Tickets

Conversations with your audience

A ticket is a conversational interaction between workers and contacts, including all of the related email messages and other data.

Every ticket is automatically assigned a unique, non-sequential reference mask, like RYS-07092-012. A contact can provide the first three letters of the mask for quick lookups. The term mask refers to the fact that the randomized reference number (opposed to a numeric ID) doesn’t disclose information about your total number of tickets or your daily email volume.

The contacts involved in a conversation are referred to as participants. By default, all participants receive a copy of worker replies to the conversation.

The specific worker who is responsible for a ticket is its owner.

Related tickets from the same participants can be merged together into a single ticket, which combines all of the messages and comments. Conversely, if a ticket conversation diverges into multiple topics that would be better handled by other groups or workers, one or more messages can be split off into new tickets.

Status

The status of a ticket is always one of the following:

  • open: the conversation needs worker attention.
  • waiting for reply: the conversation is on hold pending client action.
  • closed: the conversation has concluded.
  • deleted: the conversation is flagged for deletion during the next maintenance window.

You’ll most likely have at least one worklist dedicated to open tickets if you’re responsible for responding to inquiries from contacts.

When a ticket is changed to the waiting status you can also schedule a wait until date and time, at which point the conversation will automatically return to the open status. This keeps your inbox free of tickets that you can’t work on until a later date. It’s also a great way to schedule followups on sales or marketing messages.

If a contact adds a new message to a ticket that is waiting or closed it will automatically change back to the open status.

By default, when a ticket is deleted you will have 7 days from its last activity to change it to a different status before it’s removed permanently. This is called the undo window.

Drafts

Drafts automatically save the current progress of a worker’s message before they send it. This allows a composed message to be resumed at a later date, and it provides a backup (e.g. the browser crashes or otherwise unintentionally closes).

Drafts are displayed in a ticket’s conversation timeline, which instantly lets other workers know that a response is being sent so they can move on to a different ticket. This prevents duplication of effort.

Similarly, a trainee can ask a supervisor to review their draft before they send a message to a client.

Snippets

Workers and bots can use snippets to quickly insert predefined text into messages. You can think of snippets as copying and pasting from a giant shared clipboard.

However, unlike the traditional paste action, snippets also support sophisticated scripting functionality with placeholders and conditional logic. This means that the content of a snippet can change based on when and where you use it.

In a common use case, an auto-responder message will use placeholders in a snippet like:

Hi {{first_name}},

Thanks for contacting us!

A new support ticket has been opened in response to your message:

Reference #: {{mask}}
Subject: {{subject}}

We'll be in contact shortly.

The above snippet results in the following text when used by a bot on a new ticket:

Hi Charlotte,

Thanks for contacting us!

A new support ticket has been opened in response to your message:

Reference #: CRB-01092-002
Subject: Do you accept purchase orders?

We'll be in contact shortly.

Importance

Ticket priority is determined by the importance field. You’ll encounter importance as a simple slider where you can nudge it up or down as needed.

The importance field can also be automatically adjusted by bots in response to service level committments, escalations, etc.

Response times

Cerb records response time information in two fields:

  • First response: the total time elapsed before the first response from a worker. This focuses on the first response so that it isn’t skewed by later delays that may be attributed to the client.

  • First resolution: the total time elapsed before the ticket was first changed to the closed status. This isn’t affected by subsequent changes between the open and closed statuses that may occur when you get stuck in a loop of “Thanks!” and “You’re welcome!” – especially because that may occur days after the ticket was actually resolved.

When a worker responds to a specific client message, Cerb also records the response time on the worker’s message. This encourages workers to respond quickly, even if it’s only to say, “Let me check on that and get right back to you”.

Anti-spam

Cerb performs a simple statistical analysis of the contents of the first message on new tickets to predict whether a message is spam or not. The predicted probability of being spam is stored as a spam score on the ticket. By itself, this prediction has no effect on tickets. However, the computed score can be used by bots and workers to filter mail when desirable.

The spam predictions improve and adapt over time through training. When a worker replies to a client message, Cerb learns to be more approving of similar messages in the future. When workers click the Report spam button on a ticket, Cerb becomes more critical of similar messages in the future.