Replying to a ticket and updating its status

Creating a reply

On the Create a Reply tab for a ticket, you can use the rich text editor and the additional fields/options to send a reply back to a patron. 

On this tab you can:

  1. Use the rich text editor to draft the text of the reply that will be sent out for the ticket.
  2. Use the Apply a Macro this Ticket field to quickly add any text/tags/settings that were included in a macro that has been created.
  3. Use the Files uploader to attach files to the reply.
    • Grab the file from your desktop and drag it into the uploader. 
    • Or if you prefer, you can click on the uploader to choose a file from your desktop.
    • The maximum size is 20 MB per file, and you can upload up to 5 files.
  4. Use the Add Links field to optionally include a list of links to the end of the reply.
  5. CC Answer to: Add any additional email addresses, other than the email address of the ticket submitter, that should also receive the ticket reply. 
    • Any time the patron CC's an email address, either when sending a new ticket via email or in a reply, those email addresses will automatically be added to the ticket's CC Answer to list.
    • If you need to remove an email address, simply click on the Delete (x) icon next to it.
  6. Add to FAQ Group: If the text of the reply warrants inclusion in your site's FAQs, you can optionally choose to have a new FAQ created when the reply is submitted.
    • Once you submit your reply, the patron's initial question will be copied as the new FAQ's question, and your reply will be copied as its answer. You will then be given the option to edit the FAQ once the reply has been sent.
    • The new FAQ will not be published immediately, so you'll have the opportunity to edit the FAQ to remove any personal information from the question or answer text, or make any other needed changes.
  7. Add to Analytics: If you use Ref. Analytics to track your tickets alongside your in-person reference transactions, you also have the option of adding the question to one of your datasets.
    • Once you submit your reply, a new transaction will be added to your Ref Analytics dataset. This will include the patron's question, along with the text of your reply. In addition to the responses, you selected for the metadata fields, Ref. Analytics will also record your name in the "Entered by" field.
  8. Submit the reply and changing the ticket's status:
    • Click on the Submit as Closed button to send it to the patron and anyone who was cc'd on the ticket. It's at this point that where the ticket would be added as an FAQ or to your Ref Analytics dataset, if you selected these options.
    • This will also update the status of this ticket to Closed, which effectively means no further action is required for this ticket. However, if you click on the arrow portion of this button, you can select a different status. Here's a summary of each:

      • Closed: this indicates that no further interaction is expected for this ticket.
      • Open: this indicates that your follow-up may be required for this ticket. If a patron replies to you, the ticket will automatically be updated to this status.
      • Pending: this indicates that you are expecting a follow-up from the patron. Compared to the Closed status, this can help you keep an eye on the ticket, as it will be listed along with your other open tickets.
      • New: this indicates that the patron has submitted their question and is awaiting a reply. This is the status automatically assigned to incoming tickets.

Overview of replying to a ticket


 Previewing and saving a draft of a reply

Previewing your reply

If you'd like to see how your reply will look to the patron, click on the Preview Email button. This will open a preview of the email that the patron will see, giving you a sense of how your text formatting, images, etc. will appear. It's also a helpful way to proofread your reply before sending it.

Example of how to preview an email

Saving a draft of your reply

You can also choose to save a draft of your reply so you can send it at a later time. This is obviously helpful if you don't have time to finish it, or maybe need to do some additional research on the question. However, it's also helpful because drafts can be viewed by other users in your queue when they look at the ticket. This means you can ask your colleagues to proofread, edit, or add to your reply before sending it on to the patron.

  1. To save your reply as a draft, click the Save Draft button.
  2. The draft will appear in the ticket thread in a red box. To restore this draft, click on the reply's Action () button.
  3. Then, select Restore Draft from the dropdown menu.

When you restore a draft, the text of the reply will appear in the rich text editor so you can pick up where you left off. Although attached files and links are also saved with your drafts, your Add to FAQ Group and Add to Analytics options are not. You will need to reselect those before sending your reply.

Example of saving a draft

Example of restoring a draft


Replying to a ticket via email

When a LibAnswers user receives an email notification for a new reply from a patron, instead of logging into LibAnswers to send a reply, a new reply can be sent to the patron directly from the reply notification email. 

