Work smarter PROFESSIONALIZING YOUR EMAILS

TEXT: PATRICK MACKAAIJ
Patrick Mackaaij is a consultant and team leader at TOPdesk and specializes in technical issues and process optimization.

The ability to send customized emails is one of the most powerful and popular features in TOPdesk. But are you really getting the most out of what TOPdesk has to offer?

TOPdesk enables you to create professional, standardized messages using fixed details.

When you examine this template, would you say that the information needs of the email recipient have been taken into account? Is the recipient able to click through to the relevant cards in TOPdesk? Is the font easy to read, and is it in keeping with your house style? Can the user quickly process the emails in the way they want?

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TOPdesk enables you to create professional, standardized messages using a template feature which incorporates fixed details. As a result, paying a bit of extra attention to detail when composing these messages will ensure a smoother communication flow, and work will less frequently grind to a halt. The tips in this article will give you the boost to get to work on your own; however, you could also invite a consultant to help you, and, in doing so, make great progress within just a day.

Most of our customers have access to the Events Management module, which enables you to professionalize your emails. This module can also initiate HTTP requests, carry out file commands and take care of additional logging. Although the module is not available for TOPdesk lite, you can still professionalize your emails in TOPdesk.

The information needs of the recipient
An ever-growing number of organizations are using an information system to deal with their communication processes. In most cases, such systems use email notifications to alert the relevant individuals to alterations in the system. In order to deal with these emails efficiently, it is of practical benefit that they contain useful information. When sending an email

from TOPdesk, you can add a reference to relevant cards so that these cards can be opened directly from within the email, via both the Self Service Desk and the operator’s section. In addition, you can attach

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How do I make a recurrent reservation
The question mark icon, featured on every process page in TOPdesk 4.3, gives you access to the new Help & Support website. Here you can find the answer to all of your questions, in the form of FAQs, manuals, Tips & Tricks and ‘Getting started’ instructions.

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content from the card itself to the email; for example, information retrieved from the ‘Request’ field of an Incident Card.

Contact details in your email footer
It is useful for the recipient to have your contact details at hand. For this reason, you will probably place your organization’s signature at the bottom of your emails. You can reuse the details you include in this signature in future emails, which means that for a change in the name of your organization, for example, you don’t have to alter every single email. To set this up, you should refer to a specific Site Card, such as ‘Own Site’. You can do this in System Settings > Functional settings > General tab. In this Site Card, you can enter which information should be repeated in the ‘Notes’ field or other fields. It is possible that you share your TOPdesk Enterprise installation with other supporting departments, such as IT, Facilities or HR, which all have their own contact details. In that case, you can record the repeated information in the ‘Notes’ field of the corresponding user group card.

You can refer to these specific fields from within the emails, which are summarized under System > System fields. You can easily change the address of the TOPdesk server by calling it up in the same way. This is useful if you use an acceptance and production environment for TOPdesk.

Readability and corporate identity
Emails sent through TOPdesk can be set up in such a way, that they are enjoyable to read, and in keeping with your corporate identity. You can do this in Settings Management > Action explorer. You can enhance the readability of an email using HTML formatting. Important sections of text can be amplified by making them bold, italic or by presenting them in another colour. Furthermore, you can summarize information or present it in a table. To make sentences more enjoyable to read, you can use the various options to enrich date fields. You can choose, for example, to display the date field in full with the name of the month or the day of the week. By merging and creating date fields more than once, you can transform the standard ‘14-7-2009 11:30’ into ‘Tuesday 14 July, at 11:30’.

In TOPdesk you can send an email from various cards; you can set up these standardized emails yourself.

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To view the layout options for a field, first left-click on the name of the merged field. Subsequently, right-click the mouse and choose ‘Layout’. It’s possible to do more; the presentation of date stamps in memo fields in TOPdesk, starting from version 4.2, can be adjusted in this way. In addition, you can display merged fields entirely in either lower case or UPPER CASE. To do this, encase the merged field with \a and \A or \A and \a respectively. To ensure that emails are in keeping with your house style, you can incorporate a logo. Technically speaking, you can make the logo available via a server on the internet, and then create a reference to it from the HTML layout in the email. You can also send the image as an attachment with the email, and refer to it as follows: <img src=”cid:[ image name ]”> Upon receipt of an email, most email programs display at least the name of the sender and the subject heading. If you wish to display not only your own email address, but also your company name (for example ‘TOPdesk Support’), under your email, you can set the sender’s address as follows: “TOPdesk Support” support@TOPdesk.com.

Do you use TOPdesk SAAS? Very soon, you will be able to fine-tune your emails yourself. Until then, it’s a good idea to prepare for the adjustments, and to then implement them together with a TOPdesk consultant on location.

Accessible for operators
Using actions, you can set up TOPdesk emails to appear and/or be sent automatically, when it suits you; for example, when you log or close an incident. In addition, emails can be recorded under the context menu of a field. These can then be activated manually by an operator or end user. In this way, you can specify a standard email message for the request of additional information, such as a database or log files, or you can inform the caller of the status of a call in addition to a telephone call. With this kind of email, you can define one or more fields under ‘Special Events’. To follow up on exactly which emails you have sent to the caller, you can save emails sent by TOPdesk. To enable this option, go to the (technical) System Settings, and under ‘Email module’ choose the option ‘Save sent emails’. You will subsequently find all sent messages under the Notes tab of the card from which the messages were sent.

ENSURE THAT EMAILS ARE IN KEEPING WITH YOUR CORPORATE IDENTITY BY INCORPORATING A LOGO

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