Do you want to go on a vacation? We all need time off from all the stressors in our lives. And sometimes, a little break will recharge your batteries for more productivity.
As an employee, it’s pretty easy to do when your vacation leaves are approved. But what about entrepreneurs? Especially for businesses in their early to mid stages, it’s just too hard to stop working even for a day.
Technically, you have the final say if you want time off. But what will happen to the company when you leave?
Are You Really on Vacation?
Finally, you gave in. You booked your flights to enjoy time with yourself and your family. You might even visit the Philippines! But to your surprise (and probably some irritation), you received multiple calls and emails during your vacation.
It’s as if you never left home. Unfortunately.
Can You Stop Your Clients From Contacting You?
For employees, the government is starting to value their mental health. Some countries like France and Portugal ratified laws punishing employers who message their employees after work. The Philippines is even following suit with the worker’s rest law.
A healthy work-life balance is crucial for a productive employee. The same goes for entrepreneurs as well.
But for us business owners, can you really tell your clients to stop contacting you? It’s like saying no to all that cash inflow, right? Is there a way to have time off without affecting your bottom line?
That’s where Out of office (OOO) messages come in. It’s your tool for expressing clear boundaries when you have time off. Basically, these are autoresponders providing the reason why you can’t be contacted at the moment.
You use an OOO when:
- You are on vacation.
- It’s the holiday season.
- You are attending seminars and conferences.
- You have a personal emergency.
- You take an extended leave of absence.
It manages your client’s expectations. It’s as simple as saying:
“Received your email. But I am currently out of the office until [return date] for [reason]. I will be happy to get back to you once I return.
But for the meantime, you can contact [name of your employee + their job title] at [email, phone, etc.] just in case you need assistance.”
Simple and gets the point across.
Setting Up Out-of-Office Messages to Your Advantage
But why stop here? You can actually improve your OOOs to your advantage. With a few tweaks, your OOO can be a good conversation starter for your clients when you come back. It can even be a source of engagement, sales, and retention. Here’s how to do it.
Share How They Will Benefit From Your Absence
Your clients are interested in what you can offer them. And if something upgrades that experience, they are more likely to re-engage when you get back.
For example, you attended a conference and can’t cater to their concerns for a specific timeframe. You can say:
“Thank you for your email. Right now, I’m attending a conference in Bali to upgrade our customer service and incentive programs for our current clients. I may have limited access to my email from [date to date].
If you need something urgent, please contact [employee + contact details].”
Share a Beneficial Resource
Another idea is adding some marketing to your OOOs instead. How? By adding a beneficial resource.
With this, you have a chance to provide better service even if you’re away at the moment. It can be an article about their usual inquiries or maybe a discount coupon for the holidays. It can look something like this.
“Hi! Thank you for your email. But we are currently on Christmas holiday, and we might not be able to respond to your inquiries until [date].
In the meantime, you can enjoy this Christmas coupon this Yuletide Season. Have a Merry Christmas!”
Who doesn’t want freebies and helpful resources, right?
Share the Importance of Your Leave
What if your absence has no direct impact on the service they can get? You can still improve your OOOs to your advantage.
Remember, your customers are still humans. And most of them will be happy when you celebrate something important in your life. So why not share why the time off is important for you? It can go like this.
“Hi! We’re celebrating our grandmother’s birthday in Japan. To fully celebrate with my loved ones, I might not be able to access my email until [date].
If you need anything urgent, feel free to contact [Employee + contact details] for assistance.”
For your loyal clients, this can be a great conversation starter when you get back. It might not lead to sales, but a better relationship with them will surely go a long way. And these personal snippets of your life will contribute to that.
Ready to draft your OOOs? With the tips above, your OOOs will have more use than a boring autoresponder. It can be a source of engagement and marketing for your clients. In return, it might even strengthen your relationship with them when you come back.
And if you’re looking for a great point person during your absence, you can view our candidates of prequalified Filipino remote workers to cater to your clients when you’re on leave.
Of course, they will be a great addition to your team in your everyday operations. You can even have more time when you hire the right people for more time-offs in the future.
Interested? Feel free to call us or schedule a callback if you have some inquiries. Cheers!