Engage Digital | Managing messages in Inbox

The Inbox allows you to manage your messages by grouping them into folders so you can easily look up, respond, and organize messages from customers.  
 
When a new message is received, it will be routed to its designated folder. For example, new chat messages from Facebook are routed to the Facebook channel folder. Look up a message by scanning through the mailbox channel folder or by using the search function and filters.
 
To better manage and organize messages, you can use message action items to perform tasks such as categorize messages, mute messages, and more. 

Searching for messages

The search function allows agents to search for message threads according to search criteria such as content, categories, or dates. 
 
The search bar is located at the top of the left panel. To look up a message, type in a keyword inside the search bar and press Enter. The search result that matches the criteria will populate under the search folder. 
 
The search bar has a filter option that allows you to filter messages from certain agents or identities. This option is useful when you want to identify particular messages when there have been multiple agents responding to a customer.

Search assistant in Inbox 

Now let’s discuss how to use the search assistant. At the right side of the search bar, you will see a triangular icon that enables you to perform an advanced search. When you click this, the Search assistant window will pop-up. This allows you to filter the search result of the messages based on a set of conditions that you can enter in the search criteria fields.
 
You’ll find the following search filters when using the search assistant:
  • Text: Search for specific keywords.
  • Status in: Search by the status of the message. Options include Agent message, Agent reply, Assigned, Ignored, New, and Replied.
  • Channel: Search by the digital channel from which the messages came.
  • Approval required: Choose whether you want to search for messages that required supervisor approval (Yes) or not (No) before the message was sent.
  • Categorized: Choose whether or not to search for a message by a specific category. If Yes is selected, you can use the following category search filters:
    • Categorized in: Select one or more categories the message belongs to.
    • Also categorized in: Select another category the message belongs to.
    • Not categorized in: Select one or more categories the message doesn’t belong to.
  • Assigned: Choose whether to filter the search by cases (Yes) or not (No). If activated, you can use the following category search filters:
    • Assigned to: Select which agent the message is assigned to.
    • Assigned to: Select which team the message is assigned to.
    • Status: Select the message workflow status. Options include Open, Active, Deferred, or Closed.
  • Dates: Choose the start and end date in their respective fields. The date search filters are defined below:
    • Last content of the thread after: Displays the threads whose first content was posted after the specified date.
    • Last content of the thread before: Displays the threads whose last post was posted before the specified date.
    • First content of the thread after: Displays the threads whose first content was posted after the specified date.
    • First content of the thread before: Displays the threads whose first content was posted before the specified date.
  • Satisfaction: Choose to filter messages by if the message resulted in customer satisfaction (Yes) or not (No).

Message action items in Inbox

Message action items can be used to respond to customer messages, transfer interactions, edit replies, and more. While some elements of the Inbox and Routing mode may differ, some message action items you see in Inbox can also be available in Routing mode.
 
It’s important to be familiar with these action items so you can respond to customers and categorize their messages efficiently. The options below may or may not be available for you depending on how your admin configures your permissions. 
 
In the Inbox, to access the action items for a message, simply hover over the message in the message thread panel at far right and the action items will appear to the left of the message. 
 
You can also hover over the top right corner under your agent initials to reveal action items for the entire conversation.
Message action items in Inbox view
The following list includes some action items that might be available to you:
  • Engage: Indicated by a rightward arrow and square icon, this allows you to reply to a message. This action will reopen cases that are already closed or solved.
  • Reply: Indicated by a leftward arrow icon, this allows you reply to an email message. Once clicked, the Reply window for the email will open. This action item is only applicable to email responses.
  • Ignore: Indicated by an archive icon, this ignores all future messages in the same message thread.
  • Mute: Indicated by a speaker and x mark icon, this mutes all future messages in the same message thread.
  • Approve: Approves a message before sending it to the customer. This only applies to messages that require supervisor approval.
  • Edit: Allows you to edit sent messages in the message thread window.
  • Categorize thread: Indicated by a tag icon, this allows you to categorize the message and move to a different folder. Once clicked, the Categorize window will pop-up where you can select a category. 
  • Cancel case: Cancels a case if no action is required.
  • Defer: Indicated by a clock icon, this delays a response to the message for a specified time period.
  • Assign: Assigns the case to another agent.
  • Reassign: Reassigns the case to another agent.
  • Transfer: Indicated by a rightward icon, this transfers the message to another team or agent.
  • Solve: Indicated by a check mark icon, this marks the case as solved.
  • Print thread: Indicated by a printer icon, this lets you print or save a copy of the entire thread. Read Printing a thread for more information on this feature.
  • View audit log: Indicated by a notepad icon, this opens the Audit log window, which displays all messages and activity for all cases.
  • Lock thread: Indicated by a lock icon, this will close and lock the message thread. You can’t reply to a locked thread.
  • Unlock thread: Indicated by a lock icon, this unlocks the message thread.
  • Change language: Allows you to switch to a different language setting. Once clicked, the Message language edition window will open up where you can select your preferred language.
  • Ask an Expert: Allows you to consult an Engage Digital expert for help with a customer’s concern. Read Ask an Expert for more information on this feature.
  • Extra actions: Allows you to see other action items that you can do for a message. Some of the action items enumerated above can be accessed here, depending on how it’s configured by your admin.

