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Managing Customer Cases

Get all the help you need to create a customer case and manage it using the Cases module.
S
Sabqat Ruba
3 Feb, 2021 - Updated 2 months ago

Introduction

 

A case is an issue or a request raised by a customer. When a customer raises an issue, you can create a case record in the CRM. 

 

For example, consider that you are running an e-commerce business. A customer receives a damaged product when they buy from you. So, they call you to raise a complaint and you log their complaint as a case in the CRM. In some cases, customers might raise the complaint via email, in which case, Vtiger CRM automatically creates a case record. 

Feature Availability 

 

Help Desk Professional

Help Desk Enterprise

One Professional

One Enterprise

Feature Availability

Cases

Round Robin Assignment

-

Customer Satisfaction Survey

Important Fields in Cases

 

Field name

Description

Summary

A description of the case

Case Title

The title of the case that must essentially state the issue

Status

The current state of the case

  • New: When the case is created 
  • Assigned: When the case is assigned to a person
  • Open: When the case is accepted but not assigned
  • Wait for 3rd party: When an input is required from a 3rd party to resolve the case
  • Wait for customer: When an input is required from the customer to resolve the case
  • Resolved: When the case is resolved
  • Closed: When the case is in the Resolved state for a specified time, it goes to the Closed state

Priority

The priority of the case

  • Urgent
  • High
  • Medium
  • Low

Contact Name

The name of the contact who has raised the issue or request

Group

The name of the group or team to which the is assigned

Assigned To

The name of the person or support rep who is working on the case

SLA Name

The SLA policy that the case must adhere to

Channel

The channel from where the customer raised the issue

  • Email 
  • Phone
  • Chat
  • Social
  • Webform

Resolution

A description of the resolution provided

Category

The category that the case can be related to; for example, sales, billing, defect, etc.

Is Billable

Enabled if the customer is billed for providing a service

Disabled if the customer is not billed for providing a service

Note: The customer is billed in the case where they are provided a service that is chargeable. 



 

Additional Information:

 

There are certain dependencies in the Status field in Cases. 

  • When you create a case, you can set its status to New, Assigned, Open, Wait for customer, Wait for 3rd party, Resolved, or Closed.
  • You can set the case status to Resolved only when its current status is Open.
  • When you create a case, its status is set to New automatically if the Assigned To field is empty. When you assign the case to a user during case creation, then the status is set to Assigned automatically.
  • When the current case status is Assigned, Wait for customer, or Wait for 3rd party, you must first change it to Open before marking the case as Resolved.
  • Case status is set to Closed automatically through a default workflow set up in Vtiger CRM. Skip to this section to learn more.
  • A case that is in Closed state cannot be reopened. A Resolved can be reopened.

Creating a Case

A customer might raise an issue via call, email, chat, etc. In such cases, you must create a case in the CRM manually and use the Channel field to specify where the customer raised the issue. 

 

Follow these steps to create a case:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Support.
  4. Click Cases.
  5. Click +Add Case.
  6. Click one of these tabs: 
  • Send Email - Create a case in the CRM and send an email to the customer.
  • Add Case - Create a case in the CRM and do not send an email to the customer.

Send Email

  1. Enter the customer’s contact email address in To address.
  2. Enter the case title as the email subject.
  3. Set the case Status.
  4. Provide a description of the case under Description.
  5. Set the Priority of the case - Urgent, High, Medium, or Low.
  6. Click Add Case and Send Email.
 

Add Case

  1. Enter the case title.
  2. Set the case Status.
  3. Set the Priority of the issue - Urgent, High, Medium, or Low.
  4. Specify the contact to whom the case is related under Contact Name.
  5. Assign the case to the concerned department under Group and/or to a specific person in the group using Assigned To.
  6. Click Save.
 

Creating a case using Quick Create

With Quick Create, you can create a deal quickly by filling only the necessary details. You can access this feature from any screen, which saves you a lot of time.

