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Best practices

How to provide kick-ass customer support: Part 1

Welcome to our series on providing kick-ass customer support.  In this series, we’ll discuss a variety of tips, tricks, and shortcuts to make you better at providing customer support.

Product Centric/Tools Theme

Use The Tools Provided

Providing the best support you possibly can takes more than just the willingness to do it. One of the keys to being the best at what you do is knowing what tools are at your disposal and how best to use them.  If you're using, one of these invaluable tools is "Macros."  They can save you time on a number of different things. Let's walk through an example. Let’s say I reset passwords multiple times per day.

Without a Macro, I'd have to:

  • Craft a reply to the customer
  • Label the case as a Password Reset
  • Label the case an FAQ Candidate
  • Set the values of some Custom Fields
  • Click the "Update, Send & Resolve" button

Those actions can quickly add up.

What if, instead of doing all of those actions manually, I just executed a Macro? In my reply box I can just type ##password then click "Update, Send & Resolve".

Use Text Expansion

Macros are fantastic when you have a set of actions that you want to execute in one fell swoop. But what if you wanted to just have a specific character or URL input into a reply that you're crafting?

Using TextExpander (one of many third party apps) allows me to insert things into my replies that I use a lot. For example, when I'm sending a customer navigational instructions, I use my arrow. I just type RA anywhere and I get →

So my instructions say: Go to Admin → Channels → Email → Edit Mailbox

It forms a nice little path, and looks nicer than using >>

It's also really helpful for URLs to send to customers. Rather than going and looking up a specific URL, we can pre-save them. Typing: “ip-address” is easier than “…

Text expansion isn't meant to be a replacement for articles or Macros, but can be used in conjunction with them.

Let Automation Work For You

Using a ticketing system, such as, allows you to automate some of your repetitive tasks, above and beyond executing Macros.

Let’s use cases about billing as an example.  Rather than manually routing your billing cases over to the Billing department, you could set up an Inbound Interaction Rule that would accomplish this for you.

Like so:

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 9.08.22 AM

This rule looks for a number of different things:

  • Does the email addressed to us contain the string “”?
  • Does the body of the email say the word billing, refund or invoice?

If any of those four criteria are matched, our Rule Actions say to send the case automatically to Billing instead of making your support Agents manually re-assign all of them.

Another great automation is to automatically resolve Out of Office messages- though this one is tricky and I’ll explain why. Targeting an inbound email address is relatively easy.  The trick with this type of rule is that you never know what someone’s going to put in their Out of Office message.  It’s fairly standard to use “Out of Office”, but some people use “OOO” or “Vacation Reply” so you need to try target multiple phrases like so:

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 9.08.42 AM

Notice this time that we’re using Interaction Subject, rather than Interaction Body like our previous example.

We’re also checking for a Label on these cases and here’s why:

This type of Rule won’t be able to be 100% accurate.  If you offer a service or product that has an Out of Office feature that customers can enable and use, you’re likely going to get people that contact you asking how to set it up. With this type of Rule a subject line of “How do I set up an Out of Office reply” is the same as “Out of Office, returning May 17th”.  This case would be unintentionally resolved.

Using the Label will allow you to either set up a Saved Search or a dedicated Filter so that someone can manually review these cases at a quick glance. You’ll find yourself tweaking this type or Rule many times over its life but that’s okay.  A Rule doesn’t have to be set in stone once you create it.

These are just a couple examples of Rules that can save you time by automating tasks that you’d otherwise do on a daily basis, but the reality is that the types of Rules you can create are limitless.  If you think of something you want to do and can’t figure it out, reach out to our support team.  We’d be happy to hear you out and offer some workflow suggestions on how to automate things and make life easier for you! Reply here with anything...

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