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This is the scenario. We use Salesforce primarily for managing inbound customer cases and have a workflow that will automatically close a case if:

  • The customer has been emailed
  • The status has been set to 'awaiting reply'
  • The customer has not replied in 3 days

We also have a number of fields that our Management need to be populated with data for pulling metrics. Previously these would be set by the agents on Case closure, however when the case was auto-closed by the workflow, these were not set.

To address this, Management has made these fields mandatory at the point of picking up the case. This has caused a couple of issues - namely our case throughput has dropped, since instead of opening a case, replying to the customer (often single sentence responses or templated responses) we now have to open another section and fill in the information - which leads to the second issue - the Mandatory fields are primarily for what the resolution is/was - so we have to set what the resolution of the case was, before we have actually resolved it.

Now - we've raised this with Management as an issue and their response was 'find a better way of doing it and we'll do it that way' - so here is my Question:

The ideal situation is that the fields are only made mandatory on an attempt to close and that we can do this in a way that will play nicely with the autoclosure workflow.

What would be the best way to achieve this? One thought would be that that we create an additional status that the AutoClosure rule would set the case to if these fields weren't set and have the agent prompted to set them in order to close the case or Have the Agent notified of pending-close cases on a 24 hourly basis with a prompt to set the status or something else?

Appreciate any suggestions/feedback on how to architect this.

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The ideal situation is that the fields are only made mandatory on an attempt to close and that we can do this in a way that will play nicely with the autoclosure workflow

A validation rule might be a good solution for you in this case. You can setup the validation rule to only fire if the agent is trying to close the case and the required fields are not filled out.

Because of the execution order, your workflow would execute AFTER the validation rules which means that it wouldn't be subject to the same requirements. It sounds like this isn't ideal for your scenario? In that case, you could proceed as you described with notifying the agent in some way or using a particular status and not having the workflow fire.

I can't think of a great way to get around that last problem unless you want to get creative with how you determine resolution. Some ways I've seen this done in the past is via NLP and building a model to understand the text in the sent emails and then applying a classification. I know this is probably overkill for your scenario, just pointing out options.

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