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Documentation: Awesome Support Core: Getting Started

Awesome Support Core: Getting Started

Author:
Dated: 04 Sep 2016

Installation

Installation Instructions For Awesome Support

Install Directly From WordPress.ORG

The easiest way to install Awesome Support is from WordPresss.org.  Follow these steps:

  • In the WordPress Admin dashboard select Plugins->Add new
  • You should now see a screen with a list of popular plugins as determined by WordPress.org.
  • In the search box on the upper right, type Awesome Support  and press the ENTER key.
  • You should see Awesome Support listed somewhere in the first row of the search results (usually #1)
  • Click the INSTALL button
  • Once the installation is finished click ACTIVATE.

That’s it – the plugin is installed.

Install From File

You can download the plugin file directly – either from WordPress.org or from www.getawesomesupport.com.  If you have the file, you can upload it to your WordPress installation as follow:

  • In the WordPress Admin dashboard select Plugins->Add new
  • You should now see a screen with a list of popular plugins as determined by WordPress.org.  At the top left is a button labelled Upload Plugin. Click on it.
  • You should see a dialog box asking for the plugin file.  Navigate to your desktop and choose the file you downloaded in the first step of this procedure then click the Open button at the bottom of the dialog box
  • You should now be back in the main Add plugin screen with the filename filled out.  Just click the Install Now button.
  • If all goes well you will see a new screen with a link that says Activate Plugin.  Click on it.  That will complete the plugin installation process.

Troubleshooting

If you get a “directory already exists” error message, you will need to use FTP to upload the updated plugin to the folder that already exists.  Check with your hosting provider for instructions on how to use FTP to upload files.  Please make sure you “unzip” the plugin files before uploading them via FTP.

Watch the video

 

Post Installation – What You Need To Know (Quick Start)

After installation, the key questions you’re probably asking are:

  1. Where does my user submit their tickets?
  2. Where does my agents manage their tickets?

Users

In order for users to submit their ticket you first need to add the submit ticket page to your menu.  The SUBMIT TICKET page is automatically installed for you – the actual URL depends on your permalinks settings.

To have it show up on the front end of your site, you still need to add it to your menus.  All you need to do is go to APPEARANCE->MENU and drag the SUBMIT TICKET page to one of your site menus.

Agents

Agents access tickets on the back end via wp-admin. By default only the Admin is set up as an agent.  You will have to add other users as agents (see documentation below).  Support Tickets are accessed under the TICKETS->ALL TICKETS menu option.

Overview Video

An installation and overview video can be found on our videos page:  https://www.getawesomesupport.com/videos.

 

Post Installation - Enter Your First Ticket (As A Customer)

Once you have completed the installation process, Awesome Support is ready to go.  A new page named SUBMIT TICKET has been created and usually has a slug named “submit-ticket”.  The actual slug depends on your WordPress PERMALINKS settings.  For the remainder of this article we’ll assume that your permalinks are set to the name of the post/page.  To view the actual permalink (url) of your SUBMIT TICKET page you can edit the page – it will be shown close to the top, just underneath the page title.

You (or your customer) can navigate directly to this page using www.yourdomain.com/submit-ticket.  Or, you can use the standard WordPress menu builder to add this page to your site’s menu and then use that link to navigate to the page.

Either way, you will be on the ticket submission page.

By default, your customer has to register an account so fill out the account registration fields and click the Create Account button.

The account will be created and you will immediately be redirected to the ticket creation page.

The default ticket page is very simple – it requires only two pieces of information.  It needs a short summary of the issue which will be used as the ticket title and a longer description of the issue.

Fill out both fields, click the SUBMIT button and the ticket will be created.

The default installation will automatically assign your Admin account as the agent responsible for the ticket. You will learn how to add agents later.

 

Post Installation: Adjust Security

Awesome Support uses the built-in WordPress security system – a combination of WordPress CAPABILITIES and ROLES.

When installed, the only users that can submit tickets are either administrators or those assigned the Support User role. New users will automatically be assigned this role.  BUT, if you are installing into an existing site you need to do one of two things to make sure your existing users will be allowed to enter tickets.

  • Option 1:  Simply edit all of your users and change their ROLE to the Support User role.  For most installs of WordPress this is good enough because the Support User role already incorporates all the Capabilities in the default WordPress Subscriber role. But if you have already customized your WordPress roles and want to keep those roles then option 2 below is what you should use.
  • Option 2:  Grant certain Awesome Support WordPress Capabilities to your existing roles.  We have a separate document to help you accomplish this – read it here.

