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Documentation: Extensions: All

Awesome Support Extensions

  1. Email Support / Email Piping
    1. Setting Up E-Mail Support
    2. Gmail Considerations
    3. Creating New Tickets Via Email
    4. Handling Replies To Closed Tickets
    5. Reference: Email Template Tags
    6. Managing Multiple Mailboxes
    7. Managing Mailbox Rules
    8. Handling Unassigned Emails
    9. Hooks And Filters
    10. Incompatible WordPress Hosts
  2. Private Credentials
    1. Installation (Private Credentials)
    2. Enabling 2nd Level Encryption (Strongly Recommended!)
    3. Private Credentials Concepts
    4. The End User Experience
    5. The Support Agent Experience
    6. Troubleshooting (Private Credentials)
  3. Satisfaction Survey
    1. Satisfaction Survey Concepts
    2. Installation
    3. Personalizing Satisfaction Survey
    4. Configuration Options
    5. Satisfaction Survey Types
    6. View And Manage The Result Of A Satisfaction Survey
    7. Tips and Troubleshooting
  4. Custom Status
    1. Installation
    2. Creating/Adding Custom Statuses
    3. Using Custom Statuses
    4. Known Conflicts And Limitations
  5. FAQ
    1. Installation (FAQ Add-on)
    2. FAQ Overview
    3. Add/Edit/Delete FAQs
    4. Create an FAQ Inside A Ticket
    5. Quickly Respond To A Ticket With An FAQ Link
    6. FAQ Live Search
    7. Configure FAQ Display For The Front-End
    8. Frequently Asked Questions Shortcode
    9. Customizing the FAQ Page
  6. WooCommerce
    1. WooCommerce
  7. Smart Agent Assignment
    1. Smart Agent Assignment Concepts
    2. Smart Agent Installation
    3. Smart Agent Assignment Algorithms
    4. Setting Agent Availablity
    5. Assigning Agents To Departments
    6. Assigning Agents To Products
  8. Automatic Ticket Close
    1. Automatic Ticket Close Concepts
    2. Installation (Automatic Ticket Close)
    3. Configure Automatic Ticket Close
    4. Misc And FAQ (Automatic Ticket Close)
  9. Guest Tickets
    1. Installation (Guest Tickets)
    2. How It Works
    3. Suppress New User Emails
    4. Troubleshooting (Guest Tickets)
  10. Gravity Forms
    1. Gravity Forms Concepts
    2. Installation (Gravity Forms)
    3. Explore The User Interface
    4. Creating Your First New Ticket Form
    5. Creating A Ticket Reply Form
    6. When Things Go Wrong
    7. Form Settings
    8. Sample GF Forms
    9. Tips and Tricks
  11. Custom Fields Extension
    1. Installation (Custom Fields Add-on)
    2. Custom Fields Concepts
    3. Adding Your First Custom Field
    4. Complex Forms
    5. Conflicts And Issues
  12. Admin Report Widgets
    1. Installation (Admin Report Widgets)
    2. Upgrading Admin Report Widgets To Version 2.0 From Version 1.0
    3. New Features For Version 2.0
    4. Overview
    5. Widget List
    6. Configure Widgets
    7. Managing Your Widgets
  13. Filepicker
    1. Filepicker
  14. Productivity
    1. Installation (Productivity)
    2. Overview
    3. Ticket Lock
    4. Ticket Merge
    5. Ticket Split / Ticket Duplicate
    6. Additional Navigation
    7. ATTACHMENTS Template Tag For Outgoing Emails
    8. Custom Fields Template Tags For Outgoing Emails
    9. Support Notes For Customer/Client
    10. Personal Todo Lists For Agents
    11. Personal Notes For Agents
    12. Change Label Text
    13. Agent Signatures
    14. Set Content Before the SUBJECT Field (On the Front-end)
    15. Set Content Before the SUBMIT Button (On the Front-end)
    16. Set Default Content For SUBJECT and DESCRIPTION Field (On the Front-end)
    17. Click-To-View Email Template Tag
    18. Click-To-Close Email Template Tag
    19. Useful Misc Functions
  15. Public Tickets
    1. Installation (Public Tickets)
    2. About Public Tickets
    3. Overview (Public Tickets)
    4. Post-Installation Configuration (Mandatory)
    5. Configuration Options For Public Tickets
    6. ShortCode Parameters
    7. Agents: Changing Public/Private Status
    8. Clients and Customers: Changing Public/Private Status
  16. Notifications
    1. Installation (Notifications)
    2. Overview (Notifications)
    3. Setup Your Slack Configuration
    4. Configure Notification Events
    5. Configure Outgoing Emails
  17. Advanced Time Tracking
    1. Installation (Advanced Time Tracking)
    2. Overview (Advanced Time Tracking)
    3. Getting Started (Advanced Time Tracking)
    4. Advanced Time Tracking Components
    5. Managing Time: The Time Log
    6. Managing Time: Adding New Time Log Entries
    7. Time Tracking Reports
    8. Setting Billing Rates
    9. Invoicing: Generate Invoice File
  18. Paid Support For WooCommerce
    1. Introduction to Paid Support
    2. Installation Instructions For Paid Support for WooCommerce
    3. Add Your First Product
    4. Agent View
    5. Customer/User/Client View
    6. Customer Purchase Experience
    7. Admin: Configuration (Paid Support)
Author:
Dated: 09 Sep 2016

Email Support / Email Piping

The EMAIL SUPPORT extension allows correspondence with customers via email on all ticket matters. Once a ticket has been created via the website, all future exchanges can be done via email.

Both customers and support agents can send and receive ticket updates using nothing but their email clients.

Most e-mail clients are supported including popular ones such as Microsoft Outlook and Gmail.

Setting Up E-Mail Support

The e-mail support add-on enables Awesome Support to process incoming e-mails and attach them to the appropriate ticket. For more details about what the add-on does, please see the E-Mail Support add-on page.

Requirements

  • Awesome Support version 3.1.4+
  • A dedicated e-mail inbox

The dedicated e-mail inbox can be with any e-mail provider (Gmail, Outlook.com…) as long as it supports the POP3 and / or IMAP protocols.

This inbox must be dedicated to Awesome Support. When the add-on will check for new e-mail, all e-mails present in the inbox will be downloaded and deleted from the e-mail server. If the inbox contains irrelevant e-mail, they will be added in the “Unassigned” folder in Awesome Support.

This documentation will give you configuration examples for the major e-mail providers but we can’t go through them all. If your provider is not in the examples you will need to find the necessary settings by yourself. A Google search for “[provider] pop3 settings” will give you the answer in most cases, and if not you will need to contact your e-mail provider / hosting provider.

How It Works

Because checking an inbox takes some time (connecting to the e-mail server, authenticating, checking for new e-mails, downloading them…), everything is done in the background. When the plugin will check for new e-mails, a notification will be displayed in the bottom right corner of your screen. Don’t worry if your site slows down a little during the verification.

Awesome Support checking for new e-mails

Awesome Support checking for new e-mails

Awesome Support will check your inbox at the frequency you selected. When checking for new e-mails, two things can happen: Awesome Support successfully connects to the server and retrieves the e-mails, or something wrong happens (incorrect settings, e-mail server down…).

If something goes wrong you will be notified. The notification should display a clear error message explaining why e-mails couldn’t be checked.

E-Mail Checking Failed

E-Mail Checking Failed

If everything is alright you should see a notification indicating the number of e-mails imported.

E-Mail Checking Success

E-Mail Checking Success

From here two things can happen. For each imported e-mail, Awesome Support will either

  • Identify who sent it and to which ticket it relates, in which case the e-mail is converted to a reply to the appropriate ticket,
  • Fail to identify the sender or the ticket the e-mail relates to, in which case the e-mail is sent in the “Unassigned” folder

Unassigned Replies

If an incoming e-mail can’t be identified, it lands in the Unassigned folder. An administrator will have to manually inspect the e-mail and decide who sent it and / or to which ticket it relates to.

Unassigned Tickets Screen

Unassigned Replies Screen

Once they land in this folder, e-mails are converted into unassigned replies. You will need to manually process each unassigned reply one by one and update the unknown information.

Two things can be missing to an unassigned reply: the sender and/or the ticket ID. While updating an unassigned reply, you will only be asked for the missing information. It can be the ticket ID, the sender or both.

It is important to understand that the system can only identify the sender if the e-mail address used to send the e-mail is found in the database. If there is no user account registered with this e-mail address Awesome Support will be unable to identify who sent this reply.

Unassigned Reply Update Screen

Unassigned Reply Update Screen

All incoming e-mail’s headers are stored in the database. When you inspect an unassigned reply, you will have access to the entire e-mail header in order to get every bit of information that might help you identify the reply.

Settings

The Awesome Support E-Mail Add-On has very few settings and most of them are related to the e-mail provider. The only setting that is not related to the ESP is the frequency at which the add-on will run to check for new e-mails.

NOTE: The add-on cannot handle passwords with special characters such as “(” right now.  So please use a long combination of letters and numbers with upper and lower case characters for best compatibility.  “#”, underscores and dashes are also allowed.

Connection Information

These are the basic settings, telling Awesome Support where to go to check the inbox and what credentials to use. The plugin will try to figure out the rest by itself, but if it can’t you might have to change some of the advanced settings.

SettingValue
E-Mail ServerThe address of the e-mail server that you’re using. This usually depends on the protocol you’re going to use
ProtocolThe protocol to use when connecting to the e-mail server. We recommend using POP3, which most ESPs will support
UsernameThe username to use for logging in the inbox
PasswordThe password to use for logging in the inbox

With all these settings set Awesome Support should be able to log into your inbox, look for new e-mails, download them into WordPress and delete them from the e-mail server. Once again, the inbox should be dedicated to Awesome Support only.

Advanced Settings

SettingValue
PortThe port to connect to the e-mail server through
Secure PortWhether or not to use a secured connection to the e-mail server. This is defined by your ESP, it’s not for you to decide
TimeoutThe delay after which a connection attempt is declared unsuccessful if Awesome Support hasn’t logged-in yet

Incompatible E-Mail Providers

None so far.

Settings Examples

Gmail / Google Apps

Please note that Gmail requires you to enable POP3 from your account settings. If you don’t know how to enable POP3 please read this guide from Google.

SettingValue
E-Mail Serverpop.gmail.com
ProtocolPOP3
UsernameYour e-mail including the @ part (eg. [email protected] or [email protected])
PasswordYour account password
Port995
Secure PortYes
Timeout300

Outlook.com / Hotmail / Windows Live Domains

Please note that Outlook.com requires you to enable POP3 from your account settings. If you don’t know how to enable POP3 please read this guide from Microsoft.

While activating POP3, let the app delete the messages by checking “what the device or app says—if it’s set to delete messages, delete them.”. If you don’t select that option, all e-mails will be downloaded every-time Awesome Support checks your inbox.

SettingValue
E-Mail Serverpop3.live.com
ProtocolPOP3
UsernameYour e-mail including the @ part (eg. [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected])
PasswordYour account password
Port995
Secure PortYes
Timeout30

Yandex

SettingValue
E-Mail Serverpop.yandex.com
ProtocolPOP3
UsernameYour e-mail including the @ part (eg. [email protected])
PasswordYour account password
Port995
Secure PortYes
Timeout30

Gmail Considerations

Introduction

Google changes its security and other gmail requirements on a regular basis.  Below is what we know about connecting to Gmail right now.

  1. Gmail requires you to enable POP3 or IMAP from your account settings. If you don’t know how to enable POP3 please read this guide from Google.
  2. It also requires you to turn on an option called “less secure connections”.  Basically, this means that you are allowing only basic user id and password access to the email account instead of the more complex oAuth sign-in process that web-based logins can use.  Basic User id and Password access is what all other email clients will require as well.  Learn how to turn this option on here: https://support.google.com/a/answer/6260879?hl=en
  3. An alternative to (2) above would be to create an “app password”.  This allows you to create a password to be used only by this plugin.  You can do that here: security.google.com/settings/security/apppasswords

Once you have finished the tasks above, you can proceed with configuring the options in TICKETS->SETTTINGS->EMAIL PIPING

POP3 Settings

SettingValue
E-Mail Serverpop.gmail.com
ProtocolPOP3
UsernameYour e-mail including the @ part (eg. [email protected] or [email protected])
PasswordYour account password
Port995
Secure PortYes
Timeout300

IMAP Settings

SettingValue
E-Mail Serverimap.gmail.com
ProtocolIMAP
UsernameYour e-mail including the @ part (eg. [email protected] or [email protected])
PasswordYour account password
Port993
Secure PortYes
Timeout300

 

 

Creating New Tickets Via Email

By default, the Email Support add-on will not create new tickets based on emails.  To do that, you have to explicitly turn this option on.  You can find the options for handling unknown emails in TICKETS->SETTINGS->EMAIL PIPING.  Scroll down to the ADVANCED section and find the option for Unassigned Email Handling.

There are three options:

  1. Leave in Unassigned Folder:  Selecting this option will place all incoming emails that cannot be matched to an existing ticket in a folder called “Unassigned”.  You can see this folder on the left side of your screen under the TICKETS menu.
  2. Create New Ticket And User:  Selecting this option will take any email that cannot be matched to an existing ticket and attempt to create a new ticket.  If the email address is unrecognized it will also automatically create a new user account and send the user a link to set a password.
  3. Create new ticket if email address matches an existing user; otherwise leave in “Unassigned” folder:  This option will create new tickets only for email addresses that are already in your system.  Otherwise, emails will be placed in the “Unassigned” folder.
Please be aware of the security implications of choosing option #2.  With this option any spammer can automatically create a ticket and an account in your system!

 

Handling Replies To Closed Tickets

Users will inevitably try to respond to tickets that have been closed.  The add-on provides two options for dealing with these messages.

as-closedticketreplies

You can find these options under the TICKETS->SETTINGS->Email Piping tab.

The options allow you to reject the reply and send a rejection email or to accept the reply and re-open the email.

If you choose the option to reject the message, you can configure the notice that the customer receives under the TICKETS->SETTINGS->E-MAILS tab.

Reference: Email Template Tags

You can find a list of email template tags in the HELP area at the top of page when viewing emails under the TICKETS->SETTINGS->E-MAILS Tab.  Here is a list of those template tags at the time this document was created:

{ticket_id}Converts into ticket ID
{site_name}Converts into website name
{agent_name}Converts into agent name
{agent_email}Converts into agent e-mail address
{client_name}Converts into client name
{client_email}Converts into client e-mail address
{ticket_title}Converts into current ticket title
{ticket_link}Displays a link to the ticket
{ticket_url}Displays the URL only (not a link) to the ticket
{ticket_admin_link}Displays a link to ticket details in admin (for agents)
{ticket_admin_url}Displays the URL only (not a link link) to ticket details in admin (for agents)
{date}Converts into current date
{admin_email}Converts into WordPress admin e-mail (currently: [email protected])
{message}Converts into ticket content or reply content
{ticket_status}Ticket Status

 

Managing Multiple Mailboxes

Later versions of the Email Support add-on include an option to pull mail from more than one IMAP/POP3 mailbox.  There are a number of reasons to use multiple mailboxes – some of them include:

  • Create a support mailbox for each department in your company
  • Provide dedicated mailboxes to each of your customers or to certain VIP customers
  • Create a mailbox for certain products

You can create configuration profiles for additional mailboxes by going to the TICKETS->INBOX CONFIGURATIONS menu option.

Add A New Mailbox

You can create a new mailbox by going to TICKETS->INBOX CONFIGURATIONS and clicking the New AS Mailbox Configuration at the top of the screen.

Tip: Creating mailbox configurations is a function that is restricted to WordPress Admins or anyone with the administer_awesome_support security capability.

When you create a new inbox configuration you will see a screen that has two parts.  The first part is where you provide the data needed for Awesome Support to connect to the mailbox.  It looks like this:

As you’re filling out this information don’t forget to check the ACTIVE box or to fill in the TITLE at the top of the screen.  The title is just a user friendly name used to identify the mailbox.  The ACTIVE flag is used to tell Awesome Support whether or not to collect the emails in the mailbox and convert them to tickets.  Leaving this value unchecked will skip the mailbox during any mailbox retrieval cycle.

You must fill out EACH ITEM shown in the image above in order to be able to connect to your mailbox.  There is no option to test your values though so you should double-check them and make sure they are correct before saving the mailbox configuration.

The best way to run a test to verify the values you entered is to save your mailbox configuration and click the FETCH MAILS button located in the TOP BAR of every WordPress admin page.  Any error will be shown in the resulting popup in the lower right side of your screen.

To save the configuration you can click the PUBLISH or SAVE button on the upper right of the screen.

Mailbox Default Ticket Values

Each additional mailbox can have default values that are stamped on new tickets as they are received.  You can set these default values at the bottom of the NEW MAILBOX configuration screen:

If any of the fields are set then new tickets that are added from the mailbox will automatically be assigned these values.