Additional message action items

Some action items for your messages may be unique to some channels and may not be available on others. For example, you might encounter an action item in Twitter that allows you to republish content, but this action may not be available for email responses.
 
Below are the list of some additional action items you may encounter when managing customer messages:
  • Publish: Publishes content on a digital channel.
  • Unpublish: Unpublishes content posted on a digital channel.
  • Follow: Follows the customer and see their content feed.
  • Unfollow: Unfollows the customer. 
  • Like: Likes the message.
  • Unlike: Unlikes a liked message.
  • Retweet: Retweets a customer’s tweet.
  • Permalink: Redirects you to view the message on its source platform.

Engaging with a message

Let’s discuss the steps on how to respond to a customer’s message. Once the customer sends a message, it is routed into a specified folder in the Inbox according to the routing rules set by your administrator. Before you can reply to the message of a customer, you need to assign that message to yourself by clicking the Engage rightward arrow and square icon.
1. Navigate to Inbox via the left-hand navigation bar.
2. Select the preferred mailbox folder from the left panel.
3. Click on a message you want to respond to and the message thread will appear in the far right panel.
4. Hover over the message and click the Engage rightward arrow and square icon.
5. Enter your response in the message window.
6. Click Send.
Each message has a status indicating whether it has been processed or not. Once you click the Engage rightward arrow and square icon, the message status changes from New to Assigned. This prevents other agents from working on the same message.

Message options

When replying to a message, there are icons under the reply text box next to the Send button. You can use the following options when replying to a message:
  • Emoji: Indicated by a smiley face icon, this allows you to add an emoji to your replies by selecting one from the pop-up window.
  • Attach file: Indicated by a paperclip icon, this allows you to add an attachment by selecting a file from your computer.
  • Request approval: Indicated by a person in a circle icon, this allows you to request approval from a supervisor before sending. The request approval icon will grey out once activated.

Replying to an email

An agent can reply to an email in the same way as a message by using action items. However, for email replies, a separate window will pop-up for you to type in your response. 
1. Navigate to Inbox via the left-hand navigation bar.
2. Select the desired mailbox folder.
3. Click on the message to which you’d like to reply.
4. Hover over the message and click the Reply leftward arrow button.
5. Fill out the fields as desired (see below for more info).
6. Enter your response in the message window.
7. Click Send.
At the bottom left of the Reply window are selections you can choose from to reply to a message:
  • Attach file: Indicated by a paperclip icon, this lets you add an attachment by selecting a file from your computer.
  • Formatting: Indicated by a slash inside an open angle bracket icon, click this to turn on/off the font format toolbar.
  • Reply assistant: Indicated by a feather pen icon, click this to enable the reply assistant, which will appear to the right of the Reply window. The reply assistant allows an agent to reply quickly to a customer with knowledge base replies and similar question replies. 
  • Preview: Indicated by an eye icon, this allows you to preview the message before sending.
  • Request Approval: Indicated by a person icon, this activates the request approval button to allow messages to be approved by a supervisor before sending. The request approval icon will be grayed out once activated.

Reply assistant in Inbox 

The reply assistant allows an agent to respond using knowledge base replies and similar question replies by just typing in a keyword. Using the Inbox, an agent may type in a keyword in the reply text box and the pre-formatted message of the knowledge base or similar question reply will autofill in the text box.
 
The reply assistant is created and configured by your administrator. This is helpful when answering repeated inquiries from customers requiring the same responses.
 
In addition to using the reply assistant in the Reply window, you can also use it by typing text into the message field at the bottom of the message thread. The reply assistant will populate text options that you can select from in a pop-up window above the field.
 
The reply assistant is also available for you in Routing mode. To find out more, visit Managing interactions in Routing mode.
Reply assistant in Inbox view

Ask an Expert

If you have the corresponding permission, you can easily consult with an Engage Digital expert to address difficult customer concerns. In addition to the permission, to use this feature, your company’s Engage Digital domain needs to be associated with a RingCentral account ID, and you must have access to that account.
1. Navigate to Inbox via the left-hand navigation bar.
2. Select the mailbox folder that contains the customer message with which you need help.
3. Hover over the message.
4. Click on the More icon that appears. Click Ask an Expert.
5. In the Ask an Expert window, select the name of the expert you need to contact
6. Enter your question in the window. Be as specific and as brief as possible. You are limited to 300 characters.
7. Check Share message history to send a transcript of your conversation with the customer along with your question. This will copy up to the previous 20 messages in the conversation. (optional)
8. Delete any messages in the message history that are not related to your question if you did step 7. You will not be able to do step 9 if there are more than 1500 characters in the message history. (optional)
9. Click Send.
10. Check the RingCentral app to view the expert’s reply.
Ask an expert window
The shared message history has the following limitations:
  • If the shared message history is longer than 1500 characters, you need to manually edit the history to meet that character limit, otherwise the Send button will be greyed out and you will not be able to click it.
  • If there are 20 or fewer messages in the conversation, all of the messages will be copied. The system can also copy only the customer’s messages if there are no agent replies in the conversation.
  • Customer and agent names are replaced with Customer and Agent respectively.
  • A temporary link for each attachment in the conversation, if there are any, will be included in the history. Each link is valid for one week.
  • Structured messages will only be partially copied:
    • Quick reply: Only the body of the message will be copied.
    • Rich link: Only the URL will be copied.
    • Template: Only the title will be copied.
    • Carousel: Only the title of the first item in the carousel will be copied.