Optional Security

There are certain specialized WordPress Capabilities that can be assigned to roles.  These are:

administer_awesome_support:  This can be granted to roles who are only allowed to see all options inside of Awesome Support. With this, you do not have to grant your Awesome Support admin full wp-admin or superuser privileges.

manage_licenses_for_awesome_support:  Only roles with this capability can access the license tab.  This protects your licenses from rogue employees who might share your license data with authorized 3rd parties.

view_all_tickets:  Roles with this capability can view and update all tickets, not just their own.  Very useful for supervisors and manager roles.

view_unassigned_tickets: If you have the E-mail Piping add-on installed then this controls who can view and manage “unassigned” tickets.  (Unassigned tickets are tickets or ticket replies that were received via email but could not be properly assigned or routed.)

Basic Admin: Add An Agent

To add an agent to Awesome Support, all you have to do is add a regular use and grant them the Support Agent Role.

  • Go to USERS->ADD User
  • Fill in the requested user information
  • In the Role field select Support Agent from the drop-down
  • Click the Add New User button.
  • Go to the USERS list again.
  • Navigate to the new user you created and open the edit screen.
  • Scroll down to the Awesome Support Preferences section
  • Make sure the option Can Be Assigned is checked.  If not, check it and then click the UPDATE USER button at the bottom of the page.

To update an existing user to turn them into a support agent:

Go To Users->All Users

  • Navigate to the user and click their user name link.
  • Scroll down to the Role field and change it by selecting Support Agent from the drop-down.
  • Click the Update User button.
  • Go to the USERS list again.
  • Navigate to the new user you created and open the edit screen.
  • Scroll down to the Awesome Support Preferences section
  • Make sure the option Can Be Assigned is checked.  If not, check it and then click the UPDATE USER button at the bottom of the page.

 

 

 

Basic Admin: Turn Off Ticket Assignment To An Agent

Temporarily Turn off Ticket Assignment To An Agent

  • Open the agent’s user profile by going to USERS->All Users, navigating to the user profile and clicking the user name link.
  • Scroll down until you get to the Awesome Support Preferences section.
  • Uncheck the box labeled Can Be Assigned
  • Click the Update User button.

Permanently Turn Off Ticket Assignment To An Agent

To permanently switch an agent back to a regular user, simply change the role back to a regular user’s role.

  • Open the agent’s user profile by going to USERS->All Users, navigating to the user profile and clicking the user name link.
  • Scroll down until you get to the Role field.
  • Select a standard user role from the dropdown list.
  • Click the Update User button.

Agent Functions

Agent Functions: View All Tickets

All agents view and respond to tickets on WordPress’s admin (‘wp-admin’).  To access the Tickets console:

  • Log in to ‘wp-admin’ – the URL is usually https://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin
  • Click on the TICKETS->All Tickets option (TICKETS is the main menu option in the WordPress Admin menu located on the left side of the dashboard)

Your tickets list should look similar to below – depending on the options you have turned on.

The default is to show only OPEN tickets.  To view and respond to an open ticket just click on the title of the ticket.

Agent Functions: Navigate To A Ticket (View Ticket)

Before you can reply, update, close or perform other actions on a ticket, you must first find it and open it.

  • Log in to ‘wp-admin’ – the URL is usually https://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin.
  • Click on the TICKETS->All Tickets option (TICKETS is the main menu option in the WordPress Admin menu located on the left side of the dashboard) – this will bring up the list of open tickets.
    • Depending on the options enabled by the Tickets Administrator you might see a list of just your tickets or a list of tickets belonging to all agents
    • If you’re restricted to seeing tickets that you’re assigned, you will still see tickets belonging to other agents if you’re the secondary or tertiary agent assigned to a ticket.
  • Click on the title of the ticket you would like to work with.

Note: you can use the filter options at the top of the screen to search for tickets or to reduce the list of tickets to make it easier to find the one you’re looking for.  You can also use the SEARCH option to search for tickets based on the title or the contents of the opening post.  Unfortunately, search does not work on replies at this time.

Agent Functions: Explore The Ticket Interface

An individual ticket screen consists of FIVE areas:

  1. The Ticket Title and URL (located at the very top of the ticket)
  2. The original request (opening post) from your customer/client  (positioned just below the ticket title and url)
  3. The list of replies (located below the original request)
  4. The Reply Area (located at the bottom of the ticket)
  5. The Ticket Details Area (“metaboxes”) located on the right hand side of the ticket – these can be reordered or even moved to the main area (which makes the boxes wider)

Below is an image showing each of these individual areas – each number corresponds to the area in the list above.

The Reply Area

As an agent this is quite possibly the area you will be using the most.  It is located at the very bottom of the ticket.  By default you can type a reply, attach files and send the reply by clicking the REPLY or REPLY & CLOSE buttons.

However, you can purchase add-ons that expand the functionality of this area.  The Canned Response and FAQ add-ons for example, add more options to this area.  Here is an example of what that area can look like with certain add-ons:

The Ticket Details Area

The Ticket Details area is located on the right side of the ticket.  It contains a lot of information that can assist you with handling the ticket.  Information is segmented into boxes so that related functions are grouped together.  Generally you will most often find yourself using the Ticket Details and User Profile boxes.