Note: The contents of this document applies to version 5.0.0 of the Email Piping add-on and later versions.

Managing Mailbox Rules

In later versions of the Email Support add-on you can create rules that control how an incoming email is handled.  Here are some examples of what you can do with rules:

  • Create custom email commands that transfer tickets, update statuses or otherwise take action on a ticket without logging into the admin dashboard
  • Identify and skip or delete SPAM or out-of-office messages
  • Move tickets to a holding area (unassigned folder) for further review before adding them to the system

Rule Types

You can specify the following types of rules:

  • Deletion rules (delete the email – do not save it as a ticket)
  • Move to the UNASSIGNED folder
  • Update ticket with specified values (probably the most common action you will take with rules)
  • Close the ticket
  • Skip the message and leave it in the inbox

You can create rule profiles  by going to the TICKETS->INBOX RULES menu option.

Add A New Rule

You can create a new mailbox rule by going to the TICKETS->INBOX RULE menu option and clicking the New Inbox Rule at the top of the screen.

Tip: Creating mailbox configurations is a function that is restricted to WordPress Admins or anyone with the administer_awesome_support security capability.

When you create a new inbox rule you will see a screen that has two parts. The first part is where you input information about what the rule does.  The second part is where you provide any additional information the rule needs in order to perform the actions selected in the first part of the screen.

Here is what the first part looks like:

  • Rule Type: You can scan for data in the incoming email using either a simple string match – the “normal” option or using a more advanced matching algorithm created using Regex rules.
  • Rule:  For a normal rule type, simply enter the string that you are searching for in the incoming message.  For a regex rule type this is where you will enter the regex condition that will be applied to the incoming e-mail.
  • Where Should This Rule Apply:  Decide which areas of the ticket you would like to search for your designated string or regex match.  For special handling of emails from VIP customers you can search for a particular email address or domain.
  • Is Rule Active:  Check this box to turn on the rule.  Left unchecked, the rule is turned off and not processed against incoming messages.
  • Action:  Choose the action that will be performed on the ticket / message if the rule matches against the incoming message. There are five actions you can take.

As you’re filling out this information don’t forget to fill in the TITLE at the top of the screen.  The title is just a user friendly name used to identify the mailbox rule.

To save the rule you can click the PUBLISH or SAVE button on the upper right of the screen.

Updating Ticket Data

If you specify that data should be updated on a ticket when a match is found, set the data in the second part of the rule configuration screen:

Other Notes

While you can have multiple rules only one rule will be executed against each email message.  Once a match is identified all other rules are skipped for the current message.

Note: The contents of this document applies to version 5.0.0 of the Email Piping add-on and later versions.

Handling Unassigned Emails

The add-on attempts to match incoming emails based on email address or a ticket number.  Sometimes, though, emails cannot be matched because the email address or ticket number is unrecognized.  These emails end up in a section under the TICKETS menu called UNASSIGNED.

Administrators or agents with the view_unassigned_tickets WordPress capability can access TICKETS->UNASSIGNED and reassign these emails.  They can be assigned as a NEW TICKET or as a REPLY to an existing ticket.

Re-assign As a New Ticket

All reassignment options are located in the ACTIONS metabox on the right hand side of the unassigned item.  That box looks like this:

To make the unassigned item a new ticket, simply set a ticket creator.  Click the drop-down box under Creator, type in the name of your client/customer and a new button will show up labeled Create New Ticket (See image below).  Simple click it and the unassigned item will be converted to a new ticket.

 

Re-assign As a Reply To An Existing Ticket

If the unassigned item needs to be attached to an existing ticket you can use the second option in the metabox.  This is a TWO step process.

Step #1:  This is simple – simply select the client to whom the ticket belongs (just like you did above).  However, you can ignore the CREATE NEW TICKET button that appears.  You will not be using that!

Step #2:  Choose the ticket with which you will merge this unassigned item.  To do this, simply click the drop-down under the TICKET section and type in some words that are in the title of the ticket you are looking for.  A list of matching tickets will show up and you can then select one.

Once a ticket has been selected a new button with the label Add As Reply To This Ticket will show up.  Simply click it and the unassigned item will be assigned to the selected ticket.

Note: Once the re-assignment has taken place you will be directed to the new ticket.

Grant Access To The Unassigned Tickets To Non-Admin Users

You can allow non-admin users to access this menu option by simply granting their roles the view_unassigned_tickets capability.  Unfortunately WordPress does not offer a built-in method for assigning capabilities to roles.  Instead we recommend the use of a plugin called User Role Editor which is available for free WordPress.org.

Note: The contents of this document applies to version 5.0.0 of the Email Piping add-on and later versions.

 

Hooks And Filters

Here are some of the more useful hooks that are available in the Email Support add-on.

Action Hooks

wpas_process_ticket_attachments

Available in version 0.3.0 or later.

This action is called when attachments are being processed.  Accepts the id of the ticket and the email attachment array.

do_action('wpas_process_ticket_attachments', $parent_id, $this->email['attachment'] );

wpas_email_reply_converted

Available in version 0.3.0 or later.

This action is fired when an unknown or unassigned email reply is converted into an actual ticket.

do_action( 'wpas_email_reply_converted', $this->post_id, $status );

Filters

ases_post_clean_content_filter

Available in version 0.3.1 or later.

Used to replace the final cleaned content with your filtered content.  Accepts the filtered content and the original raw email content.

One good use would be to handle HTML the way you want.  Extract the data from $raw, reformat it or strip html as you see fit.  When done, put the result in $content.

apply_filters( 'ases_post_clean_content_filter', $content, $raw, $this );

ases_get_raw_content_filter

Available in version 0.3.1 or later.

Used to replace the raw content extracted from the incoming email.  Accepts the raw unfiltered body content of the incoming email.

apply_filters( 'ases_get_raw_content_filter', $raw, $this );

ases_get_user_id

Available in version 0.3.0 or later.

Filter called after a user id has been determined.  Can be used to change the user id for the incoming email. Accepts the user id and the email address (as determined at the time of the filter call)

apply_filters( 'ases_get_user_id', $user_id, $user_email, $this );

wpas_open_ticket_data

Available in version 0.3.0 or later.

Filter called when a ticket is being opened.  Can be used to change the data being saved with the ticket.  Be careful how you use this one!

apply_filters( 'wpas_open_ticket_data', array(
'post_content' => $this->get_content(),
'post_name' => $this->get_subject(),
'post_title' => $this->get_subject(),
'post_status' => 'queued',
'post_type' => 'ticket',
'post_author' => $new_user_id,
'ping_status' => 'closed',
'comment_status' => 'closed',
) );

 

Incompatible WordPress Hosts

This add-on requires that your host has ports 995 or 993 open – these are the industry standard IMAP and POP3 ports.  However, some hosts inexplicably keep these two ports closed.  If you are using these hosts you cannot use this add-on.  Instead we recommend that you find a different host that will allow access to your email server via these ports.

Hosts that block 995 and 933

We know that the hosts listed below block ports 995 and 993.  This is not an exhaustive list by any imagination.  So, if you know that our host blocks these ports please let us know so we can update our list.

  • WPENGINE

 

Private Credentials

Installation (Private Credentials)

Installation Instructions For The Private Credentials Add-on

  • Download the file to your desktop from the links provided in your purchase receipt or from your Account screen
  • In the WordPress Admin dashboard select Plugins->Add new
  • You should now see a screen with the list of plugins that are installed on your system.  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

 

Private Credentials Concepts

Introduction

In an era where nothing is ever truly secure it is a very bad idea to be asking your customers to provide user ids and passwords over email.  And, when provided it is just as bad an idea to be saving them in the database without some sort of encryption.

The Private Credentials Add-on allows your customers to enter access credentials to one or more systems and allow them to be stored with an encryption key directly inside the Awesome Support database.  While no encryption scheme can be considered completely secure, any encryption is always better than none.

It is important to understand that the use of the Private Credentials add-on does not mean you can relax your normal security processes and procedures. This is simply an additional defense that works in conjunction with your already robust defenses (they are robust, right?)

Here is an image of what your customers will see when they choose to enter confidential information into a ticket.

as-pc-general01

Later sections of the documentation will walk you through how this screen is used.

How The Data Is Encrypted

All data entered into the form shown in the image above is encrypted with a key that is unique to the ticket.  The key and the data are both stored with the ticket.  This is done without any additional work on the administrators party.  But the data can be made more secure with one more step

In order for the data to be better secured, you will need to enable an option in your wp-config.php file.  Simply edit that file and add the following line to it:

define(‘WPAS_PC_ENCRYPTION_KEY_MASTER’,    ‘master encryption key here’);

You should use a very long master key and make sure you don’t forget it.

When this option is enabled, the  individual ticket keys are further encrypted by this master key.  In this way an intruder needs to pull both the data from the database AND the data from the separately located wp-config.php file in order to decrypt the private credential contents.

Additional Security Precautions

When a ticket is close, all private credentials are automatically removed.  This means that you will not be maintaining a treasure-trove of private customer information.  This will make your system less of a target to would-be hackers/intruders.

The End User Experience

In order for the end-user to access the Private Credentials form they must first create a ticket AND save/submit that ticket.  Once that has been completed, a new button will appear on the ticket named Enter Private Credentials.  You can see where that is generally located on the ticket in the image below – circled in green.

as-pc-enduserexperience01

 

When the user clicks that button they will be shown the Private Credentials form as shown in the image below:

as-pc-general01

How To Use The Form

This form initially looks complicated but it is very easy to use.  Most users usually have just one set of credentials to use.  So the form is set up to allow them to start entering data right away into the fields shown.

  • System: Any name that defines what the credentials are for.  Eg: WordPress, Windows, TeamViwer, FTP etc.
  • Username: The Username associated with the credentials.  Most credentials are simple user names and passwords/
  • Password: The Password associated with user/pw pair of credentials.

Clicking the SAVE button will save the credentials to the ticket.

Entering Multiple Credentials

Should the user need to provide multiple sets of credentials, they can do so by using the ADD button.  This will create a new tab on the form – see the image below.

as-pc-enduserexperience02

The user can then simply fill in the fields and click the SAVE button again to add an additional set of credentials.

When the user is ready to exit the form and return to the ticket they can simply click the CLOSE button.

When the ticket is refreshed (the user can click CTRL-R to refresh), the Private Credentials button will show a number in parentheses that correspond to the number of private credentials stored on the ticket.

as-pc-enduserexperience03

 

 

Clicking the View Private Credentials button again will pop up the form to display the data that was previously entered.

The Support Agent Experience

The Support Agent experience will be similar to the End User experience  except that it will be occurring inside the WP-ADMIN center.  The support agent will be able to access any Private Credentials that the customer has provided by clicking on the “View Private Credentials” link in the metabox on the right hand side of the ticket.

Because it is a metabox, it can be located anywhere on the right hand side so, in your installation of WordPress you might have to scroll down a a bit to find it.  However, the link will look similar to that shown in the green circle in the image below.

as-pc-agentexperience03

When clicked, the following form will pop up:

as-pc-agentexperience04

The agent can then use the data via standard copy-and-paste key-board key combinations.

Note: Good security practice would be to have all agents delete the credentials after using them. They can do this using the DELETE button.

 

 

Troubleshooting (Private Credentials)

Private Credentials Metabox Does Not Show Up On Ticket In Support Agent Screen

If you do not see the Private Credentials metabox on the backend ticket details page, click `Screen Options` in the upper right-hand corner of the ticket details page, then make sure `Private Credentials` is checked.

All Private Credentials Are Suddenly Garbled

This occurs if you change the master encryption key in your wp-config.php file.  Once you set your key, changing it will change the key used to decrypt existing credentials as well – resulting in garbled output.  If you wish to change your master key you should delete the credentials from all open tickets and ask your customers to re-add them to the ticket(s).

Some Passwords Are Being “Cut-Off”

Passwords with double-quotes are not allowed right now.  Everything after the “double quotes” will be removed.  We hope to get this resolved in a future version.

Private Credentials

Satisfaction Survey Concepts

Introduction

The Satisfaction Survey add-on enables you to automatically send a survey email to your customers after a ticket has been closed.  The email will contain a link to a survey where the customer can indicate how satisfied they were with the efforts of the support agent to resolve their issue.

Here is an example of what an email can look like – note that we have “prettied” up this email example to add a logo, a nice footer etc.

as-ss-sample-email

When the user clicks on the survey link, they are taken to a simple page on the WordPress webiste to complete the survey.  The webpage will look similar to the following:

as-ss-sample-survey

The survey is kept as simple as possible – studies have proven that customers are more likely to complete a survey if the expected time investment is small.

Survey Types

There are four different methods for conducting your surveys:

  1. Sending an automatic email X minutes/days after a ticket is closed.  The user will click a survey link and fill out the survey form on your website.
  2. Sending an automatic email X minutes/days after a ticket is closed that includes only TWO options – a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” (good/bad).  As soon as the user clicks an option in the survey email the choice will be recorded and they will be shown a “thank you” message.
  3. View an automatic survey page after the user closes a ticket.
  4. Include a survey link on each email that a customer receives from an agent about the ticket.

WordPress Cron

The Satisfaction Survey Add-on uses WordPress’ Cron System to schedule the emails being sent to the customer.  This means that:

  1. You need to ensure that your WordPress Cron system is working properly.
  2. That your site is receiving enough traffic to trigger WordPress’ Cron system at the appropriate time.  Your site should be getting at least one visitor every hour in order to trigger the WordPress Cron system.

Installation

Installation Instructions For The Satisfaction Survey Add-on

  • Download the file to your desktop from the links provided in your purchase receipt or from your Account screen
  • In the WordPress Admin dashboard select Plugins->Add new
  • You should now see a screen with the list of plugins that are installed on your system.  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.

Important Step – Permalinks Generation

We have to get WordPress to regenerate its Permalinks.  To do this just go to Settings->Permalinks.  You don’t have to make any changes – just click the Save button.

Any surveys that are sent out before this step was taken will not work!  The link in the email that takes the customer to the survey will produce a 404 error instead!

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

 

Personalizing Satisfaction Survey

Introduction

When the Satisfaction Survey add-on is activated, it is ready to go.  Its default configuration allow you to get started right away – it will:

  • Send out a survey to customers 24 hours after a ticket has been closed
  • Automatically delete the results of any survey if the ticket is re-opened
  • Display a rating column on the Tickets List page
  • Give the customer only two choices – “Bad” and “Good”
  • Provide 5 reasons for the customers to choose from if they stated that their experience was “Bad”.

Accessing Configuration Options

You can access the configuration page by going to Tickets->Settings and clicking on the Satisfaction Survey tab.

What The Options Mean

Configuration options are divided into seven sections

  • Survey Behavior
  • Miscellaneous (General)
  • Slugs
  • Rating Scale
  • Unsatisfied Reasons
  • Email Template
  • Thank You Message

In the next part of this documentation we will cover each item in each section.

Configuration Options

Introduction

On the configuration tab for Satisfaction Survey, the options are divided into seven sections

  • Survey Behavior
  • Miscellaneous (General)
  • Slugs
  • Rating Scale
  • Unsatisfied Reasons
  • Email Template
  • Thank You Messages

Survey Behavior

You have three choices to trigger your surveys

  • Send a survey by email after a ticket is closed
  • Show a survey popup via a re-direct to the survey page immediately after a ticket is closed.  Note that the redirect (pop-up) will only work if the ticket is being closed by a user on the front-end of the site.  Tickets closed by agents will not show the survey!
  • Send survey quick-links in every email that goes out with an agent’s reply to a ticket
While you can choose all three options, practically speaking you should choose one option.

Please note that if you choose the option to pop-up the survey after the ticket is closed you cannot use the click-to-close template tag included with the powerpack/productivity add-on in your outgoing emails.

Miscellaneous (General)

as-ss-options-general

Delay:  This is the number of minutes to wait AFTER a ticket is CLOSED before sending out the survey email.  The default is 1440 mins (24 hours).

Delete survey on ticket reopen:  If a ticket is reopened, the existing rating can be automatically removed.  If left unchecked, the original rating stays and the customer will have no option to provide a different rating after the ticket is closed again.

Display Rating column:  The satisfaction rating that the customer has assigned to a ticket can be shown in the primary ticket list by keeping this box checked.

Slugs

Slugs control what the user sees in their browser address bar.  You can change these items to something that matches your brand.  But after the change you must go to the WordPress SETTINGS->PERMALINKS page and click the Save button.  This forces WordPress to update its URL scheme to recognized your new choices.

Warning:  Each of the five slugs need to be different  – do not use the same phrase/string for all three!

