of Office’ or ‘Email Autoresponder’ in GMail:
- Click on the ‘settings’ icon which is an image of a cog on the right hand side of your page, just below your image;
- Select ‘settings’
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page to the section ‘Out of Office AutoReply’
- Select ‘Out of Office AutoReply on’
- Change the dates to match the days you are unavailable to answer emails (include an end date for an out off office, but not for an auto-response)
- Enter a title for the message that your customer will receive, e.g. ‘Jane Smith Printers’ Closure Dates;
- Enter the message that your customer will see. Ensure to thank them for their business, assure them of the importance of their message and be clear about when they can expect a reply and from whom. For example, if you have hired a Virtual Assistant to respond to your emails while you are away, tell your customers this;
- If you only want the message to be sent to your contacts, select this option at the bottom of the page;
- Save your changes. You will now see a band across the top of your screen, showing you that your Out of Office/Autoresponder is turned on.
Setting an ‘Out of Office’ ensures that your customer continue to get great customer service, even when you are not around and also ensures that you can have a holiday without feeling you have to keep checking your emails.
Do you set an ‘Out of Office’ when you are away, or do you use another method of letting your customers know when you’ll respond? Do you have a dislike for auto-responses?
Please let me have your thoughts below.
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