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Notes from the Web

Advantage offers API support for customers creating notes from the web. The API Method is WebNote.Create and takes these arguments (among others):

  • System Name
  • Reason Category
  • Reason
  • Subject
  • Text
  • Note Assignment Select

That’s interesting, you say, but how might it be used? For typical customer service requests, such as a change of address or bill payment, there’s no sense having the customer send you a note requesting that you perform the task. They can do these tasks for themselves using the Advantage API.

But what about questions that customers come up with? The customer is looking for something--a product maybe--on your website and can’t find it. Having them log that question with you through a note may be less expensive than having them call you.

And what about suggestions? You could offer a prize to the best product / delivery / content suggestion each month. In addition to the ideas, this would increase traffic on your website, and allow you to gather contact information (always helpful to get that email address!).

The rest of the story, though, is handling of the note that has suddenly been dropped into your customer service note table (SVCCON-M). If you haven’t discovered it yet, let me introduce you to the Note Activity view--SVCNAC. In summary, designated customer service reps go to SVCNAC and the notes are presented to them. The view provides the ability to see most of the major activity areas (subscriptions, payments, agreements, addresses, etc.) and enter/update that information--all while looking at the note the customer sent. You also have all the regular note features--such as sending an email like “Thanks for that cool idea!” or “You can find the article about X-rays from Bananas here…."

The Note Activity view is just an alternate way of working with customer notes. The notes are still accessible and available for update through the Notes icon.

This feature can do a lot! You can prioritize and expedite and automatically respond and transfer and hold and, well, you get the idea.

With a feature like this, things can get complicated, and that’s fine, but in this article, let’s focus on a simple implementation. You can always expand on it for other things you want to do later.

1. Scenarios: Determine what you are going to use this for. Let’s assume you are going to invite the customer to “ask an expert” and “make a suggestion."

2. Reason codes: Create customer service reason codes for this activity. This is done using SVCRSN and involves codes for the area, reason category, reason, description, default action codes, etc.

3. Folders: Create a folder for each major note topic that you will be receiving--one for Suggestions, one for Questions. This is done using the SVCFDR-Note Folders view.

You can create a folder hierarchy, but to keep it simple, just create regular folders.

You link users to folders at the same time--add the users you want answering questions to your Questions folder and those checking those suggestions to that folder. If they are the same, just add one folder, then copy it.

Automatic actions (rules) can be linked to a folder--such as sending an email to the customer letting them know you have received their comment and will be in touch shortly. That’s a more advanced topic, so you may want to come back to this later.

4. Select set: The notes are automatically placed into the appropriate folder through the select set that you create for this using the SVCNAS-Note Assignment Select view.

When you view the notes using the SVCNAC-Note Activity view, they are organized by these folders.

Simple but effective criteria can just use the reason-categorizing fields.

5. Assign notes to folder: There are two ways to do this. You can run the SVC305 process to assign notes using the select set you provide. A more direct way is to use the WebNote.AssignToFolder API right after creating the note. This assigns the note as it is recorded--much faster than waiting for a process.

6. Web pages: Implement the WebNote.Create API and WebNote.AssignToFolder into your web pages. You can set some of the categorizing codes based on the page they are on to minimize the amount of data the customer has to enter.

BAM! You have a new touch-point with your customers.

There is a lot more to the Note Activity feature, but this is a good first step.

Filed under: Software