Any competent customer/employee service solution that handles email processing provides the ability to thread emails. Email Threading is the ability of a solution to automatically link inbound email responses back to the originating business object (e.g. a service Ticket or an Employee Support ticket).
For example, imagine that an employee has sent an inbound email to an internal employee support team such as HR and that the solution has been configured to automatically create a Ticket from that inbound email (see the screenshot later which shows how this is configured). An agent picks up that Ticket and sends a resolution response email to the employee, and this is linked to the Ticket of course.
If the employee responds to the agent’s email, firstly we want that response to come into Cloud for Customer, and secondly, we would want the response to be linked to the existing Ticket automatically, rather than creating an additional Ticket or being left in a queue for manual checking.
Email threading is the method for linking the inbound email to the existing ticket, and it works by including a text tag in the email that Cloud for Customer will check for when a response is received. As long as the employee does not alter the tag, the solution will realise that the response is for an existing Ticket and it will route the email to that pre-existing Ticket.
The solution is identical whether the process is an internal employee support one, or an external customer support one, although the system configuration differs slightly and uses a different document type for handling.
Let’s work through that earlier example.
So, the trigger for the process is that an employee sends in an email which can be received by Cloud for Customer for processing by the internal support team. So to start with we need email processing to be included in the scope of the solution, and for email settings to be maintained in the fine tuning.
For Employee Support tickets to be created automatically from inbound emails, the question “Do you want to maintain tickets automatically from incoming e-mails?” must be checked.
Now let’s look at the email settings in the fine tuning.
We set up which domains are allowed to send emails from the system, and the default outgoing sender email address (used as the sender email address when an agent sends an email from a ticket, for example). Where a system is not a productive system, emails can be redirected to a specific recipient, which is useful for stopping test outbound emails going to “live” employees / customers.
Finally, we need to configure the email Communication Channel settings through the Administrator access, under Service and Social. A channel is created that is both inbound and outbound, for use in the Employee Support scenario.
A template has not been added for this channel, but this is where a standard corporately branded email HTM template would be included so that the corporate footer is included on all outbound emails sent by agents.
We’ll send a test email directly to the Employee Support channel in the solution, although normally an employee support email address like email@example.com would be used which would automatically forward on a rule to the Cloud for Customer solution.
We have set up notifications to automatically go to the employee when they raise a ticket – I will cover this in a later blog perhaps, but an example follows:
The agent can then find the ticket and respond by email to the employee:
Note how the solution inserts the tracking text before the subject line, and makes this non-editable to the agent:
If the employee responds, assuming that the tracking text is not changed by the employee when they reply, then the response email is automatically attached to the ticket:
Setting up email tracking is very simple, and is considered a basic function of the email processing of Cloud for Customer. Once project scoping enables the ability to automatically update tickets from inbound emails, and the bi-directional email channel(s) and settings are properly set up, email tracking should work, making agents’ lives much easier!
Written by; Andrew Griffin
Andrew Griffin has over 8 years experience in SAP CRM systems and a wealth of experience across a number of industry sectors. Currently, he is based in Manchester and has been a key player in our Cloud For Customer installations.