Ticket Details Metabox

The ticket details box shows you:

  • Who opened the ticket (which client/customer)
  • Which agent is assigned to the ticket
  • The current status of the ticket (open, closed or other custom status)

And provides you options to:

  • CLOSE the ticket
  • Change the status of a ticket
  • Save updates to the ticket.

User Profile Metabox

The user profile box shows you:

  • The name of the user
  • The email address of the user
  • How many tickets the user has opened and closed
  • A list of all the other tickets the user has opened or closed
  • The current status of the ticket

Additional Metaboxes

As of Version 3.6, there are additional metaboxes available:

  • Ticket Statistics
  • Basic Time Tracking
  • Additional Interested Parties
  • Admin Only Custom Fields

Add-on Metaxboxes

Depending on which add-ons you have purchased, there might be additional metaboxes.  Some examples are:

  • Custom fields
  • Premium Time tracking
  • Automatic Close
  • Satisfaction Survey
  • Merge and Lock
  • WooCommerce Information
  • Easy Digital Downloads Information
  • Envato Information

Managing The Metaboxes

As you probably suspect, the right side of the ticket screen can quickly become crowded.  However, you can hide individual metaboxes or rearrange them by clicking-and-dragging them up/down to new locations.

To hide metaboxes, look in the upper right side of the screen for a link named Screen Options.  Click on that and in the resulting screen drop-down you can check/uncheck individual metaboxes to show/not-show as you prefer.

Agent Functions: Reply To A Ticket

To reply to a ticket, first you should navigate to the ticket – Navigate to your ticket.

You should see a screen similar to this one:

The reply area is located at the bottom of the ticket.  Just type your reply to the ticket and click the REPLY button.

Agent Functions: Close A Ticket

To close a ticket, first you should navigate to the ticket – Navigate to your ticket.

There are two ways to close a ticket:

Close a ticket without issuing a reply

In the ticket details metabox on the right side of the screen there is a small link called Close.  Just click it and the ticket will update to closed.

The image below show where in the metabox the link is located – see the red box.

Close a ticket with a reply

At the very bottom of the ticket is the reply area.  Fill out your reply and then click the REPLY & CLOSE button.

The image below shows the location of this button in the reply area:

Agent Functions: Add An Internal Note (Premium)

If you have purchased and installed the Private Notes add-on then you can add internal notes visible only to other agents.

The button for this option is at the TOP of the ticket screen:

When clicked, the ADD NOTE button will pop up a box to enter your notes:

 

There are two options:

  • Simply add the note
  • Add the note and transfer the ticket to another agent

Once added, the note appears in a separate color.

 

Agent Functions: Track Time Spent On A Ticket (Basic)

If the admin has turned on basic time tracking then a new metabox will show up on the right hand side of the ticket.  It will look similar to the following:

Simply enter the Gross Time spent on the ticket (in the hh:mm:ss format), any notes and click the UPDATE TICKET button.

You can update the Gross Time field anytime you want – eg: after every reply you make.

Time Adjustments

The Time Adjustments field is useful it you want to track any credits for time you’ve given your customer.  So, for example you might spend an hour on a ticket but a customer might dispute that so you or a supervisor might decide to reduce the time billed or recorded by 15 mins. You can enter this adjustment in this field and then select whether the adjustment is positive or negative.  Generally, most adjustments are negative (downwards).

Read Only / View Only Operations

If time tracking is being done by a premium add-on, then this enter metabox might be read-only because time is being recorded and adjusted using a different mechanism.  If that’s the case then there will be a notice shown on the metabox – see example in the image below.

Note: Time Tracking is only available in version 3.6 or later of Awesome Support

 

Administration

ADMIN: Overview

When Awesome Support is installed, it is ready to go right out of the box.  However, there are numerous options you can use to fine-tune its behavior.  Almost all of these options are located in the TICKETS->SETTINGS screen.

Some of the many options you can configure include the following:

  • Enable or disable products
  • Enable or disable departments
  • Enable or disable the priority field (version 3.6 or later)
  • Enable or disable the channel field (version 3.6 or later)
  • Enable or disable time tracking (version 3.6 or later)
  • Configure the colors used for various statuses
  • Configure the terms and conditions text
  • The number of type of file uploads allowed on each ticket
  • Whether or not agents and admin can see just their own tickets or all tickets
  • The slug used in the URL for each ticket
  • Enter or remove licenses
  • Control the default assignee (agent), the order in which replies appear, the number of replies per page for each ticket and more.

Additionally, with third party tools you can tighten or loosen your security by assigning WordPress Capabilities to various roles.

