Based on my experience, a small but significant number of printers (I estimate 8%) use an auto responder improperly, in my opinion. Specifically they set up a response to go out EVERY time an email is received. This might have been appropriate in the days when email was in its infancy (1996 or so), but doesn’t get it today. Why? Everyone gets too much email and a response saying “I haven’t read your email but wanted you to know we got it and will get back to you when we can,” is irritating to customers who expect us to actually read and respond to our email rather stack them in a pile.
This reminds me of voice mail which says “We’re too busy to answer the phone right now but if you leave a message, we’ll get back to you when we can.”
That said, I have to report on what one obviously stressed-out printer writes. It’s a classic as far as I’m concerned.
Let me paraphrase, “If I were a juggler of plates, I'd be surrounded by broken china. My assistant is taking vacation … (and) I am declaring that same period a “Pretty Fast Printing Reorganization Holiday". I'm going to lock the door, cover the windows, and ignore the phones and emails while I get back some control.
During this holiday, I will accept no new orders; complete only those orders with deadlines that must be met during that period, and work to bring order to the chaos that my life has become.
To my clients, I hope you know I appreciate your business and support and look forward to serving you in the future. I hope this doesn't inconvenience anyone too much. But, it is necessary.
And, if I've (produced an order for you) in the past 6-12 months and you haven't gotten a bill for it, be watching. That is priority number one!
Now that’s one stressed-out printer.