Rating Scale

Degrees: This sets the granularity of the scale.  The default is two – basically giving the customer only two choices (bad/good or unsatisfied/satisfied).  But you can set the rating up to a scale of 10.  Common scales are 2, 3 (Bad, Neutral, Good), 5 and 10.

Bad Label:  This is the label the user sees on the “bad” end of the scale.  Common labels are “Bad” and “Unsatisfied”.  But, obviously, you can choose your own.

Good Label: This is the label the user sees on the “good” end of the scale.  Common labels are “Good”, “Very Satisfied” and “Satisfied”

as-ss-options-ratingscale

You can use the CSS classes and IDs listed to configure the look of the survey webpage.  (If this sentence is greek to you, please ask your software developer for assistance).

Unsatisfied Reasons

When the customer selects a bad rating, they see a drop-down that allow them to choose a reason they are not satisfied.

Dropdown Trigger:  This is the percentage on the scale that triggers the drop-down to be visible.  Generally, if a user chooses anything below 50% of the scale, you would want to know why.  So, if the Degrees is set to 10 and this Dropdown Trigger is set to 50% then the user will see the drop-down of reasons if their rating is 5 or less.

  • If the Degrees is set to 2 and this Dropdown Trigger is set to 50% then the user will see the drop-down of reasons if their rating is bad/unsatisfied
  • If the Degrees is set to 6 and this Dropdown Trigger is set to 50% then the user will see the drop-down of reasons if their rating is 3 or less

Unsatisfied Reasons:  This is the list of reasons that the customer can choose from if they provide a rating that is less than the Dropdown Trigger field.  You can edit this list by placing each reason on a new line.

as-ss-options-unsatisfiedreasons

Email Template

The email template allows you to configure the contents of the survey email that is sent out to the customer.  You can use “template tags” – valid tags are shown at the bottom of the section.

as-ss-options-emailtemplate

Thank You Confirmation Messages

You can configure the messages that is displayed to the user  after they complete their survey.  There are five different messages you can configure – one for each type of SLUG / LINK.

Satisfaction Survey Types

The Awesome Support Satisfaction Survey Add-on offers four core types of surveys

1. Full Survey By Email

The full survey by email is the default configuration when you install the Satisfaction Survey add-on for Awesome Support.  This configuration has the following features:

  • A survey email is sent out X minutes after a ticket is closed.  By default the delay between the ticket being closed and the survey being delivered is 24 hours (or 1440 minutes).
  • The user clicks any option on the email and is taken to a survey page to complete the actual survey
  • The user will be presented with a large space to offer comments
  • The user will be asked to select from a list of choices if they give a bad rating
  • The admin can configure all aspects of the survey including the choices, survey range (1 – 5 or 1 – 10 or good/bad etc.)

2. Quick Survey By Email

You can offer the user a simplified survey by email after a ticket is closed.  As with option #1 above, the survey will be delivered regardless of who closes the tickets.  This survey type will only have two options: good/bad, thumbs-up/thumbs-down, smile/frown etc.  The option the user clicks on will be recorded as soon as the user clicks one of the two links.  Each link click will immediately take the user to a Thank You / Confirmation message page.

To configure this kind of survey, you need to modify your survey email to use the following template tags:

  • {satisfaction_survey_thumbs_up_link}
  • {satisfaction_survey_thumbs_up_url}
  •  {satisfaction_survey_thumbs_down_link}
  • {satisfaction_survey_thumbs_down_url}

These four tags will insert the appropriate links (or a default phrase-link) for the good/bad or thumbs-up/thumbs-down options in your email.  A simple example of how this can be used is shown below:

You can replace the thumbs-up /  thumbs-down options with images that you choose:

 

3. ‘Pop-up’ Survey After A Ticket Is Closed

You can direct the user to the survey page immediately after a ticket is closed.  In order to do this just choose the second setting in the TICKETS->SETTINGS->SATISFACTION SURVEY tab.  But, you should also un-check the option to use e-mailed surveys.

The “pop-up” will be the full survey screen with all options presented to the user including the ability to enter a comment and/or choosing reasons for providing a bad rating.

 

4. Send a survey Quick-Link with every agent reply email

Whenever an agent replies to a ticket you have the option to send out an email.  Most users enable this option.  With the Satisfaction Survey add-on enabled you can include two additional email template tags in these emails to allow the user to close a ticket and submit a rating in one step.

The idea is that if the agent’s reply is acceptable the user can just close the ticket with one click and submit a rating at the same time.  So, at the bottom of these emails your users will see something that looks like the following:

You can, of course, customize this.  The following four template tags which control these link can be inserted anywhere in the NEW REPLY FROM AGENT email in the TICKETS->SETTINGS->EMAIL tab.

  • {satisfaction_survey_close_ticket_with_thumbs_up_url}
  • {satisfaction_survey_close_ticket_with_thumbs_down_url}
  • {satisfaction_survey_close_ticket_with_thumbs_up_link}
  • {satisfaction_survey_close_ticket_with_thumbs_down_link}

Here is another image of how those links can be used in the context of a reply from an agent:

 

 

View And Manage The Result Of A Satisfaction Survey

Introduction

If the user fills out a survey, the results can be seen directly on the ticket.  There will be a box on the right hand side of the ticket with the title “Satisfaction Survey”.  It contains the results of any survey completed and has management tools for managing the survey.

as-ss-options-ticket01

Generally, once the ticket is closed AND the survey is sent the Satisfaction Survey status box will say Client Submission Pending.  If the customer fills out the survey the contents of the box will change to show the results of the survey.

Satisfaction Survey States

The Survey information box goes through four states.

1. When the ticket is still open (not closed) the box will look like this:

as-ss-ticketstates01

2. When the ticket is initially closed, a timer counts down showing the delay between the time the ticket was closed and the time the survey will be sent

as-ss-ticketstates02

In this state there are three options:

  • Reschedule will restart the countdown
  • Cancel will stop the email from going out
  • Send Now will immediately send the survey

3.  After the ticket is sent the survey sits in a pending state.  This is what the status box looks like then:

as-ss-ticketstates03

  • Reschedule will restart the survey countdown
  • Send Now will immediately send out another survey email

4. If the user fills in the survey, this is what the box will look like then:

as-ss-ticketstates04

You will be able to:

  • See the Rating that was assigned by the customer.
  • Hover over the “comment” icon to show a tooltip with comments that the user entered.
  • Hover over the “reason” icon to show the reason the user chose for his bad experience.

 

Tips and Troubleshooting

Customizing the Look Of The Landing Page

When the user clicks on the satisfaction-survey link, they will be taken to a web page with the survey.  This page uses the default page template of your website. Sometimes, the default page can include distracting elements of your site such as headers or even certain menu items.  But, you can create a more user friendly, less distracting page by creating a new page template file called page-satisfaction-survey.php.  Yes, you do need to know some PHP and WordPress concepts in order to do this.

Custom Status

Installation

Installation Instructions For The Custom Status Add-on

  • Download the file to your desktop from the links provided in your purchase receipt or from your Account screen
  • In the WordPress Admin dashboard select Plugins->Add new
  • You should now see a screen with the list of plugins that are installed on your system.  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

 

Creating/Adding Custom Statuses

Adding Custom Statuses

Once the extension has been installed there will be a new Status and Labels menu option under your TICKETS menu in the WordPress Admin sidebar.  To get started, click on it.

(Note: In versions prior to 1.0.4. the menu option was simpled titled Custom Status)

The initial screen will be blank.  To add a new custom status, just click on the New Status button at the top of the screen.

AS-CustomStatus-05

You will see a screen with a single field in the main area.

AS-CustomStatus-06

  • Enter the label for your custom status (Eg: “Critical” or “Level 3”).
  • Then choose a color.
  • Finally, click the Publish button on the right hand side of the screen.

Repeat until you have added all the custom statuses you need.

Note: Depending on which WordPress plugins are installed, there might be additional “metaboxes” and custom fields from other plugins in the main area.  Refer to those plugins documentation on what to do with those pieces of data.  Generally, you will do nothing.

 

Using Custom Statuses

Using Custom Statuses

Once you have installed the Awesome Support Custom Status Extension and added a few custom statuses, using those statuses is very easy.  The new statuses will appear where the standard three statuses usually appear – see image below:

AS-CustomStatus-03

Simply click the Current Status dropidown and select any one of your new statuses.

Known Conflicts And Limitations

Limitations

Under certain circumstances the maximum number of characters in a Custom Status is 20.  If you find that your ticket is not saving the status you’ve chosen, please reduce the length of your custom status.

Known Conflicts

Version 1.x might conflict with the following:

  • Admin Columns Pro
  • Admin Menu Sorter

 

FAQ

Installation (FAQ Add-on)

Installation Instructions For The FAQ Add-on

  • Download the file to your desktop from the links provided in your purchase receipt or from your Account screen
  • In the WordPress Admin dashboard select Plugins->Add new
  • You should now see a screen with the list of plugins that are installed on your system.  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.

After installation there should be an FAQ page automatically created with the default FAQ add-on shortcode in it.  All you need to do is add it to your menu in order to display it to your users on the front-end of your WordPress site.

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

FAQ Overview

With the FAQ module you can:

  • Create FAQ documents directly
  • Create FAQ documents using a ticket reply
  • Insert an FAQ directly into a ticket with just a few couple of clicks
  • Automatically display matching FAQs as a user types into the SUBJECT field when creating a ticket
  • Use a short code to display subsets of FAQ documents on different pages

After installation there should be an FAQ page automatically created with the default FAQ shortcode in it.  All you need to do is add it to your WordPress menu using standard WordPress functions.

Add/Edit/Delete FAQs

Add an FAQ

  • Go To FAQs->Add Faq
  • Enter a title and the contents of your FAQ
  • Make sure you create or choose a category for your FAQ.  This is going to be useful in segmenting your FAQs into sections on the front end of your site.
  • Click the PUBLISH button located on the right side of the screen.

Edit an FAQ

  • Go To FAQs->All FAQs
  • Locate and double-click the FAQ you would like to edit
    • Tip: If you have a lot of FAQs, you can search for the one you want in the search box on the upper right of the screen.
  • Make the changes you need
  • Click the PUBLISH button located on the right side of the screen.

Delete an FAQ

  • Go To FAQs->All FAQs
  • Locate and HOVER over the FAQ you would like to delete
    • Tip: If you have a lot of FAQs, you can search for the one you want in the search box on the upper right of the screen.
  • Click the delete link that shows up as you hover.

Create an FAQ Inside A Ticket

Your agents can create FAQs on the fly as they respond to tickets.  This is useful if they find themselves constantly sending the same responses to customers.

There are two ways to create an FAQ inside a ticket – both are described below.

1. Reply and FAQ

When the FAQ module is installed, it creates a new button in the reply area of the ticket called REPLY & FAQ.  If you use this instead of the REPLY button then your reply is sent AND an FAQ item is created and published.

After using this button it is advisable to edit the FAQ that is created and at least add a category to it.

 

2. Convert an existing reply to an FAQ

When an agent hovers over a reply that is already sent a new link is available called Create FAQ.  Clicking this link will  create an FAQ item using the contents of the reply.

Note that the FAQ is automatically published.  So, it is considered best practice to immediately edit the FAQ that is created and at least add a category to it.

Configure FAQ Display For The Front-End

When the FAQ add-on is first installed a new page is created with just the basic FAQ shortcode.  You have a couple of choices on how this default is shown to your users:

  1. You can control whether item counts are shown next to categories
  2. You can control whether individual links are shown or whether an accordion is used.

Both of these options can be found under the FAQS->SETTINGS->Display tab.

 

Additional Customization Options

You have options for what the shortcode displays. Please see this faq shortcode help topic.

You can customize your theme’s page template as well.  See this help topic: Customizing the FAQ page.

Frequently Asked Questions Shortcode

The FAQ addon is quite simple to use. By default, there is no configuration at all. The questions are displayed using your theme’s default archive page, and single questions are displayed using your theme’s default single page.

However, if you want to customize the look of your FAQ, you can use the dedicated shortcode [faq].

The shortcode has a number of parameters available:

  • limit (default 10): the number of questions to display
  • before_title: something to display before the question title. The default is an H3 tag
  • after_title: something to display after the title. The default closes the H3 tag
  • before_answer: something to display before the answer. The default is a div
  • after_answer: something to display after the answer. The default is a closing div
  • cat: ID of categories to limit the questions to. Separate multiple categories IDs with a comma

Customizing the FAQ Page

If you wish to customize the FAQ page, there are two ways of doing it. The solution that is right for you will depend on whether or not you’re a developer.

Page Template

If you’re not familiar with the templates hierarchy and don’t know how to write a theme template, this is the solution you wanna go for.

Assuming that your theme has several page templates available and you want to use one of these templates, you can do so by following those steps:

  1. Create a new page (you can call it Frequestly Asked Questions for instance)
  2. Select the appropriate page template – most full-featured themes have an option for this in a metabox on the right side
  3. In the content editor, paste the shortcode [faq]

FAQ Single Archive

The FAQ is a standard WordPress post type registered as faq. This means that you can customize its archive page using the standard WordPress templates hierarchy.

Simply create a new file called archive-faq.php in your theme and customize your archive from there. You can copy/paste archive.php to use as a starter template.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce

Note For Mobile Users: Portions of this page contains code examples. To best view this page you should turn your device to landscape mode.

Installation

  1. Buy the add-on and download it from your account page
  2. Go to Plugins > Add New > Upload and select the ZIP file you just downloaded
  3. Click Install Now, and then click Activate
  4. You should be ready!

What It Does

The Awesome Support WooCommerce Extension (ASWC) does a few different things.

Firstly, users will now find that they can easily open a ticket from their WooCommerce ‘My Account’ page, for each of their orders:

Clicking Get Help will take them to the order page, where a ticket form awaits them. They can choose a specific product from the order that they need help with too:

Back on the My Account page, they can also view their existing tickets, and easily choose one to check on or view again:

The standard [ ticket-submit ] shortcode will continue to work as expected, with some extra fields added so the user can choose the product/order their ticket relates to:

Back in the admin view of a ticket, the agent will be able to see a new metabox called Customer Profile. This contains the ticket submitter’s customer details, like so:

Customer Profile

And finally, in the admin view of an order, you can see the tickets that have been created relating to an order in the new Order Tickets metabox:

Settings

By default, WooCommerce Awesome Support limits the creation of new tickets to paying customers. However, you may want to allow non-customers to open a ticket.

To do so, go to WooCommerce > Settings > Integration > Awesome Support and enable the Allow Non-Customers setting like so:

FAQ

How can I let customers choose orders for other order statuses?

As of 1.1.0, only completed, processing and on-hold orders appear in a new ticket’s order custom field list. Additionally, the get help button only appears for orders with those statuses.

To change this, you can filter it by using the following code (which shows it for any order status, change as you see fit), which can be add to your functions.php:

add_filter( 'aswc_help_allowed_statuses', 'custom_allowed_aswc_statuses' );
function custom_allowed_aswc_statuses( $statuses ) {
    $statuses = array( 'completed', 'processing', 'on-hold', 'pending', 'cancelled', 'refunded', 'failed' );
    return $statuses;
}

Why am I unable to see the ‘New Ticket’ form?

Seeing something like this?

 

Probably because you’re an admin or agent!

If you really want to see it, add the following to your functions.php:

add_filter( 'wpas_agent_submit_front_end', '__return_true' );

How can I make the order number field optional on tickets?

Add this to your functions.php file:

add_filter( 'awesome_support_woocommerce_order_general_field', '__return_true' );

Smart Agent Assignment

Smart Agent Assignment Concepts

This Add-on for Awesome Support allows tickets to be assigned (“routed”) automatically to agents based on pre-defined multi-step algorithms.  It is useful when you have more than one of any combination of the following:

  • Agents
  • Departments
  • Products

There are 5 pre-built algorithms to choose from.  When a ticket is submitted by a customer the selected algorithm evaluates the ticket and assigns an agent based on the algorithm rules.

Select an algorithm by going to Tickets->Settings->Smart Assignment.  A description of each algorithm is shown as it is selected.

Additionally, in the same screen, you can select which agent roles participate in your selected algorithm.  This prevents Admins, for example, from being included in automatic assignment if that is not part of your workflow.

Smart Agent Installation

Installation Instructions For The Smart Agent Add-on

  • Download the file to your desktop from the links provided in your purchase receipt or from your Account screen
  • In the WordPress Admin dashboard select Plugins->Add new
  • You should now see a screen with the list of plugins that are installed on your system.  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

 

Smart Agent Assignment Algorithms

There are 5 pre-built algorithms to choose from.  When a ticket is submitted by a customer the selected algorithm evaluates the ticket and assigns an agent based on the algorithm rules. You can select an algorithm by going to Tickets->Settings->Smart Assignment.  A description of each algorithm is shown as it is selected.

