Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How well are you using your email client?

Auto-response features found in most quality email programs can save a lot of time and effort if used correctly and are very easy to set up. For example, if you have a help desk that is contacted via email, an automatic response can be sent to each individual who sends a help request. With the autoresponse you can send details of solutions to a range of more common things for which people seek help.

In that response you can tell your clients that if an answer to their problem is not found, to contact an alternative help address for a prompt and thorough response.

Nine times out of 10, you will be able to predict the problem and provide a satisfactory answer in your autoresponse, so it cuts down work considerably. Additionally, instead of having to wait for three to five days for a response, clients get a response immediately. It's good customer service!

Here's some ways it can work. You set up an Internet site with help information for the most common help requests you get, or you write the help content in an email and store it as a template. You could use a PDF file attachment, but unfortunately many spam filters delete or intercept attachments including PDF files.

You work out a keyword or keyphrase for your incoming email that will trigger a response. When your incoming email arrives in your email client, it automatically sends the response you have chosen; an email with a link to your help site, or an email with details of common challenges you have. Here's a diagrammatical representation of it with two courses of action. The first is answered and finalised with an autoresponse; the second is a new request after a client's problem hasn't been resolved.

In the next post I'll demonstrate how you can set up an autoresponder using Google Gmail.


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