Microsoft Outlook is used by most organisations as their go to for email. While Outlook has many benefits – it plays well with Active Directory, it’s easy to organise emails, it is efficient to manage workflow, and it has a great integrated calendar system, there are inherent human risks associated with using the software. The below list highlights 10 of biggest mistakes employees can make when using Microsoft Outlook.
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10. Copying and Pasting the Wrong Content into an Email
With thousands of emails in your inbox that need a reply, sometimes it gets easy to copy and paste standardised responses to distribute en masse. Always double check the message body with the recipient lines before you click the dreaded send button!
9. Using the Incorrect Signature
Certain clients demand more professional signatures in an e-mail, particularly when prospecting potential customers or when it is imperative to include contact details. Make sure that you use the correct signature when dealing with those emails.
8. Inadvertently Messaging the Person You Are Talking About
It’s common to refer to other people – such as a boss or customer – in an email. Perhaps a project is due next week or a customer has provided some negative feedback that needs to be escalated. It’s always best to double check that you haven’t copied in that person in your email.
7. Attaching the Wrong File
With PDFs and documentation being proliferated over email, documents with multiple versions and similar file names exist in your company’s database. Make sure to triple check the version of the file, the file name and file size to ensure you are sending across the correct attachment.
6. Sending an Email to the Wrong Distribution List
Distribution lists are becoming more and more common when dealing with deal teams and with confidential projects. These project names are sometimes numerical so it is imperative to check that the content matches in all fields in an email.
5. Sending an Email to a Personal Rather Than a Professional Email Address
Sometimes, you interact with your customers and business partners on a personal level as well – dinner, golf games, and other social activities. Make sure that when you are sending across confidential and work related emails that you’ve put in the person’s correct email address.
4. Sending an Email to the Wrong Person at a Customer’s Company
When cross-selling products, or working on multiple deals with one company you could be liaising with different departments or segments of an organisation. It’s always best to look through historical email chains to see who the right party for the specific email is.
3. Sending an Email to the Wrong Person with a Similar Name
Some names – John Smith for example – are very common and there could be multiple customers or even people within your organisation that have the same or similar names. Make sure the John or Jane Doe in question is the correct one by checking the handle or department code at the end of the email.
2. Incorrectly Cc-ing or Bcc-ing the Wrong Person
Sometimes a trailing mouse-pointer can lead to a typo in the incorrect field, so make sure to always watch your Cc and Bcc lines when sending out a message. It is also common to Cc a person when the message should be addressed to the recipient so it is worth checking to ensure the recipients are in the correct part of the email.
1. Auto-completing the Wrong Person
This is probably the hardest problem to stop. When separating names, make sure there is a space between the semi-colon and the next email, and that a semi-colon is being used rather than a comma on Microsoft Outlook. It is also good practice to check that an email address is complete, and that Outlook has underlined and recognised the sender before the email goes out.