Reply to forum topics via email

52 Comments

  • Univa IT

    Indeed the emails that go out look -almost- identical, so the failed email reply is inevitable, as we've seen as well.

    0
  • David

    I agree with @Than.

    Now we have to constantly create a ticket for the suspended "ticket", notify the customer that their comments weren't posted (if they hadn't already opened a ticket asking why their comment didn't show up) and have them either copy/paste the comment to the forum or post it to the forum on their behalf -- of course by then the comment is out of sequence in the conversation.

    Definitely do not "love our help desk" on this one.

    dbm

    1
  • Johan Allard

    Absolutely agree with this one, and it's happen to myself as well, replying to a forum post on my iPhone and coming back in the office realising I've just opened a ticket for myself.

    2
  • Johan Allard

    Thinking about this a little bit more. It would be much, much better to bounce the email with the forum reply. It's just really stupid to change contexts like this. And what are we supposed to do when someone asks a question in the forum reply, should we just ignore the question until it's asked in the forum, to keep with the context. Or should we answer the question, and then ask the customer to re-ask the question we just answered in the forum so that we can keep the forum post reply flowing? This is just a really awkward desicion to open a ticket on a forum reply.

    Please at least bounce the reply!

    0
  • James Brock

    I agree with bouncing the reply as a minimum but would suggest that users expect to be able to respond to the forum entry. I have only recently started using the forums and I am already managing suspended tickets and the overhead is causing issues already.

    2
  • Leslie Cobb

    We would also love to see this feature supported.  Most of our tickets come in via email, so our customers are already used to emailing in requests and responding via email to open requests.  They don't understand that they cannot do this to reply to forum topics.

    2
  • Brian Adkins

    From a usability perspective, ZD missed the mark here....  There should be one set of rules for our customer to follow

    • Tickets: log in and post a comment or simply reply via email
    • Forums: log in and post a comment but definitely DO NOT simply reply via email !

    -

    1
  • Brian Adkins

    BTW... I've subscribed to this thread and will respond to all future notifications via email.  : )

    2
  • Sharon.Strauss

    We would also love to see this feature supported.  A large portion of our tickets come in via email and most of the responses our customers send to the tickets are via email.  Not being able to respond to the forum requests in the same way as the tickets makes it confusing for the customers(having two sets of rules) and means they may be less likely to keep using the forums(not what we want to happen). 

    Please update this functionality so that it is consistent throughout your application.  Thank you!

    1
  • Dan

    Ditto up and down this forum thread.  You control the format and content of the outgoing emails from forums.  Mark them up however you need to in order to associate them with a forum post and make it a consistent experience for your customers.  The forums were one of the features we liked about Zendesk but this lack of consistency is not something we'd anticipated and it devalues the feature.  You've got smart developers. Get this on their backlog list and let them make it happen.

    1
  • Peter Griffith

    +1, replying to a forum post should not raise a new ticket. I've never been able to respond to a forum post via email so I think the reply should be bounced with a message that informs the user they need to go through the site. I would actually discourage people from being able to add to a thread via email (despite the convenience to customers), as people might think they have raised a ticket and are responding privately. 

    0
  • Sharon.Strauss

    I'm unsure if Peter is suggesting that the fact that users can reply to forum's via email is a bug or if he is suggesting that he does not like that replying to a forum topic via email creates a new ticket.  Maybe this should be a feature in which you allow your customers the ability to change the settings so that if we want them to be able to respond via email to a forum topic(this is my vote!), their response will be added to that topic(like they expect it too- and keep it consistent with the way they can respond to tickets via email and have their response is added to the ticket) or allow your customers to turn off the setting and instead have a message sent to them to inform them that they need to login in order to respond to the ticket. 
    I agree with Dan: "Mark them up however you need to in order to associate them with a forum post and make it a consistent experience for your customers. The forums were one of the features we liked about Zendesk but this lack of consistency is not something we'd anticipated and it devalues the feature. You've got smart developers."  You can make this happen, you already have it coded for via email responses.

    0
  • Chandra

    I agree with everything in this thread.  It it's not possible to automatically reply to community posts via email it would be nice if at the very least the email notification contained text that clearly stated "Do not reply to this email.  Post your reply to the community discussion instead." or something along those lines.

    1
  • Ellen Thoresen

    Agree that subscribers should be able to respond via email, same as for ticket comments.  If there is no way to answer via email from a comment update, then I would also suggest the 'do not reply to this email'.  Also do not put the comment in the email response. not a great option for the customer but would force them to go to your knowledge base to see what the comment was.

    1
  • Allison Anderson

    We're working really hard to have our customers interact as a community and having this feature enabled would go a long way to help this.  I know that in reality it only saves them a few clicks to be able to reply vs. login to respond, but if received via email they expect to reply via email.

