This article shares information about handling customer emails in FogBugz by covering the following topics:
- Using FogBugz to Communicate With Customers
- Emails as Cases
- FogBugz Email Management Engine
- Organizing Your Emails
- Using Shortcuts and Streamlining Responses
- Other Ways to Create Cases
Using FogBugz to Communicate With Customers
You can use FogBugz to handle customer interactions over email if you are using FogBugz On-Demand that comes with a free
If you have FogBugz on your server (or if you are using your email address with FogBugz On-Demand), you need to have a POP3/IMAP mailbox hosted on a server that FogBugz can access.
Emails as Cases
Once you have set up your mailbox, FogBugz checks it regularly for new messages. When it finds messages in the mailbox, it downloads them with attachments and turns them into cases. Once the email is successfully turned into a case, it is deleted from your IMAP/POP3 mailbox or marked as read.
By default, FogBugz sends a confirmation email automatically. This email contains a link to a special public view of the case page. FogBugz, by default, also automatically sorts the new email cases using the FogBugz sorter. This is not only a spam filter. It probabilistically sorts and learns the process of sorting emails into different areas within the Inbox project.
Note: This feature is especially useful when you have different teams working in the Inbox. For more information, refer to auto-sort best practices. All of these settings are configured in the mailbox.
Once the message is in FogBugz, you can treat it like any other case. For example, you can prioritize, assign, or track it like cases. If you reply to it, your reply goes to the customer from the same email address that the original message was sent to. You can also manually change this setting for responses to be sent from another email address.
If the customer replies to a resolved case, the email re-opens the case. Additionally, to ensure timely replies to customer emails, you can set the mailbox to assign a due date to the case.
FogBugz Email Management Engine
FogBugz manages your email uniquely. Refer to the information below to learn more:
- FogBugz creates 'events' every time a case is updated or a customer replies.
- The system strips all attachments including previous communication when sending messages.
- The 'quoted text' is removed from the replies to reduce the redundancy of content in email events.
- The case view only contains essential information by discarding all duplicate responses and unnecessary content.
- You can use the 'Forward' button to keep the previous threads or quoted text when sending new messages.
Note: The 'To' and 'CC' fields are not automatically populated when using the 'Forward' button.
- You can add or remove attachments to the email, edit the subject (for example, change 'FW' to 'RE'), or select the 'send and close' button.
Organizing Your Emails
For several reasons, it is highly recommended to keep all your customer email cases in the Inbox project. FogBugz can sort these emails into other projects using the automatic case relation feature that also links them to their original customer emails. For example, if a given inbox email is about a bug, it can be spawned off into a new case.
More importantly, here the two main reasons to keep all your customer email cases in the Inbox project:
- The FogBugz auto-sorter uses historical data to decide where to sort an incoming email. If your email cases are moved out of the Inbox project, the sorter loses track of them and becomes less effective.
- The inquiries demand a different kind of attention than bugs or features. Hence, each of these cases can have their workflow and can be assigned to the responsible party.
For example, if you move a case out of the Inbox and into your feature backlog, it is easy to forget that you did not respond to the customer (and customers like getting responses to every email). When a feature is implemented, or a bug is fixed, you can easily use the case link to go to the original customer email.
Using Shortcuts and Streamlining Responses
FogBugz keyboard shortcuts allow you to burn through several cases quickly. You can use snippets to create friendly salutations, closings, or direct the responses to your frequently asked questions page.
Other Ways to Create Cases
Customers can also submit new cases via public projects. In other words, you can turn posts on public discussion forums into internal cases with one click.