When a customer’s client requests all communication info the firm has for them relating to a certain Matter, there is currently no way for our users to bulk export all the emails within a Matter; not without requiring significant manual effort.
The current options are:
- PDF print each email, one-by-one. In some cases, this could be 100s if not 1000s of emails.
- Export all their Inbox/Sent Items emails as a CSV, which does not include the body of the email, and if it did, there would not be any of the emails original formatting, making it difficult to read.
- Download their entire database and the emails are shown in an CSV with the body of the emails, however all formatting it lost, and it is very difficult to follow an email chain in this way.
It is also negative for our Support team, as they have no good solution and therefore cannot give any kind of positive resolution for our customers, who are extremely unhappy in this scenario.
While this kind of request only comes through our Support team about 1-2 times a month, it is a nightmare for both our customers & Support when it occurs.
2 FTEs for one cycle.
When customers are in the Inbox or Sent Items page for a matter, we want them to be able to export multiple emails they have selected, in a format that is then easy to share with their client either via email or saved to a storage device. Ideally all grouped into as a single (zip?) file. We currently have a functionality to “zip” documents in our product, so perhaps this could be re-usable functionality for emails?
Any attachments on the emails would ideally be included in the export. Appreciate this may be challenging/impossible (check first Rabbit Hole). Recommend leaving this for last, as we can live without it if we run out of time and don’t want to spend too much R&D time upfront figuring it out as it could lead to nothing getting delivered on time.
The export should run in the background allowing the user to continue to use their system or even close the browser. When the export is completed, the customer should be notified (perhaps both in-app and via email?) that it is done and available for download, with an easy way for them to access and get the export file.
If the export fails for any reason, the user should be notified that it failed, and they would need to try again.
Rabbit Holes & No Goes
- Not 100% sure if the system would currently know which email an attachment might belong to. If this is the case, then include attachments in the export but obviously we wouldn’t be able to tell the user which emails they related to.
- We don’t know how best to group attachments with the emails they were attached to – maybe a folder for each email is created that stores the file for the email and any attachments that came from that email. Not sure how practical that is or if there is a better way, keen to see what you can come up with!
- We don’t know what file format will be best to export the emails as. PDF or EML are the most likely candidates, but feel free to explore others. It has to be able to be opened by either any PDF file reader or in Outlook and Gmail.
Nice to Haves
- The emails keep their formatting
- When the user is notified that a Bulk Export has failed, they are informed of some possible reasons for why it failed and possible next steps like “try again later” or “Export was too large, perhaps consider doing it in 2-3 smaller batches”. We cannot cover ever failure scenario, so please try be specific for the 2-3 most common and for all others use a generic message such as “Export failed – sorry about that! Please try again later. If this keeps happening after a few attempts, please contact our Support team”.
How We’ll Measure Success
Support confirm that the solution solves this issue and they stop receiving unresolvable support queries related to this issue.