Have an auto reply for users writing to HelpDesk
In order to lower the pressure/urgency of each individual request to HelpDesk, making it easier to provide more edited information to the rest of the teams according to our mission, we want to have an auto reply for users so they can self-diagnose the most common problems. Main ticket is tails#17935
We want requests sent to Help Desk to get an automatic email answer:
- “thanks, we don’t have the capacity to answer every request”
- link to the doc and FAQ
- set lower expectations wrt. timing
- for new software suggestions and other dev topics, refer users to https://tails.boum.org/support/faq/#software - https://tails.boum.org/contribute/
Help Desk would still read the reports and extract the info we need for the “Gather qualitative and quantitative user data” part of its mission, but will not always answer a personally crafted message to users.
Help Desk members must be able to easily propose changes, for example, to maintain in the message the list of current Top 10 issues reported by users.
Technical writers also need access to edit the content of the auto-reply.
Non-WhisperBack emails: Only the 1st email in a thread triggers the auto-reply. Otherwise it would be very noisy for the user and send mixed signals ("we need more info from you but we might not answer a second time").
WhisperBack emails: Some kind of notification when sending a report How would we let them know about the newer hot topics?
- Adding a link to somewhere on our website would miss many people.
- Embedding the current list in the notification would require to either fetch it in the background.
- including the list in the image does not work, because it would be outdated as soon as the image is released and we won't be able to rely this mechanism for issues in the release itself, which misses most of the point.
Which email gets an auto-reply
- WhisperBack reports
- Emails sent to tails-support-private
- Emails forwarded from other lists to which users write by mistake.
- Mailing list moderation emails
Most users are writing to tails-support-private@.
tails-bugs@ only receives unencrypted admin emails from the lists, emails from contributors or helpdesk, and WhisperBack reports.
- Is it OK if all messages sent by tails-bugs members receive the auto-reply message to? (For example, if these messages have a special header that could allow you folks to configure your email client to automatically [delete] them?)
- Is it OK if messages sent via WhisperBack don’t get an auto-reply email? - Can the last page of the WhisperBack report show the user a link to a web version of the auto-reply email? (Perhaps, after submission, a part of the auto-reply can be shown, and a link to "latest hot topics and such")
- Is it OK if every message, even if it’s not the beginning of a thread, gets an auto-reply email?
- Can we track opening posts in email headers? Should we rely on the Re: in the subject line? - What about the "In-Reply-To" field
- we can also rely on the fact that people writing an email to the help desk write to tails-support-private@ and receive a reply from tails-bugs@, so their second email will be to tails-bugs@
Write a generic message
Write standard text to answer hardware support reports for which we can't do anything (tails#17966 (closed))
Changes to HelpDesk workflow after completion
Once this auto-reply is in place, a number of other, important changes can be implemented in Help Desk’s workflow and processes (tails#17965 (closed)).