ERMS Email Escalation Notifications Help Prevent Frustrated Customers

  • by John Burton, Director Solution Management, SAP Interaction Center & Social CRM, SAP
  • Vinod C, Developer, SAP CRM
  • January 15, 2009
Learn how to configure SAP CRM to send automatic email notifications to your contact center supervisor when the initial response time for a customer email in the queue has been exceeded.
Key Concept

The E-Mail Response Management System (ERMS) capabilities of SAP CRM allow you to escalate customer emails that are not processed within a specific period of time. You can define the escalation criteria based on customization, service level agreements, and flexible business rules. For example, you could set up a rule that escalates emails from gold customers if the email is not processed within three hours after the initial receipt. When a customer email is escalated, a notification email is automatically sent to the contact center supervisor using a defined email template.

E-Mail Response Management System (ERMS) allows you to create business rules to process, acknowledge, route, and respond to incoming customer emails automatically using defined email templates and routing rules. Using ERMS, customer emails are assigned to the most appropriate processor, and then routed to the Agent Inbox of the assigned group or employee for processing. Agents then work down through the items in their inbox, processing each email in a timely manner — at least in an ideal world.

However, in the hectic world of contact centers where emails and agents are both constantly flying in and out, sometimes emails can be temporarily overlooked or neglected. To ensure that every email is processed within the appropriate time frame, ERMS provides escalation capabilities that automatically send an email notification to the contact center supervisor when the initial response time for any email has been exceeded. The initial response time is calculated as the time between when an email is received in the system and when an agent processes the email from the Agent Inbox. The determination of the appropriate initial response time period is calculated based on IMG configuration, customer service-level agreement (via service contract), or business rules — depending on how you have configured the system.

SAP CRM receives the emails, which ERMS then evaluates and handles by using business rules defined in the rule modeler. Optionally, depending on the results of the rule evaluation, ERMS may assign the email directly to an employee or organizational unit for manual processing. In this case, the email is routed to the Agent Inbox of the appropriate person or group using standard CRM partner determination.

If an email is not processed within the appropriate response time (as determined by ERMS rule evaluation), the email is escalated, triggering an email notification automatically to the contact center supervisor. This escalation procedure happens before the email is ever touched by an agent. It is independent of the user interface and works for both the IC WinClient and IC WebClient. After reviewing the escalated email, the supervisor can reroute the email or decide on another course of action to speed up processing.

John Burton

John Burton is a director of product management at SAP and is responsible for the SAP CRM Interaction Center (including ERMS) and social CRM topic areas. John has 13 years of experience at SAP and has been involved with SAP CRM and the Interaction Center since 1999. He is also the author of Maximizing Your SAP CRM Interaction Center, available at the SAPinsider Store. John is an alumnus of the University of Michigan and Central Michigan University. John can be found on LinkedIn at

See more by this author

Vinod C

Vinod C is the developer at SAP for SAP CRM Interaction Center. Vinod has four years experience with Interaction Center and has been involved in SAP CRM since 2005. He specializes in SAP CRM Interaction Center (both WinClient and WebClient), ERMS, and Call List functionality. His current responsibilities include support and maintenance of the SAP CRM Interaction Center.

See more by this author


No comments have been submitted on this article. 

Please log in to post a comment.

To learn more about subscription access to premium content, click here.