Applying a Workflow for handling Conversations in volume with VSocial Community Manager

Overview

Vocanic understands that every organization is different. Every organization works in their own ways. It is not realistic for Vocanic to produce a tool that would force an organization to change the way they conduct their work.

For this reason, VSocial Community Manager offers two types of Workflow features that can be used separately, together, or even not at all by our customers, depending on their needs.

Post Publishing

VSocial Community Manager allows agents to start a respons (or new posting), but save it as a draft for the future. The two cases for Drafts are:

The agent is waiting on information from someone else in the organization before being able to respond, or

The agent is not given the right to publish at will and will need to save as draft, and assign to a manager (or someone who does have the right to publish) for publishing.

Item 2 above is relevant from a Workflow point of view. It is a common situation where an organization may employ a team of community managers or customer service agents to handle incoming queries, but may restrict publishing of such responses to a few key managers.

Conversation Status

The different status types are defined in the Conversation Status page, however, this writeup explains how Status can be used to support Workflow. It is entirely up to the team using VSocial Community Manager how they will use Status to support workflow. Care will need to be taken however, as process decisions may affect reporting on Status capabilities.

It is important to note that in order for VSocial Community Manager to be a flexible product to meet the needs of a diverse user base, Conversation Status are never automatically set by the application. Conversation Status needs to be manually set by the Community Manager/Agents.

There are several reasons for this. The primary two reasons are:

  1. Conversations need to be and can only be interpreted by humans, not machines. How can the application know when to "close" a conversation? Just by replying to a query, doesn't necessarily mean the query has been handled to a satisfactory level. Often, replies are seeking additional information. So in these common cases, the Conversation should still be marked as Open!
  2. Every organization has their own workflow for getting work done, Some are complicated, some are simple. In order to accommodate the diverse nature of our clients, the VSocial Community Manager does not force status cause and effect. Some organizations may have several steps. Some organizations may require another team to verify that the query was resolved before closing. Some organizations may have a single agent working on all queries, and as such, a simple workflow is needed (open -> close).

The Beginning: New

When VSocial Community Manager picks up a message from Social, it will be assigned the status of "New". Conversation posts with status New can be thought of as a Conversation post that hasn't yet been "touched" or "handled".

Generally speaking, once a query was replied to, the status should be changed. The VSocial Community Manager agent will need to use his/her judgement on what the next status should be. The different options are (and again, these are options - it is totally up to the organization using VSocial Community Manager):

  1. Close - The Agent can close the Conversation if he/she feels the response was satisfactory (the odds of a follow up are low), or if the query doesn't require a response (if it's spam or irrelevant).
  2. Open - The Agent may not be able to respond just yet, and wants to keep it marked as "Open".
  3. Accepted - In larger teams where there are many agents using VSocial Community Manager, the process may involve Agents "accepting" a Conversation for further processing. It's still considered as "open".
  4. Responded - The Agent replied, but perhaps he/she requested additional details from the Fan who wrote the original query. It's still considered as "open".
  5. Verified - Setting the Conversation Status to Verified from New is probably unlikely, since Verified generally would be set by another person (such as a manager). But, nonetheless, it is possible to set the status to Verified.

The Conversation post Status will also automatically be set to Open in the case where the Agent assigns the Conversation to another agent for further processing. This is one of the few cases of a Status automatically being set by VSocial Community Manager.

Reopening from Closed: Reopen

There will be cases where a Conversation has been marked as "Closed", but you may need to reopen for additional processing. Even though the Status setting is flexible. for audit purposes, it may be useful to make use of the Reopen status.

The Big Organization

A big organization, as mentioned earlier, may have a clearly defined multi-step process for handling Customer Service queries. This may involve Verification by a separate team.

VSocial Community Manager - Big Company Workflow.png

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