Summary: This article explains how to answer and escalate owner questions by using the General Inquiry action type.
When a homeowner sends an email to your company’s general communication email address, the email will come into Vantaca as a General Inquiry from Email action item. This Action Item will function similarly to a General Question Action Item, with some notable differences we will highlight below.
How is a General Inquiry from Email Created?
General Inquiry from Email Action Items are created when your company receives an email to your "general" email address (ex:firstname.lastname@example.org). This email address is set up on the Mailroom > Email Accounts page. See Mailroom > Email Accounts for more info on setting up Email Accounts.
When a message is pulled in from the appropriate email address, it will create the selected Action Item in the appropriate 1st step.
Vantaca will read the Author's email address from the incoming message. If Vantaca can link the Author's email address with an existing Homeowner, the Action Item will be associated with that particular Homeowner Account. If Vantaca cannot find the email address in the system, it will create an Orphan Action Item. See Orphan Action Items for more details on Action Items without an attached Association/Homeowner.
Note: The Action Item can also be created manually by clicking + New Action Item on any Action Item page.
How is the Action Item Built?
Note: This is simply the default configuration. You are encouraged to make this Action Item your own by adding additional steps to fit your organization.
|Order No||Action Step||Send To||Reply To||Closing Step|
|1||Review Message||Customer Support||Customer Support|
|5||Reply to Owner from Customer Support||Homeowner||Customer Support||Y|
|10||Question for Manager||Manager||Manager|
|15||Reply to Owner from Manager||Homeowner||Manager||Y|
Review Message -
The Review Message step is the default first step of the Action Item. When an email comes into the system, it will go to Role of the Send To for this step, in this case, Customer Support. Customer Support's job is to either answer the question or pass the Action Item to a role that CAN answer the question.
Reply to Owner from Customer Support -
In the event that Customer Support is able to answer the question directly, they can step the Item to Reply to Owner from Customer Support. This step uses an email template to send the Action Item Note as a response back to the Homeowner and closes out the Action Item. If a Homeowner replies to that message, the item will re-open in the Review Message step.
Question for Manager -
If Customer Support is unable to answer the question, they can Step the Action item to Question for Manager. This step sends to the Manager Role for the Association and allows the Manager to answer the question if needed.
Note: Many clients have additional "Question For..." steps that send to different roles such as Question for AR, Question For Assistant Manager, Question for Escrow, etc. Find the configuration that works best for your organization.
Reply to Owner from Manager -
If the Manager is able to respond to the question, they can step to Reply to Owner from Manager. This step uses an email template to send the Action Item Note as a response back to the Homeowner and closes out the Action Item. If a Homeowner replies to that message, the item will re-open in the Question for Manager step.
Note: If your organization uses additional "Question For..." steps as mentioned above, it is necessary to add a "Reply to Owner From..." step for each additional Role. In the event the owner responds to a message, these steps allow Vantaca to direct those responses to the appropriate Role, rather than having to filter back through Customer Support.
The Closed step will close the Action Item without a response back to the Homeowner. In the event of a follow-up message, the Item will re-open in the Review Message step.
The Void step will close the Action Item without a response back to the Homeowner. This step also hides the item from the Homeowner Portal. In the event of a follow-up message, the Item will re-open in the Review Message step.
How do I use the Action Item?
If the Homeowner is Known
The role set up in the Send To field of the Review Request step will receive the action item in their Action Items > My Action Items. This is usually the Customer Service role. The Customer Service representative will review the action item and respond to the homeowner with the correct information. They can respond directly to the owner using the Reply to Owner step which will automatically advance to the Closed step.
If Customer Support representative is not able to provide the correct information, they can step the action item to a number of different steps with the applicable role: Question for Manager, Question for Accountant, Question for AP, etc. This will put the action item in the My Action Items of the user best able to answer the inquiry. This action type can be configured to send to any other role or department that would typically answer homeowner questions.
If the Homeowner is Not Known
If the email account used to send the email is not linked to a homeowner's account, the customer support role will need to search for the homeowner and connect it to to the correct association and homeowner account by editing the action item as shown below.
- Click Edit Action Item
- On the Action Item Details screen, use the Select button to select a Homeowner and/or Association.
Once the correct association has been selected, find the correct homeowner use the Select button to attach the homeowner to the action item. If the email came from a non-homeowner such as a realtor or vendor, choose the appropriate Association and click Select Association Only.
- Click Update on the Action Item Details screen to assign the Action Item to the chosen Homeowner or Association.
With the action item connected to a homeowner, if the customer support role is able to respond and/or provide the owner with the correct information, they can respond directly to the owner or step the action item to the applicable role. Once the email account has been added to the homeowner's account, Vantaca saves that information and you will not have to search for the owner next time they send in a question using that email account.
Note: If an owner owns 2 different properties, Vantaca will not be able to assign the association or account because it doesn't know which account to attach it to, so it will always have to be manually attached to the correct association and owner account even if the owner owns property in the same community.