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Using email conversation

While resolving or implementing an incident, staff members often interact with clients by using email messages. Through email conversations, you can create a single repository to store information about all the conversations that are part of an incident. You have access to all the information in one place, and you can track all communications about any incident.

Note

If the size of the email conversation exceeds 32 KB, the first message in the email conversation is deleted and the latest messages are retained.

Use case scenario: Using email conversations

Emma, a service desk analyst, creates an incident that requires more information from the client, Jackson. He starts an email conversation to request more details about the error message that Jackson is experiencing. The contents of the email message are stored with the incident record. Jackson receives the email message and replies to it by providing details of the error. This reply is also stored with the incident record. As Emma looks through the Action History section, he raises more questions that need to be answered. He continues the email conversation to get more information from Jackson. All the email messages relating to this incident are stored in one repository for future reference.

Sending an email message from an incident record

When an email message is sent to the client of the incident, the message is stored in the Action History section as an Email Sent action record to allow audit trail tracking. When you open this email record, the email message is displayed on the Incident History page. You can edit, delete, or clone the email record.

Each outbound email message has an identification token or reference number associated with it. By default, all outbound email messages contain two unique identifiers that the system uses to match the email message to a record in the system. One identifier is stored in the subject of the email message, while the other is stored in the body of the email message.

Important

Do not delete the unique identifier that appears in your email message. Otherwise, the email conversation cannot be tracked.

When a client replies to one of these email messages, BMC Remedyforce receives the email message and scans the email body and subject for a unique identifier. If the identifier is found, BMC Remedyforce creates an Email Received record in the Action History section to allow audit trail tracking. The staff member assigned to this incident can reply to the email message, and the reply is added to the Action History section.

To send an email message from an incident record

  1. Click the Remedyforce Console tab.
  2. From the View menu, select the appropriate module, such as Incidents.
  3. From the list of records, select the record from where you want to send an email message.
  4. From the Actions menu, select Email.
    The To field is filled with the email address of the client of the record. The Subject of the email message is filled with the record number.
    The To field is enabled if the system administrator has configured it.
  5. From the From field, select the email address from which you want to send the email, such as HR@abc.com.
    You will see multiple email addresses in the From field only if your system administrator has configured multiple email addresses on the Remedyforce Administration > Configure Email > Email Conversation Settings page. For more information, see Settings for email conversation.
  6. To add users to whom you want to send an email message, perform the following actions:
    1. Click the lookup icon for the To field.
    2. In the Users window, select the user to whom you want to send the email message.
    3. To add multiple users to the To field, repeat step a and step b.

      Note

      You can send an email message to a maximum of 100 users.

    4. Click the lookup icon for the Cc or Bcc field.
      The Bcc field is enabled if the system administrator has configured it.
    5. In the Users window, select the user to whom you want to send a copy of the email message.
    6. To add multiple users to the Cc or Bcc field, repeat step d and step a.

      Tip

      You can also type an email address in the To, Cc, and Bcc fields. Separate the email addresses with a semicolon  (;). You can send a copy to a maximum of 25 users.

  7. (Optional) From the Email Template list, select the template for the email message. To preview the selected email template, click Preview. The fields in the email template are replaced with the actual content from the record. The Preview link is available if the system administrator has configured it.

    Notes

    • The Email Template field is enabled if the system administrator has configured it.
    • If you select an email template, you cannot make changes to the Subject and Attachments of the email message.
    • In the out-of-the-box email templates, dates are displayed in the M/d/yyyyh:mmformat.
    • You can contact your system administrator to create and customize an email template based on your requirements. 
  8. To copy the field values from the Incident form, such as the value of the Description field in the email body, select Copy data from Incident fields.
    When you select the Copy data from Incident fields check box and right-click in the email body, a list of all the fields available on the incident form that are accessible to the logged-on user is displayed. Select a field to get the value of the selected field in the email body. If the field has a value, it is inserted in the email body.
    If the Copy data from Incident fields check box is clear, you can paste data from the clipboard into the email body.

    Note

    If you are writing the email message in Rich Text format, to copy field values from the Incident form, right-click close to or above the email message. If you click away from the email message, the Incident field list is not displayed.

  9. In the body of the email message, type the message that you want to send to the client of the incident.

  10. By default, links to incident record for the client and staff members are provided in the body of the email message.
    You can add more information even after you selected a template. Contact your system administrator to enable you to add additional information in the email message even after selecting a template.
  11. To remove the link to the incident record in the email message for the client, clear the Insert record link for Client check box in the Actions menu. To remove the link to the incident record in the email message for the staff member, clear the Insert record link for Staff check box in the Actions menu.
    If you clear the Insert record link for Client or Insert record link for Staff check box, the default link provided in the email message body is not removed. You must remove the record link manually. After clearing these check boxes, the record links are not displayed in the subsequent email conversations.
    If the staff member clicks the link to the incident record forclient in the email message and the staff member has not logged on to the Self Service, the Self Servicelogon page is displayed.

    Note

    To provide a link to the incident record in the email message for the client user, ensure that your system administrator has provided the URL of the Self Service site in the Site URL of Self Service field on the Remedyforce Administration > Configure Self Service > General page.

  12. (Optional) To add attachments to your email message, perform the following actions:
    1. Click Attach File.
      In the Add Attachments window, the Files currently attached to the Incident section displays the files that are added to the Notes & Attachments section. You can attach any of the files from the Notes & Attachments section, or browse to the required file and attach it.
    2. In the Add Attachments window, select the appropriate option:
      • Select File, click Browse to browse to the location where the attachment you want to use is located, select the required attachment, and click Open.

