WHMCS – Support Tickets
Departments are the categories for tickets. The first step in the user ticket submission process is to choose their department. Different staff can be assigned to different departments so you can have the different areas handled by different people if required. Common departments are Sales, Support, Billing etc…
- To setup departments, go to Setup > Support > Support Departments and click Add New Department.
- When creating a department you can enter a name and description to display to users. The email address will be used to send notifications relating to the ticket to clients and should be unique for each department..
- The Clients Only option defines if it’s a clients only department thereby requiring a login to submit there – for example Sales would be a public department while Support might be set to clients only.
- The Pipe Replies Only option requires clients to login to the client area to open new tickets, attempts to open new tickets via email will not be successful. Tickets can still be responded to via email.
- You can also setup if no auto responder email should be sent when a new ticket is opened and whether it’s hidden or visible; hidden departments can only be accessed via a direct link.
- The Feedback Request option defines whether or not an email request will be sent for a user to provide feedback for their support ticket experience. The results of the feedback emails can be reviewed via the Ticket Feedback Scoresand Ticket Feedback Comments reports.
- After creating a department, you need to assign yourself and other staff to it as appropriate in Setup > Staff Management > Administrators by editing the staff profile before you will be able to access that department in Support > Support Tickets
- For staff to receive email notifications of new tickets and client responses in a particular department, tick the Enable Ticket Notifications checkbox on the aforementioned page. Ticket attachments will not be emailed to staff.
- In order to have emails from users automatically import into the ticket system as tickets, you need to configure Email Piping.
Once a department has been created it is possible to create Custom Fields to be asked for during ticket submission. Click the Edit icon next to the department and then the Custom Fields tab.
The Ticket List
When a client submits a support ticket the appropriate members of staff assigned to that department will receive a New Support Ticket Opened email. To view the ticket navigate to Support > Support Tickets and the ticket list is displayed.
This page displays all tickets that are in status Awaiting Reply by default. The ticket order can be changed by clicking the table headings. To view only those tickets with a certain status, department or to search click the Search/Filter tab. The most commonly used status lists can accessed directly from the Support menu in the main admin navigation bar.
The Auto Refresh feature reloads the ticket list automatically at frequencies ranging from every 1 minute to 15 minutes. This is configured via the Auto Refresh tab.
There are several bulk tools on this page; Close and Delete are self-explanatory. Merge will merge two tickets together, the newer ticket is merged into the older ticket. Block Sender & Delete not only deletes the ticket but also adds the sender’s email to the Banned Emails list.
A ticket starts life in the ‘Open’ status. This indicates a new ticket where the client has not yet received a reply from a member of staff. Once you’ve replied the status automatically changes to ‘Answered’. The status can also be changed manually from the view ticket screen, using the dropdown menu next to the ticket subject – a change in selection here is saved immediately using ajax without any need for a page reload. Custom statuses can also be created to help with management of tickets, please refer to the Support Ticket Statuses section for more info on this.
When using the merge ticket functionality, the following behaviors should be noted:
- A ticket will always merge into the “earliest” opened ticket. This is the one with the lowest ID in the database. This is the same whether merged inside a ticket or from the ticket list.
- Unless it already appears in the subject, the subject of the ticket will have [MERGED] appended in the client’s language.
- The ticket status will take the status from the ticket that has received the latest reply.
- A ticket that has been merged will not appear in the ticket list anymore but accessing an old ticket URL will redirect to the appropriate ticket.
- Replying to an old ticket via email will also redirect the reply to the appropriate ticket after the merge.
- If you are merging tickets from multiple clients together, the client that had the oldest ticket would see the merged ticket in their client area.
Replying to a Ticket
To open a ticket and view the contents of it, from where you can submit a reply, simply click the subject in the ticket list. You will then be taken to the ticket view page. The clients’ messages & staff replies will all be displayed to you here, along with any private admin notes. The order of ticket message can be changed in the General Settings.
The most common task when viewing a ticket is making a reply, and so this tab is open by default when entering a ticket, providing a large text area for a reply to be entered into. If a Support Ticket Signature is configured in your admin profile, it will be pre-populated into this field.
Support ticket replies allow you to use both predefined replies, and insert links to KB articles automatically to make replying to common questions simple.
Support ticket replies support 3 automatic data merge fields – [FIRSTNAME] [NAME] and [EMAIL]. These are most commonly used in Predefined Replies (discussed later on) but can also be used in the custom messages you right if it’s easier to insert the merge field syntax rather than the actual value itself.
