We are blessed with a Community platform that receives a ton of traffic and engagement. One downside to that is we see a lot of questions go unanswered. We'd like to implement an auto-responder for questions without a response after 24 hours. The auto-responder will have links to resources and our Customer Service team.
I am wondering if anyone can advise how we might be able to implement an auto-responder?
Thanks in advance.
That's great that you have lots of traffic, I would, however, advise against any form of auto-reply to unanswered questions in your community and suggest that you focus on trying to foster more peer to peer to help reduce the number of unanswered topics.
As a general rule if someone has taken the time to post in your community they have most likely already googled an answer, looked at your site and so giving them a boilerplate reply with some links they have no doubt already looked at isn't likely to answer their question but more importantly could give them a bitter taste in their mouth with regards to your site and if they don't have a good experience then who's to say they will come back, continue to engage and who knows maybe one day be a superuser...
On that point, do you have a superuser scheme, have you thought about trying to get your SUs to swarm around these unanswered topics? You could build some cool tools to help with that!
Hi @Fellsteruk ,
Thanks for the reply. We do have a SU program with about 60 daily active members. Our superusers answer thousands of posts per month. The main ask we have of them is to tackle unanswered posts. They do a great job answering questions, some of them author over 1k answers per month each. We've added new users to our SU program, but the rate of unanswered questions is still too high. I know auto-responders are not best practice, but it feels like it'd be helpful. Personally, I'd rather receive an auto-response than vs. no response at all after posting in a Community.
That's great, sounds super active... I think the fact that this feature isn't available from Lithium adds some weight to the argument it's not a great thing to do but no two communities are the same and what crash and burns for one is a major success for others.
I'm not aware of any notification feeds you could hook into to develop this feature but i suspect it would be a fair chunk of dev to achieve it as you'd have to monitor all topics for no reply in X then post, anything is possible though...
The only thing that comes to mind is the auto-escalation functionality, this could be configured to trigger an email if not reply to a topic in X, you can also configure by the board, maybe you could use this as the trigger then build something that listens to these alerts to do a postback.... just thinking out aloud... may be a stupid idea...
Do you have any developers who could help with this? if not i can suggest some excellent 3rd party devs which are a fraction of the cost of Lithium professional services if you do need some help with this.
We had our SBR with Lithium last week, and I pitched the idea of the auto-responder to our Lithium account leads, and the consensus was that it was a good idea.
We do work with a 3rd party developer for our platform; I can pitch the idea to them and see what they come up with.
If anyone else has experience setting up similar, please share.
"I pitched the idea of the auto-responder to our Lithium account leads, and the consensus was that it was a good idea." I guess you don't need to have a background in this field to sell the product these days...
All the very best of luck with this, be sure to share your results and what you've delivered as I'm sure others would be interested in such a solution. After ive slept on this i also had a suggestion... Take a look at Auto desk they implemented a bot to reply to posts, i think it worked well from what i heard but not seen any results, would be much better than a stock reply as the bot can answer the posts with a contextual reply.
I am with Stephen here. It's not in the best interest of the community to have unanswered posts to get a response through some sort of automation. Most communities benefit from Search Engine traffic and in the long run you may face the issue where more and more visitors will start to see these automated responses, referring to support. I would rather invest in an extra moderator to help guide the customer to the right answer, which perhaps, may already exist in your community.
Maybe you have an opportunity with content curation. Did you do some root cause analysis on this issue? Are you receiving so many new questions but are topics all the same/similar. Or are the customer questions incomplete and nobody can help easily.
You could create an FAQ or (taxonomy) to label/tag existing responses and float relevant solutions and share with experts and mods.
Is it because you have more questions than superusers? Perhaps a challenge/contest may give them a little extra motivation to do just a little more. Do your superusers have all the tools they need to easily find unanswered topics. We have filters on our board that allow experts to filter, per board, unanswered topics and filter further down to unanswered <24hours.
I just read Stephen mentioned the Autodesk Bot already, I was going to mention that as an example too .
Honestly, I would analyze the situation and based on the finding, try to enable the front line more and focus on the type of questions and answers available in the community and try to link that up.
Just a couple of more suggestions but hey, if Lithium think the auto-responder is a good idea...to me, that changes the dynamics of a community completely.
Good luck with it!
I would love to hear more about your "We have filters on our board that allow experts to filter, per board, unanswered topics and filter further down to unanswered <24hours." Did you have a developer do this for you?
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