Sending Scheduled Reply to Tickets - Online Help | Zoho Desk

Sending Scheduled Reply to Tickets

While customers expect a quick response from the support executives, it is equally important to ensure the response reaches them at an appropriate time of the day. Reaching out during the operational hours will ensure the email is read, the customer can call or reply in case of queries, and most importantly, they can share the information that an agent has enquired about; this successfully closes the communication loop.
 
Customer support teams operate at different time zones, and they can find it challenging to reply to all the support tickets during the working hours. Sometimes, they may inadvertently send the email at the wrong hour. Such situations can be easily averted by setting the date and time at which the email should be delivered.
 
For example, a customer from Toronto enquires about the price of an item and the return policy to the support team. The agent working at a different timezone can simply schedule the response to ensure it reaches the customer at the Toronto time.
 
Scheduling emails allows customer support teams to ensure their responses reach the recipients during their work hours or days irrespective of the timezone they belong to.

Business Scenario

Some business scenarios where scheduling can help are:

Customers overseeing important emails

Transactional emails from banks sharing information about account details, updates, and security alerts should not get buried under a pile of other emails. A cluttered inbox can make it difficult to spot an important email that requires recipients' immediate attention.
Agents can schedule the emails for a particular date and time to ensure they are not sent on weekends, holidays, or non-operational hours. 

Delay in receiving customer's response

Emails that require customers' response for further action, such as renewals, refunds, payment failure, etc. should be sent at a time when the customer is available. This will prevent delays and ensure quick resolution. 

Delayed response due to agents' unavailability

Agents may sometimes be unavailable either due to planned leave, exigencies, or business trip; it may not be possible to transfer all the tickets to another agent, which can cause a considerable delay in replying. These cases can be easily handled if the agent can schedule the responses well in advance to ensure emails are sent in their absence at the right time, thereby assuring business continuity. 

Confusion caused due to multiple reminders

Agents have a spectrum of activities to perform in addition to replying to emails. Setting reminders for every task can be overwhelming. While other activities like meetings, customer calls, and team meetings can be managed by setting reminders, replying to customer emails can simply be scheduled at the right date and time to prevent delays.  
Availability 
Permission Required
Users with administrative privilege can enable or disable Scheduled replies for the departments they have access. 
Check Availability and Limits

Enabling scheduled replies

Emails can be scheduled for a particular date or time according to your business needs. You can select a predefined time (10 min, 1 hour, 4 hours, 12 hours), set a custom duration (20 minutes, 6 hours, etc.) or choose a specific date and time.

While setting scheduled replies, the following configurations can be applied:
  1. Clear the schedule and save it as draft when the customer closes the request from the help center.
    When a customer closes the ticket from the help center, the ticket status is changed to "Closed" in the Desk account. If an email is scheduled for that ticket, it will not be sent and instead be saved as a draft.
  2. Cancel the schedule and save it as a draft when a customer responds.
    Scheduled replies will be saved as draft if the customer responds to the email in the interim. 
Points to remember
  1. Emails can be scheduled for a maximum of 60 days.
  2. Scheduled replies can only be set for tickets that are received via email. A new reply can be scheduled after the first scheduled response is delivered to the recipient. Agents will be alerted with a notification. The new scheduled reply will be saved as a draft until then.
To enable schedule reply for tickets
  1. Navigate to Setup () > Customization> General Settings.
  2. In General Settings for Tickets, go to Schedule Replies and click Configure.
  3. Check the Department and check the desired option.

Sending scheduled emails

Agents can schedule emails for predefined duration, custom period, or specific date and time. They can also select a timezone according to the customer's location. 
To schedule replies 
  1. Go to the Tickets module and open the desired ticket.
  2. Click the dropdown next to Send & Close and select Schedule Reply.
  3. Select the predefined time from the options or select Custom Duration or Specific Date and Time and choose an appropriate duration.
  4. Click Schedule and Close Ticket.
    Once an email is scheduled, agents can view the date and time when the email will be sent by hovering on the scheduled label.

Editing a scheduled reply 

Emails that are scheduled can be edited to modify the content or the recipient list. While editing an already scheduled reply, the timer will be paused and a note will appear at the bottom stating the same.

To edit a scheduled reply
  1. Go to the Tickets module and open the desired ticket.
  2. In the Ticket detail page, click the More icon and select Edit Schedule.
  3. After the necessary changes click Continue Schedule & Close.
  4. Alternatively, click Edit Schedule, to change the scheduled reply time.
  5. Click on either Reschedule or Reschedule & Close Request

  Rescheduling a scheduled reply  

While agents can schedule ticket responses to ensure the customer receives it at a preferred time and can respond to it at their convenience, there are circumstances when the scheduled time might no longer suit the availability of either the agent or the customer. In such cases, the agent can choose to reschedule the scheduled ticket reply.
 
To reschedule a scheduled reply
  1. Go to the Tickets module and select a ticket for which the reply has been scheduled.
  2. In the Tickets Detail page,  click the More options within the thread.
    Alternatively, you can edit reply > edit schedule and select reschedule.
  3. Click  Reschedule.
  4. Make the necessary changes and click Reschedule.
  5. To confirm, select Reschedule & Close.
 



Note:
  1. Clear Schedule: The scheduled time to send the response will be cancelled. The email will be saved in drafts.
  2. Send Immediately: The scheduled time will be overridden and the email can be sent immediately.
  3. Discard Draft: The scheduled reply will be cancelled, and the message will be deleted. It will not be saved in drafts. 


Discarding a scheduled reply 

Agents can delete a scheduled email that they no longer wish to send.
To discard a scheduled reply
  1. Go to the Tickets module and open the desired ticket.
  2. Click the More icon and select Discard Schedule.
  3. Click Continue Schedule & Close in the Discard Schedule dialog box.

Notifying agents about success and failure

Agents can be notified when a scheduled response is sent successfully or failed.
To enable agent notifications
  1. Go to Setup () >Automation > Notify.
  2. Click Notification Rules on the left panel.
  3. Within Agent Notifications, toggle notifications on for
    1. Schedule reply Successful
    2. Scheduled reply Failed

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