Monday, April 30, 2012

The Group Search Inquiry Process

The new Group Search feature has an Inquiry process which allows potential group members to easily submit inquiries to groups in which they are interested, and then allows the group and organization leaders to manage the queue of inquiries. The key goal of the inquiry process was to "not let anyone slip through the cracks".

Once an organization leader decides they are interested in being searchable, there are some steps they should follow:
Organization set at Searchable
  • Set the Organization to be searchable. 
  • Decide who in the Organization's leaders should be the primary Organization contact for Inquiry and iNquiry Attention Governor emails.
  • Determine what set of information for which each group's answers would appear in the group details on the Group Search site. This is called Group Meta Data, for which there will be a future blog post with details and examples. The Organization Leaders should then ask each group to go to their Group Leader Site's meta data page to 'answer' the questions posed by the meta data.
  • Write up an explanation of the Organization's expectations on how to handle inquiries. This writeup is contained in each inquiry email sent to the group leaders and organization leaders upon a submitted inquiry.
At this point, the Organization is ready to publish the web address for their specific Group Search site to potential group members to browse.

Potential Group members then search for, and submit inquiries to groups which they find interesting.
  • Confirmation of the inquiry is sent to the submitter.
  • Details of the inquiry are sent to the primary group leaders and primary organization leaders
Now the Group Leaders have a responsibility to follow up with the potential group member. This includes contacting them via email or phone based on the data submitted by the potential group member.

If, for whatever reason, the Group Leader does not followup with the potential group member, the iNquiry Attention Governor will begin to remind both the Group Leaders and the Organization Leaders that followup is still required.

Group Leaders may then:
Group Leader's options for handling an inquiry
  • State that they've contacted the potential group member (which reduces the frequency of the NAG emails)
  • Dismiss the Inquiry (with a reason for the dismissal)
  • Or Invite the potential group member to their group.
Organization Leaders have the ability to manage the queue of all inquiries for their entire organization, including taking any of the actions above.

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