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The ability to provide support via email has been a key component of SAP Hybris Cloud for Service since the initial product launch, several years ago.  At the same time, it is also an area that has never stopped evolving and expanding in scope, becoming over time increasingly flexible and sophisticated.  As we start migrating the email capabilities to the new Responsive UI, we thought this would be a good time for an end-to-end review.

This is Part 1 of the blog post, in which we cover the basics of enabling email-to-ticket processes in your tenant.  You can find Part 2, in which we cover the details of channel configuration, here.  And Part 3, in which we cover email response capabilities, here. The following parts will be posted regularly and linked here.  For a complete overview of the blog posts in the Cloud for Service Expert Corner, you can start here:  Introducing the C4C Service Expert Corner Blog Series.

The Basics

  • SAP Hybris Cloud for Service provides out of the box capabilities to manage tickets submitted via email.
  • Companies can expose to their end customers or employees any number of email support channels, which can then be managed and routed independently.
  • Emails need to be redirected from the company’s mail server (e.g. Microsoft Exchange) to one of the technical addresses exposed by the tenant.
  • Cloud for Customer supports 3 different email-to-ticket flows:  B2C Customer Support;  B2B Customer Support;  Employee Support.  The key difference among the 3 flows is the way master data is accessed and maintained.
  • Each flow is exposed as a different technical address.  Administrators need to choose which flow to leverage, and redirect emails accordingly.

Enabling email-to-ticket

Administrators who want to enable the email-to-ticket process need to follow a few simple steps:

  1. Decide which email support addresses will be exposed to end customers (or employees).  There is no limit on the number of channels which can be exposed.
  2. Review the 3 possible email-to-ticket flows, and decide which one to use for each support channel (based on the master data involved).  It is quite common to use the same flow for all support channels.
  3. In the C4C tenant, enable the flows (in Scoping) and configure the channels (under Administrator).
  4. In the company’s mail server, configure email forwarding from each support channel to the technical address exposed by the C4C tenant.

Step #1 is a business decision, and step #4 is a simple IT task.  Let’s review step #2 and #3 in a bit more detail.
Selecting an email-to-ticket flow

Each of the 3 flows has very specific details and settings, which we will review in Part 2 of this post.  However, in order to pick a flow it is usually enough to understand the key differentiator:  how each flow handles master data.

 

  • The B2C Customer Support flow is designed for the needs of a consumer company supporting its end customers (B2C or B2B2C).
    • The main assumption is that the company has no way of knowing all the individuals who could potentially reach out via email.
    • When an email reaches C4C, the system uses the email address to search among all Individual Customers already known;  if no match is found, a new customer record can be created automatically.
    • Over time, as more and more customer records are created in C4C, the company will get a better understanding of its end consumers, and a 360 degree view of each of them individually.
    • The key points to keep in mind regarding this flow are:  the focus on Individual Customers;  and the ability to create new customer records automatically.
  • The B2B Customer Support flow is designed for companies supporting their business contacts.
    • The main assumption is that the company knows the majority of the people who may reach out, and only a minority of emails will come from unknown senders.
    • When an email reaches C4C through this flow, the system uses the email address to search among all Contacts already known;  if no match is found, the email takes an “exception path” which requires a manual review, either via a shared inbox (Unassociated Emails) or as a Ticket on a default customer.
    • The key points to keep in mind are:  the focus on Contacts;  and the fact that new customer records are never created automatically via this flow.
  • Finally, the Employee Support flow is designed for companies using C4C to support their own employees.
    • Similarly to the B2B flow, the main assumption is that all (or most) possible senders are already known, and available in the system as Employees.
    • When an email reaches C4C, the system uses the email address to identify the corresponding Employee;  if no match is found, the email takes the exception path and is reviewed manually.
    • The key point to keep in mind regarding this flow is the focus on Employees.

In all scenarios, whenever the system is able to recognise (or create) the sender, then the email is automatically converted into a ticket.  The channel to which the email was originally sent, and the settings defined at the channel level, play a critical role in all subsequent steps such as Routing, SLA Determination, Workflow Rules, etc.

Once the Administrator knows which channels will be exposed, and which email-to-ticket flow is the best fit for each channel, he or she can then proceed to configure the tenant accordingly.


Configuring the C4C tenant

Enabling the email-to-ticket flows means activating the corresponding technical addresses.  This is achieved by answering a few scoping questions.

 

  • One question, under Service -> Customer Care -> Service Request Management, is required when enabling any of the Customer Support flows:

Screen Shot 2016-09-19 at 21.34.22.png

 

  • The B2C Customer Support flow is then enabled via the following question, also under Service -> Customer Care -> Service Request Management:

Screen Shot 2016-09-19 at 21.35.44.png

This activates the technical address:
cod.servicerequest@myXXXXXX.mail.crm.ondemand.com
(where XXXXXX identifies a specific tenant)

 

  • The B2B Customer Support flow is enabled via another question, still under Service -> Customer Care -> Service Request Management:

Screen Shot 2016-09-19 at 21.41.15.png

Which activates the technical address:  cod.b2b.servicerequest@myXXXXXX.mail.crm.ondemand.com

 

  • The Employee Support flow is enabled through a similar question under Service -> Employee Support -> Communication Channel – E-Mail:

Screen Shot 2016-09-19 at 21.43.45.png

Which activates the technical address:  cod.employeesupport@myXXXXXX.mail.crm.ondemand.com

 

Finally, the Administrator needs to maintain and configure in C4C the actual email channels exposed to end customers, so that the system can use them accordingly.  This is achieved by selecting “E-Mail Addresses” under the workcenter view Administrator -> Service and Social:

Screen Shot 2016-09-19 at 21.46.54.png

The tenant is now ready to receive emails and automatically convert them into tickets.  In Part 2, we will review the specific configurations available for each email channel, and how they enable the Administrator to control the fine details of the email-to-ticket flow.