Almost all premium add-ons will also include their configuration options in TICKETS->SETTINGS, adding their own tabs to the screen as necessary.  Here is an example of the screen with some add-ons enabled:

ADMIN: Configure Email Alerts

Awesome support includes the ability to send email alerts to agents and customers.  The following email alerts are available as part of the free core plugin:

  • Submission Confirmation:  Sent to the client/customer when they submit a new ticket
  • New Assignment: Sent to the agent that is assigned to the new ticket (or when the ticket is first transferred to a new agent)
  • New Reply From Agent: Sent to the client/customer when an agent replies to a ticket
  • New Reply From Client:  Sent to the agent when a client/customer replies to a ticket
  • Ticket Close By Agent: Sent to the client/customer when an agent closes a ticket
  • Ticket Close By Client: Sent to the agent when a ticket is closed by the client/customer
It is important to realize that the reliability of email is only as good as the smtp/email infrastructure that you are using.  It is highly recommended that you configure your WordPress installation to use a 3rd party transactional email provider such as Mailgun or SendMail.

To configure your emails please go to TICKETS->SETTINGS and click on the E-mails tab.

Email Templates

The first section you will see is the Email Template sections.  This section controls the overall look of your email.  You can:

  • Upload your logo
  • Add a header section to all your emails
  • Add a footer section to all your emails

You can also turn of templates completely.  You would usually turn off templates if you have a WordPress wide email templating plugin that already modifies outgoing emails to prettify them.

Email Defaults

The second section, Email Defaults, control the out-going headers on your email.  This includes:

  • The sender name you would like the customer/client/agent to see in emails
  • The actual email address you would like shown on your emails (sender e-mail)
  • The reply-to address that any replies would be sent to (reply-to-mail)

Note: If you have the EMAIL SUPPORT add-on then the reply-to email address should be configured to be the same address used in the EMAIL SUPPORT configuration!  Otherwise the EMAIL SUPPORT add-on will not receive replies and will be unable to process them.

Email Contents

The next series of sections allow you to configure the contents of each email type.  For each email type you can:

  • Decide whether or not you want to activate it (i.e.: send the email when the event occurs)
  • Configure the subject line
  • Configure the main body contents (everything other than the header and footer)

You can include special codes called TEMPLATE TAGS inside each email (subject and body) that will automatically be converted to the appropriate value at the time the email is sent.  For example, if you include {client_name} in your body, that text will be converted to the name of the client just prior to the email being sent.

Tip: You can see a full list of template tags when you are in the TICKETS->SETTINGS->EMAILS tab – just click the HELP link at the top right of your screen and then click Email Template Tags to see the full list.

The most common request we receive is to include the full text of the latest reply in the body of the outgoing email alert.  To do this, simply add the {message} tag anywhere in the body of the email template.

Here is a full list of the the tags available in the free core version of Awesome Support:

If you install the PRODUCTIVITY add-on, you can also use template tags for your CUSTOM FIELDS.  Here is an example list of template tags for custom fields:

Finally, some add-ons such as Satisfaction Survey add additional emails and template tags:

ADMIN: Configure Products

Awesome Support has the ability to support multiple products.  However, to keep things simple and ensure that the plugin is ready to be used immediately after installation, the default options are set so that the user is not asked for a product when they fill out a ticket.

But you can turn on support for multiple products and create a list of products that the user can choose from.   There are two ways to turn on support for multiple products.

  1. Click the MULTIPLE PRODUCTS button that shows up when you Activate the plugin.  This will take you to the PRODUCTS screen to create your list of products.  OR
  2. Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->GENERAL tab and turn on the checkbox next to the MULTIPLE PRODUCTS option.  Don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom and click the SAVE CHANGES button.

After you turn on support for multiple products there will be a new menu option under tickets called Products.  You can add a new product by going to TICKETS->PRODUCTS.

Add / Edit / Delete Products

  • To add a product, just fill out the name and, if you like a description of the product.  Then click the Add New Product button. This will add the product to the list on the right side of the screen.
  • To delete a product, you have two choices:
    • In the product list on the right side of the screen, hover over the link under the NAME column. A series of links will show up – just click the DELETE link.
    • Click the check box next to the product and then select DELETE from the Bulk Options drop-down at the top of the list.  Click the APPLY button to delete the selected product(s).
  • To update a product, just click on the link under the NAME column.  This will take you to a new screen where you can make your changes.  You can apply your changes by clicking the UPDATE button at the bottom of the screen.

ADMIN: Synchronize Products With WooCommerce And Easy Digital Downloads

If you run WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads on your site you can choose to synchronize the Awesome Support products list with your WC or EDD installation.

To get started, simply go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->GENERAL tab and check the box labeled Synchronize Edd Products or Synchronize WooCommerce Products.

Don’t forget to scroll down and click the SAVE CHANGES button at the bottom of the screen.

After this option is turned on, you can go back to your products list in TICKETS->PRODUCTS and you should see your full list of products copied from EDD or WC.

Delete All Products

If you have a large dataset and need to delete all products for some reason you can do so by going to TICKETS->TOOLS->CLEANUP and clicking the DELETE button next to the Delete Products option.

