Help Desk Tips is a weekly series featuring best practices and tips from support professionals on optimizing your help desk and support department.

A big part of helping our members at Postcrossing, a postcard exchange community, involves guiding them through processes that happen in the real world (e.g. waiting for postcards to arrive, talk with the neighbors, contact the post office, etc) in order to solve a problem.

Since some of these tasks can take days or weeks, it's not practical to keep hundreds of conversations active, waiting for something to happen. We also don't want to risk forgetting about them, so we created a "scheduling" hack to manage our long-term conversations.

Scheduling Reminders for Ongoing Conversations

First, we tag conversations for a specific period of time (7 days, 14 days or 30 days), and set them to "Pending."

Each tag has a workflow that sets the conversation back to "Active,” reminding us to follow-up if nothing happened in the meantime. We can then ask the member for an update to see if the problem has been solved, or if there is more we need to do. (There is a FollowUpThen integration that we could use for this, but we don't feel comfortable sharing member emails or their personal data.)

This helps us manage our longer-term issues easily and ensures that our members aren’t left hanging.

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Ana Campos

About the author: Ana Campos is the Community Manager at Postcrossing.