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Controlling Company E-mail


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#1 rynert

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 06:25 AM

Currently, almost all company e-mail, for the various websites, comes to me.

About 75% of it could be dealt with by somebody else.

Problem is the other people are remote workers, so we don't share a physical office.

How can I allow other people to read and respond to some e-mails, which I will never need to see, whilst pulling what they leave back to myself?

Not keen on a central ticket based system - I like having a proper e-mail trail and items in my sent folder :)

#2 EGOL

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 07:30 AM

I would share a gmail account with them. They could "respond and file" what they are authorized to handle. Then they would "star" anything that is left for you.

#3 A.N.Onym

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 07:36 AM

Have them access the email, use another email account and have your employees send the important stuff your way. I guess EGOL suggested something similar, too :)

Edited by A.N.Onym, 11 March 2008 - 07:39 AM.


#4 rynert

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 08:41 AM

I would share a gmail account with them. They could "respond and file" what they are authorized to handle. Then they would "star" anything that is left for you.


That would be using the gmail options to pull in POP mail? (not used them, but I guess that is what you mean)

Going to make some assumptions with that...

- When you hit reply to any e-mail within gmail, regardless of which POP account it came from, the reply from address is the same as the sent to address

- Once an e-mail has been actioned via gmail they can push a button to remove it from the POP server

- I can periodically download to a local e-mail client the inbox, folders and sent folder from gmail for each POP account (in other words have the same local history as if I handled it all with Outlook on my machine)

Have them access the email, use another email account and have your employees send the important stuff your way. I guess EGOL suggested something similar, too :)


Sending the stuff to me is good as I don't want to use Gmail as my primary email client.... I just need to remember to edit out any comments my staff my have made before 'fowarding' (cos I can't reply) my reply to the customer.


These suggestions are workable, but just seem a bit cumbersome... but maybe I don't have any other options!

#5 Respree

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 09:51 AM

The first thing that comes to mind is to set up e-mail addresses by functionality.

business_inquiries@mywebsite.com
orders@mywebsite.com
customer_service@mywebsite.com
quotes@mywebsite.com
advertising@mywebsite.com
etcetera

This way, the e-mail will be routed directly to person responsible for handling them, relieving you of the 75% that you don't need to see.

#6 eKstreme

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 12:01 PM

To follow Garrick's idea, if a form is being submitted on the website, you can have a drop-down list that shows the options for each emailer and you can use that to route the message appropriately.

Either way, you will get people emailing everyone or emailing the wrong address. Make sure your people know that they should forward inquires like that to the appropriate person.

I've tried shared email accounts before and I found they don't work well if you have more than 2-3 people using them. Pre-routing always worked better, but as I explained above, it's certainly not perfect.

Pierre

#7 rynert

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 12:19 PM

Pre-routing is a good option - would need some changes to forms / contact pages and some new addresses setting up, but a cleaner, and simpler, method than sharing.

#8 JohnMu

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 04:02 PM

At my old company I ran into the same problem and created a helpdesk system to queue all incoming generic emails, faxes & messages left on the answering machine. That's probably overkill for you, but there are other systems available that can queue incoming mails, letting multiple people work and route things around.

One solution I looked at a while back for a small company was from kayako.com, but I have no experience with their software and I'm sure there are tons of similar things available. Going to something like that will mean dropping the normal gmail interface, with all that's involved with that (unfamiliar interface, no direct access to older messages, etc.).

You might not need a full helpdesk system, perhaps it would be enough to just have some kind of ticketing system? I know there are lots of those, some even open source so that you could host it yourself (which means more work but also more flexibility).

John

#9 Feydakin

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 07:32 PM

I handle most of the email that comes in to our store.. But it comes in on seven different email address aliases.. As we train / add new employees that can take over specific areas I turn the alias in to a real account and let them have it.. I started with seven, now I'm down to four.. And there is a clean transition..

#10 IncrediBILL

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 02:22 AM

All of my business mail for things like customer support is on the dedicated server and shared via a webmail interface. Having it available on the web means that you have access when you're traveling without dragging a laptop around if you can pry yourself away from the laptop.

Like someone else suggested, using a trouble ticket or help desk system might be the best approach because you can easily tell that each customer has been handled and see the resolution without wading through some unwieldy email solution.

#11 rynert

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 06:37 AM

Thanks all - despite me initially saying that I wanted to stay away from a ticket system, I think I had better look at a few and see if they meet my needs :emo_gavel:



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