Warning: Make a backup before using this option – there is no data recovery possible with this action!

Force a Re-sync

Generally, Awesome Support synchronizes the product list in the background.  But you can force a re-sync of the entire list by going to TICKETS->TOOLS->CLEANUP and clicking the RESYNC button next to the Re-synchronize Products option.

ADMIN: Configure Departments

Awesome Support allows you to create a list of departments and show those departments to the user while creating a ticket.  The user can select the department to which the ticket is directed.

Turn On Support For Multiple Departments

  1. Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->GENERAL tab
  2. Click on the checkbox next to the ENABLE DEPARTMENTS MANAGEMENT option.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the SAVE CHANGES button.

After you turn on support for departments there will be a new menu option under tickets called Departments.  You can add a new department by going to TICKETS->DEPARTMENTS.

Add / Edit / Delete Departments

  • To add a new department, just fill out the name and, if you like a description.  Then click the Add New Department button. This will add the Department to the list on the right side of the screen.
  • To delete a department, you have two choices:
    • In the department list on the right side of the screen, hover over the link under the NAME column. A series of links will show up – just click the DELETE link.
    • Click the check box next to the department and then select DELETE from the Bulk Options drop-down at the top of the list.  Click the APPLY button to delete the selected department(s).
  • To update a department, just click on the link under the NAME column.  This will take you to a new screen where you can make your changes.  You can apply your changes by clicking the UPDATE button at the bottom of the screen.

Important Notes About Departments

Departments in the free Awesome Support plugin is simply a notional field.  There is no specialized processing associated with it – no routing to special agents or restrictions to certain employees.  However, you can use our Smart Agent add-on to add specialized department and product based logic with your choice of five specialized algorithms.

ADMIN: Configure Priorities

The standard default installation does not activate the Priority field.  This helps to keep things simple and ensure that the plugin is ready to be used immediately after installation.  But its easy and quick to enable and customize.

Unlike other products, you can completely customize your drop-down list of priorities.  Instead of a generic 1 – 3 or 1 – 5 you can make the priorities whatever you like.

Turn On The Priority Field

  1. Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->GENERAL tab
  2. Scroll down to the Priority Management section
  3. Click on the checkbox next to the USE PRIORITY FIELD option.
  4. Decide if you want to make using this field mandatory.  If so, check the box next to the MANDATORY field.
  5. Do you want customers to fill out this field?  If so, check the option labeled Show On Front End.
    • Note that if this option is checked and the Mandatory option is also checked then customers will not be able to submit tickets unless this field contains a valid value.
    • If this field is not checked then only agents will be able to set the ticket priority.
  6. You can decide whether you would like the field to show in your ticket listing on the back end by checking the Show in Column List option.
    • Note that Turning this option off saves valuable space in the ticket list so unless you absolutely need to see it or use it for filtering the list, you should turn it off.
  7. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the SAVE CHANGES button.

After you turn on support for the Priority field there will be a new menu option under tickets called Priorities.  You can add a new priority by going to TICKETS->PRIORITIES.

When you initially activate priorities, the list of valid priorities will be blank.  You need to create a set of priority levels suitable for your help desk.

Some examples are:

  • 1 – 5
  • Level 1 – Level 5
  • Low, Medium, High
  • No Impact, Low Impact, Outage

Add / Edit / Delete Priorities

  • To add a new Priority, just fill out the name and, if you like a description.  You can also set a color for the priority level to help easily identify tickets of various priorities in the main ticket list.  Then click the Add New Priority button. This will add the Priority to the list on the right side of the screen.
  • To delete a Priority level, you have two choices:
    • In the Priority list on the right side of the screen, hover over the link under the NAME column. A series of links will show up – just click the DELETE link.
    • Click the check box next to the Priority and then select DELETE from the Bulk Options drop-down at the top of the list.  Click the APPLY button to delete the selected Priority(s).
  • To update a Priority, just click on the link under the NAME column.  This will take you to a new screen where you can make your changes.  You can apply your changes by clicking the UPDATE button at the bottom of the screen.

The Priority field is only available in version 3.6 and later.

ADMIN: Configure Channels

Channels allow you to track where tickets originate.  Usually most tickets will originate from your main ticketing page on your website or from an email.  But you can also track tickets that originate elsewhere such as Facebook, Twitter or even via a phone call.

Awesome Support comes with a pre-configured list of Channels but you must install them first.

Install The Core List Of Channels

  • Go To TICKETS->TOOLS
  • Click the CLEANUP tab.
  • Click the RESET button next to Reset Channels.

View Channels

Go To TICKETS->CHANNELS to view your pre-configured list of channels.  The list should look similar to the following.