Printing a thread

If you have the corresponding permission, you can print or save a copy of the entire message thread. You will usually do this only when an authorized person who does not have access to the platform requests a copy of the thread. To access this feature, hover over the top bar of the thread window then click on the printer icon.
 
This feature has the following limitations:
  • It will try to print all messages in the thread, except for folded content (the agent messages or customer messages that already have replies or have been ignored).
  • It can print only up to the last 200 messages. For threads with more than 200 messages, use the filter command to reduce the number of messages that will be printed to 200 or fewer.
The printed copy will appear as follows:
  • As mentioned in the limitations, the entire thread will be printed unless it is filtered before being printed. This means that by default, the printed copy will contain messages from the whole thread and from all agents that participated in the thread.
  • Text messages, contextual data, message timestamps, agent and client names, and message statuses will be printed.
  • All images (including animated GIFs), videos, and structured messages will be printed as static images
  • Other file attachments such as documents will not be printed. Instead, a corresponding icon will be shown to indicate the file type of the attachment.
  • If a message’s content was anonymized by demand in the system’s interface, that content will also be anonymized in the printed copy. However, content from Twitter is a possible exception to this rule. If the thread includes content from Twitter that was not anonymized by demand, then it will appear plainly in the printed copy.
Before printing a thread, check the print preview window to ensure that the printed copy does not contain private information.

Assigning a message

An agent can assign or reassign a message to another agent with a specific skill set if needed. For example, the customer needs to speak to a Spanish speaking agent, you can reassign that message to an agent with that skill set. A supervisor can also reassign a message to another agent.
1. Navigate to Inbox via the left-hand navigation bar.
2. Select the desired mailbox folder.
3. Click on the message you’d like to assign to another agent.
4. Hover over the message and click the More icon that appears at far right.
5. Select Assign to open the Reassign case window.
6. Select the agent name from the dropdown menu.
7. Click Save.

Solving a case

Solving a case allows you to mark the case as complete. An agent must ensure that all customer inquiries and concerns are addressed before marking the message thread as solved.
 
Depending on how it’s configured by your admin, you might be prompted to enter a disposition category to mark the outcome of the case. You may also be required to answer additional questions from the customer that are not related to their initial question or concern.
1. Navigate to Inbox via the left-hand navigation bar.
2. Selected the desired mailbox folder.
3. Click on the message you’d like to solve.
4. Hover over the message and click the Solve checkmark icon to open the Disposition window.
5. Select a category from the dropdown menu.
6. Enter any notes (optional).
7. If Smart Conversation Close is not enabled, click Save.
8. If Smart Conversation Close is enabled, check Wait for a response before smart conversation close to give the customer a chance to proactively ask additional questions. Leave it unchecked to immediately send the automated message asking the customer if they have additional questions. Continue the conversation if the customer has other questions or concerns.
9. If the customer has no other questions or concerns, repeat steps 4 to 6 then click Save.
Select disposition

If no disposition is needed and Smart Conversation Close is not enabled, once you click Solve, the message will be closed and a pop-up message with a ‘case complete’ prompt will appear. If the message thread contains unread messages and you mark it as Solve, the unread messages will be automatically ignored. 

If no disposition is needed but Smart Conversation Close is enabled, when you click Solve the system will automatically ask the customer if they have other questions or concerns. The customer can choose to answer using two buttons, Yes and No. If the customer chooses Yes within the allowed waiting period, the system will automatically ask the customer for more information about their new question or concern. You must then continue the conversation.
View of smart conversation question sample
View of smart conversation reply sample
If instead of choosing Yes or No, the customer replies to the automated question within the allowed period, the system assumes that the customer does have other concerns and has provided details. In this case, the system will no longer send the second automated message and you must continue the conversation.
View of a customer reply with a custom response
If the customer chooses No or does not reply within the allowed period, the system will automatically mark the conversation as solved.
View of a complete conversation

Deferring a message

An agent can delay a response to a message for a specified time period. Deferring a message can help you reschedule your response to a customer at a later time.
1. Navigate to Inbox via the left-hand navigation bar.
2. Selected the desired mailbox folder.
3. Click on the message thread you’d like to defer.
4. Hover over the message and click the Defer clock icon.
5. Select a time or date from the dropdown menu.
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