Helpdesk best practice – Automating support case generation from incoming e-mail

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Many organizations believe e-mail is a highly efficient way to have their customers submit service and support requests. Your customer types in the problem, presses send, and within seconds, it is in support mailbox of your helpdesk account. But the reality is that nothing happens until someone reads it, creates a support case from it (this usually involves cutting and pasting from the e-mail), and assigns it to an engineer or technician for resolution. Because there is both manual labor and personal attention involved, the process can result in delays, support requests falling into the cracks, errors in transcription, and unhappy clients. And unfortunately, this can become a barrier in the helpdesk main goal, which is to provide timely response to the caller. This is a nightmare scenario for helpdesk team.

Fortunately, this is easily avoided in Team Helpdesk System. As it is integrated seamlessly with your Outlook email client, there is no requirement to cut and paste information from the email to the support case. Even better, there is no need to manually process each email. As a helpdesk manager, you can configure Team Helpdesk System to monitor any number of mailboxes and email folders (such as public folders) such that it can intercept incoming emails and automatically generate support cases out of the emails, all instantly i.e., as and when emails hit the inbox. With this kind of setup, the managers are freed from having to monitor inboxes manually every now and then.

Additionally, Team Helpdesk can be extended to even assign default technicians to newly logged support cases on the fly based on the linked relationship between technicians and the pre-filled fields such as sender and problem areas. This automates the support case logging and assignment entirely on its own. The generated support cases are then stored under the exchange folder making it available to all members of your team for collaboration. Any file attachments will be automatically attached to the problem case (Outlook item); making distribution of inbound requests simple and informative. This way, all support submissions are captured and centralized in order to execute efficient and effective customer service.

To configure case automation from incoming emails from a system that has the Team Helpdesk Manager add-in installed, go to Outlook > File > Team Helpdesk Manager tab. And click ‘Email Monitoring and Automatic Assignment‘.

Choose a mailbox account or email folder (such as an Exchange folder or Public Folder) from which Team Helpdesk add-in will raise new cases from incoming emails automatically.
Once a mailbox account or email folder is chosen, click ‘Confirm and Add’ to the list for automation.
The folder or mailbox that has been chosen for automation.
Select a particular problem category from the drop-down list that will be set to the new case as default value for ‘Problem Category’ field.
Select a particular problem type from the drop-down list that will be set to the new case as default value for ‘Problem Type’ field.
Choose technicians from the address book (or GAL) that will be assigned as default technicians to the new case raised from this mailbox or email folder.
Select a suitable service level (SLA) from the drop-down list that will be set to the new case as default value for ‘Service Level’ field.
Enable or disable the case automation workflow for the particular mailbox account or email folder. You may want to disable the automation process temporarily on a particular mailbox or folder if for instance, a maintenance or migration is planned.
This column shows which particular user (of Team Helpdesk Manager add-in) is responsible for automation.

The ‘Action Mode’ consists of 3 possible values: New, Update and Both.

A) If ‘New’ option is selected, Team Helpdesk will automatically raise new support cases from new incoming emails from the particular monitored mailbox or folder. With this option, only those emails without the case ID in the subject would be processed to generate new cases. Those with Case ID info in the subject will remain unprocessed.

B) If ‘Update‘ option is selected, Team Helpdesk will only process new incoming emails that have the case ID in the subject and accordingly, it will update the associated case item (in the Ongoing Cases or Resolved Cases folders). Emails without the Case ID information in the subject will remain untouched. This is handy if the mailbox or folder contains or receives emails that are unrelated to the helpdesk.

C) If ‘Both’ option is selected, Team Helpdesk will update the existing cases as well as generated new tickets from new incoming emails (depending on the availability of the Case ID in the subject of the email). This is the default selected option when you add a new mailbox or folder for automation.

You can specify a different auto-response to caller for cases raised from each monitored mailbox. For instance, if someone sends an e-mail to UK.Support@myCompany.com, you would want to inform the customer that their e-mail will be responded to within 2 hours between 9am and 5:30pm UK time. If they send a new case to US.Support@myCompany.com, you can inform the customer that their e-mail will be responded to within 3 hours between 9am and 5:30pm Eastern Standard Time.
Enable this option to assign technicians that are associated to the problem type of the monitored folder to the newly generated cases
Enable this option to enforce service level that are associated to the problem type of the monitored folder to the newly generated cases
Check this option to automatically convert incoming emails in ‘Ongoing Cases’ folder to support cases. For this feature to work, the ‘Ongoing Cases’ folder needs to mail-enabled. You can also drag and drop emails from other folders to the ‘Ongoing Cases’ folder and the add-in will automatically process and convert those emails to cases.

In Team Helpdesk, you need to specify which helpdesk manager add-in would be responsible for monitoring and converting the emails from the admin chosen mailboxes/folders to cases. You can choose a particular technician or a dedicated system (that has the manager installed) for this automation job. To do this, go to the workload tab of the ‘Email Monitoring and Automatic Assignment’ panel.

Choose this option to assign a particular technician whose helpdesk manager add-in will be responsible for monitoring and processing any incoming emails in the chosen mailboxes/folders to cases.

NOTE: If you want to set yourself, just click the ‘Self’ button (located on the right)

Choose this option to assign a dedicated system that has helpdesk manager add-in installed as responsible for monitoring and processing any incoming emails in the chosen mailboxes/folders to cases. Enter the computer name without the domain information. For example, if the full qualified system name is system1.domain.local only enter ‘system1’.

NOTE: If you want to set your current system, just click the ‘My Computer’ button (located on the right)

Enable this option so that the manager add-in of the chosen user or system for ticket automation is also responsible for monitoring due date lapse and SLA breach and consequently sending of the associated automated notifications to technicians and supervisors.