Additionally, you can select which agent roles participate in your selected algorithm.  This prevents Admins, for example, from being included in automatic assignment if that is not part of your workflow.

Here are the descriptions of each of the algorithms:

Agent Availability #1

This is the simplest algorithm available.  Its rules are as follows:

  • Check for a set of agents based on agents day and time availability only. If no agents exist use the default agent (any agent with the least number of tickets).

This simple algorithm is a great way to get started if you have multiple agents who work different shifts.  The only condition being used to evaluate who gets the ticket is the time of day the agent is available (as defined in the user profile of the agent).

Product And Agent Availability #1

This algorithm is useful if you provide support for multiple products but certain agents specialize in providing support for different products.

  1. Check for a set of agents that supports the product the user selected on the ticket. Then, from that set of agents, check for an agent currently working (based on the day and times set in their agent/user profile).
  2. If a working agent isn’t found, then assign the ticket to the default agent (currently any agent with the least number of tickets).
  3. If no product is entered on the ticket then check for any agent currently working regardless of product. If an agent is not found then assign the ticket to the default agent (any agent with the last number of tickets).

Product And Agent Availability #2

Just like the prior one, this algorithm is useful if you provide support for multiple products but certain agents specialize in providing support for different products.

  1. Check for a set of agents that supports the product the user selected on the ticket. Then, from that set of agents, check for an agent currently working (based on the day and times set in their agent/user profile).
  2. If an agent isn’t found, then check for any agent assigned to that product regardless of working hours.
  3. If one is not found then check for any agent with current working hours regardless of product.
  4. If an agent is still not found then assign the ticket to the default agent (any agent with the least number of tickets).
  5. If no product is entered on the ticket then check for any currently working agent agent. If no agent is found then assign to the default agent.

Departments And Agent Availability #1

This is a relatively simple algorithm:

  1. Try to find a current working agent who has the same department as the ticket.
  2. If no match then use the default agent (any agent with the least number of tickets).

Departments And Agent Availability #2

  1. Try to find a current agent who has the same department as the ticket.
  2. If no agent is found then use any available agent regardless of department.
  3. If an agent is still not found then use the default agent (any agent with the least number of tickets).

 

Setting Agent Availablity

Select Which Agent Roles Will Participate In Smart Assignment

The first step in configuring whether an agent is even considered in an algorithm is to make sure that their ROLE is selected to be used by the add-on.  To do this, just go to TICKETS->SETTINGS->Smart Assignment.

Generally speaking, you would at least turn on the Support Agent role.  But, maybe you have a group of agents that should not be assigned tickets at all – in which case you would have to create a new role and assign that role to the agents to be considered by the Smart Agent plugin.

What Times Are An Agent Available To Work?

A critical component of all the algorithms is the availability of the agent(s) to work.  Each agent must have their working hours set in the user profile.  Access the agent’s user profile by going to the USERS menu option in the left hand side of the WordPress Administration Console.

Once you are inside agent’s profile, scroll down to the section with the heading: Awesome Support: Set Product and Availability Of Agent

In this area you will see a section called Days Available.   For each day there are 4 time blocks.  This allows an agent to have up to 3 breaks per work session.  If you only have one work session for an agent then only the first  row for each time block for each day needs to be filled out.

as-sa-timeofdayforagents

Assigning Agents To Departments

Before you can use any algorithm that involves departments you must do three things:

  1. Enable departments
  2. Add departments
  3. Assign your support agents to departments

1. Enable Departments

You can enable departments by going to Tickets->Settings->General.  About 1/3 of the way down the page you’ll see a checkbox labeled Enable departments management.  You should check that box and then click the Save button.

2. Add Departments

Once departments are enabled you can create a list of departments that match your situation.  Navigate to Tickets->Departments and add your departments there.

3. Assign Support Agents To Departments

To assign support agents to departments you must do so in the support agent’s user profile.   Access the agent’s user profile by going to the USERS menu option in the left hand side of the WordPress Administration Console.

Once you are inside agent’s profile, scroll down to the section with the heading: Awesome Support Preferences

as-sa-departmentassignmentforagents

Check off the department(s) that the agent is allowed to work in and then click the Save button at the bottom of the page.

Assigning Agents To Products

Before you can use any algorithm that involves products you must do three things:

  1. Enable products
  2. Add products
  3. Assign your support agents to products

1. Enable Products

You can enable departments by going to Tickets->Settings->General.  About 1/3 of the way down the page you’ll see a section labeled Products Management.  First, you must check the box labeled Multiple Products.  Once that has been checked, the other options in that section are valid for use.

as-sa-multipleproducts

You can automatically synchronize your product list with WooCommerce or EDD.  You can also include/exclude products from the list available to your algorithm.

2. Add or Edit Products

Once products are enabled you can create a list of products or edit the existing list of products.  Navigate to Tickets->Products to manage your products for Awesome Support.

3. Assign Support Agents To Products

To assign support agents to products you must do so in the support agent’s user profile.   Access the agent’s user profile by going to the USERS menu option in the left hand side of the WordPress Administration Console.

Once you are inside agent’s profile, scroll down to the section with the heading: Awesome Support: Set Product and Availability Of Agent

as-sa-productsassignmentforagents

Check off the products(s) that the agent is allowed to work in and then click the Save button at the bottom of the page.

Automatic Ticket Close

Automatic Ticket Close Concepts

The Awesome Support Automatic Ticket Close extension allows you to streamline your daily workflow by closing tickets that have not had a customer response after a certain time period.  It provides for the delivery of multiple warning messages before finally closing the ticket.  By automatically closing tickets it makes it easier for agents to focus on tickets that are being actively responded to by customers.

You can control which tickets are automatically closed based on their status and can send an unlimited number of warning emails before closing the ticket.  For example, if you have the ticket with a status of “Hold”, you might not want to close that automatically. But, if you have a ticket that is “In Progress”, that would be a good candidate to automatically close if you have not received a reply from the customer.

This Add-on also allows you to create some interesting mixed workflows.  For example you can set all “In Progress” tickets to automatically close after 7 days of inactivity.  But, you can set tickets that are “Pending Close” to close automatically after 24 hours.  In this way, if an agent believes that a ticket should be closed sooner, all they have to do is change the status to “Pending Close”.

Only tickets that are waiting for a reply from the customer are considered for automatic closing. If the ticket is waiting for a reply from a support agent it is not going to be automatically closed by this add-on.

Note:  Some statuses used in the examples above such as “Pending Close” assume that the custom status extension is also installed and activated.  Also, the emails being sent do NOT use the HTML templates that were introduced in the Awesome Support core version 3.3.3.

Installation (Automatic Ticket Close)

Installation Instructions For The Automatic Ticket Close Add-on

  • Download the file to your desktop from the links provided in your purchase receipt or from your Account screen
  • In the WordPress Admin dashboard select Plugins->Add new
  • You should now see a screen with the list of plugins that are installed on your system.  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

 

Configure Automatic Ticket Close

Warning: If you have open tickets please be careful how you configure this plugin.  An incorrect configuration can accidentally send out a ton of warning messages to your customers or close tickets prematurely!

Automatic Ticket Close contains NO defaults that would close tickets.  You must EXPLICITLY configure the extension to close tickets automatically.  To get started go to Tickets->Settings->Auto Close.

You will see a blank section titled “Add New Warning Message”.  This is the first email message that will be sent to warn the user that the ticket will be closed.

as-atc-addnewwarningmessage01

Fill in the fields using the following guidelines:

  • Status:  At the very least this should be set to “In Progress”.  You certainly don’t want to automatically close new tickets!
  • Age:  This is set in MINUTES, not days or hours!  So, be careful on how you set this!  Some common values are:  1440 = 1 day, 2480 = 2 days, 7200 = 5 days, 10080 = 7 days, 14400 = 10 days
  • Subject:  The subject line of the warning email that will be sent after the ticket activity has aged.
  • Warning Message:  This is the contents of the email message that will be sent to the customer. Generally this provides information about the ticket and warns the customer that the ticket is closed or about to be closed.  Email template tags can be used here.
  • Close:  Check this box if you would like the ticket to be closed after this message is sent.

After filling in the fields, make sure you click the Add Warning button to save the entry.

Note that to add your 2nd email you need to scroll to the BOTTOM of the screen to find the Add New Warning Message section.

When first configuring messages we recommend that you create a custom status called “INACTIVE” or “TESTCLOSE” or something similar and create all your messages with this status.  Test your emails using test tickets with this status.  When you satisfied, change the status on all your emails to “In Progress” (or whatever other live status you would like).

Additional Settings

Below the emails you have configured is a section called Cron.  This is where you configure how often this extension searches for tickets that are inactive.

as-atc-cron01

Most users will set the Cron Recurrence field to Once Daily.  For most workflows there’s no need to check tickets more than once or twice per day.  However, if you have a large volume of tickets you can set it to once hourly.

The other fields in this section are there to help our support agents with debugging issues.

Don’t forget to click the Save Changes button after making changes!


Email Template Tags

These tags can be used in the subject line as well as the body of the email:
{ticket_id}, {site_name}, {agent_name}, {agent_email}, {client_name}, {client_email}, {ticket_title}, {ticket_link}, {ticket_url}, {date}, {admin_email}, {message}, {satisfaction_survey_link}, {satisfaction_survey_url}

Sample Email Contents

Here are some emails you could configure:

Initial Warning Message

Subject:

Ticket # {ticket_id} about to be closed…

Body: 

Hi {client_name},

Your support ticket (#{ticket_id}) has been idle for more than 5 days.  It will be closed soon.

To add additional comments, follow the link below:

{ticket_link} / {ticket_url}

Your Initial Message

{message}

Final Closing Message

Subject:

Ticket # {ticket_id} has been closed due to inactivity…

Body: 

Hi {client_name},

Your support ticket (#{ticket_id}) has been idle for more than 7 days.  It has been closed because there has been no additional activity on it.  Thank you very much for being a customer.  You will soon receive a survey to rate our performance on this ticket – we would appreciate it if you could take 30 seconds to provide feedback so that we can continue to improve our service.

 

Misc And FAQ (Automatic Ticket Close)

Tips

Allow Users To Respond To Auto-Close Emails

If you own our EMAIL SUPPORT add-on, you can configure the subject line of your emails to include the specially formatted ticket number.  Then, users can respond to the auto-close message and have that logged directly to the ticket.  Simply add this to the subject line (#{ticket_id}#)

For Developers

All flags for sequencing of emails and status of emails sent are held in a metakey on the ticket with the name ac_sent_wmsgs.

The last time a ticket was checked or processed is held in a metakey on the ticket with the name last_autoclose_process_date.

Guest Tickets

Installation (Guest Tickets)

Installation Instructions For The Guest Tickets Add-on

  • Download the file to your desktop from the links provided in your purchase receipt or from your Account screen
  • In the WordPress Admin dashboard select Plugins->Add new
  • You should now see a screen with the list of plugins that are installed on your system.  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.

How It Works

This add-on allows users to enter a ticket without having an account on the system.  It accepts the ticket data and automatically creates an account, creates the ticket and then logs the user out.  The user is then sent an email with a link to reset their password as well as the normal ticket confirmation emails.

If the user provides an email address that is already registered, they are prompted to log in to create their ticket.

The standard login screen created with the MY-TICKETS short-code is modified with a 3rd option titled “Guest Log in”.

as-guestlogin-image-02

Configuration Options

The plugin is generally setup as plug-and-play – there is only one configuration option that can be accessed under the TICKETS->SETTINGS->Guest Tickets.  It allows you to specify a “Thank you” page.   This is the page that you must create yourself – it is where a guest user will be re-directed to after submitting a ticket. Its a good place to put other help resources, contact information or any other information that might be useful to your guest ticket user.

as-guestlogin-image-03

Suppress New User Emails

A WordPress account is automatically created for each guest user.  Generally, this means that a new user email with password reset instructions are automatically sent to the user.  This can be confused (not to mention that the WordPress default emails are ugly).  There is a way to prevent this email from being sent.  However, it requires the ability to edit your wp-config.php file.  If you know what that is and you have the ability to edit it then simply add the following line:

define ( ‘ASGT_NO_NEW_USER_CONFIRMATION’, true );

It must be added somewhere above the line that says /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */

There are some important ramifications to enabling this option.

  1. The option affects ALL new user emails.  This means that regular users who register on the site will not receive a confirmation email.
  2. The way WordPress works you can only have ONE plugin that overrides the new user email confirmations.  Therefore if you have another plugin that also tries to do this only one of them will work.

Requires: Version 1.0.2 or later of the Guest Tickets add-on.

Troubleshooting (Guest Tickets)

Entering Guest Email Address Does “nothing”

There are a couple of reasons this could happen:

1. The caching solution used on your site is caching pages for logged-in users

If a cache is enabled for logged in users then changed pages will not show up properly.  This means that the guest user will not see the submit-ticket page when it is changed.  Please contact your host and ask them to update the cache configuration to make sure that when users are logged in no pages are cached.

2. Strict Transport Security is not configured properly

Check your browser console to see if the following message (or similar) appears:  Strict-Transport-Security: The site specified a header that could not be parsed successfully.  You might also see a reference to submit-ticket and admin-ajax.php.

If this message (or similar) appears it means that your servers HSTS configuration is getting in the way and preventing our Javascript from running properly.  Please contact your server admin or hosting provider for a fix or work-around.

More information about HSTS can be found here:  https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/HTTP/Headers/Strict-Transport-Security

Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms Concepts

Introduction

This add-on allows you to create custom ticket and reply forms in Gravity Forms while sending and receiving ticket data from Awesome Support.  It is an extremely powerful add-on that allows you to almost completely re-create the user-facing interface.

You can use Gravity forms to create the following three types of forms:

  • New Ticket Forms
  • Reply to Ticket Forms
  • Update Ticket State Forms (Open/Close tickets or change status)

Depending on the type of form you are creating, certain pieces of data (“fields”) are going to be mandatory and/or require validation.

Here are some ideas on forms you can create to interface with Awesome Support

  • Contact US Forms
  • Technical Support Forms
  • Open New Support Ticket
  • Close or Update A Ticket
  • Request for quote
  • Paid Support

Some custom functionality that you build using this add-on includes:

  • Support forms that allow you to be paid for support and automatically open a ticket when payment is complete
  • Creating a different ticket form for each department
  • Support forms that collect additional data for technical support
  • Forms that walk users through troubleshooting steps before creating a ticket
  • Forms that dynamically change the information requested depending on which department gets the ticket
  • Forms that dynamically routes the ticket to different agents based on your custom logic

Some Technical Details

This add-on hooks into many of the Gravity Forms actions and filters in order to automatically populate fields with data from Awesome Support.  For example, if you decide that you want to include a field on your form to allow the user to choose a status, the add-on can pre-populate that field for you with the list of allowed statuses from Awesome Support.

Supported Gravity Forms Field Types

In most cases only the following Gravity Forms fields are supported when data is being mapped directly to an Awesome Support field

  • Single Line Text
  • Paragraph Text
  • Drop-downs
  • Radio buttons

For data that is simply being collected by the form, you can use any field type.

Mapping Fields

You will need to tell this add-on which Gravity Form(s) you would like to use to transfer data to Awesome Support.  You will also need to configure which fields in your Gravity Forms forms are linked to the appropriate fields in Awesome Support.  This entire process is called MAPPING and is critical to the proper functioning of this product.  Unlike other plugins, you can map multiple Gravity Forms into Awesome Support simultaneously.

Installation (Gravity Forms)

Prerequisites

You should have the latest version of Gravity Forms installed and running. This version of the add-on was tested with Gravity Forms 2.1.

Installation Instructions For The Gravity Forms Interface Add-on

  • Download the file to your desktop from the links provided in your purchase receipt or from your Account screen
  • In the WordPress Admin dashboard select Plugins->Add new
  • You should now see a screen with the list of plugins that are installed on your system.  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.

 

 

Explore The User Interface

The Awesome Support Gravity Forms add-on user interface is slightly more complex than our other add-ons and it requires you to make several decisions for every field you need to import/map from your Gravity Forms form.

Below is a typical Gravity Forms Mapping.  You can map multiple Gravity Forms, each of which will appear in a separate  level in an “accordion” widget.  The image below shows four forms mapped and the edit screen for current mapping we are working with.

as-gravityforms-14

In the image above you can see that there are four forms mapped with the first one being the one that we have choosen to edit.  The Mapping currently being edited will have a blue header.

