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Chatter Answers (Q&A Tab) private and public question behavior and considerations in Communities

Knowledge Article Number 000211849
Description Chatter Answers spans several application areas it may be difficult to identify why users are encountering a particular behavior. Detailed below are potential issues users may encounter when using Chatter Answers in a Community.
Resolution Community users do not have the ability to post private questions from Chatter Answers (Q&A Tab).
- Ensure that an Administrator has enabled private questions via Setup, Chatter Answers | Zones | Select "Enable Private Questions"

- If you're using High Volume Customer Portal users see Configuring Portal Users for Self-Registration to Chatter Answers for specific instructions to properly configure their profile

Check each community user's assigned profile to ensure object level Read access is set for Accounts and Read and Create access is set for the Cases

Set field level security (FLS) for the case object's Question field to visible for user's profiles. Note: FLS for this field is not set to visible by default for any profiles including System Administrators

Apply the Question field to your case page layouts.  See Customizing Page Layouts with the Enhanced Page Layout Editor

If Chatter Answer users are still unable to post a private question review the setup and configuration areas outlined in the Setting Up Chatter Answers documentation

Once properly enabled, Community members can submit a private question by selecting the Contact Support link after typing in their question:

Contact Support link 

Or alternatively they can select the Contact Support tab after clicking Continue to post:

Private question via Chatter Answers

When a user selects to Contact Support and posts their Question a case is automatically created in Salesforce.

Community users may encounter the error below if, for example, a case field that the user does not have access to is marked as required.

Error while running java://chatteranswers.aura.controller.AskWidgetController/ACTION$postQuestion:{"isPublic":false,"title":"Lets see the error","description":"Error","communityId":"09a30000000HLqI","categoryId":""} : retVal is null

To resolve this error an Administrator will need to check to ensure that there are no validation rules or required fields on the case object that may be preventing the community user from properly creating the case that's automatically generated upon submitting a private question. By default, posting a case privately inputs the following data in the corresponding case fields:

Case Subject: Give your question a title...
Case Description: Description of your question...
Contact Name: Community user's related contact record
Account Name: Community user's contact record's related Account
Case Owner: The Case setting's Default Case Owner (Setup, Customize | Cases | Support Settings) or via active assignment rule if specified and active.
Case Origin: Populated with "Chatter Answers"

From the resulting case in Salesforce, support agents can reply to the community user via the Case feed's "Answer Customer" publisher action by selecting Community in the action's drop down menu:

Answering a private question via a case

If the Answer Customer action is not available:

- Administrator will need to ensure that they have properly Set Up Case Feed and added the action to the case page layout's feed view. See Create and Edit Feed Layouts in Case Feed for details.  Select "Answer Customer" action in the Publisher Options section upon editing the case page layout's Feed View

- Ensure that the Support Agent is assigned a Chatter Answers feature license by selecting "Chatter Answers User" on their user detail and that they're a member of the community enabled for Chatter Answers​

Users are unable to select the "Send Email" preference when answering a customer:​
- This option is only available if your Administrator has enabled it and if the customer you’re replying to is associated with the case and has a valid email address populated on their contact record.

When an agent selects Answer Customer | Community an external (Public) case comment is placed on the case and is visible in the community as a reply to the member's private question in the asking user's Q&A Tab by selecting the Show My Questions filter:

Reply from support to community member's private question

Each time a support agent replies on a private question via the Answer Customer publisher action in the case's feed the community user receives an email notification similar to the following by default:

Subject: (Organization Name): New private reply to your question.

Body: A private reply was added to your conversation with Customer Support at 12:15 PM on 1/15/2015. To ensure privacy, we don't display private replies in emails.

 To see the private reply, click: https://yourcommunitysite'

The email contains a link that directs the user to the Community where they can view the reply or answer posted to their question by the support agent via the case.

If community users are not receiving email notifications for replies to their private questions:

- Check to ensure that the Chatter Answers email preferences are configured properly. See Configuring Email Notifications for Chatter Answers Users for more details

- See if the community user may have inadvertently turned off email notifications.  An administrator can do so by logging in as the affected community user by navigating to their corresponding contact record in Salesforce and selecting, Manage External User | Log in to Community as User.  Once logged in and navigate to the Q&A Tab (Chatter Answers) and select "My Questions" in the available Show filter selections:
Community user questions email preference

Community users receive the message, "Oops, there's no information for this topic. Please click another topic instead." upon attempting to view the private question's reply when clicking the provided link in the email.

To resolve this an Administrator may need to grant access to all cases associated with an account identified on the community user’s contact record navigate to Setup, Customize | Communities | Settings select the community user's assigned profile and add the case object to selected objects. Click the Set Up link under the Configure Access section and enter the following details for Configure Access in the sharing set's Access Mapping for Case dialog.

Grant access where
User: Contact.Account 
Target Case: Account
Access Level: select either "Read Only" or alternatively "Read/Write"

See Granting High-Volume Community Users Access to Records for more details.

What's the difference between a private and public question?

Questions are available to anyone who views the community, unless you mark your question as Private (by choosing "Contact Support" instead of "Ask a Question" after selecting Continue to post). Private questions are only viewed and answered by customer support.

Why are the "Customer Only" and "Private" selections unavailable when support agents reply to a question from a case?

As per the documentation Use the Case Feed Community Action to Communicate with Customers on Communities, the Customer Portal, Chatter Questions, and Chatter Answers, support agents can select Customer Only to post their answer as a private reply, or choose Everyone to post it to the community. However, these options are only available when replying to a question from a case feed's publisher action if the question was posted publicly in the community and then escalated to a case via the "Escalate to Case" link and are not available for agents when answering private customer questions.

Answer Question Customer Only or Everyone

Why is the "Escalate to Case" link missing for users when viewing questions?

Users created from contacts (External Community users/members) cannot escalate questions to cases and will not see the Escalate to case options. To troubleshoot the availability of the feature for internal users see Escalate to Case link is not available for Chatter Answer's Users in Community for more details.

Why are links in Chatter Answer replies showing up as text with the URL next to it in parenthesis?

See Links created in Chatter Answers rich text editor result in the URL in parenthesis next to text for more details.


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