Imagine a business critical support desk operation largely based on emails apart from phone calls whilst the business and the customers are reliant on it over the years. Now, the company wants to migrate to Microsoft 365 platform and consolidate all its workloads around it including the support desk application from legacy system. Along with it, there are additional functional requirements that need to be met. We, at Netwoven, executed a large scale project to provide a solution to such a scenario and named it as MailDesk.
Given the context, I would like to highlight one specific aspect of the solution called “email categorization” which is of paramount importance to enhance the ease of use and productivity of support personnel in a big way using MailDesk.
Let’s dive into it!
Email categorization is an unique feature which allows each mail to be tagged with different attributes and enhances the processing capability. The support team can view, isolate and take prompt action based on this categorization. Additionally, these attributes can be given color codes for easy identification. User can also create any custom category to address specific business need.
Overall, email categorization can be broadly classified within MailDesk into the following types:
This is really the categorization as per business functions as described above where you can set any category of your choice to classify emails. Typical examples of classification could be tagging it with business function like HR, Sales, Purchase etc. or it could also be Purchase Order, Interview, Self Service Support etc. The idea is to be able to classify the emails at a broader level for the purpose of grouping.
Agents are designated support personnel who would attend to the issues associated with the mail. The mails are assigned to specific people including SMEs by the administrator. Once assigned, it is followed through by the assignee only. The idea here is to associate the email to its primary owner.
This is another attribute that can be attached to the mails. It is meant to hold the status of the progress of the mails (support ticket) as it is being worked upon. These can be “In Progress”, “Assigned”, “Handled”,” Unhandled”,” Follow Up” etc. This facilitates tracking and reporting.
This is a unique flag to identify the handling decision on the mails. The flags could be “Completed” ,”Discarded, “Insufficient Data” etc. Once marked these mails need not be acted upon by the support person and they are archived and used for reporting purposes only.
Essentially, these categorizations allow filtering/searching/grouping of mails in MailDesk based on assigned users, custom categories, status of mail, handling reasons and so on.
How does the MailDesk manage email categorization ?
- The in-built rule engine processes the incoming mails through rules and set few default values for many of the attributes described above
- There is also an explicit “categorize action” facility to set the categories for incoming mails.
- The attributes could have pre-defined values or can be added/deleted anytime by admins of MailDesk using admin facility.
- Any user/agent logged into the system can also add new categories while taking action based on therequirement on the fly. Once added, this custom category is available for use by all users of MailDesk henceforth.
- You can change category of mails at any time irrespective of its previous values. “Handle” attribute in MailDesk are mostly pre-defined ones which can again be added/removed only by admins.
- Once mails are assigned to owners the agent parameter is marked.
- While working with the mails the ‘Status’ flag can be changed to “Assigned”, “In progress”, “Unhandled”
The value of MailDesk lies in its ability to add a helper layer to the mails most efficiently and flexibly such that the support personnel can work with the support issues effectively resulting into quick resolution and improved productivity. At a functional level, the benefits can be seen as follows.
- In MailDesk the mails can be classified in a customized way with higher priority categories on top. So, agents can easily pick up the highest priority mails first and then follow suit in an ordered manner.
- From managers point of view, you can check easily which mails are being worked upon by which assignee. You can assign mails to different agents and view the dashboard grouped by assignees. You can further drill down to the status of these assigned mails. You can filter/search mails by specific agents/status and handle agent assignment efficiently.
- Busy agents can easily handle mails/filter mails/search mails based on department/type, priority, status, or any deciding criteria of categorization. This facility in MailDesk is customizable which improves your output and performance.
- ‘Handled’ mails can be filtered /grouped/searched in the system depending on reason of handling category to analyse historic data by users/agents.
- The categorization process optimizes the agent’s performance by at least 40-50% as he/she has now clarity on mails to be pick up based on this categorization. and This helps them to address the issues quickly in the order of priority improving efficiency and SLA.