 

Follow these steps to create a case using Quick Create:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the + icon displayed on the top right side of your screen.
  3. Click Show all to view all the modules you can create records in using Quick Create.
  4. Select Case.
  5. Enter all the mandatory details.
  6. Click Save.
 

Clicking Cancel discards all the information you entered.

 

To learn more about Quick Create, click here.

Setting up Mailroom for Cases

Customers may sometimes report their issues by sending an email to your customer support team. In such scenarios, you can automatically create case records using the email. For this, you must set up two things:

  1. Mailroom rules in the CRM
  2. Auto-forwarding in your email client

Setting up mailroom rules

You must set up mailroom rules to create a case each time a customer raises an issue via email. 

 

Follow these steps to set up a mailroom rule to create cases:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the User Menu on the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Select Mailroom under Automation.
  5. Click Open Mailroom. This step is available only when you are setting up mailroom for the first time.
  6. Click See Default Actions.
  7. Click +Add New Action.
  8. Fill out the following details:
  • Criteria - Criteria defines when a case record must be created. For example, consider that supportteam@vtgr.com is the contact email of your customer support team. You can set up the criteria as ‘If Email Recipient contains supportteam@vtgr.com’, Then, Mailroom creates case records from the emails that are sent to this email address.
You can set up similar criteria on From email address, email body, and email subject. 
 
  • Action - Action defines what must be done when the criteria set up in the previous step is true. 
    1. Select Create/Update Cases.
    2. Check Match Organization if you want to link the email to the organization where it came from. If the domain name of the email matches the domain name of an organization’s primary email stored in the CRM, the email gets attached to the matching organization record. (This step is optional)
    3. Check Create Contact as well if you want to create a contact record using the details in the email. (This step is optional)
    4. Assign the case to a group/team using Assign to Group.
    5. Assign the case to an individual (who is a CRM user) using Assign to User.
    6. Assign an SLA to the case using Assign to SLA.
    7. Enable Autofill values from Email body to map the text in the email body to CRM fields. 
    8. Choose a delimiter. For example, if the email body contains ‘Issue: I received a damaged phone’, then, the ‘issue’ can be copied to the Summary field in cases. In this case, ‘:’ (colon) is the delimiter.
    9. Enter a sample email body. For example, if you enter ‘Issue: I received a damaged phone’.
    10. Click Click here to find values from email body.
    11. Map the values entered the email body to CRM fields. For example, you can map ‘Issue’ to the Summary field and email subject to the Case Title field.
  1. Click Save.
 

Your mailroom will be configured after performing the steps above. You must then set up auto-forwarding in your email client.

Setting up auto-forwarding

When you set up auto-forwarding in your email client, any email received in your email client will be forwarded to the mailroom. If you consider the example of customer support team taken in the previous section, then you must set up auto-forwarding for the email address supportteam@vtgr.com.

 

What is an email client?

Email clients are computer applications or email services  that help you manage your emails. For example, Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Office 365, etc. 

 

Follow these steps to set up auto-forwarding in Gmail:

  1. Log in to the Gmail account that you have set up as a mailbox in Vtiger CRM.
  2. Go to your Gmail.
  3. Click the settings icon located on the top right.
  4. Select Settings.
  5. Click the Forwarding and Pop/IMAP tab.
  6. Click the Add a Forwarding Address button under the Forwarding section.
  7. Enter your mailroom address in the textbox. You can find your mailroom address above the mailroom rules under Settings > Automation > Mailroom.
  8. Click Next > Proceed> OK. A verification email will be sent to the mailroom (Settings > Automation > Mailroom). 
  9. Go to mailroom, open the email, and click the verification in the email. Then, click Confirm.
  10. Go back to Settings in Gmail.
  11. Select Forward a copy of incoming mail to and select the forwarding address (vtiger mailroom address) and fill out other details.
  12. Click Save Changes.
 

