Handling Messages

Response Manager messages look just like any other email messages, except that Response Manager automatically adds a thread number to the subject. For example, the subject “Pricing question” becomes “Pricing question (Thread:490)”. (Your system may be set up to use a label other than “Thread”.) Threads aid in tracking and reporting on an email conversation.

You may be assigned messages, either automatically or by another user. Your assigned messages appear in the My Messages folder of each group mailbox. These are messages you are expected to respond to. Under some conditions (for example, if you do not respond within a certain period of time) messages may be removed from your My Messages folder and assigned to someone else.

This chapter describes covers all aspects of working with Response Manager messages.

In describing message handling in Response Manager, this chapter sometimes makes general recommendations about workflow (assignment, replying, closing, etc.). While these recommendations will apply for most workgroups and organizations, yours may require different procedures. Of course, these procedures are beyond the scope of this documentation. Consult your organization’s internal documentation or your manager for the final word on email handling policies.

Viewing Messages

To view a message, navigate to the desired Response Manager folder in your email program and double-click on the message. The folders available to you, the messages that appear in them, and the actions available for you to perform on those messages, depend on your Response Manager privileges.

Replying to Messages

You are responsible for replying to the group mailbox messages that appear in the My Messages folder of each group mailbox to which you belong. Make sure you check all your My Messages folders regularly for new messages.

If you want to reply to a message that is not in your My Messages folder, you must first take ownership of it by dragging it there. For more information, see Claiming, Reassigning, and Disclaiming Messages. Do not attempt to reply to a message in any other folder (such as Unassigned). If you do, it’s possible that the message may have been moved or replied to by another user by the time you click Send on the reply. This can cause errors to occur or multiple replies to be sent.

To reply to a message:

  1. Select the My Messages folder and open the message.

  2. Use your email program’s reply function and write your response.

  3. Click Send.

  4. If the message you replied to requires no further action, close it by dragging it to the Closed folder for the group mailbox, or use the shortcut of deleting the message from the My Messages folder. (This doesn’t actually delete the message from the system; you’ll see it appear in the Closed folder within a few seconds.)

It is important that you promptly close messages that require no further action. Response Manager reports track how long a message is open, and leaving messages open that are resolved will skew these reports negatively.

If a message does not require a reply, you can simply close it.

If you don’t want to handle a message, and have the appropriate privileges, you can disclaim it or reassign it to another user, as explained in Claiming, Reassigning, and Disclaiming Messages.

Replying Using a Standard Response

If your group mailbox contains standard responses, you can use one of these predefined replies instead of writing your own. You can send the standard response as it is, or you can customize a standard response before sending it.

Standard Responses folder
Standard Responses folder

To send a standard response without modifying it:

The standard response is sent. You can confirm that the response went out by looking in the Sent folder for the group mailbox. It may take a minute or two for the response to appear there.

To customize a standard response before sending it:

Preventing Reassignment

Group mailboxes can be set up to automatically reassign messages that haven’t been closed within a certain period. If a group mailbox you belong to has been configured in this way, especially if the reassignment time-out set by the administrator is very low, you may need to put messages you intend to reply to “on hold” by dragging them to the On Hold folder.

For example, suppose your group mailbox is set up to reassign messages after 30 minutes. If you receive a message that you intend to reply to, but which requires a very long reply that may take more than 30 minutes to write, you should put the message on hold. If you don’t, by the time you’re ready to send your reply, the message will have been reassigned to someone else. Depending on your privileges for the group mailbox, this could result in your getting an error or the customer getting two responses (one from you and one from the user to whom the message was reassigned).

→ Next: Initiating Threads

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