Best practice sharing - Locking topics after they receive a solution.

Community Management
Customer Service

Hi Everyone.


I have seen the question here more often about locking solved topics and how to (automatically) make that happen. There have been many ideas posted here as well so the "want" is clear.


We had a similar want/need to at least be able to review topics as they get a solution and be able to drive action.

The main issue here was that we were never notified when the topic was marked as solved and of course the fact that there is no workflow solution build in to Lithium. But luckily the Lithium product allows to build custom solutions and so we have, ahem, I must admit, our amazing developer @fuenteso build the solution up (and beyond)  to our own specification Smiley Happy


We had a couple of reasons for wanting to lock solved topics. But first of all we wanted to get insights, and have the ability to review topics that received a solution. No, for reasons unknown to me, there is no moderation flag or notification going out to moderators the moment a topic is marked as solved. This is unfortunate because having this already opens a world of opportunity, one being the ability to review the solution and discussion and deciding what to do with the topic. Perhaps use it to feature it somewhere, or to compliment the person who provided the solution.

In our case

- We wanted to minimize 'necroposting/reviving older topics. We actually want to give a better experience knowing that when users post in older topics that have a solution already, the community has difficulty picking this post up and answering it.

- Keep the topic on point, keeping it crisp and clean for anyone deep linking in to the topic

- Set the right expectation. If the solution in the topic is not helpful we want to invite users to post their own question in a new topic.


The Tool

And see here, our solved topics tool created by our Developer.

It shows

- Topic marked as solved since X days ago

- Ability to drill down in categories and boards

- Date solved, date of last reply

- Active after solution yes/no. Basically has there been a response after the topic was marked as solved. If not and the solved date was i.e 1 week ago we could opt to lock the topic (this is what we want to pilot for German)

- Status of the action, more specifically, if there was an error, so you would know something failed.



Lock solved topics.jpg



Sharing our learning next......feel free to ask questions or give feedback!




Learning from others and helping where I can!
Community Passionista!
Message 1 of 10
Community Management
Customer Service

Okay, following up with our process and learnings for those who have an interest


Our pilot process

Review all topics marked as solved, 7 days after receiving a solution.

  • Topic marked as solved received no further replies – Lock topic
  • Topic received a reply since solved - review topic and take appropriate action
    • Original poster replies with a thank you  - Lock topic
    • Original poster still needs help – Ensure expert/agent replies to customer
    • Another user replies – Move and create new topic/other action

A note to inform users that the thread is locked is added automatically after locking it. (similar to the note we have on archived topics)



What we learned


  • 60% of the topics could be locked directly as there was no activity after it received a solution. And no further action was required.
  • For 38% of the topics there was still activity after the topic received a solution. In most cases the activity was the OP thanking for help.
  • We only saw a very small number of topics where a new customer was posting a question in an existing topic. These questions were answered by the agent/expert who answered before.

We expected more users to post question in existing threads. This pilot shows this is not the case. We still continue to lock solved topics as the team feels it is important to keep the community discussion crisp and clear and minimize the potential to post in older topics.


We believe that the ability to review solutions as they get marked gives more visibility and a basis to build in quality assurance processes.


Invested time is low. We estimate it takes about 1 hour a week to review the solutions accepted within that week (between 80-100) as the process is to lock directly from the tool if there has been no activity after the solution was marked and do a quick review on the ones that had activity after the solution was accepted for quality purposes.


We did not receive any negative feedback, nor did we get explicit positive feedback however experts seems to "like" it.

From the learnings we conclude that we could automate the process. This is something that we still need to investigate.

The Blue Sky obviously would be for Lithium to develop a solution OOB that allows admins to set parameters for when a topic can be locked and when it needs to be reviewed before locking. 


Hope this was helpful and you enjoyed the read.

Credits: I want to call out my German community team: Sebastian and Ingo who have been actively reviewing and locking the topics and once more our developer on steroids, Oscar.




Learning from others and helping where I can!
Community Passionista!
Message 2 of 10
This is very cool and a great way to 'sanitise' solutions and ensure that they are relevant and complete. It has given me some food for thought on my own support community, thanks for sharing @Wendy_S!

Message 3 of 10
Community Management
Customer Service
You're welcome!
Learning from others and helping where I can!
Community Passionista!
Message 4 of 10
Community Management
Software Development

Congratulations @Wendy_S and @fuenteso for the wonderful tool and thanks for sharing this story with us. 

Give kudos if you find my posts helpful or mark solution if it answers your query.
Message 5 of 10

Hello everyone!


Here's a quick summary of how the component was built.


In it's core is just a call to the recent solutions API. That's what we use to pull the solution information and display it. We want to show threads that were marked as solved at least 3 days ago, so we add start and end dates to the call.


We also have an endpoint to lock and unlock threads. It receives the thread ID and whether to set the read-only flag or remove it. We call this endpoint using javascript attached to the links on the thread lists.


One thing to consider is that Recent Solutions only returns the top 100 solutions for a given node (you can ask Support to increase this limit, though) and that's why we decided to add Category and Board buttons, so moderators can select a specific Category/Board they want to manage. These buttons just add a couple of extra parameters on the URL. These parameters are used by the component to determine the call path it should use.


Finally, for readability purposes we added pagination to the component. The final API call looks like this


rest(call_path +"/solutions/recent?page_size=${pageSize?number}&page=${currentPage?number}&date_end=${endDate}&date_start=${startDate}&restapi.response_style=view").threads

As always, if you want to see the full code I can send it to you.





Message 6 of 10
Community Management
Software Development
Customer Service
Social Media

Looks great @Wendy_S and @fuenteso! I'm sure that view will be very useful in your management process. The only aspect that I wonder about is closing the thread. I definitely understand the advantages of doing so. But, I think there is a downside, as well. One of the options when setting up the Accepted Solutions feature is allowing additional replies being chosen as a solution. There certainly may be more than one way to approach a problem with pros and cons for each. If you lock the thread, you are closing off the possibility for those alternate approaches being presented and discussed. I recognize that the solution you have built just provides the opportunity to do close the thread, but it is not automated. I just wanted to make sure the topic of alternate solutions does not get lost.

If my post answers your question, please mark it as an "Accepted Solution."
Message 7 of 10
Community Management

@Wendy_S, @fuenteso thanks for sharing !

Message 8 of 10

@Wendy_S@fuenteso- Does it automatically lock the thread? or need to take some actions?



Message 9 of 10

Right now, it only displays a list of recent solutions and moderators have to go and lock them one by one (by clicking on a link). It's not fully automated yet, but it's easier to just lock threads with one click.

Message 10 of 10