All the best,
Gab

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14 Comments

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  1. Subhasish Roy

    Hi Gabriele,

    Great post !!!

    Need your assistance.

    We have a requirement where we want to convert unassociated emails to tickets in bulk.

    Since we have large number of unassociated emails so we want to do this.

    In standard C4C I can use CTRL and select the relevant tickets and then hit action to assign.

    Is there anyway I can do this for converting emails in bulk to tickets?

    Can you please suggest any options.

    Regards,

    Subhasish

    (0) 
    1. Gabriele Bodda Post author

      Hi Subhasish,

      Thanks, hope it was helpful!


      The Unassociated Emails path should be used as an exception.  If you expect many emails to go down that path, you’d better configure a default customer so that they get converted into tickets and then more easily managed.  Or maybe you should use the B2C channel instead.  I will touch on this on the next part of the blog post. 

      There is no way to convert emails to tickets in bulk, and in any case it wouldn’t be possible because the conversion to ticket requires at least the selection of a customer. We plan to eventually enable a bulk delete of unassociated emails, but not a bulk conversion to tickets.

      Kind regards,

      Gab

      (0) 
  2. Rahul Kumar

    Hi,

    I would like to point that the “actual emails” need to have an ‘auto forwarding’ enabled to the SAP C4C mail ids as mentioned in the doc for the tickets to be created.

    Without auto-forwarding, the tickets would not be created.

    Reg,

    Rahul

    (0) 
  3. Bogdan Petrescu

    Hi Gabriele,

    I have 2 questions related to emails:

    Can an email that was assigned incorrectly to a ticket be deleted?

    Can we forward or answer an email that is not the last in the ticket?

     

    Thanks,

    Bogdan

    (0) 
    1. Gabriele Bodda Post author

      Hi Bogdan,

      You cannot delete an email which was assigned to the wrong ticket, but you can move it around (to a new or existing ticket) using the actions described in Part 3 of this blog series:

      https://blogs.sap.com/2016/11/30/email-response-management-in-c4c-part-3-cloud-for-service-expert-corner/

      As of 1702 you can only reply to or forward the latest email in the thread.  The ability to reply to or forward any email in the thread is planned for our next release (only in RUI).

      Kind regards,
      Gab

      (0) 
  4. Nitin kumar

    Hi Gab,

    I have a requirement where we don’t want to create customer and ticket automatically from Customer email, rather agent will create both manually, to achieve this I have configured B2C channel with default customer and also I have disabled the auto ticket creation in scope.

    Now problem is that when I send an email to B2C id then it still create the ticket with default customer. could you please let us know how can stop the ticket creation and the email should be visible either under Service–>un-associated email or under Activity–>Email ?

    Regards

    Nitin

    (1) 
  5. Nacho Saenz

    Hi Gabriele,

    It is not possible for me to to convert an inboun e-mail to a ticket. I’ve configured the scope as this post and the B2B and B2C channels as post 2

    I am trying to send from my personal e-mail (it is registered as customer and contact related to customer)  to   cod.servicerequest@myXXXXXX.mail.crm.ondemand.com and cod.b2b.servicerequest@myXXXXXX.mail.crm.ondemand.com

    The configuration of the channel is correct because i can send e-mails from the ticket, but the system does not recognise the other way.

    ¿What do you think is happening?

    NOTE: I assume forwarding e-mail is not necessary because  i am sending directly to C4C e-mail tenant

    Thanks for your post.

    (0) 
    1. Mohammed Fathelbab

      Hi Nacho,

      Same as I replied below for Sid. Please check MIME.

      In order to allow the MIME Types, please perform the steps below:

      1. Go to the Business Configuration work center.
      2. Go to the Overview view.
      3. Search and open “Allowed MIME Types for Document Upload”.
      4. Search for MIME type text/html and check the Allowed checkbox.
      5. Search for MIME type application/octet-stream and check the Allowed checkbox .
      6. Save it

      Thanks,

      Mohamed

       

      (0) 
      1. pavan manda

        Hi Mohammed,

        We have the same problem in C4C that the inbound emails are not converting into tickets .The mystery is it is not working for few people only and others were able to create the tickets for the email channel.

        Can you please advise if you come across such situation?

         

        Thanks,

        Pavan Manda.

        (0) 
  6. Sid Sanka

     

    Hi Gabriele,

    It is not possible for me to to convert an inboun e-mail to a ticket. I’ve configured the scope as this post for employee support

    I am trying to send from my personal e-mail (it is not registered as Employee or  contact related to Employee)  to   cod.employeesupport@myXXXXXX.mail.crm.ondemand.com 

    The mail is getting delivered from my Personal mail box but i cannot see it in the UnAssociated Emails or in Queue

    Can you please suggest me What to troubleshoot at this point?

    NOTE: I assume forwarding e-mail is not necessary because  i am sending directly to C4C e-mail tenant

    Thanks in Advance

    (0) 
    1. Mohammed Fathelbab

      Hi Sid,

      I have faced a problem like this. please check MIME.

      In order to allow the MIME Types, please perform the steps below:

      1. Go to the Business Configuration work center.
      2. Go to the Overview view.
      3. Search and open “Allowed MIME Types for Document Upload”.
      4. Search for MIME type text/html and check the Allowed checkbox.
      5. Search for MIME type application/octet-stream and check the Allowed checkbox .
      6. Save it

      Thanks,

      Mohamed

      (1) 

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