    1
  • Sharon.Strauss

    I completely agree with Allison. Please enable the feature to respond via email.

    1
  • Christian Colding

    Hey guys,

    I just wanted to chip in, since I can see a lot of you want this feature.

    As the Product Manager for the Community in Help Center, I can definitely understand the use case. Brian Adkins, you pointed out very well the challenges that users face with your two bullet points and I agree that it can be difficult to understand that tickets behave different from community discussions.

    That being said, supporting this is a massive task. The mail protocols have their own set of limitations and we spend a lot of resources getting mail to work with tickets. While I will in no way rule out that we will implement this at some point, it is not something we expect to be focusing on in the near-term future. One thing that we can do without too much trouble is making it more clear that users should reply in the community. Currently, we do not show anything in the Web portal mail notifications, where as we in the Help Center notifications show this sentence:

    "Please do not reply to this message. Email replies will not update Help Center content."

    It would be great if you guys could let me know if you are all using Web Portal or if some of you are using Help Center? It could help us to figure out whether that sentence is enough or if we should do more to make it clear.

    I know that the best solution would be to allow replying via mail, but considering the complexities I would like to explore other ways of improving this, in recognition of the problem.

    -1
  • Chandra

    I am using Help Center.  I think it might be helpful to move the text in question to top of the message, and possibly make it bold.

    0
  • Brian Adkins

    We use the Web Portal...  We'd like to switch to the Help Center, but we would lose functionality at this point... waiting until HC catches up with WP

    0
  • Peter Griffith

    Hi Christian,

    Perhaps the text should read something like this: "Please note that replying to this email will raise a new ticket: if you would like to reply to the Help Center thread, you can access it *here* (link)".

    0
  • Sharon.Strauss

    We use HelpCenter. 

    0
  • Sharon.Strauss

    Actually, we may use Web Portal, but we call it HelpCenter....  I do not see any 'Do not reply' text in the mail notifications.

    0
  • Samantha Lester

    We're using Help Center and I think it's usually just an oversight that people respond to new posts via email, but in the future it would be helpful if they could respond to new posts via email!

    0
  • Christian Colding

    Hi everyone,

    I just wanted to thank you all for your feedback. As mentioned in my previous update, we do not expect to support replying by mail as that is really a massive task. But I have noted all your feedback and we will look into improving the text in the mail so it's clearer that the user cannot reply directly by mail. Unfortunately I don't quite know when we can get to this, as we are currently working on other major updates. I will keep you updated here.

    0
  • David Bailie

    Google Groups has the feature of allowing users both start and reply to forum posts via email and we have seen this increase participation in our Google Group based forums substantially. Email is in the normal work flow of our customers and consultants and as everyone else has mentioned, they are used to replying via email for support tickets as well. Having this feature would make Zendesk Forums stand out from all the other community options out there because Google is the only one offering this level of email integration today. The main reason I want to use the Zendesk Forums instead is so I have a single place customers can search across our KB and Forums. An alternative would be if I could index my existing Google Group into the Zendesk search, but I've not seen a way that we can do that either.

    1
  • CamiloRodriguez

    Hi Christian, any update on this?  I'd love if the reply email would be customizable:

    "Please do not reply to this message. Email replies will not update Help Center content."

    OR

    "Please do not reply to this message. Email replies will not update MortgagesLab Forums"

    3
  • Miguel Reimer

    Not having the ability for clients to reply to forum post over email is getting annoying.  I do all my posting from the site so I didn't think to check for this functionality when switching to zendesk helpcenter, but had I known this my recommendation for using zendesk helpcenter would have had this as a big caveat.

    As other forum sites support replying by email, its only natural for clients to assume they can here as well.  Unfortunately, all this does is create a suspended ticket in zendesk.  And i'm not entirely sure adding/changing a message to not reply by email will be all that useful as even after explictly telling a client to respond on the site, they responded yet again via email.

    This feature is rather important, and if we get more responding by email as community usage goes up, it will turn into a must have due to the added overhead for us and inconvenience for client.

    Miguel

     

    1
  • Lester

    Just throwing my +1 in the hat.

    Kinda annoying that the helpcenter behaves differently to the standard zendesk email. If you mix both HC and normal Zendesk support, customers don't know if they can reply or not.

    1
  • Mikhail Vink

    +1 on that, we see a lot of confusion from users who got used to reply to any Zendesk notifications from us via email, so consistent behaviour with "reply to forum via email" would be appreciated. Thanks!

    1
  • CamiloRodriguez

    With all respect, Zendesk should increase the priority for this feature...

    This started in 2012 and 4 years later nothing has been done.

    Any way we can raise awareness on this topic?

    3

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