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iService User Guide

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External Answer Page

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iService provides an external answer page where anyone can answer questions assigned to them by an iService agent. When an agent assigns a question using the Forward to External action, iService sends a notification template with a link to the answer page. The page uses a  Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) to identify the question, and allows anyone with the link to answer the question without logging into iService. The recipient can simply click the link to open the external answer page, read the question, and submit a response. The response is sent to the contact, and the person submitting the answer is recorded as the agent regardless of whether they have an iService login.  


The External Answer Page Layout

An example of the external answer form displayed to an anonymous user is shown below.


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The External Answer Page


If you load a question in the external answer page while logged in as an agent, your email address is not requested. iService already knows who you are and will record you as the operator that provided the answer.


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External Anser Page for Logged In Agent


Creating the Forward to External Agent Notification template


The Forward to External Agent action requires an Agent Notification template that includes the $value -forwardexternal(url)$ variable, which generates the URL for accessing the answer page. This notification is emailed to the address entered by the iService agent. The template may contain any desired text, but must include the $value -forwardexternal(url)$ to appear in the list of notifications presented to the iService agent and provide a link for accessing the question.




In addition to the URL parameter, you can also include the following in your notification template.


Agentname parameter

$value -forwardexternal(agentname)$

This parameter inserts the name of the agent thadt assigned the question.


Agentemail parameter

$value -forwardexternal(agentemail)$

This parameter inserts the email address of the agent that assigned the question


Agentcomments parameter

$value -forwardexternal(agentcomments)$

This parameter inserts the notes provided by the agent in the Private Comments section of the question that was assigned.


An example notification template might look like the following.


An iService agent has invited you to answer a question.


Name of the agent that assigned you the question:  $value -forwardexternal(agentname)$

Email of the agent that assigned you the question:  $value -forwardexternal(agentemail)$

Comments from the agent  that assigned you the question: $value -forwardexternal(agentcomments)$


To provide your answer, click the link below to load the iService external answer page.

$value -forwardexternal(url)$



Forward to External Action vs. System Generated Agent Notifications


The Forward to External Agent action is designed to allow people that are not iService agents to answer questions. It requires an iService agent to manually assign a question using the Forward menu shown above.


The external answer page, however, can also be used by licensed iService agents with system generated agent notifications. System generated agent notifications notify iService agents whenever a question that matches their skills arrives. In that scenario, the question is not assigned to anyone and no manual action is required to generate the notification. iService agent notifications are configured by topic, as shown below.


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Setting an Agent Notfication on a Topic


Agent notifications are only sent to agents if they have the skills required to handle the question,Receive Notification is turned on in their agent settings, and the topic has an agent notification template assigned (as shown above).


Both of the templates (i.e., used by the Forward to External action and the system generated notification set for topics) are created in the segment’s Notification settings page. The difference comes in the parameters available. The Agent Notification does not support the agentname, agentemail, or agentcomments parameters because it is not created by an agent.




The forward to external page does not support the Stock Response picker. Therefore, you should not use the form with questions that require a stock response, such as the Quote Form.


Error Messages


The GUID generated for the external answer page remains valid until the question is resolved. iService will only send one answer to a question, so when the question is resolved you will receive the following errors. The question may be resolved before you load it, or after you load it.


When trying to load the page for a resolve question

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Error when trying to load a resolved question


When trying to submit answer but question is resolved

In this scenario, you may have composed a question but another agent answered it before you clicked the submit button. When that occurs, the submit button is removed and the following error is shown.


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Error when trying to submit answer to resolved question


When the GUID is incorrect or missing

If the GUID is missing or doesn't get loaded correctly, the question can't be displayed. That scenario will result in the following error message.


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Error wihen GUID is not valod


When the contact has a bounced email address

It the contact has an invalid email address (i.e., marked as bounced), the question can't be answered. The status of the email address can only be updated in the iService UI. In these cases the following message is displayed.


Error when a contact has an invalid email address

Error when a contact has an invalid email address

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