Create a Rule-Only template to take care of those commonly-asked questions from your customers

This help file will guide you through how to set it up in your eDesk account.

Before you start

  • You’ll need to have access to Templates in your Settings in order to view, create and edit templates. If you don’t have access, you can request it from an Admin user within your business.  

Note: to find out more general information regarding Templates in eDesk, click here.

Practical Example:

When a customer asks “How do I return my Amazon order?”, eDesk automatically handles the responses.


Our Rule-Only template will do the following:

  • automatically respond with a prewritten message that contains a hyperlink to Amazon’s Return Policy page.
  • add the tag Returns and Customer enquiries to the ticket.
  • set the status to Resolved
  • For a good customer experience, we’ll set up the response to appear as if it comes from someone in your team during office hours.

To learn more about Rule-Only templates, click here.

How to set it up?

First, we’ll put the Amazon link into a rule-only template, tell eDesk to use the template during office hours only, and delay the response for a maximum of 5 minutes to simulate a response from a human agent.  Then we’ll set up a rule that asks eDesk to check IF the incoming messages are:

  • a Return query
  • for an Amazon marketplace order

And THEN automatically perform the following actions:

  • auto-respond with the template.
  • add the tags Returns and Customer enquiries.
  • update the status to Resolved.

We’ll call this template Amazon Returns Procedure. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Create the template and write the message that will be sent to the customer.

  1. In Settings → Smart Tools → Templates, click + Add Template and select Rule-only from the menu.
  2. In the Template section, enter Amazon Returns Procedure and tick the Active Template checkbox to make it active once it’s saved.

    Note: Leave the Template Type field unchanged.
    Template Name and Type fields
  3. In the Message and Language section, select English from the Language menu and enter text explaining how to return items via Amazon into the Message field:
    Message and Language fields
    Note: We don’t want to attach the invoice so don’t click the Attach Invoice checkbox, and we will set up the conditions in the Rule Only tab, so leave the Usage Conditions section unchanged too.

Step 2: Ask eDesk to respond with the template during office hours only, and delay each response for a few minutes.

  1. We want eDesk to auto-respond with our Amazon Returns procedure template during office hours, which are 9am until 6pm Monday to Friday, and 9am until 9pm on Saturday. Click the Rule-only tab at the top of the page, and under Date & Time Conditions, click + Add weekly time restriction. Set the time periods for each day of the week as follows:
    Date and Time conditions
    Note: Leave the Date & Time Conditions - One Off section unchanged. We don’t need to set this up.
  2. We would like our template to simulate a response from a human Agent, so we will delay eDesk’s response for a few minutes. This will also prevent Amazon from detecting that the response is automated. In the Autoresponder Options section, set the following:
    • Delay: Leave the minimum delay unchanged and set the maximum delay to 5 minutes.  This tells eDesk to send the response between 0 and 5 minutes after receiving the customer’s message. 
    • Frequency: set the frequency to Once every 24 hours so that if the customer responds with further questions, eDesk won’t send this template again for 24 hours.
    • We want this template to be used for all customers, so we will leave the Exclude fields blank. 
    • We would like to include a signature at the bottom of the template for Amazon, so tick the Include the channel signature.
      Autoresponder options
      Note: We’ll use a rule to configure the other conditions for this template so we will leave the Change Message status field in the Misc section unchanged, and we don’t want to make this template an AI template, so you can ignore the AI Settings tab.
  3. Click Create Template to save the new template.
    The new template is added to the list in Settings → Smart Tools → Templates.

Step 3: Set up the rule to look for messages that are asking about Amazon returns.

  1. Now we’ll set up the new rule that will control when eDesk uses this template. We’ll call this rule Amazon Returns Procedure but it can have any name. Go to Settings → Smart Tools → Message Rules, click + Add Message rule.
  2. In the General section: 
    • enter the name Amazon Returns Procedure.
    • tick the Active checkbox to make the rule active once saved.
    • tick the Stop processing further rules if conditions are matched checkbox. 
    • leave the Do not show ‘Rule matched’ note in ticket thread checkbox unticked. We want our Agents to see that eDesk has answered this.
    • tick the Only use once per ticket checkbox. We don’t want eDesk to auto-respond with the Amazon Returns Procedure template to more than one message from a customer for the same ticket.
      General section
  3. In the Conditions section, set up these conditions:

    Ticket Type  ANY OF THESE Returns Query
    Ticket Marketplace ANY OF THESE Amazon

    Rule conditions fields

Step 4: Bind the template to the rule, and ask it to assign tags and set the ticket status.

  1. We will now bind our Amazon Returns Procedure rule-only template to the rule, and tell eDesk to assign tags and change the ticket status when the rule conditions match the customer message.
    In the Actions section, set up the following:
    • Assign to tags: Customer Inquiries, Returns
      Note: we assume these tags have been created already. To learn how to create new tags, click here.
    • Tag assignation mode: Apply all.
    • Assign ticket owner: No assigned owner.
    • Mention users: No mentioned users.
    • Mention user mode: Apply all.
    • Changed ticket status: Mark as Resolved.
    • Webhook URL: None
    • Bind an Autoresponder: Amazon Returns Procedure
      Actions fields
  2. Click Create Rule to save the rule. That’s it! The rule and template are active and so eDesk will now send the template as an autoresponse when a customer message arrives during office hours and matches the conditions in the rule.

Alternatively, use AI HandsFree!

eDesk launched its powerful AI features in May 2023, which include AI HandsFree, an AI-powered alternative to Rule-Only templates. AI HandsFree recognizes when a customer sends a commonly-asked question, factors in the customer’s sentiment and their order information, and crafts the perfect AI powered response, which it then sends to the customer automatically and immediately. Your support agents don’t have to do a thing! Learn all about AI HandsFree here.

Note: eDesk's AI is available only on ticket-based +Performance plans. If you're an existing customer, you'll need to upgrade to use eDesk's AI but it's available by default on new plans. Learn about our plans here.

Further Readings

To learn about auto-responding to messages containing keywords with eDesk, click here.

To learn about auto-responding during busy times with eDesk, click here.