We have labeled the primary areas in the image – a description of each area is as follows:

  1. This is the header that shows the name of the Gravity Form being mapped – it is the “source” of the data that will be flowing into Awesome Support.  Clicking this header will “close up” the accordion.
  2. This area will show some basic statistics about the mapping in future versions – while the image above shows some data, your version could be blank.
  3. This is the MAIN area you’ll be using.  The field names on the left eg: content, subject etc., are all Awesome Support data fields.  The drop-down boxes next to them show the fields that are available in your selected Gravity Forms form.  You can select which field from your Gravity Form will populate the selected Awesome Support data field.
  4. These check boxes allow you to control how Awesome Support will validate the data.  Depending on your use case for the Gravity Form, some of these fields will be required to be checked.
    1. Require:  Forces the field to be required.  If this option is checked any form data submitted without data in it will be rejected.
    2. Hide:  This prevents the data in this field from being added to the “body” of the ticket.  Sometimes you want to map a field but you do not want the Awesome Support customer user to see that data.  Since any data in the “body” of the ticket can be seen by all parties, this checkbox prevents the mapped data from appearing in the ticket or reply body.
    3. Validate:  Will apply Awesome Support validation rules to the field.  Each Awesome Support field has validation rules that you can choose to enable or disable.  We recommend that, if a field you are mapping has a validation option, that you enable it (unless you want to allow blanks).
    4. Populate:  Some mapped fields have this option. Examples include Status, State and Assignee/Agent.  Checking this field feeds the awesome support data back to the Gravity Form just before rendering the form to the end-user.  This allows the end-user to be able to pick from a drop-down of valid values.
  5. This is where you can select your form to be mapped.  Once you select a from from the drop-down, a new “accordion” tab will be created and you can get to work mapping your data.
  6. You can save your data by clicking the appropriate button in this area.
  7. Use this icon to delete a mapping

 

Creating Your First New Ticket Form

There are THREE steps to creating a Gravity Forms form that will automatically send data to the Awesome Support ticket system.

  1. Create the Gravity Forms form
  2. Add the form to a page using the Gravity Forms short-code
  3. Tell the Awesome Support Gravity Forms add-on what to do with the form data

We assume that you already know how to use Gravity Forms so this part of the documentation will not be covering those steps.  Please contact Gravity Forms for technical support if you need help creating a form.

1. Create The Gravity Forms form

Create a form with three fields on it:

  1. Email Address
  2. Subject (“Single Line Text” field type)
  3. Message (“Paragraph Text” field type)

This is an example of what that form would look like in the Gravity Forms designer:

as-gravityforms-exampleform-01

2. Add The Form To A Page

Add the form’s short-code to a new WordPress page.  An example of that shortcode would be something that looks like this:

as-gravityforms-exampleform-02

3. Tell Awesome Support What To Do With The Gravity Forms Data

  1. Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->Gravity Forms Tab
  2. In the Add New Mapping dropdown, select the Gravity Form you created in Step #1

as-gravityforms-exampleform-03

  1. Once selected, the MAPPING window may or may not appear.  If it does not appear, just click the accordion to show it.

as-gravityforms-exampleform-04

as-gravityforms-exampleform-06

  1. Lets start mapping your form fields to Awesome Support Fields
  1. Select the drop-down for the CONTENT  field and select the YOUR MESSAGE item. (“Your Message” is the name of the field on the Gravity Forms form).
  2. Select the drop-down for the SUBJECT/TITLE  field and select the SUBJECT item.
  3. Select the drop-down for the EMAIL field and select the EMAIL item.
  4. Make sure you check the Require  box next to each of the three fields.

Your screen should now look similar to this:

as-gravityforms-exampleform-07

  1. Now lets set some form options.
  1. Click on the FORM SETTINGS tab.
  2. Click the ALLOW CREATE USER option – this will allow the ticket to be created without forcing the user to log in.

Your screen should now look similar to this:

as-gravityforms-exampleform-08

  1. Save Your Configuration by clicking on the SAVE CHANGES Button.  If you have only one form mapped (which, if this is a new installation, should be the case), then the accordion tab will remain open.  Otherwise it will close up and the first tab will re-open.  All you have to do is click on the accordion tab that has the name of your Gravity Forms form on it.

Test Your Form

Pull up your page on the website front-end with the Gravity Forms short-code on it.  Here is what our screen looks like (we’re using the DIVI version 3.x theme):

as-gravityforms-exampleform-09

If you fill it out, you should see a ticket show up in the Awesome Support ticket list!

 

Creating A Ticket Reply Form

It is possible to create a ticket reply form.  Here is how you can do it:

  1. Create a Gravity Forms form with two fields: Ticket ID and Message.
  2. Configure the Gravity Forms form to require the user to login.
  3. Add the Gravity Forms form short-code to a new WordPress page.
  4. Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->Gravity Forms tab.
  5. Select your form from the ADD NEW MAPPING drop-down
  6. Map your two Gravity Forms form fields as follows:
    1. Set the CONTENT drop-down to your Message form field.  Check the required box  as well.
    2. Click on the ADVANCED tab and Set the TICKET ID drop-down to your form’s Ticket ID field.  Check the required box as well.
  7. Click the SAVE CHANGES button.

Test the Form

  1. Pull up your Gravity Forms form page, login and fill in the ticket id of an existing ticket and message on your form.
  2. Check the ticket in Awesome Support – you should see the reply on the ticket.

When Things Go Wrong

One of the most common issues you will encounter is a form submission that does not turn into a ticket or a ticket reply.  There is a log file inside the Awesome Support plugin/log folder that contains log trace information for every form submission.  By downloading and examining this file you can get an idea of what went wrong.  Gravity Forms itself saves the original form information regardless of whether a ticket was created.

Required Fields

When creating a mapping your form you need to make sure that the fields you map have their REQUIRE flag set properly.

New Tickets

For new tickets you must map AND make required at least the following fields:

  • Content
  • Subject/Title
  • Email Address

Additionally, IF you map any of the following fields, you should set the required, populate and validate flag as indicated below:

Assignee (Agent): Set the validate flag.  If you allow the user to choose the agent, then also set the POPULATE flag and make sure that the gravity forms field type is a drop-down.

Product: Set the validate flag.  If you allow the user to choose the product (which is usually the case if using this field), then also set the POPULATE flag and make sure that the gravity forms field type is a drop-down.

Department: Set the validate flag.  If you allow the user to choose the department then also set the POPULATE flag and make sure that the gravity forms field type is a drop-down.

While there is usually no reason to set the Ticket Status and Ticket State fields on a new ticket form, if you decide to do it, then you should set the validate flag.  If you also allow the user to select the content for these fields then set the POPULATE flag and make sure that the gravity forms field type is a drop-down.

Ticket Replies

For forms that are used to submit replies to tickets you must map AND make required at least the following fields:

  • Ticket ID
  • Content

Additionally, IF you map any of these fields, you should set the required, populate and validate flag as indicated below:

Ticket ID: Set the required flag.  If you want the user to select from a dropdown then you should set the POPULATE flag as well (and make sure that the gravity forms field type is a drop-down)

Ticket Status: Set the validate flag. If you also allow the user to select the content for these fields then set the POPULATE flag and make sure that the gravity forms field type is a drop-down.

Ticket State: Set the validate flag. If you also allow the user to select the content for these fields then set the POPULATE flag and make sure that the gravity forms field type is a drop-down.

 

Form Settings

When mapping a form, there is a tab called FORM SETTINGS that contain important check-boxes.  Here is what those check boxes mean:

Allow Create User:  This defines whether a user is automatically created if an email address is not recognized.  This only matters if  the user is allowed to submit a NEW TICKET Gravity Forms form without logging in.  Examples of the types of forms where you might want to have this field checked include:

  • General “contact us” forms
  • Guest support ticket forms
  • Pre-sales forms

Include Unmapped Fields In Ticket Body:  If the Gravity Forms form has extra fields that are not mapped to standard or custom Awesome Support fields then the data in those extra fields can show up in the message/body section of the new ticket or ticket reply.

Keep in mind that if you check this option, your end user will see the data since it ends up in the body of the ticket!

Here is what a ticket with extra unmapped fields will look like if this option is checked:

as-gravityforms-exampleform-10

Include WPAS GF Details:  Checking this option will include some additional data in the body of the ticket: Name of Gravity Forms form, Source URL and the IP that the form was submitted from. This is what that looks like in a ticket…

as-gravityforms-exampleform-11

Keep in mind that if you check this option, your end user will see the data since it ends up in the body of the ticket!

Sample GF Forms

We have created a series of very simple Gravity Form forms to help you get started.  Below are links to these forms along with how you should configure them.

New Ticket Form

Download Here

This form consists of three fields:

  • Subject which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Subject/Title field.
  • Email which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Email field.
  • Content which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Content field.

All three fields should have their REQUIRE checkbox enabled.

Optional: Under the Form Settings tab you should turn on “Allow Create User” if you would like to allow unregistered users to successfully submit this form.  With this option checked, form submissions with unrecognized email addresses will automatically have a new account created with the standard WordPress notification email sent to them to set their password.

New Ticket With Department Form

Download Here

This form consists of four fields:

  • Subject which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Subject/Title field.
    • Set the REQUIRE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
  • Email which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Email field.
    • Set the REQUIRE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
  • Content which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Content field.
    • Set the REQUIRE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
  • Department which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Department field (Custom Fields tab)
    • Optional: Set the REQUIRE checkbox (enable the checkbox) if you would like to force the user to enter a department on every entry.
    • Set the POPULATE option so that the Gravity Forms form is automatically populated from the department data in Awesome Support

Optional: Under the Form Settings tab you should turn on “Allow Create User” if you would like to allow unregistered users to successfully submit this form.  With this option checked, form submissions with unrecognized email addresses will automatically have a new account created with the standard WordPress notification email sent to them to set their password.

New Ticket With Product Form

Download Here

This form consists of four fields:

  • Subject which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Subject/Title field.
    • Set the REQUIRE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
  • Email which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Email field.
    • Set the REQUIRE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
  • Content which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Content field.
    • Set the REQUIRE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
  • Department which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Product field (Custom Fields tab)
    • Optional: Set the REQUIRE checkbox (enable the checkbox) if you would like to force the user to enter a product on every entry.
    • Set the POPULATE option so that the Gravity Forms form is automatically populated from the product data in Awesome Support

Optional: Under the Form Settings tab you should turn on “Allow Create User” if you would like to allow unregistered users to successfully submit this form.  With this option checked, form submissions with unrecognized email addresses will automatically have a new account created with the standard WordPress notification email sent to them to set their password.

Reply To Existing Ticket Form (Non-Logged In Users)

Download Here

This form consists of four fields:

  • Subject which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Subject/Title field.
  • Email which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Email field.
    • Set the REQUIRE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
    • Set the VALIDATE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
  • Content which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Content field.
    • Set the REQUIRE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
  • Ticket ID which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Ticket ID  field (Advanced tab)
    • Set the REQUIRE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
    • Set the VALIDATE checkbox (enable the checkbox).

Reply To Existing Ticket Form (Authenticated Users – Gravity Forms Force Login Option Required)

Download Here

This form consists of four fields:

  • Subject which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Subject/Title field.
  • Email which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Email field.
    • Set the REQUIRE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
    • Set the VALIDATE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
  • Content which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Content field.
    • Set the REQUIRE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
  • Ticket ID which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Ticket ID  field (Advanced tab)
    • Set the REQUIRE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
    • Set the VALIDATE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
    • Set the POPULATE checkbox (enable the checkbox).

Update Existing Ticket Form With Status And/Or State Changes (Non-Logged In Users)

Download Here

This form consists of four fields:

  • Ticket ID which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Ticket ID  field (Advanced tab)
    • Set the REQUIRE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
    • Set the VALIDATE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
    • Set the POPULATE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
  • Content which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Content field.
    • Set the REQUIRE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
  • Ticket Status which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Ticket Status field (Advanced tab)
    • Set the POPULATE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
  • Ticket State which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Ticket State field (Advanced tab)
    • Set the POPULATE checkbox (enable the checkbox).

Note: Do not turn on the REQUIRE checkbox for the Status and State fields unless you really want the user/admin to submit BOTH every time.

Update Existing Ticket Form With Status And/Or State Changes (Authenticated Users – Gravity Forms Force Login Option Required)

Download Here

This form consists of four fields:

  • Ticket ID which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Ticket ID  field (Advanced tab)
    • Set the REQUIRE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
    • Set the VALIDATE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
    • Set the POPULATE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
  • Content which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Content field.
    • Set the REQUIRE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
  • Ticket Status which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Ticket Status field (Advanced tab)
    • Set the POPULATE checkbox (enable the checkbox).
  • Ticket State which should be mapped to the Awesome Support Ticket State field (Advanced tab)
    • Set the POPULATE checkbox (enable the checkbox).

Note: Do not turn on the REQUIRE checkbox for the Status and State fields unless you really want the user/admin to submit BOTH every time.

Other Examples

How to Create A “Paid Support” Form

 

Tips and Tricks

Prevent The Logged In User From Being Forced To Enter Their Email Address

Most use cases involve non-logged in users.  However, there are some instances where the user might already be logged in.  In these cases, forcing the user to enter an email address in order to map to the ticketing system seems redundant.  Instead, you can create a hidden EMAIL field on the Gravity form and pre-populate it with one of the numerous Gravity Forms Merge Tags; in this case, just set the default for the field to be {user:user_email}

So, your Gravity Forms email field configuration will look like this:

Then, simply map the email field as usual in the Awesome Support Gravity Forms Extension screen.

Using Department And Products (Taxonomy Fields)

Generally, the easiest way to map the Department Products field is to use the POPULATE option.  Here are some ways to make sure you end up with the correct value in the mapped field:

  1. Use a drop-down field in Gravity Forms and then using the POPULATE option when mapping the field.  This is the easiest thing to do.
  2. Use a standard text field in Gravity Forms and enter the ID of the PRODUCT or DEPARTMENT into the field (not the human readable value or slug).  This is useful if you want to pre-populate a hidden field with a particular product – for example you might have a different support form for each of your products or each department.
  3. Use a drop-down field in Gravity Forms that you manually populate with labels and IDs that correspond to those in the PRODUCTS and DEPARTMENTS list.

 

Custom Fields Extension

Installation (Custom Fields Add-on)

Installation Instructions For The Custom Fields Add-on

  • Download the file to your desktop from the links provided in your purchase receipt or from your Account screen
  • In the WordPress Admin dashboard select Plugins->Add new
  • You should now see a screen with the list of plugins that are installed on your system.  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

 

Custom Fields Concepts

The Custom Fields add-on for Awesome Support enable regular users to easily add new fields to the ticket form.  By default the regular ticket form contains the minimum number of fields required to open a support ticket. But there are instances where collecting additional information from the end user is useful.  The custom fields add-on provides a simple but powerful interface that you can use to add new fields to the default ticket form.

You can easily add any combination of the following fields:

  • Text
  • Email
  • Number
  • Password
  • Select
  • Checkbox
  • Radio Button
  • Text Area
  • Text Editor (WYSIWYG)
  • Taxonomy (Lists)

For each field you can designate whether or not to:

  • Make it a required field
  • Show it in the master administrative ticket list
  • Use it for sorting
  • Use it for filtering (if a taxonomy field)
  • Log changes to the field in the ticket (creating an audit trail)

For certain fields you can specify regular expressions to restrict and control the type of input, control which users can edit the field (using WordPress “capabilities” features) and provide a default value.

 

 

Adding Your First Custom Field

When you first install the add-on, there are no default custom fields added.  To add your first custom field to go to TICKETS->Custom Fields.  You will see a blank screen that look similar to the following:

Simply click the Add Field button to add your first field.  Clicking the button will display a screen similar to the following:

Only the first three fields are mandatory:

  • Title: This is the text that your user will see on the ticket
  • Name: This is the internal name used by WordPress.  Generally this is all lower-case.  It should have no spaces and no special characters other than the underscore.
  • Field Type:  The type of field you want – text, numeric, etc.

Click the Add Field button at the bottom to add another field.  Or, click the Save Fields button to save the fields.  Once saved, the fields will automatically show up on the in the ticket form.

Complex Forms

Are you looking to create a more complex ticket form – such as hiding/showing fields based on prior values?  Or do you need more than one ticket form?  Then you should consider using Gravity Forms to create your ticket forms and our Gravity Forms Add-on to map and store the data in Awesome Support tickets.

You can use this Custom Fields add-on to create custom fields in Awesome Support tickets to store custom data collected with complex Gravity Forms forms.  Without this Custom Fields add-on, Gravity Forms will store all data inside the body of the ticket.  But by creating custom fields and storing the Gravity Forms data in them you can sort and filter your ticket list with your custom data.

 

Conflicts And Issues

Date Field Handling In Browsers

Firefox and some other browsers (such as Internet Explorer) do not normally render a date-picker for custom fields of type Date.  Instead, they expect that the field be in the format yyyy-mm-dd.  Please make sure that your placeholder has this format in it so that your users know what date format to expect.  (The Chrome browser does render the date-picker though.)