To reply to the ticket from the email, use the reply option for the email like any other email -- making sure that the text of the reply is added above the --# Please type your reply above this line, it will be sent as a response to the patron #-- line in the email. Keeping the reply text above this line is essential for ensuring that the message is threaded and sent properly for the ticket.

Example of how to reply to a ticket from email

What happens if I reply to a LibAnswers ticket notification?

In LibAnswers, notification emails will be sent when replying to tickets, leaving internal notes, or reassigning tickets to other users. You can also choose to notify certain users when new tickets are received, as well. When replying to one of these email notifications, a different action will occur on the ticket. Below is a summary of what happens when replying to a specific type of notification.

Ticket action Who is notified? What happens when replying to the email?
New ticket in queue If one or more emails have been set in the queue's Notifications > Notificatoin Email settings, those users will receive a notification alert when a new ticket is submitted by a patron. Otherwise, no one will be notified via email. The first person to reply to this email will claim the ticket and that reply will be sent to the patron.

If a user replies after a ticket has been claimed by someone else, the patron will not receive the reply and the user will be notified of this.
Patron replies to a ticket This depends upon the queue's Notifications > New Reply Notifications settings. Commonly, however, the ticket owner and any CC'ed addresses will be notified. All replies will be sent to the patron, the ticket owner, and any CC'ed addresses.
Reply sent to patron The patron and any CC'ed addresses.

This depends upon the queue's Notifications > New Reply Notifications settings. Commonly, when the patron replies to these notifications, a reply will be added to the ticket and the ticket owner and any CC'ed addresses will be notified.

When a patron replies to a ticket that was last updated more than the value set for the Break Replies into a new Ticket after X Months setting, that reply will become a new ticket; the new ticket will also include an internal note so it's easy to find the original ticket thread.

Internal note added to ticket Any users selected from the Email Note to dropdown when creating the note. (This can include both users and address book entries.) Replies will be logged as internal notes and the ticket owner will be notified if the replies were added by other users. If the initial note was sent to multiple users, they will only receive replies that are sent using Reply All.
Ticket assigned to another user The new ticket owner and any CC'ed addresses (which can include both users and address book entries). Only the ticket owner can reply to the patron. The reply will be sent to the patron and any CC'ed addresses.
Ticket assigned to an address book entry The selected address book recipient and any CC'ed addresses (which can include both users and address book entries). If the address book recipient replies to the queue's email address, then the reply will be logged as an internal note.

In order to reply to the patron, the address book recipient must forward the email and enter the patron's email address in the TO line (the default email template includes these instructions for the address book recipient).

Replying to an SMS ticket via the ticket page

Along with being able to reply to SMS tickets when monitoring LibChat, all incoming SMS tickets can be replied to from their ticket page. The process for replying to an SMS ticket is the same as a normal ticket, with some limits.

  1. Add the text of the reply in the SMS Response field.
    • If the reply is longer than the 160 characters allowed for an SMS message, click the I need more space link to open a secondary response field.
  2. Use the Apply a Macro to this Ticket option to apply an SMS-based macro to the ticket.
  3. Add to Analytics: If you use Ref. Analytics to track your tickets alongside your in-person reference transactions, you also have the option of adding the question to one of your datasets.
  4. Click on the Submit as Closed button to send it to the patron.

Overview of replying to an SMS ticket


Ticket threading

When you send a reply, it's added to the end of the ticket's thread. The thread is essentially a transcript of all of the communication between you and the patron, from their initial question to the most recent reply. If the patron or a CC'ed user responds to your reply, this is also added to the end of the thread, allowing you to easily follow the entire conversation from start to finish. 

In the thread, staff user replies will be contained inside of orange boxes, while patron replies will be contained inside of blue boxes.

Example of threaded replies

Why did a patron's reply turn into a new ticket?

In order for a reply to be threaded, the email must contain certain information about the ticket in its header. Unfortunately, there are a few email clients that do not include that information. As a result, LibAnswers can't identify which ticket the reply belongs to, so it gets turned into a new ticket. Don't fret, though! You can always merge the ticket into the original.

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