        Note

        If the file name of an attachment exceeds 50 characters, you cannot attach the file. To attach such a file, rename the file with a file name that is less than 50 characters, andattachthe file.

      • Select files currently attached to the incident and from the Notes & Attachments section, select the required check boxes of the files.
        To select all check boxes, click the File check box 
    3. Click Add.
      The attached files appear in the Attachments section as hyperlinks. You can view attachments by clicking the required hyperlink, and the file opens in a new browser tab.
    4. (Optional) To remove an attachment, move the mouse over the attachment, click the Delete icon that is displayed.
    5. To complete adding attachments to your email message, repeat step b through step c.

      Note

      The total size of all attachments cannot exceed 10 MB.

    6. (Optional) To save the attachments that are sent with the email message in the incident record, select the Add the attachments to the Notes & Attachments section check box. 
      You can access these attachments by navigating to the Notes & Attachments section of the record. 
      For an email message that you are sending to a client, if you select this check box, the attachments that you attach with the email message are saved in the Notes & Attachments section. If you do not select the check box and open an email message sent to a client, only the names of the attachments are shown and no links to the attachments are available. 
    7. Click OK.
      In the Email Message window, the attachments are listed in the Attachments field.
  13. (Optional) To send an email message in plain text, select Plain Text. By default, all email messages are sent in Rich Text Format.

    Note

    Email Template functionality is NOT supported withRichText format.


     

  14. Click Send.
    An Email Sent action record is created in the Action History section. The type of action record and the subject of the email message are added to the Description field of the action record.
    The following information about the email message is recorded in Notes field of the action record:
    • Organization-wide email address
    • Email addresses in the To field
    • Email addresses in the Cc field
    • Subject of the email message
    • Body of the email message
    • Email template name that was used

When you double-click the record in the Action History section, the email message is displayed in the Incident History page. The email addresses listed in the To field and the email addresses of the users who were sent a copy are listed in the Cc field. The attachments that are sent with this email message are listed in the body of the email message. A count of the attachments sent in the message and the file names of the attachments are listed in the Attachments sent with this email section of the email body.

If the size of a single attachment or all attachments exceeds 3 MB, the attachments are converted to HTML files. When a client receives the email message, the email message contains HTML files that are linked to the attachments that are stored on the Salesforce server. When you open an HTML file from the email message, the HTML file opens in a new browser that directs you to the Salesforce server where the attachment is stored. In the browser, you are prompted to download the attachment from this server.

Note

When you send the email message, a reference number is appended to the subject and the body of the email message. Do not change the subject while replying to the email message. If you change the reference number, the email record cannot be associated with the incident record.

Storage of email messages

When you are communicating with a client or other stake holders while working on a record, all the email messages that you send or receive are stored in the Action History section of the incident records. The email messages that you send are saved as Email Sent records; however, the messages that you receive are saved as Email Received records.

You can use both the Email Received and Email Sent records to send a reply to the client and other related users.

Replying to an email message from a client

The reply to an email message contains the following:

  • email address of the client in the From field
  • the subject
  • the text of the reply from the client
  • the body of the original email message
  • a unique identifier
  • attachment, if any

For more information about attachments, see Attachments in email messages.

When a record is created from an email message and the system administrator has configured the application to save the email message with the incident, the email message is saved as an Email Received record in the Action History section of the incident. The staff member can reply to this email message to initiate an email conversation with the client.

You can use both the Email Received and Email Sent records to send a reply to the client and other related users.

To reply to an email message from a client

  1. Click the Remedyforce Console tab.
  2. From the View menu, select the appropriate module, such as Incidents.
  3. From the list of records, select the record from where you want to reply to an email message from a client.
    The email message that the staff member receives is saved as Email Received action in the Action History section.
  4. Click Record Details and in the Action History section, click  in the Reply column of the Email Received (or Email Sent) action.
    The email message appears with the unique identifier included in the subject of the email message.
    The email address in the From field is copied to the To field of the email message that you are sending. If the email address of the client is not present in the To, the email address of the client is appended to the To field.
  5. (Optional) To reply to all the users that are part of the email conversation, click .
    The email address in the From field is copied to the To field of the email message that you are sending. The email addresses in the To and Cc fields of the email message are copied to the To and Cc fields. If the email address of the client is not present in the To or Cc field, the email address of the client is appended to the To field.
  6. (Optional) To exclude the original email message content from your reply, select the Remove original email content check box.
  7. In the body of the email message, type your reply.

    Important

    Do not delete the unique identifier present in the body or the subject of the email message.

  8. If you need to add attachments, perform step a through step g to add attachments to the reply.
  9. Click .

Attachments in email messages

If attachments are present in the reply, the attachments are stored in the Notes & Attachments section. You can view the attachments by double-clicking the required file. The body of the reply lists the count of the attachments received in the reply, and the file names of the attachments are listed in the Attachments received with this email section. For each email message sent by the staff member, the count of the attachments sent in the email message and the file names of the attachments are listed in the Attachments sent with this email section.

The attachments in the reply from the client are not stored if the attachment meets one of the following conditions:

  • One of the attachments exceeds 25 MB.
    The attachments that are less than 25 MB are stored in the Notes & Attachments section.
  • The total size of all attachments exceeds the storage limit of your organization.
    In the reply, the following message is listed if the attachments exceed the storage limit:

    You have exceeded the storage limit of your organization.

    Note

    BMC Remedyforce can process 1000 x N inbound email messages in a day, where N represents the number of licenses of staff members.

Related topics

Enabling staff members to send email messages from a record

Enabling incident creation in BMC Remedyforce by using email messages

Incident management

Service request management

Task management

Problem management

Change management

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