To stop auto-forwarding your emails, select Disable Forwarding in the Forwarding section.

To learn more about auto-forwarding, click here.

Replying to a Case

You can reply to a case from the Summary View of the case record. 

 

Follow these steps to reply to a case:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Support.
  4. Click Cases.
  5. Select and open the case that you want to reply to.
  6. Click the Reply button in the Activity section in the Summary View.
  7. Type the text.
  8. Click Send.
 

You can view the email thread in the Activity section. 

Converting a Case to an FAQ

When customers ask you a common question frequently, you can make an FAQ out of the question and display it in the Customer Portal. But when the same question is asked through a case, then you can convert the case into an FAQ.

 

Follow these steps to convert a case into an FAQ:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Support.
  4. Click Cases.
  5. Select and open the case that you want to convert into an FAQ.
  6. Click Do on the Summary View of the case.
  7. Select FAQ.
  8. Create a questions and answer for the FAQ.
  9. Enter other FAQ details under Category, Status, etc.
  10. Click Save.
 

Note: The case Summary gets copied as the Answer in the FAQ. You can view the newly created FAQ under Main Menu > Help Desk > FAQ.

 

To learn more about FAQ in Vtiger CRM, click here.

Adding Internal Comments on a Case

In Cases, you can add a comment and mention other users. 

 

For example, as a team manager, you might need to interact with a support rep while reviewing a case. Or, as a support rep, you might sometimes want to reach out a colleague to get clarity on a case.

 

In such situations, you can mention your team manager or colleague on a case. To do this, click the Comment button under the Activity section in the case’s Summary View.

 

When you mention a user, they will be notified under Main Menu > Essentials > Actions.

Linking a Service to a Case

When a customer reports a case that can be solved by providing a service, then you can add information about the service in the Service Details block. 

 

Follow these steps to add service details in a case record:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Support.
  4. Click Cases.
  5. Select and open the case to which you want to add service details. 
  6. Click Deep Dive.
  7. Look for the Service Details block.
  8. Enter the following information:
    1. If the service is billable (chargeable) -
      • Is Billable - Must be enabled if the service is billable, prompts you to choose a service and enter the service rate.
      • Service - Link the service that is being provided.
      • Rate - Enter the service charges. 
      • Service type - The type of service provided.
      • Service location - The location of the service (Remote or Onsite).
    2. If the service is not billable -
      • Service type - The type of service provided.
      • Service location - The location of the service (Remote or Onsite).

What is an SLA

A Service Level Agreement or SLA is a contract between a service provider and an end-user that defines the standard of service expected from the service provider.

 

For example, a customer SLA policy in an organization may state that cases of urgent priority must be resolved within one day and those of low priority can be resolved within one week. 

 

To read more about SLA Policies in Vtiger CRM, click here.


Assigning an SLA to a case

The SLA Name field in cases allows you to pick an SLA and assign it to a case.

 

Follow these steps to assign an SLA for a case:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Support.
  4. Click Cases.
  5. Select and open the case that must be assigned an SLA.
  6. Look for the SLA Name field.
  7. Select an SLA from the SLA Name picklist. Only customer SLAs are shown in the picklist.
  8. Click Save.
 

You can view the SLA details in the SLA Information block in the Deep Dive View of a case.

 

Note: If you are an Admin user, you can set up or modify an SLA policy by going to Settings > Support > SLA Policies.


SLA Information block in Cases

The SLA Information block has all the details about the SLA policy that a case adheres to.

 

Field name

Description

SLA Name

Name of the SLA policy

First Response Actual

Time at which the response was made on the case

SLA Time Elapsed

Amount of allotted SLA time that has elapsed

Resolution Actual

Time at which the case was resolved

Time in Current State

Total time for which the case is in the current status such as New, Assigned, Open, etc.