Add / Edit / Delete Channels

  • To add a new Channel, just fill out the name and, if you like a description.  Then click the Add New Channel button. This will add the Channel to the list on the right side of the screen.
  • To delete a Channel you have two choices:
    • In the Channel list on the right side of the screen, hover over the link under the NAME column. A series of links will show up – just click the DELETE link.
    • Click the check box next to the Channel and then select DELETE from the Bulk Options drop-down at the top of the list.  Click the APPLY button to delete the selected Channel(s).
  • To update a Channel, just click on the link under the NAME column.  This will take you to a new screen where you can make your changes.  You can apply your changes by clicking the UPDATE button at the bottom of the screen.

Update The Channel Field On A Ticket

If a ticket is opened via the standard support form, our Gravity Forms add-on or via our Email Support add-on then the channel field will be updated automatically.  Any agent can still change it in the standard ticket screen though.

Tickets received any other way must be updated manually – there is no automatic interface to pull tickets from Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Generally speaking, your customer cannot update the Channel field from the standard ticket form.  However, if for some reason you need that functionality you can create a custom ticket form via Gravity Forms and include a field to select the Channel.


Channels is only available in version 3.6 and later.

ADMIN: Short Codes And Pages

The Ticket Submit Shortcode

When Awesome Support is installed it automatically creates a new page called SUBMIT TICKET that contains the ticket-submit shortcode.  This is the page that will be used when the user needs to open a support ticket on your system.

Shortcodes in WordPress are enclosed with square brackets but we don’t include them in this documentation since they will trigger and show the page itself instead of the shortcode. See the image below for what they should look like in the page though.

You also can place this short code in other pages.

Setting Your Default Ticket Submission Page

While you can place the short-code on any page you like, you still need to choose a default page.  This is the page that will contain Awesome Support’s default styling so that the login screen looks good.  You need to let Awesome Support know which page you’ve chosen to be the default.  To do so:

  • Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS-GENERAL tab
  • Scroll down to the PLUGIN PAGES section (close to the bottom)
  • Select the default page used for Ticket Submission.

The Tickets Shortcode

The tickets shortcode is placed on the page where the end user will view their existing list of tickets.  Upon installation, Awesome Support creates a page called My Tickets with this shortcode on it.

You can also place the shortcode in any other page – for example at the top or bottom of the My Account page used by WooCommerce or EDD.

While you can place the short-code on any page you like, you still need to choose a default page.  And, you need to let Awesome Support know which page you’ve chosen to be the default.  To do so:

  • Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS-GENERAL tab
  • Scroll down to the PLUGIN PAGES section (close to the bottom)
  • Select the default page used for Ticket List.

ADMIN: Multiple Agents Per Ticket

Generally speaking, Awesome Support only allows you to assign a ticket to one agent at a time.  A ticket can be transferred to another agent but it is, by default, a single agent per ticket.

Starting in version 3.6. support for up to two additional agents is provided.  They are called the Secondary Agent and Tertiary Agent.  To use this feature you first need to enable it:

  • Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->GENERAL Tab
  • Scroll down to the OTHER FIELDS section.
  • Check the box next to Enable Multiple Agents Per Ticket

Once enabled, two new fields will show up in the Additional Interested Parties metabox on the ticket.

Any agent or administrator with access to a ticket can fill out data to add additional agents to the ticket.

When a secondary or tertiary agent is added to a ticket, these agents will:

  • Receive notifications about events on the ticket just like the primary agent
  • Be able to respond to the ticket via email (if the Email Add-on is purchased and enabled)
  • See the ticket in their list of tickets
  • Be able to reply to the ticket, add notes and do everything that the primary agent can do.

Additional agents on a ticket are only available in version 3.6 and later.

ADMIN: Basic Time Tracking

Awesome Support Core includes the ability for agents to manually enter time on a ticket.  The administrator can control whether or not to allow the time tracking fields to be shown on a ticket, turn on/off the audit log and set which time fields, if any, to show in the ticket list.

When shown, time tracking fields are only displayed on the “back-end” (wp-admin).

It is important to realize that the time tracking functions in the FREE core product is limited to MANUAL tracking – and there are no pre-configured reports.

Configure Time Fields

  1. Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->GENERAL tab
  2. Scroll down to the Basic Time Tracking Section
  3. Turn on or off items as needed in that section – see below for what each item does.
  4. Don’t forget to click the SAVE CHANGES button!

 

Here is what each item in the Basic Time Tracking configuration panel does:

Show Basic Time Tracking Fields:  Whether to even show the fields on the ticket.

Allow Agents To Enter Time:  If time tracking fields are shown, whether to allow agents to manually enter time.  If another premium time-tracking add-on is enabled, then you want disable this field because the premium add-on will be responsible for time tracking data entry and adjustments.

Recalculate Final Time On Save:  Generally, if you are using time tracking you want to turn this on. HOWEVER, you should turn it off if another premium time-tracking add-on is enabled since it would be responsible for all time tracking calculations

Keep Audit Log:  If enabled, then every change to a time field is shown as a note in the ticket.