Admin Report Widgets

Installation (Admin Report Widgets)

Installation Instructions For The Admin Report Widgets Add-on

  • Download the file to your desktop from the links provided in your purchase receipt or from your Account screen
  • In the WordPress Admin dashboard select Plugins->Add new
  • You should now see a screen with the list of plugins that are installed on your system.  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.

Post Installation Configuration

After installation and activation please go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS screen.  Under there will be three new tabs:

  • Report Widgets #1
  • Report Widgets #2
  • Report Widgets #3

Please review the settings in these tabs.  Click the save button at the bottom to store your choices.  Your selected widgets will then be available for use on the WordPress Admin Dashboard.

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

 

Upgrading Admin Report Widgets To Version 2.0 From Version 1.0

Version 2.0 of Admin Report Widgets includes a new set of options that need to be configured in order to view most of your reports in the WordPress admin dashboard.  This was done because the number of reports have doubled from version 1.0 and enabling them all by default would unnecessarily impact performance if you do not need them all.

So, when you install and activate this new version you will most likely wonder why all your previously configured widgets disappeared.  Fear not, they are still there – you just need to turn them on.

New Configuration Tabs

Just go to TICKETS->SETTINGS and you’ll see three new tabs:

  • Report Widgets #1
  • Report Widgets #2
  • Report Widgets #3

There are options to enable your widget reports under these tabs as well as many new options to configure the way they look.

New Features For Version 2.0

The following changes have been made for Version 2.0

New Reports

Summary Charts

These are new chart widgets that show one bar/data element for each item.  For example, you will have a single chart that shows the number of open tickets for each priority.  Each bar will be a single priority.  Here is an example of such a report:

Detailed Reports

In addition to detailed reports for open tickets by product and agent, we now have them for

  • PRIORITY
  • CHANNEL
  • DEPARTMENT.

Additionally, all of the detailed reports now have new options for changing the chart type and colors.  So now you can view detailed charts such as this instead of just the plain line charts.

 

Other Key Enhancements and Changes

  • Ability to select chart types for all charts
  • Tool tips are now added to all charts
  • New SETTINGS tabs (3 of them) in TICKETS->SETTINGS
  • Modified the status report widget to not show zero values to save space real-estate
  • Fix to return the correct product name when syncing is turned on

 

Overview

The Admin Report Widgets add-on creates a series of widgets inside the WordPress Admin Dashboard.  These widgets summarize the state of your tickets by giving you some key high level information about the data in your Awesome Support database.

Here are a couple of examples of what your admin screen can look like after the add-on is installed and enabled:

This is the layout we have chosen to use in our dashboard.  You can create a different layout and add/remove widgets based on your business needs.

Security

The data shown on each widget will correspond to the security profile of your agent.  Agents who are only allowed to see their own tickets will only see data related to those tickets.

Note: Agents listed as Secondary and Tertiary agents on tickets will not see those tickets included in the ticket counts.

Widget List

After the extension is installed the following widgets are automatically shown on the WordPress admin dashboard:

Open and Closed Tickets

Closed Tickets

Shows the number of tickets that were closed today, yesterday, this week, last week etc.

Open Tickets By Status (Chart)

Shows a count of open tickets by status. This gives you the most important metric of your support operation – the higher the numbers on here, the busier you’re liable to be.  It also allows you to immediately see how many high priority tickets you have to deal with!

Open Tickets by Status (Text)

This shows the same data in the chart above – just in text form.

Open Tickets By Priority Summary (One Chart For All Priorities)

This widget is a chart of the number of open tickets for each priority level.

Open Tickets By Agent (Detail – One Chart For Each Agent)

Displays the number of tickets open for each agent broken down by the number of days each ticket has been open.  This allows you to quickly see how many “old” tickets each agent has in their queue.

Open Tickets By Product (Detail – One Chart For Each Product)

Displays the number of tickets open for each product broken down by the number of days each ticket has been open.  This allows you to quickly see how many “old” tickets are pending for each product or if any product requires shifting additional agents to process the backlog.

Additional Widgets

  • Closed tickets by agent
  • Closed tickets by product
  • Most recent tickets
  • Open tickets by department summary (one chart for all departments)
  • Open tickets by channel summary (one chart for all channels)
  • Open tickets by agent (one chart for all agents)
  • Open tickets by product (one chart for all products)
  • Open tickets by priority detail (one chart for each priority)
  • Open tickets by department detail (one chart for each priority)
  • Open tickets by channel detail (one chart for each priority)
  • Closed tickets by priority detail (one chart for each priority)
  • Closed tickets by channel detail (one chart for each priority)

Configure Widgets

The Admin Report Widgets include an extensive set of options that control how they are displayed.  In particular you can control:

  • Which reports and charts are shown in the dashboard.
  • The type of chart for each chart widget
  • The colors used in the charts
  • Some other misc elements such as whether or not the axis are shown and the size of the x-axis font.

The Configuration Tabs

Because there are numerous options for each widget, the configuration options have been broken out into three tabs:

  • Report Widgets #1:  Controls the visibility and options for the “detailed” reports – these are primarily the reports you saw in version 1.0 except now you have many more options
  • Report Widgets #2:  Controls the visibility and options for the “summary” charts – these are reports that are new to version 2.0
  • Report Widgets #3: Contains default options for charts.  These primarily affect the “detailed”chart  reports since those do not have many individual options.

Enable/Disable Widgets

You can enable and disable widgets that you never use.  This is recommended because each widget will consume resources every time you view your WordPress admin dashboard.

  • Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->REPORT WIDGETS tabs
  • Enable/Disable the checkbox next to the widgets you would like to view / hide
  • Click the SAVE CHANGES button at the bottom of the screen

Change Colors For Charts

  • Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->REPORT WIDGETS tab
  • Change the colors for the various elements shown
  • Click the SAVE CHANGES button at the bottom of the screen

Change The Chart Types

  • Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->REPORT WIDGETS tab
  • Change the chart types – you can set a default chart type and specify specific types for the PRODUCT, AGENT, PRIORITY and CHANNEL widgets
  • Click the SAVE CHANGES button at the bottom of the screen

Managing Your Widgets

You can easily remove unwanted widgets from your Admin dashboard:

  • Click the Screen Options  link located close to the the top right side of the Admin dashboard.  This will reveal a full list of all widgets.
  • Click/Check to turn on/off the checkbox corresponding to the widget you would like to remove.  Note that this only hides the widget – it still consumes CPU cycles when you access the dashboard.  Use the TICKETS->SETTINGS->REPORT WIDGETS tab to permanently turn off report a widget you are not using.

A Note About The Data

For versions 3.3.4 and prior of Awesome Support, the CLOSE DATE of the ticket will be inaccurate – it will use the last activity date as the close date since version 3.3.4 and prior did not have a separate field that held the close date of the ticket.  This means that the counts for closed tickets might show up on the wrong bucket – “last month” instead of “last week” for instance.

A fix for this is present in Version 4.0.0 of the free Awesome Support Core plugin.

Filepicker

Filepicker

The Filepicker add-on will replace the classic WordPress uploader used for file attachments by Filepicker.io. This means that all files uploaded using Filepicker will be stored on their servers instead of your local WordPress install.

This add-on supports all upload methods offered by Filepicker but it is important to note that some of them will require a paid plan on Filepicker. Also, some of the upload methods, such as Dropbox, will require additional configuration on Filepicker’s side.

Premium Upload Methods

If you wish to use one of the following upload methods, you will need to buy the appropriate plan with Filepicker. See their pricing page for more details.

  • Amazon S3
  • Azure, Rackspace
  • Dropbox

Activating the Plugin

Once the plugin is installed and activated, you will need to input your Filepicker API key to enable the feature. The WordPress uploader will remain in place until you fill-in your Filepicker API key.

Creating an App

In order to get an API key, you will need to create an application on Filepicker. To do so, head over to the developer portal and click the “New Application” button.

Create an app in Filepicker

During the app creation, select “Web” when asked “Which Filepicker.io file SDK(s) are you planning to use?”.

After your new app is created, go to the Dashboard of your app to get the API key.

Filepicker App API Key

Copy this key in the blue box. This is what you need to paste in the add-on settings. Reach Awesome Support settings page and click the “File Upload” tab. Scroll down the page until you see the Filepicker section and paste the API key in the “API Key” field. Hit save and you’re done.

Securing Filepicker

By default, the Filepicker is not secured. This doesn’t mean that you’re at risk, but if one of your users decided to share a direct link to an uploaded file, everyone with the link would access it.

If you want enhanced security and limit the rights given to users over your files, you need to enable the security.

How Security Works

There are 2 different scenarios where Filepicker is used. For each scenario, a different security level is used.

  1. A file is uploaded: the uploader can upload files for 30 minutes after the page was loaded
  2. A user opens an uploaded file: the user can only read a file attached to his ticket (no other) for 1 hour after the page was loaded

Those security rules are here to:

  1. Avoid users to see files that are not related to their ticket,
  2. Avoid users to share a valid link to an uploaded file (links always expire after 1 hour)

Enabling Security

First of all you need to enable the security in Filepicker itself. Head over your developer dashboard and select the application. Click “App Secret” in the left hand side menu and check “Use Security”. Confirm your action when asked.

You now need to reload the page in order to get your Secret Key. Hit F5 of click the reload button in your internet browser. an “App Secret” now appears on your screen.

Filepicker Secret Key

Now go back to Awesome Support settings page. Click the “File Upload” tab and scroll down to the Filepicker section. Paste your Secret Key in the “API Secret” field and hit save.

You’re done! Your Filepicker account is now secured.

Productivity

Installation (Productivity)

Installation Instructions For The Productivity Add-on

  • Download the file to your desktop from the links provided in your purchase receipt or from your Account screen
  • In the WordPress Admin dashboard select Plugins->Add new
  • You should now see a screen with the list of plugins that are installed on your system.  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

Requirements

  • WordPress 4.4 or higher
  • PHP 5.6 or higher
  • Awesome Support 3.6.0 or higher

 

Overview

The Productivity Add-on For the Awesome Support Help-desk WordPress plugin contains a number of functions to help agents and administrators be more efficient when handling tickets daily.  The add-on includes the following functions:

  • Ticket Lock: Prevents users from re-opening a ticket that has been marked has been locked.
  • Ticket Merge: Merge the current ticket into an existing ticket
  • New Navigation Options: Add NEXT and PREVIOUS links to the ticket metaboxes
  • Attachments:  Allow emails notifications and alerts to contain attachments
  • Template tags: Includes new template tags for custom fields – you can now include custom field data in the body of your email notifications!

 

 

 

Ticket Lock

Ticket Lock is a handy function for agents and administrators who do not want a closed ticket to be reopened by a customer/client.  The check-box is located on the right side of the ticket screen in a metabox called Merge and Lock.

Simply tick the box next to the Lock Ticket label and update the ticket.  If a customer or client attempts to reopen a ticket they will see the following message:

Integration With EMAIL SUPPORT

If the EMAIL SUPPORT (EMAIL PIPING) add-on is installed, any replies to a locked ticket will be rejected.  You can configure the email notice provided to the customer under the TICKETS->SETTINGS->EMAILS tab (close to the bottom of the page).

Automatically Lock Tickets

You can Awesome Support to automatically lock tickets when they are closed. To do this:

  • Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->PF OPTIONS tab
  • Scroll down to the Other section
  • Click the checkbox for Automatically Lock Ticket On Close
  • Scroll down and click the Save Changes button.

Lock Or Unlock All Tickets

To lock all closed tickets:

  • Backup your data!
  • Go to the TICKETS->TOOLS->CLEANUP tab.
  • Click on the Lock Tickets button

To unlock all closed tickets:

  • Backup your data!
  • Go to the TICKETS->TOOLS->CLEANUP tab.
  • Click on the Unlock Tickets button

Ticket Merge

The Ticket Merge function is useful when a customer sends in multiple tickets with the same issue.  Or maybe they open a ticket on the website but then send an email which results in two tickets.

When a ticket is merged, the current ticket (the one you’re viewing) is closed and all of its entries (original post and all replies) are entered into the new ticket as a single entry.

To merge the CURRENT ticket you are viewing into an existing ticket locate the Merge And Lock metabox on the right side of the ticket screen.

Type in the first few characters of the title of the ticket you are merging into in the edit box under the Merge Ticket label.  You will see a list of tickets that match those characters – similar to the image below:

Scroll down the list to select the ticket, hit the ENTER key and then click the MERGE button.

The current ticket you are viewing will be immediately closed and the ticket you chose will have a copy of all the entries from the current ticket.

There will be a brief notice under the opening post of the old ticket to alert any future viewers that the ticket has been merged along with a link to the merged ticket.

Ticket Split / Ticket Duplicate

The ticket split function allows an agent to take a reply and split it into a new ticket.  This is helpful when a customer starts to commingle topics inside of a ticket.  You can also duplicate the original ticket post which is helpful when an opening post has multiple questions and you prefer to handle each question on a separate ticket.

Split a reply into a new ticket

  1. Hover over the reply and place your mouse on the upper right side of the reply (where the age of the reply is displayed)
  2. You will see a set of links show up – one of those links is Create New Ticket.  Click on it.
  3. The new ticket will be created and a note added to the bottom of the reply and the new ticket indicating that the data was split.

 

Duplicate the opening ticket post

To copy the opening ticket post to a new ticket just click the Create New Ticket button that shows up.  That’s it.  The new ticket and the existing ticket will have a notation made about the split (see image above for an example of that notation).

Note: You aren’t allowed to edit the new ticket contents – all edits and clarifications will have to still take place in the replies.

The ticket split / ticket copy feature is only available in version 2.0.0 and later of the Productivity Powerpack add-on.

Additional Navigation

The Productivity Add-on includes two new links in the ticket screen for agents.

  • NEXT: Moves to the next ticket in the ticket list
  • PREVIOUS: Moves to the prior ticket in the ticket list

These new links are located in two places.

The first location is at the top of the TICKET DETAILS metabox. This box is usually located on the right hand side of the ticket, close to the top of the screen.  You can seen an example of this metabox in the above image.

The second location is in another, new metabox called NAVIGATE – by default located at the bottom of the right side of the screen.  The beauty of this second metabox is it only contains these links – which means that it can be moved to where its most convenient for the agent.  Generally an agent would want to move it up to where its parallel to the ticket reply box .

 

ATTACHMENTS Template Tag For Outgoing Emails

When a new ticket or a reply includes an attachment, those attachments are not normally included in any of the email alerts and notifications.  However, with this add-on you have access to a new tag called ATTACHMENTS.  To use this tag, simply place {attachments} anywhere in the email template – generally at the bottom.  All attachments will then be included in outgoing emails.

NOTE: You can see a complete list of email template tags by going to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->EMAILS tab and then clicking the HELP link in the upper right side of the screen.

This function does not currently work with the Gravity Forms add-on.  Attachments added to a ticket with the Gravity Forms add-on will not be attached to emails when the {attachments} template tag is used.

 

Custom Fields Template Tags For Outgoing Emails

Generally, you cannot include the contents of custom fields in outgoing email alerts and notifications. However with this add-on you now have access to almost all custom fields when creating email alerts or notifications.

In order to use the tags, you would need to know the Awesome Support internal name of the custom field.  But, we made it easy for you – you can see all the available template tags, including those for custom fields, by going to  the TICKETS->SETTINGS->EMAILS tab and then clicking the HELP link in the upper right side of the screen.

Email template tags for custom fields have the general format {customfield:fieldname}.

Here are some examples of custom field tags (see in the HELP area mentioned above):

Support Notes For Customer/Client

Agents can create support notes that are tied directly to the customer profile.  Each support note is date and time stamped.  And they will all show up at the bottom of any ticket for that customer as well as in the WordPress user profile screen.

Add Support Note

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the ticket
  • Click the Add Support Note button
  • Fill in your notes in the popup window.
  • Click the Add Note button to save the note.
  • Hit the ESC key on your keyboard to exit the popup window.

Delete Note

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the ticket and locate the Customer Support Notes metabox
  • Click the Delete  link next to the note you’d like to delete.

Duplicate Note

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the ticket and locate the Customer Support Notes metabox
  • Click the Duplicate link next to the note you’d like to duplicate.

Edit Note

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the ticket and locate the Customer Support Notes metabox
  • Click the Edit link next to the note you’d like to edit.
  • Update your note in the popup window.
  • Click the Save Note button to save the updates.
  • Hit the ESC key on your keyboard to exit the popup window.

You can also perform these actions in the WordPress User Profile screen.

Personal Todo Lists For Agents

Agents can create PERSONAL TOODs that are tied directly to their profile.  Only admins can see an agent’s personal list – other agents cannot view each others’ list.  Each personal list is date and time stamped.  And they will all show up at the bottom of any ticket for that agent as well as in the WordPress user profile screen for that agent

Add Personal Todo

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the ticket
  • Click the Add Personal Todo button
  • Fill in your todo in the popup window.
  • Click the Add Todo button to save the item to the list
  • Hit the ESC key on your keyboard to exit the popup window.

