Thanks for your reply, @Brian - but I can’t help but feel that you’re making things difficult for yourselves. Any sensible organisation funnels support through a forum, so that one member of staff can communicate with many customers at once about a given issue, rather than suggesting each customer send an email (which needs an individual reply). You’ve set up Discourse (excellent choice, by the way) to allow group communication, but you then suggest to your customers that they communicate with you via email? That’s complete madness, and gives the wrong impression.
You should assign a member of staff to monitor and reply on the forums - customer engagement and satisfaction will go up.