Reduce Response Time and Cost with SmartTemplateLoader and VF Templates in ServiceCloud

The ServiceCloud instance I mentioned in a previous post has about nine agents fielding cases that are resolved primarily through emails from the Case Feed publisher. The case volume for the team is about 500 / week. So, if a agent takes 2.5 seconds to select an email template, that would be about 18 hours per year of agent team time: over two full working days spent doing nothing but selecting the right email template.

That is, unless the template is selected automatically.

Thanks to the interface allowing the Enabling of Default Email Templates in Case Feed, a given field value from the case can be used to determine what template should be loaded by the time an agent clicks on the email publisher. In our instance, the Case Type field values correlated well to templates. The association is made and maintained through a Custom Setting that can be updated without ever touching the logic in the Apex class. If more templates are added later, just create a new Custom Setting value.

If agents are copying and pasting information from the case fields, the time waste is even more egregious. In the case of our agents, they are associating multiple records from several objects to a single case, and several fields from each record need referenced in an email. The solution here was to write a custom controller that supported a component embedded in the VF template so that upon selection, the relevant data was queried and formatted into a table. Combined with the auto-template selection described above, that means by the time an agent has updated a field on the case, an email response has already been crafted. (Note of warning: be sure to grab all the relevant information from case fields when crafting VF templates as agents cannot manually edit them like HTML template (as of Winter ’14)),

So, by adding a component to automate email signatures and field logic to craft email subjects, the agents’ process for resolving a case after filling it out went from:
1. Determining what template to use
2. Clicking the Email publisher tab
3. Writing an email subject
4. Opening the template folder
5. Selecting the desired template
6. Pasting in the information from associated records
7. Writing their signature
8. Clicking send

To:
1. Clicking the Email publisher tab
2. Clicking send

Customers are actually receiving help faster while man hour costs are reduced. Rockin’.

I recommending the following for anyone who wants to implement automatic email template selection…
How to Implement a Smart Template for Case Feed

Or query a record set based on what has been associated with a case to get data into an email…
Using Custom Controllers within Visualforce Email Templates

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