Delete Todo

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the ticket and locate the Personal Todo metabox
  • Click the Delete  link next to the item you’d like to delete.

Duplicate Todo

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the ticket and locate the Personal Todo metabox
  • Click the Duplicate link next to the item you’d like to duplicate.

Edit Todo

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the ticket and locate the Personal Todo metabox
  • Click the Edit link next to the item you’d like to edit
  • Update your item in the popup window.
  • Click the Save Todo button to save the updates.
  • Hit the ESC key on your keyboard to exit the popup window.

Mark Complete

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the ticket and locate the Personal Todo metabox
  • Click the Mark Completed link next to the item you’d like to mark as complete.  This action cannot be reversed!

You can also perform these actions in the WordPress User Profile screen.

 

Personal Notes For Agents

Agents can create PERSONAL notes that are tied directly to their profile.  Only admins can see an agent’s personal notes – other agents cannot view each others’ notes.  Each personal note is date and time stamped.  And they will all show up at the bottom of any ticket for that agent as well as in the WordPress user profile screen for that agent

Add Personal Note

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the ticket
  • Click the Add Personal Note button
  • Fill in your notes in the popup window.
  • Click the Add Note button to save the note.
  • Hit the ESC key on your keyboard to exit the popup window.

Delete Note

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the ticket and locate the Personal Notes metabox
  • Click the Delete  link next to the note you’d like to delete.

Duplicate Note

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the ticket and locate the Personal Notes metabox
  • Click the Duplicate link next to the note you’d like to duplicate.

Edit Note

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the ticket and locate the Personal Notes metabox
  • Click the Edit link next to the note you’d like to edit.
  • Update your note in the popup window.
  • Click the Save Note button to save the updates.
  • Hit the ESC key on your keyboard to exit the popup window.

You can also perform these actions in the WordPress User Profile screen.

Change Label Text

You can change the label or title text used for certain fields. To do this:

  • Go To the TICKETS->SETTINGS->LABELS tab.
  • Fill out your labels
  • Scroll down and click the Save Changes button.

You can change labels for the following fields:

  • Agent
  • Status
  • Tag
  • Product
  • Department
  • Priority
  • Channel
  • Number of replies by agent
  • Number of replies by customer
  • Total replies on ticket
  • Gross time
  • Time adjustments
  • Final time
  • Time notes
  • Name Of Additional Interested Party
  • Email Of Additional Interested Party
  • Attachments (for the front end ticket form)

Agent Signatures

Agents can add unlimited signatures and choose from any of them when replying to a ticket.  They can make one of the signatures their default which will automatically populate the reply box every time they view a ticket.

Signatures can be viewed beneath the reply area of the ticket – just click the Signatures tab.

Signatures can be added, deleted and updated directly from the signatures tab.  They can also be updated inside the user profile if the logged in user has the appropriate security capability: edit_ticket_with_full_editor.

Warning:  If the agent clicks UPDATE without typing a reply then the customer will get an email alert with just the agent signature.
Note: This function is available in version 2.1.0 or later of this add-on

 

Set Content Before the SUBJECT Field (On the Front-end)

Sometimes you might need to add some content just before the Subject Line on a the ticket.  For example, you might want to say something such as Reminder: Did you search our FAQs before submitting a ticket? Its faster and easier to get your answers that way!

To set this content:

  • Go To the TICKETS->SETTINGS->PF OPTIONS tab.
  • There is an edit box next to the label Content Before The Subject Line
  • Fill in your content in the edit box.
  • Scroll down and click the Save Changes button

Set Content Before the SUBMIT Button (On the Front-end)

Sometimes you might need to add some content just before the SUBMIT button.  For example, you might want to say something such as Reminder: Did you search our FAQs before submitting a ticket? Its faster and easier to get your answers that way!

To set this content:

  • Go To the TICKETS->SETTINGS->PF OPTIONS tab.
  • There is an edit box next to the label Content Before The Submit Button
  • Fill in your content in the edit box.
  • Scroll down and click the Save Changes button

Set Default Content For SUBJECT and DESCRIPTION Field (On the Front-end)

You can set defaults for the SUBJECT field and the DESCRIPTION fields.  This applies only when the user is filling out a ticket on the front-end.

To set these defaults:

  • Navigate to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->PF OPTIONS tab
  • Scroll down to the Front-end Ticket Defaults Section (It is located close to the bottom of the page)
  • Fill in your desired defaults
  • Click the SAVE CHANGES button at the bottom of the page

 

Note: This function is available in version 2.1.0 or later of this add-on

Click-To-View Email Template Tag

Two new template tags that make it easy to view a ticket are included with the Productivity Powerpack.  These are:

  • {click_to_view_url}
  • {click_to_view_link}

These tags can be used in any email template located under the TICKETS->SETTINGS->EMAIL tab as well as the email templates included with our Notifications, Automatic Close and, of course, this Productivity Powerpack add-on.

What They Do

When either of these tags are included in an email template, the user can click on the associated link and immediately view the ticket WITHOUT LOGGING IN.  With these links you can create a complete support system for your guest users where they never have to log in or access their accounts.

  • The GUEST TICKETS add-on allow your new users to enter a ticket without having an account (it will create an account automatically)
  • The EMAIL SUPPORT add-on will allow your new users to receive email notifications with the text of agent replies to tickets and to add new comments to the ticket simply by replying to the email
  • This add-on (PRODUCTIVITY POWERPACK) will allow you to include these new links so the guest user can view the full ticket at any time without logging in
  • The SATISFACTION SURVEY add-on will allow you to include links to allow the user to close ticket and rate your service in one step
  • The EMAIL SUPPORT add-on will allow users to open new tickets simply by sending an email to your support address

Enable the tags

Because there is a small performance penalty when these tags are use you first need to enable them.  Please make sure you read the CAVEATS section below before enabling these tags.

To enable the click-to-view tags:

  • Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->PF OPTIONS tab
  • Scroll down to One Step Click-To-View section located close to the bottom of the page
  • Click the first checkbox in that section
  • Click the SAVE button at the bottom of the page

Once enabled, they can then be used in any email template.

Caveats

There are two small caveats when using these tags:

  1. A performance penalty will be noticed when an agent attempts to view a ticket in the WordPress admin console – it might take a bit longer for the ticket to be displayed.
  2. Every time a user clicks the link, a WordPress warning will be shown in the error-log file.  This does not hurt anything but it can be scary to see them in there if you’re not aware of the possibility ahead of time.
  3. The links will allow anyone with access to the email to see the ticket.  This could be a security issue which you must weigh carefully before enabling the feature.
Note: This function is available in version 2.1.0 or later of this add-on

Click-To-Close Email Template Tag

Two new template tags that make it easy to view a ticket are included with the Productivity Powerpack.  These are:

  • {click_to_close_url}
  • {click_to_close_link}

These tags can be used in any email template located under the TICKETS->SETTINGS->EMAIL tab as well as the email templates included with our Notifications, Automatic Close and, of course, this Productivity Powerpack add-on.

What They Do

When either of these tags are included in an email template, the user can click on the associated link and immediately close the ticket WITHOUT LOGGING IN.  With these links you can create a complete support system for your guest users where they never have to log in or access their accounts.

  • The GUEST TICKETS add-on allow your new users to enter a ticket without having an account (it will create an account automatically)
  • The EMAIL SUPPORT add-on will allow your new users to receive email notifications with the text of agent replies to tickets and to add new comments to the ticket simply by replying to the email
  • This add-on (PRODUCTIVITY POWERPACK) will allow you to include links to view a ticket so the guest user can view the full ticket at any time without logging in
  • This add-on (PRODUCTIVITY POWERPACK) will allow you to include these new links so the guest user can close a ticket at any time without logging in
  • The SATISFACTION SURVEY add-on will allow you to include links to allow the user to close ticket and rate your service in one step
  • The EMAIL SUPPORT add-on will allow users to open new tickets simply by sending an email to your support address

Enable the tags

Because there is a small performance penalty when these tags are use you first need to enable them.  Please make sure you read the CAVEATS section below before enabling these tags.

To enable the click-to-view tags:

  • Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->PF OPTIONS tab
  • Scroll down to One Step Click-To-close section located about two-thirds of the way down the page
  • Click the first checkbox in that section
  • Click the SAVE button at the bottom of the page

Once enabled, they can then be used in any email template.

Caveats

There are two small caveats when using these tags:

  1. A performance penalty will be noticed when an agent attempts to view a ticket in the WordPress admin console – it might take a bit longer for the ticket to be displayed.
  2. Every time a user clicks the link, a WordPress warning will be shown in the error-log file.  This does not hurt anything but it can be scary to see them in there if you’re not aware of the possibility ahead of time.
  3. The links will allow anyone with access to the email to see the ticket.  This could be a security issue which you must weigh carefully before enabling the feature.
Note: This function is available in version 2.1.0 or later of this add-on

Useful Misc Functions

Add User While Inside A Ticket

An agent can now add a user directly from the ticket screen.  Lets say that an agent is taking a phone call from a customer and needs to open a new ticket for that customer.  Instead of navigating away from the ticket screen, the agent can simply add the new user directly from the new ticket screen.  The Add User link is located in the Ticket Details metabox (usually located on the right hand side of the ticket screen).

 

Ticket List In User Profile Screen

Admins with access to the user profile screen can now see a list of tickets for the user directly in that screen.  Clicking the ticket # will take you directly to the ticket screen.

 

Make the Product Field Mandatory

  • Go to TICKETS->SETTINGS->PF OPTIONS tab
  • Scroll down to the Mandatory Fields section
  • Click the checkbox for Make Product Mandatory
  • Scroll down and click the Save Changes button.

Note that this makes the field mandatory on both the front-end and back-end.  This means that agents editing a ticket will be forced to enter a product if the product field is empty.

Make the Department Field Mandatory

  • Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->PF OPTIONS tab
  • Scroll down to the Mandatory Fields section
  • Click the checkbox for Make Department Mandatory
  • Scroll down and click the Save Changes button.

Note that this makes the field mandatory on both the front-end and back-end.  This means that agents editing a ticket will be forced to enter a department if the department field is empty.

Set Maximum Number Of Open Tickets For Each User

This function is useful if you have users that are abusing your free support.  To limit a user to a certain number of open tickets:

  • Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->PF OPTIONS tab
  • Scroll down to the Other section
  • Use the slider next to Maximum Number Of Open Tickets to set the maximum number of tickets.
  • Scroll down and click the Save Changes button.

Note that this setting is only applicable if the user is opening a ticket on your website.  It does not apply to tickets opened with the Gravity Forms integration or opened via EMAIL.

Limit the Number Of Tickets Shown In The User Profile Widget

The User Profile Widget inside a ticket will show the number of tickets a user has opened/closed with you along with a list of those tickets.  By default it shows 10 tickets.  Sometimes you might want it to show more tickets or less tickets.  To do this:

  • Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->PF OPTIONS tab
  • Scroll down to the Other section
  • Use the slider next to Maximum Open Tickets In User Profile Widget to set the maximum number of open tickets to show.
  • Use the slider next to Maximum Closed Tickets In User Profile Widget to set the maximum number of closed tickets to show.
  • Scroll down and click the Save Changes button.

Allow Certain Agents To Use The Full Editor

By default the editor has restricted functionality.  But, you can assign the capability edit_ticket_with_full_editor to an agent role and those agents will see the full WordPress editor.

Assign Capabilities To Roles

Under normal circumstances WordPress does not ship with a visual way to assign capabilities to roles.  However, the as of version 2.1.0 the Powerpack add-on includes  a bare-bones capability assignment function.  You can access it via the TICKETS->TOOLS->CAPABILITIES tab.

Public Tickets

Installation (Public Tickets)

Installation Instructions For The Public Tickets Add-on

  • Download the file to your desktop from the links provided in your purchase receipt or from your Account screen
  • In the WordPress Admin dashboard select Plugins->Add new
  • You should now see a screen with the list of plugins that are installed on your system.  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

Requirements

  • WordPress 4.4 or higher
  • PHP 5.6 or higher
  • Awesome Support 3.3.4 or higher

Add PUBLIC TICKETS To A WordPress Page

In order to view public tickets you first need to create a WordPress page on which to view those tickets.

  • Go to PAGES->Add New
  • Add the following shortcode onto the page: [pbtk_tickets type="public"]
  • Save the page by clicking the PUBLISH button
  • Add the page to your WordPress menu or access it directly using the page SLUG.
Warning:  All of your existing tickets are PRIVATE so the page will be blank until you create some public tickets.

 

About Public Tickets

All tickets in the free Core Awesome Support plugin are private.  This means that the tickets cannot be displayed as a public archive that users can search for solutions to their issues.  The Public Tickets add-on allows for the display of tickets in a public archive.  It also allows that archive to be searched.

Features

  • Tickets set to be public can be displayed in a GRID,  LIST or ACCORDION format.
  • Users and Agents can set tickets to be publicly visible.
  • Users and Agents can choose to set an individual reply to be private.
  • The administrator can control whether or not the end user can set a ticket or reply to public or private.
  • The administrator can control whether tickets default to being public or private.
  • Public tickets can be added to multiple WordPress pages using Shortcodes.
  • Public tickets can be filtered by a number of attributes.
  • Public tickets can be searched by the end user.

 

 

Overview (Public Tickets)

Generally speaking Awesome Support tickets are private.  However, Public Tickets allow you to make all or a subset of your tickets public.  Tickets that are public can be searched and displayed using three different layouts (List, Grid and Accordion).

The add-on comes with a short-code facility that allow you to place your Public Tickets anywhere a short-code is allowed.

Parameters to the shortcode include products, tags, view types, and whether or not to show the search button.

Administrators can control who can set the public/private flag – customers or only agents.  The public/private flag can be set at both the ticket level and for each individual reply. Replies tagged as private will not be displayed on the standard Public Tickets page even if the rest of the ticket is flagged as Public.

Note: Old tickets are not automatically made public.  If you would like your old tickets to be public then you would need to set the PUBLIC flag for each of them.

Post-Installation Configuration (Mandatory)

After you have installed and activated the add-on, you need to create a page that will show the public tickets.

  • In your WordPress Admin, go to PAGES->Add New.
  • Give your page a name (eg: Public Tickets)
  • In the main body of the page add the following shortcode: pbtk_tickets type=”public”
  • Click the PUBLISH button on the right of the page.

When you are done your page should look similar to this image:

 

To view your page you should navigate to the WordPress URL for the page.  If you used “Public Tickets” as your page title then your url would be something similar to https://www.yourdomain.com/public-tickets.

Generally you should see your page URL under the title of your page.  The red box in the image below shows you where to locate your public tickets page URL.

 

 

Configuration Options For Public Tickets

You can find two configuration options under the TICKETS->SETTINGS->PUBLIC TICKETS tab.  Additionally, that tab will list all the short-code parameters.

The first option, Make All Tickets Public By Default does exactly what it’s name implies – all *NEW* tickets are set to Public as the default setting.  Agents can always change that to PRIVATE.

The second option, Show Flags On Tickets determines whether or not the end user sees the options for setting tickets to be public or private.  If turned off, only your agents will be able to set the PUBLIC/PRIVATE flags.

ShortCode Parameters

The WordPress short-code used to display Public Tickets on a page uses a variety of parameters to control how tickets are display and what tickets are chosen to be displayed.  Below is the full list:

 

Agents: Changing Public/Private Status

Agents can perform the following actions on a Ticket:

1. Change the PUBLIC / PRIVATE status of  an entire ticket directly in their ticket screen.

  1. Open the ticket
  2. Find the Custom Fields metabox on the right hand side of the screen
  3. Change the dropdown in the Public/Private field 
  4. Scroll back up and click the SAVE button.

2. Send A PRIVATE Reply

  1. Open the ticket
  2. Scroll down to the reply area
  3. Enter your reply
  4. There should be a single checkbox that says Mark As Private just below the Attachments box.  Click on it to turn the checkbox on.
  5. Click the REPLY button.

3. Change an Individual Reply From Public to Private or Private to Public

If there are replies already in the ticket you can change the public or private status of the reply.

  1. Hover over the reply you need to change
  2. A series of links will show up in the upper right of the reply.
  3. Click the Mark As Private link (which will show up if the reply is public) or the Mark As Public link (which will show up if the reply is private)
  4. Scroll back up and click the SAVE button.

 

 

Clients and Customers: Changing Public/Private Status

Your clients or customers  can perform the following actions on a ticket:

1. Create A New Ticket as Private or Public

If you have set the option to allow your clients and customers to set the public/private status themselves, have them follow these instructions to open a ticket as explicitly public or private

  1. Create a new ticket
  2. Scroll down to the Public/Private field
  3. Select Public or Private from the dropdown
  4. Fill out the rest of the ticket as normal.
  5. Submit the ticket.