Show Total Time In Ticket List: Turn on to show the time in the main ticket list.

Show Total Time Adjustments In Ticket List: Turn on to show the time adjustments in the main ticket list.

Show Final Recorded Time In Ticket List:  Turn on to show the final calculated time in the main ticket list.

Note: Time Tracking is only available in version 3.6 or later of Awesome Support

 

ADMIN: Misc Display Options (Basic)

Awesome Support includes a number of configuration options to control the size of display lists as well as other useful misc global display options.

Set Basic Display Options

  1. Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->GENERAL tab
  2. The first section is labeled MISC – this is where most of the display options are set
  3. Turn on or off items as needed in that section – see below for what each item does.
  4. Don’t forget to click the SAVE CHANGES button!

Allow Registrations:  This is self explanatory – it allows you to control if users can register themselves or if the they will only be shown a login screen.

Tickets Per Page (Front End):  Controls the number of tickets the user sees in their ticket list on the front end.  The default of 5 is suitable for the vast majority of installations but there are a number of scenarios where this number needs to be much higher because users are generating dozens or even hundreds of tickets.

Replies Order:  Should replies be shown from old to new (old at the top) or new to old (newer replies at the top)?

Replies Per Page:  This is probably self explanatory as well – how many replies should be shown before you see the page controls –  forcing you to click to see additional replies?

Hide Closed:  Should closed tickets be hidden by default?

Show Count: Should a count be shown in on the admin TICKETS menu – it will look something lie this if turned on:

Old Tickets:  How many days should pass before a ticket is considered “old”?  This affects whether or not an “old” tag is shown in the ticket list.  This is what that tag looks like in the ticket list:

 

ADMIN: Misc Display Options (Advanced)

Awesome Support includes a number of advanced configuration options to control the display of lists as well as other useful misc global display options.

Set Advanced Display Options

  1. Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->ADVANCED tab
  2. Turn on or off items as needed in the first section – see below for what each item does.
  3. Don’t forget to click the SAVE CHANGES button!

Custom Login:  Use this option to override the login page that users see when trying to submit a ticket.

Admins See All:  Can WordPress administrators see all tickets? If unchecked, they will only be able to view their own tickets – generally not a good option for Admins!

Agents See All:  Can Agents see all tickets? If unchecked they can only see tickets that they are assigned to.

Ticket Slug:  This controls the content of the ticket slug (the ending part of an individual ticket url seen in the browser address bar). The Default is based on the topic of the ticket.  But you can select other options from this list.

 

ADMIN: File Upload Options

File upload options allow you to control the number of files, the type of files and the size of files that can be uploaded with a ticket or ticket reply.  An agent can even turn off file uploads completely.

Set File Upload Options

  1. Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->FILE UPLOAD tab
  2. Turn on or off items as needed in that section
  3. Don’t forget to click the SAVE CHANGES button!

All files are stored on the server where your WordPress installation is located.  Generally, files are stored in the /wp-content/uploads/awesome-support/ticket_nnnn  where nnnn is the ticket number.

If you have the Filestack premium add-on installed then files are stored on the Filestack servers.

If you have the E-mail Support premium add-on installed then files sent via email will respect these settings.  Any files violating these settings will be dropped from the ticket and will not be stored at all.  However the names of the dropped files will be noted on the ticket but the actual contents of the file will not be accessible.

ADMIN: Roles And Capabilities

When Awesome Support is installed there are FOUR new ROLES that are added to your WordPress site along with a slew of new WordPress Capabilities.  These four roles are:

  • Support Supervisor – has the same rights as your editors plus all rights for Awesome Support.  Its internal role name is wpas_manager.
  • Support Manager – has the same rights as your subscribers plus all rights for Awesome Support.  Its internal role name is wpas_support_manager.
  • Support Agent – has the same rights as your authors plus the ability to handle tickets on behalf of other users. Its internal role name is wpas_agent.
  • Support User – has very limited rights to open new tickets for themselves and to add replies to their own tickets.  Its internal role name is wpas_user.

Basically, the WordPress Admins, Support Supervisors and Support Manager have the same rights to handle activities in Awesome Support.  The difference between the roles is their ability to handle other WordPress functions (admin vs editor vs subscriber).

Full List Of Capabilities

Here is the full list of Capabilities added to version 4.0 of Awesome Support.

  • view_ticket
  • view_private_ticket
  • edit_ticket
  • edit_other_ticket
  • edit_private_ticket
  • delete_ticket
  • delete_reply
  • delete_private_ticket
  • delete_other_ticket
  • assign_ticket
  • close_ticket
  • reply_ticket
  • settings_tickets
  • ticket_taxonomy
  • create_ticket
  • attach_files
  • view_all_tickets
  • view_unassigned_tickets
  • manage_licenses_for_awesome_support
  • administer_awesome_support
  • ticket_manage_tags
  • ticket_edit_tags
  • ticket_delete_tags
  • ticket_manage_products
  • ticket_edit_products
  • ticket_delete_products
  • ticket_manage_departments
  • ticket_edit_departments
  • ticket_delete_departments
  • ticket_manage_priorities
  • ticket_edit_priorities
  • ticket_delete_priorities
  • ticket_manage_channels
  • ticket_edit_channels
  • ticket_delete_channels

View the comparison table

 

Tips and Techniques

How To Create A Ticket On Behalf Of The Client?

