Out of the Office? Make Sure Your Contact Details Are Up-To-Date
In our digital age, being in touch is important. We make contact through social media, emailing, video chatting, and a vast number of other virtual ways. That’s why it’s important to keep your business contact information up-to-date.
Even more so when you’re about to leave the office for a while. Whether moving to work from home or taking some time off, having your contact details in order makes for smooth sailing. Having out-of-date contact details could set you up for an overflowing mailbox, answer machine, or angry customers.
Do yourself a favor and make sure everything is in order before you leave the office one last time. However, with that impending out-of-office time coming up, we know it can be hard to concentrate. That’s why we put together a list to help you make sure you’ve covered all your bases.
Double Check These Spots for Contact Information
Since every business is unique, we can’t promise that this list will cover all of the locations for contact details. However, it covers the most common and is a great place to start. Here’s a preview of the places we recommend checking:
- Contact Pages
- Contact forms
- Mail-to Links
- End of Blog Content
- Answering Machines
- Sub Domains
This is a pretty obvious starting point. After all, the entire point of a contact page is to give users a way to reach you. It’s also the first place people will look when they want to contact you. So it’s in your best intentions to make sure this page reflects accurate contact details.
If you’re a part of a bigger organization with others who will remain in office, this may not apply to you. But if you are responsible for one or more of the contact routes available, be sure to either update the page or put something in place that will get the message where it needs to go.
Make sure you don’t forget about contact forms. Contact forms can come in various shapes and builds, so how the form responses are delivered may vary. However, it’s a good idea to make sure you can access the responses before you leave the office.
Also, check out your contact form’s follow-up page. Depending on the contact form’s purpose, you may find that the follow up page holds additional contact information, such as, “If you need help right away, call us at [insert phone number here].”
So, it’s a good idea to double-check that you have access to both your contact form response locations and any contact method listed in the follow-up page.
You may also want to check your mail-to links. When clicked, these links automatically open a new email draft in the user’s email client. These are a great option when your content includes an email address.
However, if you’re leaving the office, make sure you have access to the email addresses that these links send emails to. It will sour your return to the office if you come back to an inbox stuffed full of messages.
Mail-to links can pop-up wherever you have an email address you want to point emails to.
End of Blog Content
Another place to check for contact information is at the end of blog content. It’s a common practice to end a blog article by showing the reader where they could get more information and, in some cases, the best way to get more information is to contact you.
So, if you have a blog, be sure to check your posts and make sure that their inquiries won’t go unanswered during your time away. If this seems overwhelming, you can speed up the process by using CTRL + F to easily search your text.
Don’t forget your physical technology, too. If you’re the only one manning the phones while in the office, you may want to update the message explaining that you’ll be out for a while and give them an alternate way to reach you.
If you will be unreachable while out of the office, direct them to someone available or give them a date (if possible) when you will return. This way if anyone calls with an emergency, they know they should contact someone else/ figure out how to get by until your return.
Subdomains/ Separate Websites
Do you use subdomains? Perhaps a separate website? If so, make sure those sites are updated with up-to-date contact information. Some users may reference your subdomains or separate sites when they need to contact you.
People will also search based on their current location. So, if someone is browsing on a wiki page, they’re more likely to look inside the wiki for contact details first, before going to your main site. So make sure that all your subdomains contain your contact details. Inquiries can come through all sorts of channels.
If you have any promotions scheduled, make sure they’re still viable while you’re out of the office. You don’t want to advertise a sale, only for everyone to reach out to an unmanned phone line or email.
That’s why you should double-check promotional materials and make sure that all the contact details will still work while you’re absent. That may mean directing interested parties to an email or rerouting them to a colleague instead. Just be sure that customers can proceed as normal. If they can’t, consider postponing the promotion instead. That way, you can leave the office in peace and the customers won’t feel slighted if they don’t receive their promotion right away.
If you plan to set up automatic email replies (aka autoresponders), make sure they reflect the correct contact information. For those who create a new autoresponder every time they leave the office, this likely isn’t a problem. However, for those who have a reusable autoresponder, it can be easy to forget to swap contact details.
Tip: If your out-of-office time means you will be unreachable or delayed in response, it’s also a good idea to include an alternate contact in case of emergencies.
Newsletters often contain recurring content with contact information, especially in the headers or footers. When creating and sending out newsletters, it’s easy to glaze over the recurring elements and focus on the new content.
However, if you’re going to be spending a prolonged period out of the office, it might be worth rechecking these contact details and making sure they’re still the best option.
Bonus Tip: Email Forwarding and Aliases
It can be overwhelming (and in some cases, not worth it) to go through and change all the contact details. For example, if you had an entire knowledge base riddled with mail-to links, it may not be worth the hassle of changing them all if you’re out of the office for three days.
However, if you’re going to be out for a longer period, or working remotely without access to the email you need, there are some alternatives.
Email recipes can make your life much easier. These are email customizations that allow you to set up things like mail forwarding and autoresponses. You can read more about Pair’s email recipes here.
So, instead of changing a large swath of your contact site details, in some cases, you could set up an email forwarding recipe. That way, you could still receive all your emails without needing access to the original mailbox. Email forwarding is fairly straightforward, but the setup may vary based on your email server. For email forwarding on Pair servers, check out this article.
If you’ll be using a personal email while out of the office and forwarding your work correspondence there, you may also want to use an email alias.
Email aliases are a way to change how your email looks to others. So for example, let’s say you have two emails: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. When using an alias, you could send email using firstname.lastname@example.org, but the recipient would see that the email came from email@example.com.
This helps keep your communications professional but also gives you the flexibility of managing all your emails in one place. Aliases work especially well if you also forward a copy of your work emails to your personal address. That way, you can respond right from your personal email without appearing unprofessional.
Setting up an alias will depend on your email client. However, here are a few tutorials for some popular ones:
Prep For Your Out of Office Time
Prepping for your out-of-office time can mean the difference between a smooth return, or one overwhelmed by a mass of missed customer messages. If you do your due diligence and make sure all your communications are routed to an actively monitored source (whether that’s you or a colleague), then your return should be must less stressful.
Whether you’re taking a vacation or moving to work remotely, we wish you a seamless transition. If you need any help setting up some of the email customizations we mentioned above on a Pair Networks account, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our support team.