WHMCS supports Markdown formatting in ticket replies and notes.
A convenient and easily accessible Markdown Guide is provided within the product accessible via the Help icon within the editor toolbar at any time.
Quoting a Reply
To include a copy of a previous reply in your message, you can click the corresponding speech bubble icon next to the reply you want to quote and it will be automatically inserted to the message box using indentation to indicate it’s quoted text.
Attachments can be sent with a reply, and these will be automatically attached to the notification email sent to the client as well as being downloadable from the client area at any time. To attach a file, click the Browse button and select the file on your computer, the file will be uploaded to the attachments directory. Clicking the Add More link allows multiple files to be attached with a single reply.
Billing a Client
It’s also possible to create a billable item for a client upon replying to a ticket. This allows you to generate invoices, or log time spent on a ticket, in 1 single step for ultra convenience and time saving. Simply fill in the description, amount and invoice action in the Add Billing Entry section and it will be action ed when the reply is submitted.
Post Reply Action
The Post Reply dropdown menu allows for the selection of the action to be taken upon clicking the Add Response button for example changing the ticket status and remaining in the ticket view or returning to the main ticket list.
Editing/Deleting a Reply
Client & staff ticket replies can be edited by clicking the Edit button next to a message.
To delete a message from a ticket, simply click the red delete icon located to the top right of the message. Deleting the first message in a ticket will delete the entire ticket.
Predefined Ticket Replies
Predefined ticket replies are useful if you get asked the same questions repeatedly via support tickets. With a predefined reply, this can be loaded into the reply box when replying to a users ticket and modified as required to answer the users question.
Adding a Predefined Reply
To setup a predefined reply, go to Support > Predefined Replies. You will need to configure categories and predefined replies in the same way as knowledgebase articles.
As mentioned previously, you can have predefined replies automatically customised to a user using the merge fields [FIRSTNAME] [NAME] and/or [EMAIL] anywhere within the message.
Using a Predefined Reply
To use a predefined ticket reply when replying to a users ticket click the “Insert Predefined Ticket Reply” link located immediately below the text area for entering your reply. A popup window will appear allowing you to select the reply you want to use and it will then be loaded into the reply message box once selected. The search field can also be used to find replies by title to save having to search through each category. You can then edit the reply as required to customise it to the user and then click Reply button as normal.
Finally once the reply has been composed click the Add Response button to record the reply against the ticket. The client will be sent a notification email containing a copy of the message.
Sometimes it may be necessary to move specific replies out from one support ticket and into a new one. If the message contains an attachment, this will be carried across into the new ticket too. To do this; tick the checkboxes in the top-right corner of the message(s) you wish to split into a new ticket, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Split Selected Replies.
A prompt will appear where you may choose the department, priority and subject of the new ticket into which the messages will be moved. There is also a checkbox to send a new ticket notification email to the client if desired. Click Submit to perform the split. You will then be taken to the newly created ticket.
TIP: To quickly return to the original ticket, click the “Other Tickets” tab.
The Add Note tab allows private staff-only messages to be recorded against a ticket. Clicking the tab provides a new text area into which the note can be typed, which upon submission will add the note and display it to all other admins viewing the ticket along with the staff member’s name and date/time of adding. Customers do not get any notification of notes being added, and cannot see them.
Support departments can have custom fields setup on a per department basis should a department have specific needs. And so if any have been setup they will be displayed on the Custom Fields tab within the ticket.
The options tab allows the attributes of the ticket to be modified. The department, subject, status and priority can all be changed.
Sometimes it may be useful for additional people to receive copies of the email messages in this ticket, to achieve that enter their email addresses in the CC Recepients field. Multiple recipients can be entered in a comma separated list eg. firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com
To change the client a ticket is assigned to adjust the Client ID value. If the client’s name, company or email address is known start typing this into the field, an ajax list of the search results will appear. Click the appropriate client from the list to automatically fill in their Client ID.
Two tickets can be merged together into one, the messages from both tickets will be arranged chronologically. In the Merge Ticket field enter the Ticket ID of the ticket to be combined, the newer ticket is merged into the older ticket.
Flagging a ticket to another admin is useful if you want to bring the ticket to the attention of another staff member. Flagged tickets appear in a separate section at the top of the support ticket page to ensure they stand out from the main queue. The ‘Support Ticket Flagged’ email will also be sent to the user. N.B. Flagging a ticket to oneself will not send the flag email.
