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Writing Effective Email Macros

When email cases come into Zendesk, we configure an outbound message that notifies us that a case has come in. Agatha then searches through the pre-approved macros to see if she can identify a macro that will appropriately answer the question. Once Agatha identifies an appropriate pre-approved macro above the agreed-upon accuracy threshold, she writes that information back to a field in Zendesk.

Which macros to automate?

The best macros to choose are for tickets where the answer is informational (e.g. do you offer refunds?) and not action-based (i.e. please reset my password).

Workflow recommendations

  1. Map macro to template response: Once Agatha writes the information back to a field in Zendesk, we recommend having a workflow in place for each macro to send a template response. (The difference between a macro and a template response is that a macro can perform more actions and is logged into the workflow of Zendesk. A template response is just a piece of text.
  2. Create a queue: We then recommend creating a logical queue of cases automated by all macros pooled together or for each macro separately. Then, when the macro response is sent, mark cases with automated macros in pending state, or some temporary state, to identify that they are waiting for a response from the customer.
  3. Customer response: If the customer responds, another workflow rule can change the status of the case or update another field.
    • When this happens, we suggest that you get eyes on the case to determine if the answer was unsatisfactory.
    • Otherwise, if there is no customer response, it is safe to close cases out 7 days after they are automated.
  4. Quality assurance: There should be a periodic QA process set in place with your current team, where the quality of macros is assessed based on whether or not there is a customer response to the macro.
  5. If macro text is changed: If the macro is updated directly or a new macro is created, please let us know the previous version of the macro text, or the mapping from old to new macro. This will help us train models on historical macro usage but will still trigger the appropriate macro.

Email template recommendations

1. Not open-ended: We recommend not making templates open-ended. That means no question or no call to action.

2. No deflection: Don’t tell people to reach out to another person or team. For example, this is one of the worst performing macros, in terms of re-opens:

"Hello,

Thank you for your interest in THE AWESOME COMPANY! If you are interested in working with THE AWESOME COMPANY to create an awesome thing, then the best point of contact would be our business development team. I have forwarded your information to them via this email. They receive a lot of requests, but they will follow-up if there is interest in moving forward.

Thanks again and if you need any additional assistance, please feel free to reach out.

Best,

Agatha,

THE AWESOME COMPANY’s Automated Agent"

3. Tell them why this is automated: We recommend that you start off the templates by telling the customer the purpose of this automated message:

"This is an automated message from THE AWESOME COMPANY, because we want to help you as quickly as possible."

4. Add pictures: Telling customers to click the Account icon versus showing them what the account icon looks like will significantly increase your reopen rate. Mitigate a high volume of tickets by adding pictures to your knowledge articles.

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5. End it nicely: If the automated response is not helpful, let customers know that a human agent will contact them shortly.

"If this is not helpful, please respond, and one of my human teammates will get back to you shortly!"

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