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3 Outlook tips help customer relations

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in Centerpiece,Microsoft Email Outlook,Office Technology

Even if you don’t have a customer relationship manager (CRM), you can use Outlook to stay in touch with your important clients and customers with these three simple solutions.

1. Create contacts from email

Did you ever receive an email from someone and think to yourself, “I know this person, but how?” If you attend networking events, you’re bound to hand out your business cards and then get a few emails from those people. Simply click and drag that first email you re­­ceived from your networking contacts to the Contacts navigation button.

You’ll notice that the email has been copied completely into the Notes section of the Contact form. It populates both the email field and the name field if both pieces of information were available. Sometimes, name fields don’t come in perfectly. You might need to tweak them.

Populate the remaining fields from information included in the email by selecting, clicking and dragging it to the right field, or copying and pasting it. Don’t worry about the format of phone numbers. Once you navigate away from a phone number field, it will correct the phone format to the default set in Outlook.

2. Use rules for auto-responding

Do you have a contact form on your website? Responses probably come into your Outlook with a predetermined subject, and perhaps some predictable content. You can use this information to send an automatic response thanking people for their inquiry and letting them know you will respond in a specific time frame.

First, you need to create the response template.

  1. Create a blank email and type what you would like to say. Include the subject and any attachments.
  2. Click the File tab and choose Save as …
  3. Change the Save as type: field to Outlook Template. Do not change the location showing in the address field at the top of the Save as dialog box.
  4. Close the email without saving it.

Next, you’ll need to create a rule that recognizes the pre-determined subject line or text in the body.

  1. Click the Rules button from the Home tab, Move group and choose Create Rule and Advanced Options.
  2. Check the boxes that apply: with (text) in the subject, with (text) in the subject or body, or with specific words in the body.
  3. Click the link or links in the Step 2 portion (lower part of the dialog box) and complete or correct the information. Click Next.
  4. In the next step, choose reply using a specific template.
  5. Click the “a specific template” link and change the Look in: field to User Templates in File System. Choose your template. Finish, and activate the rule.

Now, when an email comes in with those criteria, your response will go out automatically.

3. Repeat success with Quick Steps

Is your customer inquiring about a specific item? Is this a common inquiry? Create a Quick Step to send out the email.

You don’t need a message template for this one.

  1. Click the Create New button in the Quick Steps group on the Home tab.
  2. Name your Quick Step something easy to identify.
  3. Click the Add Action button and choose Reply.
  4. Click the Show Options link.
  5. Complete the Text field with your response. Click Finish.

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