The ticket log displays an audit trail of all the actions applied to this ticket such as department changes, tickets flaggings, adding of notes, changes of ownership and status changes.
Opening a New Ticket
Staff can open support tickets from within the administration area by navigating to Support > Open New Ticket. On the following page enter the details of the recipient, if they are not a client fill their name in the “To” field and the “Email Address” field. If they are a client use the Client Search field to search by name, company and email addresses, clicking the client’s name will automatically fill in the recipient’s details.
If the client has contacts or sub-accounts configured an additional dropdown menu will be displayed named “Contacts”. If you wish the ticket message to be emailed to the sub-account/contacts select their name from the menu, leave this dropdown at “None” for it to be delivered to the master account.
Automated Knowledgebase Article Suggestions
As a user enters a message for submission as a support ticket, WHMCS can lookup and display relevant articles that match keywords in the submission text and display them to the user in an attempt to answer a clients question without them needing to ever submit the ticket. This is designed to help reduce common support questions. To turn this feature on or off, go to Setup > General Settings > Support tab > Knowledgebase Suggestions
There needs to be at least 5 articles with 30 words in each before the suggestions start working as it uses MySQL full text searching for likeness matches.
Ticket rating allows your customers to rate the responses they get to tickets and this then allows you to monitor how pleased your customers are with the support they receive from your staff. To enable the ticket rating feature, go to Config > General Settings > Support and tick the box for “Support Ticket Rating”
When enabled, each reply in the client area will show a row of stars for the user to choose from in rating the response. They range from 1 Poor to 5 Excellent. Rating a reply is optional so not every reply will get a rating. Those that do will be shown when viewing the ticket in the admin area and there are also 3 reports in the Reporting section that allow you to monitor the ratings, they are:
- Staff Ticket Ratings Graph – Showing the average ticket rating for each staff member
- Ticket Rating Totals Graph – Showing the number of replies rated at each of the 5 statuses
- Ticket Ratings Reviewer – Allowing you to filter and view replies with specific ratings within a given date range
- This feature allows you to have support tickets automatically closed after a certain time of inactivity has passed.
- To set the length of time of inactivity before closure, go to Setup > Automation Settings > Support Ticket Settings > Close Inactive Tickets and enter the time in hours (for example 48 = 2 days)
- Tickets set to On Hold or In Progress are not closed automatically, only those set to Open or Answered
- When closing the ticket, the email template Support Ticket Auto Close Notification is sent to the user. You can customise that email in Setup > Email Templates as normal
The status, department and priority of a ticket can be changed automatically after a set time. For more information refer to the Support Ticket Escalations page.
Allowed File Attachments
Support tickets and replies allow a file to be uploaded along with them for if the user needs to send you something or if you need to send the user something.
The list of allowed file types is configured by going to Setup > General Settings > Support tab. By default, the allowed file types are .jpg, .gif, .jpeg, and .png (ie. image files). It is not possible to allow the user to upload PHP files due to the security risks this creates. You can add new allowed file types to the list such as .pdf, .zip, etc… Just add them into the allowed extensions field separating each allowed ending with a comma.
The file upload restrictions do not apply to admin users and an admin user can attach any type of file to a ticket.
If enabled under Setup > General Settings > Support tab thumbnail previews of any image attachments will be displayed beneath the ticket message itself:
Ticket attachments will not be forwarded to staff members in notification emails. This is to prevent potentially sensitive attachments being re-transmitted via email and reduce email bandwidth consumption.
Any admin level user with access to view a support ticket can elect to watch the ticket.
Watching a ticket subscribes the admin user to email notifications of any replies, notes or changes made to the ticket options.
To watch a ticket, simply click on the Watch Ticket button located in the admin area ticket sidebar.
An email notification will be generating for any of the following actions:
- A client/end user posting a reply
- Another admin user posting a reply
- Another admin user posting a ticket note
- A change of ticket options by another admin user
- Ticket being assigned to your admin user
- A closure of the ticket by the client/end user
For a full overview of support ticket notifications, including ticket watcher notifications, please refer to Ticket Notifications.
An admin user can unsubscribe from receiving notifications for a ticket at any time by clicking the Unwatch Ticket button. The unwatch button is only visible in tickets to which the admin user is currently watching.