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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Brighton, UK
    Posts
    100

    keeping mail and IM etc

    as we get more and more support being done in IM and email.. we are overwhem in how to keep track of who said what to whom and when. sure we have a ticket system but our clients hardly ever uses it, they choose to call or IM us..

    so how do you keep all these info for record and what do you use to keep them safe? any suggestion will be greatfully received.
    Managed VPS - JUSTrackz.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Plymouth, UK
    Posts
    49
    Well calls should obviously be recorded...then saved to disk and placed in customers folder with the date and number he called from.

    MSN, Yahoo etc etc all have their own recording thing so make it standard practice for each employee to upload the logs to a file centre, once again the customers folder with the time of the start of convosation and the employees name he had it with.

    This allows for a time indexed log which will help you prove that X convosations took place.

    I would take care with using IM though as anybody can change the logs as they all written in open-source XML so you should probably limit IM chatter to certain topics (i.e. no billing, no cancellations, no refunds etc etc anything that can cause legal matter) keep IM convosations for people wanting to know how to use the service.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    448
    A business i work for has the same problem. They don't use IM but they use email extensively. I've been working with them developing a solution to store and process the emails, i think there are a number of products on the market that already do this however. It depends what kinda email setup you have really, what you would need.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Plymouth, UK
    Posts
    49
    Doc I would suggest just simply switching to the IMAP mail system instead of POP3 - This way the messages don't leave the server and thus they are ALWAYS stored even if 100 people are logged on downloading all the messages.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Top Secret
    Posts
    11,687
    Well calls should obviously be recorded...
    No, they shouldn't.
    As far as email/im logs:
    Start with Trillian, which logs everything, anywhere. You can even create multiple users for Trillian, and logs are stored under the user's directory.

    As for email:
    Use something like [url-http://www.pocosystems.com/home/index.php?option=content&task=category&sectionid=2&id=9&Itemid=27]Barca[/url] which handles email a lot more professionally than Outlook. Have the mail backed up weekly,daily, whatever, automatically, each user sets up their own backup directory, and can restore from said backup directory easily enough. As well, admins can restore any backup necessary.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    448
    Quote Originally Posted by SourceServers
    Doc I would suggest just simply switching to the IMAP mail system instead of POP3 - This way the messages don't leave the server and thus they are ALWAYS stored even if 100 people are logged on downloading all the messages.
    The problem with that comes if a member of staff is away and someone needs to look up an email for a customer, they won't have access to that staff members mailbox.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Plymouth, UK
    Posts
    49
    Well then i would suggest they talk to you and then you over-ride the mailbox via cPanel (or whatever control panel your using) and then tell them the information they need to know.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Brighton, UK
    Posts
    100
    Thanks for the suggestions.. so do you just creat a folder for each customer and put their info in there? (i.e. phone log, email and IM?) anyone using a browser based product?
    Managed VPS - JUSTrackz.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    448
    Quote Originally Posted by SourceServers
    Well then i would suggest they talk to you and then you over-ride the mailbox via cPanel (or whatever control panel your using) and then tell them the information they need to know.
    don't worry The staff don't work for a webhosting company, i'm putting this system in place for an accountants. They have hired me to develop it to their specification. Only reason i mentioned is the kinda thing the OP want. Basically it saves incoming emails to the correct customers file.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    West Michigan, USA
    Posts
    9,675
    You shouldn't do any support via email or IM. If you must, have support emails piped to your helpdesk and use an IRC solution or true live chat support sysetm so that you can keep logs of everyone's chat.

    --Tina
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    182
    I agree on keeping support limited to the helpdesk only. If you get a phone call, and important information is discussed, place a phone call ticket on your desk to record the information.
    I do use AIM to discuss projects that we are working on with clients, but I also make it clear that any important info should be addressed in the helpdesk - and AIM will only be used for quick "back and forth" conversation regarding the topic. I have since started pushing clients to chat in Live Support rather than AIM since the conversation is logged to their history. It's a win-win. Live chat between you and the customer, and logging to the support desk (we use Kayako) for historical/ reference purposes.

    If you are using email, pipe it to the desk. Give each staff member an email that is piped to the desk for that specific reason.

    IMO, chatting over IM or direct email with clients is much to hard to track as you are finding out, and things can slip through the cracks if you're not very careful.

    Good luck!
    Wayne Reavill. CEO,
    WebHostingBuzz.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Castle Pines, CO
    Posts
    7,189
    I have maintained emails since 2000. They have come in handy a couple of times on a case against a business partner of mine. It is always a good idea to maintain all communication between you and your customers.

    A lot of times it is just a simple miscommunication - a word gets dropped, a comma is added which can add a totally different meaning to a sentence. Having that communication can (hopefully) protect you.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    98
    I use mostly emails for contact with my clients. I connect to the server via imap and all the emails are stored on the server. I also make back up's of all the emails to make sure they're safe.
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