FAQs Zoho Desk For Administrators Multi-channel Support

            Setting up Community Forums

            The community is a prominent support channel wherein people collaborate on topics of mutual interest. It typically consists of your customers who ask questions, seek support or initiate discussions on topics of common interest - all from a single unified platform.

            You can use communities to:
            • Connect your support agents, customers, and partners to answer questions, share ideas, communicate tips and tricks, or submit feature requests.
            • Deliver world-class customer support by providing customers a platform to get answers.
            • Initiate social listening and maintain sustained engagement with continuous content generation.
            You can create multiple forums within your community to organize them by content. For example, you can create forums based on the products your service.

            Anatomy of the Community
            The Community consists of categories, forums, and posts. Let us look into each of these in detail:

            Category: A Category is a collection of forums or otherwise called a top level forum that is displayed in your Help Center. By default, a category is created for each of your departments in Zoho Desk. So, when you signup for Zoho Desk, a category in the name of your portal will be created. You can directly manage your online community through this category.

            Forum: A Forum is a message board or otherwise called a sub-category where discussions focus on a particular issue or a topic. You can create multiple forums under a category to discuss on different subjects. For example, Zoho Desk could be your category while FAQ, Feature Requests, and Announcements are the forums underneath it. 

            Uncategorized Posts: Uncategorized posts are topics that are posted directly onto a category before a forum is created underneath it. These posts are considered uncategorized due to the absence of a forum.

            Managing Categories
            Typically, categories are mapped to your departments in Zoho Desk. When you add a new department, a category associated with it will be created. You can perform certain actions over the categories available in your Zoho Desk. Let us look into each of these actions below:

            Editing Category
            At any point in time, you can edit a category to change its characteristics.
            To edit a category:
            1. Click the Setup icon ( ) in the top bar.
            2. In the Setup Landing page, click Community under Channels.
            3. In the Categories List page, hover your mouse pointer and click the Edit icon ( ) corresponding to the category you want to edit.
            4. In the Edit Category page, do the following:
              • Edit the Name and a Description for the category.
              • Select the Visibility permission for the category.
                You can choose between, All Users, Logged-in users, and Moderators.
              • Select the Moderation requirements for the category.
                You can choose between None and First post only.
              • Specify the Moderators for the category. By default, Zoho Desk Administrators will be the moderators.
              • Select the Auto-convert forum posts to Tickets option, if required.
            5. Click Save.



            Note:
            • When you choose First post only, you are required to moderate the very post of a user in the community. You need not moderate the user's forthcoming posts from thereon.
            • You can edit all the categories except for those that are disabled.

            Locking Category
            You can lock a category to put it in the standby mode so that your customers cannot post any topics in it. However, the category will be listed and its contents can be viewed in the Help Center.
            To lock a category:
            1. Click the Setup icon ( ) in the top bar.
            2. In the Setup Landing page, click Community under Channels.
            3. In the Categories List page, hover your mouse pointer and click the Lock icon (  ) corresponding to the category you want to lock.
              The category will be locked instantaneously.


            You can click the  icon to Unlock the category at any time.  

            Disabling Category
            If you are no longer using a category, you can disable it to archive its content. When you disable a category, it will not be visible in the Help Center. However, the topics and discussions of the disabled category can be accessed by the agents from within your Zoho Desk instance. 
            To disable a category:
            1. Click the Setup icon ( ) in the top bar.
            2. In the Setup Landing page, click Community under Channels.
            3. In the Categories List page, hover your mouse pointer and click the toggle to OFF corresponding to the category you want to disable.
              The category will be disabled instantaneously.


            You can click the toggle to ON to enable a category.

            Note:
            • When you disable a department, the category associated with it will also be disabled.
            • When a department is marked as private, the category associated with it will be hidden from the Help Center.
            • You cannot delete the categories that were added in your Zoho Desk.
            • You cannot create new categories (standalone) independent of the departments.
            • A category created for a department cannot be mapped with a different department.

            Managing Forums
            Forums are sub-categories of a category. Creating separate forum helps your customers to access quickly the information they need, besides keeping them focussed on a specific issue or topic. You can create any number of forums to maintain a vibrant online community.
            To create a forum:
            1. Click the Setup icon ( ) in the top bar.
            2. In the Setup Landing page, click Community under Channels.
            3. In the Categories List page, select a category to view its details.
            4. In the Category Details page, click Add Forum and give it a Name.
            5. Click Save.



              The new forum will be created underneath the category.

            Renaming Forum
            You can edit a forum to rename it.
            To rename a forum:
            1. In the Categories List page, select a category to view its details.
            2. In the Category Details page, hover your mouse pointer and click the Edit icon ( ) corresponding to the forum you want to rename.
            3. Perform your edits and click Save.

            Locking Forum
            You can lock a forum to put it in the standby mode so that your customers cannot post any topics in it. However, the forum will be listed under its category and its contents can be viewed in the Help Center. You can lock all the forums under a category.
            To lock a forum:
            1. In the Categories List page, select a category to view its details.
            2. In the Category Details page, hover your mouse pointer and click the Lock icon (  ) corresponding to the forum you want to lock.
              The forum will be locked instantaneously.
            You can click the  icon to Unlock the forum at any time.  

            Disabling Forum
            If you are no longer using a forum, you can disable it to archive its content. When you disable a forum, it will not be visible in the Help Center. However, the topics and discussions of the disabled forum can be accessed by the agents from within your Zoho Desk instance.
            To disable a forum:
            1. In the Categories List page, select a category to view its details.
            2. In the Category Details page, hover your mouse pointer and click the toggle to OFF corresponding to the forum you want to disable.
              The forum will be disabled instantaneously.
            You can click the toggle to ON to enable a forum.

            Deleting Forum
            You can delete a forum which doesn't have any posts underneath it.
            To delete a forum:
            1. In the Categories List page, select a category to view its details.
            2. In the Category Details page, hover your mouse pointer and click the Delete icon (  ) corresponding to the forum you want to delete.
              The forum will be deleted instantaneously.
            Note:
            • You cannot delete forums that have posts underneath it.

            Handling Uncategorized Posts
            Uncategorized posts are topics that are posted directly onto a category before a forum is created underneath it. When you create the very first forum under a category, the uncategorized posts, if existing, will be automatically moved underneath the forum. From thereon, your customers can only submit posts on the forum and not to the category.

            Community Preferences
            You can customize certain aspects of the community like the topic types to be made available for your customers and the content to be displayed on the landing page. You can allow your customers to choose the topic type so that you can better organize the discussions and respond to them. The Zoho Desk community provides you with the following topic types:
            • Question [Default]
            • Announcement
            • Idea
            • Problem
            Besides the topic types, you can customize the community home page to either display a list of the categories or only the most recent topics across all the categories.

            To set your community preferences:
            1. Click the Setup icon ( ) in the top bar.
            2. In the Setup Landing page, click Community under Channels.
            3. In the Categories List page, click Preferences from the left panel.
            4. In the Preferences page, do the following:
            5. Click the toggle to ON or OFF corresponding to the topic types.
            6. Under Landing Page, choose between All Category or Recent Topics.
            The changes will be saved instantaneously. 

            Note:
            • When you disable a topic type, the discussions underneath it can be changed to an active topic type or be deleted from the community.
            • You can click Set as default to set a topic type as the default topic type while submitting a post. You can only set Question, Idea or Problem as the default topic type.

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