Case auto-response workflow

Whenever you submit a case online, most companies will send you an automated email response telling you some basic information about your case. This can include the description about the problem you entered, the category of the problem and anything else that the companies feels relevant. Luckily in Salesforce this is such a simple workflow to implement and provide real benefit to your customers and provide them with some key bits of information that they can refer back to. In fact this is such a simple workflow that it can literally take 5 minutes to set up. Most of the time around this workflow should be spent thinking about the template you wish to send to your customers.

  • Click on  Setup | Create | Workflows & Approvals | Workflow Rules
  • Click on New Rule
  • Select Case as the Workflow Object
  • Name your Rule and give it a description
  • Evaluation Criteria should be set as created
  • So using the simple formula creator we need to set the field as Case : Case Owner, Operator as equals and Value as whatever Queue the cases get defaulted to, in this example I have called mine “Support Queue”

You can also design workflows using the Salesforce Auto-Response Rules.


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7 thoughts on “Case auto-response workflow

  1. Hi Ben,

    When we can achieve this using WF email alerts, why do we need auto-response rules? Under what scenarios should one use WF email alerts and auto-response rules?

    The salesforce PDF doesn’t seem to be clear on use-cases.




      Hi Martin,

      I’m not sure which PDF you are referring to but this comparison is pretty good.

      In a nutshell though, auto-response rules have limited functionality and are designed to be simple. They send an instant reply to the person who submitted the lead or case. Workflow rules can be sent when they create the case or with a time trigger after a specified amount of time, they can also simultaneously update fields etc. It just depends what you want out of your email.

      Kind Regards,


  2. Hey Ben,

    Thanks for the post! Quick question for you – since Auto-Responses need a different email than email-to-case routing addresses – this seems to break any possibility of automatically threading emails under a specific case. For example:
    – Customer emails – and that autmatically creates a case
    – Auto-Response template is sent including case thread id in the subject line and body, but is sent from
    – customer responds to auto-repsonse at with an additional question about the case that was submitted.

    It seems like the email would get lost here – since it is not being sent to the email-to-case address. Is that right ? So, is it fair to say that a workflow would be better for responding to customers if you need to capture, and thread on going email exchanges related to a case ?

    This seems like a big hole in Auto-Response functionality – any insight would be really helpful!

    1. Hi Jon, interesting question that I haven’t had before actually. As far as I know to do this successfully you would have to send out the email from the same support@ address and also include the “Case ref” merge field that will direct that email back into the case. Although I’m not sure if this is possible..But yes you are right in thinking you would need workflow to do this.

      I don’t think auto response rules are designed for the customer to email back in. They usually contain something like “Do not reply to this email”.

      Thanks for your question!

      1. I have been playing alot with the autoresponse emails to enable it to allow the cusomter to reply to the autoresponse emails. This does not work. I have contacted the salesforce support as their documentation really does not clarify this use case.

  3. Have you tried populating the Reply to Address with Email 2 Case Routing address on the auto response rule setting? . This setting along with Case thread id in the subject/body of the case should attach the reply to the original case

  4. I recently faced this issue and played around with Email to case and auto response. When you are sending an auto response, you have to add that from email to the organization wide emails in salesforce. At the same time, you also have to add that from email to the Email-to-case, making sure you do not set any owner and record type to the setting. This will allow the customer to reply to the auto response email and it will go back into the case via the thread id.

    Also, if anyone sends an email directly to that from email, the user designated in Case support settings will get an email with the error message and he/she can forward the email to the respective person.

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