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Written by
Katy Ratican
28 Jul 2021
4 minutes
Helpful auto-reply text messages for busy businesses
The importance of auto-reply texts for small businesses, along with best practices and common auto-reply message templates
Helpful auto reply text messages for busy businesses

Here’s an unfortunate truth about running a business: customers and clients don’t really care if you’re busy. They need answers and they need them right now. If you can’t take their calls, your best course of action is to let them know that through an auto-reply text. That’s why, as a small business or startup founder, it’s time to think about an auto-reply message sample for business.

If you’ve never considered setting up an auto-reply message, or think that it’s too complicated, the good news is that automation has made it easy. Understanding how to create the right auto-reply message will greatly improve your customer satisfaction.

What is an automated reply message?

An automated reply message is a predetermined response that’s sent to your callers when you can’t take the call. They are suitable for all scenarios including when you’re busy, in a meeting, out of the office or on holiday.

In case the call comes in during your non-working hours or during the weekends, an automated reply message can inform the caller of your working hours and when you’ll be back at work.

Why are auto-reply messages important for businesses?

  • It shows respect: As a small business or startup, you know that every call counts. If you use the right business auto-reply message, the caller will know that although you’re unable to take the call, you respect them enough to let them know.
  • It helps in customer acquisition: The main objective of your digital marketing is to encourage prospective clients and customers to contact you. When they make the call, if there’s no response, they’ll quickly find a competitor.
  • It de-escalates complaints: If it’s an existing customer or client, the fact that they’re calling you suggests that they’d like an immediate resolution to a query or problem. If they don’t get a response, they’re more likely to escalate the issue.
  • It helps your reputation: If your customers or clients can’t reach you and get no response either, they might go online and leave a negative review. As a small business, you know how important online reviews are.
  • It lets you focus: If it’s an important meeting, you can set up auto-replies and focus on the task in hand. You won’t be needlessly interrupted by phone calls for that duration.

Best practices for auto-reply text messages for small businesses

  • Be specific: “We’ll get back to you soon” is vague and not reassuring. Your text message should say how long it will take for you to contact them.
  • Share alternatives: Avoid sentences such as “Someone will get in touch with you.” Instead, give practical options. For example, you could share a hotline number, email address or the link to your customer support team.
  • Humanise the message: In other words, don’t sound like a company. Simply
  • write a message that you would like to get if you were the caller. Be professional, friendly and courteous.
  • Keep it short: This isn’t the time to repeat your company vision. So, don’t go for “at _____, we always believe in customer engagement...” or something like that. Simply thank them for calling and respond quickly.
  • Customise the text: Don’t always be the “I am busy right now” person. If you’re on holiday, say that. If it’s a weekend, tell them about your working hours. Avoid sending the same text to all callers – adapt it for the right situation.

Samples of auto-reply text messages

Non-working hours

“Hi, thank you for contacting us. We’re out of the office and will get back to you on Monday. If it’s urgent, you can contact our customer support at (number or link).”

“Hi, thank you for contacting us. Our working hours are _______. We will get in touch with you on Monday. If it’s urgent, you can contact our customer support or live chat (number or link).”

Meeting

“Hi, sorry for missing your call. I’m currently in a meeting. I’ll get back to you by ___. If it’s urgent, please call our customer support (number or link).”

“Hi, sorry I can’t take your call now. I’m in a meeting and will get back to you by the end of the business day. If it’s something urgent, email me at _________.

Holiday

“Hi, thank you for calling. I’m on holiday from ____ to _____ and will not be taking office calls as it’s family time. You may call ______ at account management or email him/her/them at ________. Thank you.”

“Hi, sorry I can’t take your call. We’re on a family holiday and that’s where my focus is right now. I hope you understand. Meanwhile, you can reach _______ on ______ or email at _______. Thank you.”

In short

Unless you have a second line phone app with a different number for work, you’ll need to create auto-reply text messages. It will ensure that although you can’t take the call, there will be alternate forms of engagement.

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