2. Send A PRIVATE Reply

  1. Open the existing ticket
  2. Scroll down to the reply area
  3. Enter the contents of the reply
  4. There should be a single checkbox that says Mark As Private just below the Attachments box.  Click on it to turn the checkbox on.
  5. Click the REPLY button.

3. Change an Individual Reply From Public to Private or Private to Public

If there are replies already in the ticket you can change the public or private status of the reply.

  1. Open the ticket
  2. The Mark as Private or Mark As Public link will show up in red in the appropriate replies
  3. Click the Mark As Private link (which will show up if the reply is public) or the Mark As Public link (which will show up if the reply is private)

 

Notifications

Installation (Notifications)

Installation Instructions For The Notifications Add-on

  • Download the file to your desktop from the links provided in your purchase receipt or from your Account screen
  • In the WordPress Admin dashboard select Plugins->Add new
  • You should now see a screen with the list of plugins that are installed on your system.  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

 

Overview (Notifications)

The Notifications Add-on provides support for third party notifications.  The free Awesome Support Core plugin automatically notifies agents and clients whenever tickets are created and replies are sent or received.  Those notifications are done via email.  The Notification Add-on permits the admin to set up notifications to users who are NOT clients or agents as well as set up additional INSTANT notification channels – Slack in particular.  Additionally, it allows you to set up notifications for status changes – for example notifications can be sent to a manager when a ticket is escalated to a higher priority or put on hold.

3rd parties and notifications to slack can capture the following events:

  • New Ticket
  • New Reply From Agent
  • New Reply From Client
  • Ticket Closed
  • Ticket Re-opened

In addition, status changes can be captured.  So a ticket that changes from, say “New” to “In Progress” can have a notification sent out via email and slack.

Setup Your Slack Configuration

Step 1: Configure Webhook In Your Slack Account

In order to receive notifications in your slack channel you must first configure a Webhook inside your slack account.  You can do that here:  https://my.slack.com/services/new/incoming-webhook/

Step 2:  Configure the Awesome Support Notifications Add-on To Use Your New Webhook

Now that your Slack webhook is set up in your account, its time to tell Awesome Support about it.

  • Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->NOTIFICATIONS tab
  • Scroll down to the Slack section
  • Click the checkbox next to Enable Slack Notifications
  • Fill in the Webhook URL that you got from step 1 above.
  • Provide a name and an icon in the areas provided
  • Scroll all the way down and click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page

 

Configure Notification Events

There are 5 core events you can select that will push notifications via slack or email.  Additionally, there are a minimum of 3 status related events.  And, there is one additional event for every custom status that is defined in the custom status module.

To select which events will trigger notifications:

  • Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->NOTIFICATIONS tab.
  • In the Actions section check the box next to the core event that you would like to trigger notifications
  • In the Status Actions section check the box next to the status events that should trigger notifications
  • Scroll all the way down and click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page

If you have already prepared your slack configuration and you do not wish to send out emails, there is nothing else you need to do.  However, if you would like to send out emails as well please read the next section.

 

Configure Outgoing Emails

After you have selected the ticket events you would like to be notified about, you will need to configure the content of the emails that are sent when those events trigger.

  • Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->NOTIFICATIONS tab.
  • Scroll down until you see the start of the email section
  • Click the checkbox next to Enable Email Notifications
  • Scroll down to find the email template for each event that you activated.
    • Recipients are regular email addresses with each address separated by a comma
    • You can use email template tags such as {ticket_id} and {client_name} in the body of the email
  • When you have finished updating all your email templates, scroll all the way down and click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page

Note: A list of email template tags are located here:  Reference: Email Template Tags

You can view the most up-to-date email template tags as follows:

  • Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->E-MAILS tab
  • Click on the HELP link on the upper right side of the page
  • Click on the Email Template Tags tab

 

 

Advanced Time Tracking

Installation (Advanced Time Tracking)

Installation Instructions For The Advanced Time Tracking Add-on

  • Download the file to your desktop from the links provided in your purchase receipt or from your Account screen
  • In the WordPress Admin dashboard select Plugins->Add new
  • You should now see a screen with the list of plugins that are installed on your system.  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

 

Overview (Advanced Time Tracking)

The advanced time tracking add-on permits time to be tracked automatically, manually or a blend both – and to do so at a very granular level.  It uses the built-in time fields in the time-tracking metabox in the free core Awesome Support plug-in and automatically turns off the manual data entry option – using, instead the options provided by this add-on.

Tracking Time

There are three ways to track time:

  • Automatic Time – the timer starts automatically every time a ticket is opened and is stopped when a reply is posted.
  • Manual Time – the agent adds a time entry for the reply before posting a reply
  • Mixed – the agent can manually turn on the timer for each reply or manually enter the time before posting a reply

Additionally, admins can enter time manually for any agent using the master time-log screen.

Reports

The following reports are provided:

  • Time spent by agent
  • Time spent by client
  • Time spent by ticket
  • Pre-invoicing report (dollar amount to be billed to each client)

Billing and Invoicing

  • A billing rate can be set at three different levels – the agent, the client and the ticket.  The rate set at the agent level is the default rate unless overridden by a client rate or ticket rate.
  • An invoicing file can be downloaded with the charges for each client – one line per client

 

Getting Started (Advanced Time Tracking)

Once the add-on has been installed, the first thing you will want to do is decide how to track the time spent by your agents on tickets.  You have two choices in settings which actually permits you three choices.

  • Go to TICKETS->SETTINGS->TIME TRACKING
    • Note: the TIME TRACKING tab is different from the BASIC TIME TRACKING tab.
  • Choose your TIMER TYPE
    • Automatic: Does not permit the agent to enter time manually.  The timer starts when the ticket is opened in wp-admin and stops when a reply is posted.  If no reply is posted the time does not record an entry.
    • Manual: The agent has two choices when replying to a ticket.
      • Start the timer manually
      • Enter the time spent on the reply before hitting the reply button.

The timer itself is a very simple countdown in a metabox on the right side of the ticket screen.  In manual mode it looks something like this:

Notice the in manual mode the timer has a stop button. In automatic mode there is no stop button and the agent will have no control over the timer.

Additionally, the box shows the current “rounding” level – this is the minimum amount of time that will be billed regardless of the actual time that the agent spent on a reply.

 

Advanced Time Tracking Components

When the add-on is installed a number of components are added to the ticket. These are:

  • The Timer
  • Updated Time Tracking Metabox
  • Optional Time Tracking Ticket Reply Area

Additionally you have the option of adding the time column to the ticket list screen.

The Timer

The timer is located in a metabox on the right side of the screen.  It can be set to run in Automatic Mode or Manual Mode. You can configure this behavior in the TICKETS->SETTINGS->TIME TRACKING tab.

This metabox can be moved anywhere on the screen – some agents might prefer it at the top of the screen while some might prefer it at the bottom or close to the reply area of the ticket.

Time Tracking Statistics Metabox

The time tracking statistics metabox is updated to show the time recorded for the entire ticket along with a button to show a report of the detailed time entries recorded on the ticket.  Additionally, the agent can set a billing rate for the ticket that overrides the rate for the client and agent.

Clicking the button reveals this screen

The Time Tracking Reply Area

When manual time tracking is enabled an agent can set the start and end time manually just before hitting the reply button.  The reply area of the ticket is expanded to accommodate these new fields:

Important note:  You should enter the total time in the TIMER metabox box before entering the start and end times shown in the image above.  The total time entered in the TIMER metabox is the tracked time used during invoicing.  The start and end times are only for notational purposes and does not automatically calculate the time spent on a reply/ticket.  Only the time automatically or manually entered in the TIMER metabox is the official amount of tracked time!

Adding the time columns to the ticket list

You can add the time columns to the main ticket list as follows:

  • Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->BASIC TIME TRACKING tab
  • Click on the Show Final Recorded Time in Ticket List option.
  • Click the Save Changes button.

There are two other time fields you can add to the ticket list but we do NOT recommend doing so unless absolutely necessary.  The final recorded time is the most important data element – adding the rest will result in the columns becoming too wide for a standard 1920×1080 screen which (means you will have to start to use the horizontal scroll bar to see all data in the list.)

Managing Time: The Time Log

The time log is where the administrator can view all time entries.  An entry is created usually created for every ticket reply (unless the amount of time recorded is set to zero).

Access the time log by simply clicking the TIME TRACKING menu option.

Note that this option is NOT under the TICKETS menu but located in a separate area of the WordPress menu bar.

The time log list looks like this:

Filtering the Time Log

Using the controls at the top of the list you can filter it by:

  • Status
  • State
  • Time Tracking Entry Dates
  • Agents
  • Clients
  • Ticket Number
  • Invoice Number

View The Details Of A Time Entry

Clicking on the title column on any row will take you to the detail of that time entry:

As long as the time entry has not been processed as part of an invoice the admin will be able to update/change it.

Managing Time: Adding New Time Log Entries

Should an agent forget to enter time for a reply an administrator can manually add new time log entries.

To do this go to TIME TRACKING->Add Tracked Time.  In the screen that pops up:

  • Enter the ticket #
  • Choose a reply from within the selected ticket #
  • Enter the start date and time and the end date and time for the time being tracked.  The Total Time will automatically be calculated based on the difference between the two.
    • Alternatively, you can just enter the total time recorded.
  • Enter notes – since this is a manual time entry you might want to record the reason why the time was not tracked properly via the ticket.
  • The agent field should be automatically populate based on the agent who worked on the reply to the ticket.
  • The entry date and time will default to today’s date (this is the date the time log entry was record which might be very different from the date the work was actually done.)

Click the SAVE CHANGES button in the upper right side of the screeen.

 

 

 

Time Tracking Reports

There are four time tracking reports.  Each report allows you to filter by:

  • A date range
  • All agents or a select set of agents
  • All customers or a select set of customers
  • All tickets or just closed tickets
  • A select set of tickets searching using the ticket title

 

The Agent Report

The Agent Report shows the amount of time each agent has spent on tickets for the specified time period.  It is a detailed report – showing each individual time log entry for each agent.

 

Client Report

The client report shows the time spent on each client.  It is a detailed report showing each individual time log entry.

 

Ticket Report

This report shows the time spent on each ticket.  Every time log entry is shown for each ticket in the selected date range.

 

Invoice Report

This report shows the time spent by each agent that has not yet been invoiced

.

 

 

Setting Billing Rates

An administrator can set a billing rate for each agent, customer or ticket.

Billing Rates For Agents

You can select which roles are allowed to participate in billing.

  • Go to the TICKETS->SETTINGS->TIME TRACKING tab.
  • Select the roles in the box labeled Billing Rate Access.
    • Note: You can select multiple roles by holding down the CTRL key while clicking the roles with your mouse.

Once you have selected which WordPress roles can participate in billing a customer, you can navigate to the WordPress user profile for the agent and enter their billing rate.

Billing Rates For Clients

To set a billing rate for a client simply go to the user profile for that client and set the billing rate in the Client Hourly Billing Rate field.   This rate will take precedence over the agent rate.  So any tickets with time recorded will use the billing rate for clients if one is present in the client profile.

Billing Rates for Individual Tickets

You can set a rate override for each ticket.  There is a billing rate field in the TIME TRACKING metabox.  Any rate entered there will override the rate specified in the client or agent profile.

 

Invoicing: Generate Invoice File

Invoicing is a 2 step process in Awesome Support Advanced Time Tracking.

The first step is to generate the invoice file.  The second step is to approve the invoice file.

1. Generate The Invoice File

  • Go to TIME TRACKING->TIME TRACKING INVOICING.  If no invoice file is pending approval you will see a report parameter screen allowing you to select the tickets that will be invoiced.
    • Generally you want to just select a date range for your current billing period (monthly, weekly etc.)
  • Click the GENERATE CSV button.

Once the invoice file is generated a preview will be shown.  You can:

  • Choose to download the file: Click the Download Invoice File button
  • Choose to approve the file: Click the Approve button.
  • Choose to cancel the invoice run: Click the Cancel Invoice Run button.

Tip: Even though the invoice file is pending approval the invoice numbers are already stamped on the time log entries.  Those time log entries will have an invoice status of In Process.

2. Approve and Finalize the Invoice File

After reviewing the data in the invoice file you can finalize the invoices.  This will mark the time log entries as Approved.

Warning: Any time log entries that are approved can no longer be changed/edited

 

 

 

Introduction to Paid Support

Paid Support for WooCommerce is an add-on to Awesome Support that allows you to be paid for your support tickets.  You can set up a variety of payment structures including the following:

  • Subscription for unlimited support tickets per month
  • Subscription for X tickets per month
  • Subscription for unlimited support hours per month
  • Subscription for X support hours per month
  • Pay per ticket / incident

While the examples used above used a period of “per month” it can be any of the following periods:

  • Daily
  • Weekly,
  • Monthly
  • Yearly

Once the Paid Support add-on is installed all support tickets will require a form a payment.  If a customer attempts to open a ticket without a valid subscription or payment they will be redirected to a URL that you specify in order to complete their purchase.

Prerequisites

The add-on requires that the following WooCommerce modules be installed and activated:

Once you have purchased and installed the WooCommerce plugins then you can install the Paid Support for WooCommerce add-on.

 

Installation Instructions For Paid Support for WooCommerce

Prerequisites

The add-on requires that the following WooCommerce modules be installed and activated:

Once you have purchased, installed and configured the WooCommerce plugins then you can install the Paid Support for WooCommerce add-on.

Do not attempt to install Paid Support without installing the plugins listed above!

Installation Instructions For The Paid Support For WooCommerce Add-on

  • Download the file to your desktop from the links provided in your purchase receipt or from your Account screen
  • In the WordPress Admin dashboard select Plugins->Add new
  • You should now see a screen with the list of plugins that are installed on your system.  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.

 

Add Your First Product

To create your first SUBSCRIPTION product to to PRODUCTS->ADD PRODUCT

  • Fill out the Product Name at the top and add  a description in the main description area.
  • Below the main description area is a field called PRODUCT DATA with a drop-down.  Choose SIMPLE SUBSCRIPTION.
  • Check the box next to that field that says Virtual since there is no physical product that is being delivered.
  • You can then set your subscription price and period, sign up fee if any and specify a trial period.
  • The, click the checkbox that says Is Awesome Support.  You should then see some additional fields:
    • Ticket Limit Type:  This controls how many tickets are assigned in the subscription period or how many hours are alloted.
    • Limit Value:  This sets the number of actual tickets or hours for this product
    • Set a URL to be redirected to when the purchase is complete.  Typically this would be the standard Awesome Support SUBMIT TICKET form or it could be a custom Gravity Forms ticket form.
  • Click the PUBLISH button.

Here is an example of what a completed product form might look like:

 

Note: When WooCommerce is installed, it creates a separate menu option in the WordPress left menu bar called PRODUCTS.  This is a separate option from Awesome Support’s TICKETS->PRODUCTS screen!

Agent View

When Paid Support is installed, there are number of new metaboxes that are added to the agent’s ticket view.

Paid Support Details:  Shows the subscription information, order number and the number of tickets open/closed/remaining in the subscription period.

Paid Support Flag:  This metabox contains just one check-box that allow you to remove the ticket from the paid-support queue. This is useful if you want to credit the customer for a bug or ife the ticket was a pre-sales ticket.

Manual Order:  This box is useful if you need to take a ticket that wasn’t a paid ticket but then need to add it to the customers subscription account.

Generally speaking your agent should have no reason to change the data in these boxes.

 

Customer/User/Client View

When a client attempts to open a ticket they see a list of subscriptions at the top of their ticket screen:

 

Customer Purchase Experience

When a customer wishes to purchase a subscription on our site, they go through the standard WooCommerce add-to-cart and check-out experience.  If they already have an account on your site and attempt to open a ticket without a valid subscription or token they will be redirected to the shop page (or any page that you set up in TICKETS->SETTINGS->PAID SUPPORT).

Here are some images from the STANDARD WooCommerce check-out process.  This is based on the WordPress 2016 theme.  Obviously in your own operations you would likely be using a different theme.

 

 

 

 

Admin: Configuration (Paid Support)

There are a number of options that govern how Paid Support functions.  You can find these in TICKETS->SETTINGS->PAID SUPPORT.

Redirect Url:  When a user purchases a single item in a cart they will be redirected to the URL specified on the product after completing the checkout process.  BUT, if they add multiple items in the cart then they will be redirected to the URL specified here.

Minimum Time Credit:  The minimum time that will be assigned to a single ticket – even if less time was recorded on the ticket.

Discredit on Trash:  When a ticket is deleted, the used-ticket count for the users subscription should be reduced since the ticket is no longer a valid ticket.

Shop URL:  This is the url to the SHOP page in WooCommerce.  If the user attempts to open a ticket without a valid subscription they will be redirected here.

 

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