Last Responded On

The time at which the case was last responded to

First Response Status

  • Fulfilled if the first response is made within the time stated in the SLA policy
  • Violated if the first response is not made within the time stated in the SLA policy

SLA Status

  • Running: When the case is in New state and SLA time has not expired
  • Time Left: When the case is in Open state and SLA time has not expired
  • Fulfilled: When the case is in Resolved state and SLA time is remaining
  • Violated: When SLA time expires
  • Escalated: When an SLA is violated and escalated (if escalation rules are configured)   

Total Time Elapsed

Time spent on the case

 

Note

  • You can view the SLA policies set up for your organization by going to Settings > Support > SLA Policies.
  • When you use the Add Case and Send Email option while creating a case, then the First Response Status field gets updated to Fulfilled automatically.

Workflows for Cases

Workflows help automate tasks in a module. Vtiger CRM has two default workflows set up on the Cases module.

  1. Update Case status to Closed: This workflow closes a case if it was resolved more than 15 days ago. 
  2. Default Satisfaction Survey: This workflow sends a survey email to a customer when their case is resolved. The intent of the email is to take the customer’s feedback on the resolution.
 

Note: To deactivate the workflow, disable the toggle button displayed on the left of the workflow list.

 

To learn more about workflows, click here.

Customer Satisfaction Survey

When you resolve a customer’s case, a survey email is sent to them. The survey intends to take the customer’s feedback on the service provided by you.

Sending the customer satisfaction survey

The Customer Satisfaction Survey is sent automatically to a customer when you mark their case as Resolved. This is done by a default workflow set up in Vtiger CRM.

 

To learn more about workflows, click here.

How does the customer satisfaction survey work

Here is how the customer satisfaction survey works:

  1. When a customer reports a case, you assign it to an individual or a team, who works towards resolving the case.
  2. After you resolve the customer’s issue, you mark the case as resolved in the CRM by updating the Status field in the case record to Resolved.
  3. When the case status changes to Resolved, the Default Satisfaction Survey workflow gets triggered. Then, the survey email is sent to the customer. 
  4. The customer must provide feedback in the form of a smiley. They must pick one of these smilies:

  1. The customer must then write a feedback comment.

  1. After the customer submits feedback, their response is recorded in the Rating and Satisfaction Survey Feedback fields in the case record.

 

Timelogs for Cases

Timelogs in Vtiger CRM allow you to track the time spent on a case. You can create a  timelog and charge your customers based on the time spent on the case. 

 

All timelogs related to a case are displayed under the Timelogs tab on the case’s Summary View.

 

To view all your timelogs or create a new timelog, go to Main Menu > Projects > Timelogs.

Creating a timelog for a case

Follow these steps to create a timelog for a case:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the Main Menu.
  3. Go to Support.
  4. Select Cases.
  5. Click the One View tab.
  6. Click the Clock icon in the Timelog block. This starts the timer.
 

A timelog gets created for the case. You can view the timelog record under the Timelogs tab. The timelog is in Working state.

Using timelogs

Here are the simple steps guide on how you can create, pause, and stop a timelog on a case:

 
  1. To start a timer, go to the case’s One View and click the Clock icon in the Timelog block. You can see the timer running on top of your screen.
  2. You can pause or stop the timer in two ways:
  • By clicking the timer on top of your screen
  • By clicking the Clock icon under the case’s One View tab
  1. You can resume the timer from the top of your screen or from the One View of the case, the same way as you pause the timer. 
  2. The total time spent on a case is available in the case’s One View. The total time is calculated by adding the values of all the timelogs in Paused and Completed states, created on the case.
 

Note:

  • To start the timer, you must click the Clock icon in a case’s One View .
  • When you create a timelog using the + icon in a case’s One View or Timelogs tab, the timelog gets created in Completed state. These options can be used when you forget to start the timer but know the approximate time spent on the case.
  • Only one timer can run at a time. When you start a new timer, all the other timers automatically get paused. 
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