How do you handle incoming emails in a customer service group?

Q. (cont.)

I’m working on an Order-to-Cash inbound call center project.

Our emails are new orders or questions about existing orders (product availability, pricing, delivery times). Is it best practice to have to these emails routed to same reps that handle live phone call orders? Or are the emails routed to another role within customer service to manage?

What tools have you used to manage and archive a large volume of emails?


Answers from IOFM advisory panel members:


We have a customer support team with 10 employees that answer calls and emails. Each CSR is linked to a customer and a sales rep. We have one central email that is distributed to each of the 10 CSRs. The individual will open the e-mail, determine if its theirs and then work or file the e-mail away. We also have a separate email for customer support for general questions and assistance that works the same way.

This provides total coverage of orders and support. It also allows for the manger to assign a back-up for all CSRs in case of illness or vacation. The manager also has access to all CSRs company e-mail (which is backed up to the server) to make sure that customers that prefer a personal touch can email a person instead of the general email. A sampling of the e-mails are reviewed to make sure the customer is being handled in a timely manner.


I find that having one person accountable for a general mailbox cuts down on potential issues i.e. items not addressed. They can always have a backup to support them when they are out.

Depending on the volume, you can have a central box managed by one person who sends the e-mail to the rep responsible for the vendor.

We have dedicated e-mail addresses for various functions, each mailbox is managed by one person however they are visible by the entire team. Using flags, and folders helps to manage if an item is addressed and by whom.


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