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Written by
Katy Ratican
30 May 2022
5 minutes

How to auto-reply to calls and texts

How auto-reply text messages can ensure that you don’t miss out on calls or business opportunities
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As a business owner, you’re in charge of everything, from operations to marketing to customer relations. This means that you can expect calls from existing and potential clients, customers and business partners 24/7. When you can’t take those calls, an auto-reply is the most professional option.

It’s difficult to allocate separate staff to manage your phone calls if you’re a smaller business. But when you’re out with your family or friends, it’s natural that you won’t be able to take calls. How do you fix the missed call ‘problem’? Through auto-reply.

What are automatic reply text messages?

An auto-reply or autoresponder lets the caller know that you’re unable or unavailable to take their call. Through a pre-programmed text message, it communicates to the caller when you’ll be back, what they can do to connect with others and any other customised message.

What makes auto-reply compelling for small business owners is that it’s prompt. The caller doesn’t have to wait for your manually composed text or email to hear from you.

Reasons why you need auto-reply messages for business

Professional etiquette

Unlike personal calls, a business call is functional and may need a timely response. When it’s a family member or friend, you can presume that they’ll understand that you’re busy or unavailable.

But with a business call, there’s an expectation that you’d always be available to respond. An auto-reply tells the caller that although you can’t take their call, you value it enough to respond immediately. This shows that you respect the caller.

No more missed opportunities

It could be a customer complaining about their order, a client asking about an invoice, or a potential partner enquiring about your rates. When you miss that call, you’re also missing an opportunity.

It could be an opportunity to address a complaint, share crucial information or introduce your business to a prospect. The caller may not wait around for you to call back. If it’s a customer, they may go online and leave a negative review. If it’s a client, they’d question your reliability.

When you set up an auto-reply, they can get an immediate answer. They’ll know when you can get back to them and what they can do in the meantime.

Give specific information

You can pre-programme your auto-reply with helpful information. You could add that if it’s about shipment, they can contact a specific number or if it’s about the status of their orders, they can check the website.

In that sense, an auto-reply text is a problem solver. It gives the necessary information and prevents the issue from escalating.

Customer acquisition

Auto-reply is not just a form of customer service – it can form part of your digital marketing too. Auto-replies can encourage prospective clients and customers to contact you.

De-escalates complaints

When a customer calls to make a complaint, they expect their call to be answered. If that's just not possible in the moment, an auto-reply can go some way to keeping the situation calm and ensuring that the issue does not escalate further.

Setting up auto-replies

On iPhones

  1. Go to settings

  2. Select Do Not Disturb

  3. Go to Phone and click on Allow Calls From

  4. Click on No One

  5. Click on Back

  6. Select Auto-Reply To

  7. Now select All Contacts

  8. Go back and click on Auto-Reply

  9. Select All Contacts and go back

  10. Choose Auto-reply. Now you can type the message you want your callers to get

On Android phones

Android phones don’t have an in-built autoresponder. But they do have response text messages when you can’t take the call. For that, you’ll have to physically choose the message when a call comes in. To set up auto-reply on Android, you have to download a third-party app.

Second phone number apps

Auto-reply is one more reason to consider getting a second number for work. A second phone number allows you to have a dedicated line for business calls which will go a long way in helping you separate your professional and personal lives.

Importantly, you can get a second line for work without buying a new phone. Once you download a second-line app, you can set up auto-text replies to the calls on your second phone number, which the ability to include a customisable message.

Top tips: Best practices for auto-reply messages

  • Be specific: Don't be vague with your message, say exactly when you're available and when you'll get back to them.
  • Share alternatives: Where possible, share an out-of-hours number, an email address or the link to your customer support team.
  • Be human: Construct a message that sounds like you, while maintaining a courteous manner. Customise your messages where appropriate.
  • Keep it short. Simple!

Need some help constructing professional but approachable auto-reply messages? These out-of-office sample messages will help you out.

Never miss an opportunity again

Impress your leads and grow your business with professional and responsive communication. By using Chalkboard’s auto-reply feature, when you miss a call to your business phone number, the caller will automatically receive your auto-response text message.

Time to boost your business's communication

Auto-reply is the best way to fix the missed call problem. It shows your clients and customers that you have a credible reason for not taking the call and what they can do if it’s an urgent query. With a second phone number, you won’t be just solving the missed call problem but also getting a feature-rich tool for your business communication.

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