How to Include Email Management in Your Documentation Process
Before the advent of household electricity, mailing a letter could take weeks, months, or even years. Today, mailing a (digital) letter takes so little time that it’s practically instantaneous, a fact that has led to an explosion of emails for companies to manage. Email management tools can help you make the most of your email communications so you can maintain a secure, functional, and convenient record of your email activities.
When you incorporate email management into your existing documentation process, you can take advantage of the infrastructure and functionality of your document management software with the email-specific features of an email management solution. This guide will cover the fundamentals of email management solutions, what components they include, and how you can incorporate email management into your documentation process.
- Email management helps you record, store, and use emails to their full extent.
- Integrating email management into your documentation process is an easy way to maximize the value of both systems.
- FileCenter’s document management software includes robust tools for managing your documents – including emails!
Do I Need a Separate Email Management Solution?
Email management is the process of capturing, tracking, sorting, and filtering emails. While some companies can get by without a specialized email management solution, most companies can benefit from software that helps them manage their emails.
To determine whether you need an email manager, consider these criteria:
Customer Service Volume
An email management solution can help you keep track of customer service communications. The larger the volume of your customer service activities, the more important email management is. While small businesses might be able to manage their emails manually, any company with a significant volume of customer service communications should use a specialized solution.
Industry and Business Purpose
The nature of your business can help you determine how you should manage your emails. In an industry where it’s important to have an exact record of your business communications (such as finance, healthcare, or technology), email management software is vital to preserving your communications more reliably and securely than a manual process.
84% of customers expect an email response within one day or less. If you find that your customer service team is falling behind these expectations or having a difficult time prioritizing emails, that’s a warning sign that you need a better email management system. Email management software can help you track emails based on response time and can help ensure that no email falls through the cracks.
What Email Management Involves
There are many components to the broad field of email management, but the core functions are:
The average consumer receives over 100 emails every day – more if they work in an office. The staggering volume of emails is difficult to comprehend, with over 300 billion emails sent and received worldwide every year.
With so many emails flooding your team’s inboxes, storing these emails is a top priority. Your documentation process should already encompass storing different types of documents, and email management should be a part of that process.
Email management software should work hand-in-hand with your document management software to enable you to sort and search your emails based on subject, sender, date, keyword, attachment, etc.
The text of your email is its data. Information about that data (or “data about data”) is metadata, which includes pieces of information like the sender, recipient, time and date, keywords, and categories. Metadata is an important part of email management because it provides more flexibility and functionality for gleaning insights out of large pools of data – an essential activity of your documentation process.
Customer service emails can quickly become entangled and obscured, especially if you process a high volume of requests. To ameliorate this confusion, a ticketing system assigns a unique ID to each email chain. This allows you to track which emails your team has read, responded to, and resolved.
While a ticketing system might not be necessary for smaller companies that aren’t consumer-facing, they’re essential to any company with a sizeable customer service department.
Nearly half of all emails sent and received are spam – unsolicited emails that companies typically send out in bulk. That means that if left unchecked, spam can double your cost in terms of storage, labor, and energy.
Your email manager should have a process for filtering spam from legitimate emails. A process like a Bayesian spam filter uses mathematics to reliably predict which emails are spam and which are legitimate, reducing your overhead and freeing up your employees to focus on important tasks.
Integrating Email Management Into the Document Management Process
To integrate email management into your existing documentation process, you can simply follow these two steps:
Choose an Email Manager
While every organization has unique needs that you should keep in mind, you should select an email manager that can automatically do the following:
- Update and export information. Your document management software should always have access to timely and up-to-date information.
- Create tickets based on email traffic. If your business processes a high volume of customer service emails, a ticketing system will help you track and manage your service orders.
Use the Email Manager as Data Source
Add the email manager as a data source for your document management software. Alternatively, if your email manager works in conjunction with your existing email software (like Microsoft Outlook, for example), then your existing documentation process might already include the right data source.
For example, FileCenter natively integrates with Outlook, which is itself a lightweight email management system. If you incorporate a new email management software into Outlook, such as Zendesk, your existing integration between FileCenter and Outlook will stay the same – Zendesk simply adds new functionality to your existing relationship.
Document Management with FileCenter
The explosion of information modern businesses have access to is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because this additional documentation helps businesses make more informed decisions, but a curse because managing this documentation has its own challenges and complexities.
Rather than leaving your document management up to guesswork, FileCenter gives you the tools to take control of your documentation process. With advanced features like OCR, rules-based sorting, and Outlook integration, FileCenter makes it easy to keep your documents organized, functional, and secure.
To get started with your document management journey, download a free trial today to see how FileCenter can revolutionize your email and document management.