We know some teams need to be able to create a new ticket while on the phone with a client. Hence, we added a way to create a ticket with an admin (or agent) account and assign it to the client. The client will then be able to see the ticket in his dashboard just as if he created it himself.

Creating the client’s WordPress account

create-wordpress-user

  1. Login to your Dashboard as a WordPress administrator
  2. Go to Users → Add New
  3. Create a new user

Create a ticket on behalf of the client

create-ticket-for-client

  1. Login to your Dashboard as a WordPress administrator or Support Agent
  2. Create a new ticket and fill-in all the details
  3. Locate the metabox Stakeholders
  4. Make sure to select the user you previously created as Ticket Creator
  5. Save the ticket

User Roles

The plugin comes with 4 user roles: Support Supervisor, Support Manager, Support Agent and Support User. Here are the differences between those roles.

Administrators have full capabilities for the plugin.

Mobile Users: Please set your device to landscape orientation to see the full table shown below.

Capability Support Supervisor Support Manager Support Agent Support User
Base WordPress Role
Editor Subscriber Author Subscriber
Awesome Support Capabilities
Create Ticket
Assign Ticket
Reply Ticket
Attach File(s)
Close Ticket
View Ticket
View Private Ticket
Edit Ticket
Edit Other Ticket
Edit Private Ticket
Delete Ticket
Delete Reply
Delete Private Ticket
Delete Other Ticket
Settings
Ticket Taxonomy
Capability Support Supervisor Support Manager Support Agent Support User

E-Mail Notifications

E-mail notifications are a complex feature and probably the most difficult to debug because it depends on various things external to the plugin.

However, there are a few things that you can do in order to ensure a high deliverability of all e-mails.

E-Mail Notifications Settings

You will find the e-mail notifications settings in the plugin’s settings page, under the “E-Mails” tab.

E-Mail Notifications Settings Page

The plugin has 5 types of e-mail notifications:

  • Submission confirmation: e-mail sent to a user after he submitted a ticket
  • New assignment: e-mail sent to an agent when a new ticket just got assigned to him
  • New reply from agent: e-mail sent to the client after an agent replied to his ticket
  • New reply from client: e-mail sent to the agent after the client replied to the ticket
  • Ticket closed: e-mail sent to the client after his ticket was closed

Each notification can be enabled or disabled anytime by checking / unchecking the “Enable” checkbox. An e-mail notification will only be sent if the corresponding case is enabled.

For each notification, 2 options are available: e-mail subject and e-mail content. Even though all options come pre-defined, you can change it as you please. All e-mails are sent as HTML, meaning that you can add styling to the e-mail content.

In addition to regular textual content, you can use template tags to enhance the notifications with dynamic content (see below).

Template Tags

Template tags are pieces of text wrapped inside curly brackets ({}). When used in the e-mail subject line or body, these tags will be converted into their actual value right before the e-mail is sent out.

To use template tags, simple place them in the e-mail subject or body where you want the dynamic content to appear. For instance, if you want to greet your client with his own name, you can set the e-mail subject as follows:

Hi {client_name}!

Before the e-mail is sent, {client_name} will be converted into the actual client’s name. The client will get an e-mail saying, for instance:

Hi John!

The list of available tags can be seen in the plugin. You won’t find it here because we will forget to update it when new tags are added. Instead, go to the e-mail notifications settings page and click the “Help” tab on the top right hand corner, then select “Template Tags”.

E-Mail Delivery

E-mail delivery is the trickiest part. By default, all e-mails are sent through your hosting server using the mail() function of PHP. The problem is that it is not a reliable solution for two reasons:

  • Some hosting providers will limit the number of e-mails that can be sent through the mail() function,
  • A hosting server is not optimized to send out e-mail

This may result in e-mail notifications not being sent, or not being received (these are two very different things). Awesome Support has the capability to know if an e-mail was sent, but that doesn’t mean that it has been received.

In order to bypass this problem, it is highly recommended to use a dedicated transactional e-mail routing service. What we use for Awesome Support, and what you should use too, is Mailgun. This service is very easy to setup, it is very efficient, and it has a free plan for up to 10,000 emails per month.

Be aware that, according to our terms and conditions, we will not provide support regarding e-mails delivery if you are not using a transactional ESP because we have no way of knowing what happens with your e-mails.

Change Log

The core Awesome Support plugin is currently 3.3.4 released in December 2016.  You can find a full change-log on www.wordpress.org.

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