Working With Group Mailboxes

Group mailboxes allow you to efficiently manage large volumes of incoming messages and their replies. A group mailbox typically corresponds to a department within your organization, such as Sales or Marketing. Even though there may be many users handling responses, your customers send and receive messages to and from a single group mailbox address; sales@example.com, for example.

Creating or Modifying a Group Mailbox

To create or modify a group mailbox:

  1. Select the Group Mailboxes tab.

    Group Mailboxes page
    Group Mailboxes page
  2. To create a group mailbox, click Add.

    or

    To modify a group mailbox, select the mailbox in the list and click Modify.

    Group Mailbox dialog box
    Group Mailbox dialog box
  3. Enter identifying information for the group mailbox.

    Account
    Enter the account name for the group mailbox. This will be the first part of the group mailbox email address. For example, if you enter sales, and the host name of the Response Manager Server is rm.example.com, the email address of the group mailbox will be sales@rm.example.com.

    Don’t worry if this address is not what you want external users to see or use. Normally, external users will send messages to an address on your Exchange server (or other mail server). That server will then forward the messages to this internal address.

    The Custom From address (see below), if specified, is the address that email recipients will see when receiving mail from the group mailbox.

    Name
    Enter the group mailbox name. This name appears in the “From” field of outgoing messages from the group mailbox. For example, enter Acme Sales Group.
    Custom From address
    Enter the address that messages should appear to be from (and, therefore, to which replies are sent by default). Normally, this is the address of a mailbox on your Exchange server or other mail server, from which mail will be forwarded to or picked up by Response Manager.
    Description
    Enter a short description of the group mailbox. This description is shown in Response Manager Admin only.
  4. In the Assignment method area, choose the method by which incoming messages will be assigned to the group mailbox users:

    Manual
    Don’t auto-assign messages. Messages that are not assigned by rules when they arrive are routed to the Unassigned folder of the group mailbox.
    Round robin
    Distribute messages sequentially among the group mailbox users.

    For example, given three group mailbox users named Joe, Sue, and Dorian, Response Manager distributes messages in the following sequence: Joe, Sue, Dorian, Joe Sue, Dorian, Joe, etc.

    Load balanced
    Distribute messages to the user who has the fewest messages.

    For more detailed information on how the automatic assignment methods work, see Automatic Message Assignment.

  5. If you would like replies from customers to be handled by the same user who answered the customer’s original query (that is, the message that started the thread), select the Assign customer replies to previous owner option. If this option is not selected, customer replies are treated no differently than initial messages in a thread: they are assigned according the assignment method of the group mailbox.

    This option will assign replies to users even outside their scheduled working hours, with the exception that a user who is on vacation will not receive messages. When a user is on vacation replies will be assigned normally, according to the group mailbox assignment method.

    If a rule assigns a message to a user, this option is ignored for that message.

  6. To have messages reassigned automatically, select the Automatically reassign messages option and enter a Reassignment timeout value. If a user does not close a message he owns within this time period, the message is reassigned to a different mailbox user. If the group mailbox uses Manual assignment, the message is returned to the Unassigned folder. See Message Reassignment for more details.

  7. To have each user’s messages for the group mailbox automatically removed from the user’s My Messages folder at the end of each day, select the Unassign messages at end of daily user schedule option. This removal is done according to the schedule defined for each user (see the end of this section for details). Unassigning these messages gives other users access to them through the Unassigned folder or causes them to be reassigned to working users via round robin or load balanced auto-assignment, depending on the assignment method for the group mailbox.

    This option is particularly useful for sites where there are two or more shifts of users or where user schedules vary widely. Rather than having customer messages remain in non-working user’s folders, they are made available immediately to users who are working.

    Messages taken away from users with this option include those assigned by any mechanism—auto-assignment, rules, manually, and customer replies. It does not include any messages that are in the On Hold folder.

    The Unassign messages at end of daily user schedule option causes a one-time unassignment of group mailbox messages at the end of each user’s schedule. It does not prevent new messages from being assigned to users while they are off-schedule. While round-robin and load-balanced assignment will never assign to users who aren’t scheduled to be working, rules and the Assign customer replies to previous owner option do not respect user schedules. This option has no effect on that behavior.

    A user’s schedule is usually considered to be over when there is no further working time scheduled for the current day. E.g., if a user is scheduled from 9 AM to 12 noon and from 1 PM to 5 PM, the Unassign messages at end of daily user schedule option will take the user’s messages away at 5PM.

    There is one exception to this rule: If a user’s schedule ends at midnight, and continues into the next day, the daily schedule is considered to be over when the first timespan ends on that next day. E.g., if a user is scheduled to work from 8 PM - 12 midnight on Thursday, and from 12 midnight to 5 AM on Friday, the Unassign messages at end of daily user schedule option will take the user’s messages away at 5 AM on Friday (not at midnight).

    Messages aren’t unassigned immediately. Response Manager waits about 30 minutes in case a user continues to work on messages after the scheduled end time.

  8. Click OK.

See the following sections for details on additional group mailbox settings:

→ Next: Adding Users to a Group Mailbox

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