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Occasional Contributor Comcast_Alan
Occasional Contributor

Private message to avoid public post

We are seeing an increasing number of new members attempting to circumvent our guidelines by private messaging one of our Digital Care team members with an inquiry vs posting their question/issue publicly. 

 

In the past the volume was manageable for our Community Manager to reach out to the customer, advise them of the guidelines and request that they ask their question publicly so that other community members could help and any people with a similar issue could benefit from the public nature of the discussion. This recent spike is pushing the limit in our ability to follow that process and I'm curious:

  • Any suggestions from other community teams?
  • Is it possible to set a rule/permission that you need at least 1 public post to have access to private messaging?
  • Are there any visual queues we might be able to add to the customer touch-points for someone using PM as an end-around to posting publicly to pop a reminder about posting public vs. private messaging?

I'd appreciate any suggestions around Lithium Admin settings that I might have missed or anything to help us keep new conversations flowing into the public areas of the forum and away from trying to PM their way to a solution (It's Community, not Chat!)

Alan

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Honored Contributor

Re: Private message to avoid public post

This is a common challenge at many support communities. In my previous community it was not uncommon for a customer to try many different touchpoints at once - public post, private post, phone call, livechat, social media post... Very frustrating for the support team!

 

Educating your customers is certainly the key, so I would encourage you to look at all your communications to see how you might encourage the correct behaviour for the benefit of all. 

 

And you can certainly tweak your ranking structure so that you only receive permission to send private messages after you have made x number of posts or been a member for x amount of time, etc. Many communities have this in place to also reduce the possibility of nefarious users spamming other members via PM. 

 

Good luck,

 

Jason

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Occasional Advisor
Occasional Advisor

Re: Private message to avoid public post

Jason, 

 

Thanks for the response. We believe this will be a great solution to our issue. However, we do have a few concerns mostly what happens to all the users who have already sent out a private message directly to our support team members? Will they be able to view the reply or should we just being closing those conversations with no response as they will not be able to access private messaging now (not an ideal customer support situation)? If they cannot see the response (although their questions may be valid), how to we convey to them that they need to be posting their questions publicly to get the resolution they are seeking? 

 

Also, because those users will not be able to access private messaging without making a first post, can we customize the message they see when attempting to access private messaging? This way we can solve for the already existing private message issue and allow new members to know that although they do not meet the requirements to access private messaging now, they will gain access when they move up to the next rank. 

 

Thanks again for your response. We look forward to hearing back from you. 

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Re: Private message to avoid public post

@ComcastJessie

 

I would contact all the users via email with a standard "thanks for your private message, unfortunately we can't respond, here's how to post on the community" type message which should be quick and easy. If you wanted to be more creative, you could create posts on the member's behalf featuring their questions. We used to do this sometimes when customers asked us technical questions on other social media channels. It enabled us to answer their question fully, provided a resource for other users, and hopefully educated the customer to use the community for future questions. 

 

Good luck,

 

Jason

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Re: Private message to avoid public post


JasonHill wrote:

 

 

And you can certainly tweak your ranking structure so that you only receive permission to send private messages after you have made x number of posts or been a member for x amount of time, etc. Many communities have this in place to also reduce the possibility of nefarious users spamming other members via PM. 

 

 


@JasonHill,

 

We did recently implement your suggestion to add private messaging only to a certain rank that a user will receive after making a certain number of public posts. Our problem now is that once someone gets this new rank (that is supposed to allow for private messaging), we had to create a manual rule to remove the previous permissions from the previous rank as those permissions were not just rolling off when they got this new rank.

 

The other issue we ran into is that we are having to manually change permissions for all our new users who registered on our forum before we made the rank change.

 

Both of these issues are not exactly ideal and are a very time consuming process as our community has over 5.6 million registered users. 

 

It would be nice if Lithium were to add some coding on the back end to make this type of change easier for our forum admins. 

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Re: Private message to avoid public post

You shouldn't have to do that @ComcastJessie. I would create a support ticket and ask support to have a look at your ranking structure. There is obviously something wrong with your setup. You need to have a good look at your ranking formulas. 

 

For all users who previously registered before you made the changes, you could do a bulk role assignment via a CSV file (user report). See https://community.lithium.com/t5/Roles-and-permissions/Import-user-roles-from-a-CSV-file/ta-p/24276

 

Good luck,

 

Jason

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