10 Replies Latest reply on Nov 13, 2012 11:13 AM by nfusz

    Marking a discussion for technical support


      Hi All,


      We will soon be going live with an external community primarily for the purpose of providing technical support for our products through the community.  I have a question that I would appreciate your input on.  We have various levels of tiered support and support teams for our products, and we would like to have a way to mark community discussions that really require support from one of our support teams, or otherwise make these discussions visible to the appropriate support team.  We've considered a couple things to implement this need to identify certain discussions for our support:

      1. Use the @mention feature to mention a (private) Technical Support Team group thereby bringing the discussion to their attention.
      2. Create a category within the public space, maybe called something like "Needs Technical Support", and let our support team use the filtering features of the tool to highlight these discussions for their attention and action.
      3. Combination of the above.


      The issue with both of the options above is that we do not want our external members to be @mentioning our support team or flagging a discussion with this category - we want the support admin to make that decision for a discussion exclusively.  Is there a concept of a private category, or some other discussion "tag", that our support team/admin could use exclusively?  Can we restrict the use of @mention so that only certain members can @mention this particular private group, while still allowing external users to @mention in other cases?


      Any suggestions?  We would like to pull this off with the out-of-the-box functionality of the tool (no customizations).



        • Re: Marking a discussion for technical support
          April Jacobs

          Unfortunately, the answer is no, and no. I'd recommend that you recruit several internal advocates who can watch the space(s), or have big, bold verbiage that instructs people to follow a more "formal" support route.

          • Re: Marking a discussion for technical support

            It may not be the best solution, but maybe the Share button would help?  That is private, and they would get notified from within Jive and by an e-mail notification. We also run a Support Community and sometimes when we need to pull a SME in on a post that does not already watch that area we will just e-mail them.

              • Re: Marking a discussion for technical support

                We also use the Share button, but it started to cause a lack of transparency. We found if one of our Comm Mgrs did a Share other folks didn't know anyone was working on the item. At times we had 2-3 Shares that took place and a few email threads (cut/paste). Now when we do a Share we include the other comm mgrs to keep them in the loop.


                If you only have a few people looking and assigning, then Share could work well for you.

                • Re: Marking a discussion for technical support

                  Thanks, Matt.  The "Share" approach is good in that you are not broadcasting in the discussion thread that you are turning the discussion question into a technical support issue.  It looks like the Share function only works with individuals that you list out separately, and does not work with, say, a group.  Would rather bring these discussions to the attention of an entire support team, and then let them determine who should take responsibility.  Also, sharing doesn't create any record that could be used to identify who you've notified to take responsibility for the issue.  I guess there would have to be a follow-on process where the person who was shared a discussion question would have to somehow annotate the discussion to let the other support team members know that he has this one.


                  The Share function is something for us to keep in mind though.  We'll probably end up using multiple features within the environment to (1) get the visibility of a specific question to the support team and (2) have some level of individual accountability for answering a discussion question.


                  Thanks for the suggestion.

                • Re: Marking a discussion for technical support

                  I've had similar needs although less of a formal need to 'assign' an item to a person or team for follow-up. Our teams are very reluctant to have any of their team members assigned to watch the community - a concern about 'wasting time' and 'distracting from their 'real job'.


                  One of Jive's solutions to this is Bridging an external community to an internal community. With bridging you can take the customer's discussion into the internal space and have the internal collaboration on it in the internal community.


                  We don't have an internal Jive Community, so I created a Space only for employees (I'm able to identify employees via a SAML group with our Single Sign On so it was easy to setup permissions only for employees). I've been trying a brute force method of getting the attention of a few people by creating a new discussion in our Employee-Only space, doing an @ mention of the customer's post (it pulls in the title nicely), adding @ mentions of the people that I think can help, and adding some text about what I think is needed. Then we can have an Employee only back-channel discussion about the item, craft the response, etc.. Once the resolution or reply is done, it gets posted to the customer's discussion.


                  I've setup categories for this Employee-Only space to reflect the status of an item (active, resolved, closed). I also use tags on these items too (had to do both since tags/categories aren't synced and there isn't a Watch a Category widget). I've included a Watch a Tag widget on the Employee-Only space page to highlight the Active items.


                  We also plan to use this Employee-Only space to document and highlight Community successes to publish examples of how the Community has added value.

                    • Re: Marking a discussion for technical support

                      Shane, we did something very similar.  We have an employee-only group for discussion "escalations".  We do something a little different in creating these escalated discussions though.  It is a multi-step process but the tool makes it very easy to do this process, and the advantage is that we end up with forward and backward links between the original public discussion and the escalated discussion and it doesn't involve any copying/pasting.

                      1. Start a reply to the original discussion right off of the original post (not one of its replies).
                      2. Use the "Quote" feature to copy the content from the original post into your reply.
                      3. Add whatever other text or @mentions that you want in the escalated discussion.
                      4. Post this reply.
                      5. Branch this reply to make it a new discussion.
                      6. Move the discussion from the public space to your employee-only group.


                      Now you have a link at the top of each of these discussions pointing to the other.  Obviously non-employees cannot follow the link from the original discussion to the branch discussion, but we haven't had any negative feedback about it.

                    • Re: Marking a discussion for technical support

                      This is a helpful discussion for me. I am transitioning to an external community manager role and am looking for any process documents or SLAs you have for how and when internal employees commit to respond to external queries.

                      Would be interested if anyone has done something along those lines.

                        • Re: Marking a discussion for technical support

                          Hi Donna,


                          If a customer is directly asking for help from us as the company (ie. can't log in or some similar technical issue or customer service request) we try to respond within 1-2 hours.  If the community member is asking a broad question (ie. what is the best product to go along with this project?) that doesn't need direct input from us as a company we try to give it 24 hours before jumping in to respond to allow other members a chance to answer.


                          Hope this helps!


                            • Re: Marking a discussion for technical support

                              Thanks.  That helps and aligns with our thinking right now. Did you actually enlist employees in your company, other than community managers, to agree to be available to respond, whether through direct monitoring or by way of being accessible as a resource?

                                • Re: Marking a discussion for technical support

                                  Donna, yes, we actually have a mix of support folks assigned to specific areas on Community to directly monitor the questions (using email alerts).  Also, we have SMEs for various areas of the business "on call" that we've aligned with in case we have a question outside of the Support teams' normal type of question.   We haven't really nailed down a great "workflow" management system yet to track/filter on open questions we've assigned out, but we're getting close!