UR Reply via Email
This is slightly outside the scope of WME Beta, but in general about our ability to provide a better service for end users.
Allow users to reply to URs via email. Many support systems allow this, and in most cases, the process is fairly simple. The process might be as follows:
- User submits a request/issue from the app while they drive
- We (editors) get a pin on the map with submitted details as before
- User gets an email with a unique response email address (something like firstname.lastname@example.org)
- User gets instructions on how to view the map issue they submitted
- User gets instructions on how to provide more details (ie, from the app, or reply via email)
- If user replies via email, the email goes to a processing application and the details are added to the UR
- If user replies via app, they get an option to approve the full details of the journey to volunteers (start/end, exact details entered, route taken, etc)
- Editors now have a higher chance of getting details to support drivers because of email support, and the check box allows drivers to approve exposing extra details to volunteers.
Obviously the exposing extra details to volunteers will probably have to go through some legal process, but as we (as editors) often ask for details about the driver's routes anyway, I'm not sure there really is a difference.
The really important bit here is the reply via email. With it pinned to a sub-domain of waze.com (such as requests.waze.com) a processing application can append the replies to existing requests (based on the part in front of the @). This is a pretty common practice on many support ticketing systems, and I'm sure we'd get a much higher response rate on user request follow-ups.
Link to original suggestion: https://www.waze.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1525&t=306988
Thank you very much for this detailed suggestion.
Currently there is a lot of work around communication between the WME and the client (the app), to find how best should be handled.
We will do our best to share some more details about it in the near future.
At this point this is currently not planned, and therefore won’t move to our back log.
If any thing in this direction will be changed, we will update accordingly.
I would like to see email reply BUT as it it not being planned, at a minimum the email that goes to Wazers needs to clearly tell them to NOT reply to the email.
- Since there is nothing saying not to reply by email, Wazers do and those emails do not get rejected at all... they just disappear into a black hole.
- Since Waze doesn't tell Wazers not to reply, editors end up doing it. It just makes our responses, where we have to ask for info such as destination, longer and less likely to be read and responded to.
Glodenox (Global Champ) commented
I'm a big fan of this solution. There are some challenges to the practical execution of this, but I don't see anything insurmountable. It's a shame this is currently not planned, but hopefully the communication rework will help things out.
But before doing all that, I think it would be best to _at the very least_ set up an auto-reply for email@example.com (I know, ironic) saying that the mail could not be delivered and that the instructions in the original mail should be followed. Many mail clients will just show "Waze Map Editor" instead of the no-reply address. This is something that can be done in a matter of minutes. I'll create a separate suggestion for this to make sure this doesn't get hidden.
Agreeing with Alex: no need for unique email addresses. Simply having the system filter for the UR ID code would be sufficient.
The poor reply rate is frustrating and in big cities, simply having URs sitting around waiting for replies that never come makes it harder to view new URs that yet need an initial message from the local map volunteers.
Greg Clopp commented
Something like this would be great, since the reply box frequently fails to load in the app inbox.
I've gotten more than just a few replies to UR's once I've closed them out since I include my email address in the closing comment. All such replies state there was no way to reply in-app.
Zachary Z. Ordo commented
This appears to be a mistake to me as well. The tools editors are given to communicate to reporters does not give us editors a high enough response rate because most of the time, the reporter never sees our communications. Reporters are often responding directly to the e-mail via an e-mail response, meaning we never receive their response.
Unless there is something really great planned, this seems like a mistake to me. We currently have to include a note in our UR replies specifically instructing people not to try to reply to the email.
The UR ID is already contained within the email sent today, a little bit of filtering by a script looking at the replies to these emails could gain us a valuable communication channel with our users and simplify the work of editors greatly.