Support

Documentation

Front-end ticket management for support staff

[Note]Note

Some features described here are NOT available on Akeeba Ticket System Core.

Unlike most support ticket components, Akeeba Ticket System is designed to be primarily used from the front-end of your site. You will sparingly need to use the back-end of the site to manage your tickets. This convenience is provided by means of several controls on the ticket page itself when you are logged in and have the required access control privileges.

At the top of the page you will see some of the following buttons and controls:

Printer-friendly view

Open a printer-friendly view of the ticket in a new window. You can use it to prepare printouts / PDF copies of an entire ticket. This comes in handy when a client requests a printout / PDF of the ticket to show to their boss, without their boss having to log in to the ticket system.

[Important]Important

Only managers see the printer-friendly view button. Your clients will have to ask you for a printout, they cannot produce one themselves.

Make Public / Make Private

Toggle between a public and private ticket.

[Tip]Tip

Private tickets show a notice with a green background, informing the person viewing it that it's safe to include sensitive information such as passwords. Public tickets will show a notice in yellow background, warning the person viewing it that it's not safe to include sensitive information.

Disable / Enable

This button changes the published status of a ticket. When you disable a ticket only members of the support staff can see it (if they have the direct URL or through the back-end) and the ticket is no longer displayed in the tickets list of the category.

Close Ticket / Reopen Ticket

Changes the status of the ticket between Open and Closed. It's a good idea to close resolved tickets.

Category list

This is a drop-down showing the category the ticket is in. Choose a different category and click on the right arrow button next to it to move the ticket to the selected category. Very useful for misplaced tickets (which is all too common with tickets created from an email).

Assign to

Select which member of the support staff to assign this ticket to. The current assignment is shown in a badge above this drop-down button.

Charge X credits / Refund credits

Charge or refund credits for this ticket. It's the same thing as what you can do in the back-end of the component.

Each post's header displays two important pieces of information. The icon on the left-hand side shows the origin of the post: a globe for posts submitted through the web site, an envelope for posts submitted via email. Next to it you will see the exact date and time the post was submitted, followed by the timezone. Akeeba Ticket System will try to use the currently logged in user's preferred timezone to display the post date and time. Please note that the timezones are shown in the default PHP format. For example EST means Eastern Standard Time, CET means Central European Time, EET means Eastern European Time and so on. The date and time is not there just for decoration. It's also the permalink to that post! Yes, it's a link pointing to the exact post of the current ticket. In the far right of this header area you will see the real (full) name of the user.

On the right hand side of each post you can find the user information. From top to bottom you will see the user's avatar, the username and the currently active Akeeba Subscriptions subscriptions of the user (if Akeeba Subscriptions is installed). Avatars are rendered by means of plugins. The first release of ATS only comes with a Gravatar integration plugin, but more will follow in the future. Please note that the real (full) name of the user is shown above this area, in the header.

The main area of each post contains the post's text. Below it you will see the user's signature. Users can define their signature by editing their Joomla! user profile. Please remember to publish the "User - Akeeba Ticket System" plugin which allows users to define and edit their signature.

If there are any attachments, you will see the word Attachment and the name of the attachment file below it. Clicking on the attachment filename will download the attachment. Next to it you will find two buttons:

Publish / Unpublish

Shows / hides the attachment. Only members of the support staff will be able to see it.

Delete

Removes the attachment. Be careful! This process is irreversible.

At the bottom of each post you will see the control buttons for this post:

Publish / Unpublish

Change the status of each post to published or unpublished. Unpublished posts are not seen in the front-end unless you are a member of the support staff. Members of the support staff and back-end users will see unpublished tickets in a light red background, together with a notice that the post is unpublished.

Edit

Opens a post editor page where you can edit the text contained in the post. Very useful when a user accidentally publishes a password in a public ticket.

Delete

Completely deletes the post.

[Warning]Warning

Deleting a post is irreversible. Use with extreme caution. You should unpublish the post instead.

Charge credits / Refund X Credit(s)

Allows you to charge / refund credits for this post.

Below everything else you will see the Post a reply area. Depending on the editor you chose there is one of two buttons:

  • In the BBcode editor the last button is used to insert a canned reply (shortcut: CTRL-K on Windows / Linux and CMD-K on Mac OS X)

  • In the WYSIWYG editor there is a button labelled Insert a canned reply below the editor area.

In both cases clicking the button will open a lightbox allowing you to insert a canned reply.

Similarly, there is a Buckets button which allows you to add tickets to a Bucket. In the lightbox which opens up select the checkbox next to each Bucket you want to add the ticket to and then press the Add tickets to bucket button. Please note that managing buckets or removing tickets from buckets is only possible from the back-end of the component.

Below that you will find the Time spent (optional) text area. This allows managers to record the time they spent answering a post, in minutes. This information is shown in the backend of the component.

Below that you can find the attachment area (click the Browse button to find an attachment) and the Send your reply button which submits the post.

[Important]Important

Attachment uploading is bound by the rules for attachments you've set up in Joomla!. Where? In the back-end of your site go to Content, Media, Options. This is where you can set the legal extensions, maximum size, upload restriction, MIME type checking and so forth.

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! Since Joomla! 3.7.1 you MUST set Restrict Uploads to No in the aforementioned page. Despite what the description of that options reads, its actual behavior is "When this is enabled all non-admin users can ONLY upload images files, as defined by the Legal Image Extensions (File Types) option below". Unfortunately even though the functionality changed the description didn't, causing massive confusion among Joomla! users.

[Warning]Warning

The maximum size of an attachment is determined by the minimum of the "Maximum Size (in MB)" you set up in Joomla!'s Media Manager options and your PHP maximum upload size as defined in your server's php.ini. Akeeba Ticket System tries to figure it out and inform you with a message right below the attachment selection field. As we just said it tries, it doesn't mean it will always guess right. Moreover you need your media/com_ats folder to be writable, PHP to properly support file uploads and the file extension to be one of the allowed ones for the attachment to succeed.

Good to know

When viewing the Latest Open page you can use the J and K keys on your keyboard to select the previous or next ticket respectively. The active ticket is highlighted. Pressing ENTER will open the ticket.

When you submit a reply to a ticket but a reply from the user or another manager has already come in in the meantime your reply will not be sent, you will receive a notice about it and the reply area will contain the reply text you tried to submit (do note: your upload, if any, will not be there). This allows you to review your reply and probably edit it, or scrap it altogether, depending on the replies which came in while you were typing.

If the ticket is assigned to a different member of the support staff there will be a notice shown above the reply area, warning you that this ticket is assigned to a different user. If the ticket is not assigned to anyone, as soon as you submit your reply the ticket becomes assigned to you.

As a member of the support staff you can reply to all tickets, even when they are closed. When the ticket is closed you will be shown a warning above the reply area. You can also reply to tickets when No Replies or Off-line Schedule is activated. In this case no warning is shown. Be careful, in this case the client will see your reply but won't be able to reply back to you until the No Replies option or Off-line Schedule is disabled.

As a member of the support staff you can file a ticket on behalf of a user in the front-end. Just click the New Ticket button in the category you want the ticket to be filed in. In the new ticket page you will now see a field called User. Use the Select User button next to it to select the user you're filing this ticket on their behalf. This allows you to add support requests received by other means (in person, email, phone, SMS, fax, RFC 1149 networks...) to the ticket system.