Issue Life Cycle - In Detail
The Help Desk and its guides are designed to be user friendly for the average user. (No programming or accessing FTP files and no specialized training is required.) Help Desk is intended for agents of your firm to offer quality, organized customer support online via either your existing site or via a new site (which Expinion.net could host by request.) Help Desk also provides valuable information to administrators, and great public relations for your growing clientele.
Thanks to the online administration your customer service can all be done online from any pc that has internet access – you can even send emails from it! There is no special software required to run it, and since all your information is stored online…any customer, agent, or manager can find the information they need from anywhere in the world, at their convenience.
Once your software is downloaded, unzipped, linked to from your site, and at least one agent is added via the online administration menu, the following typical scenario can occur.
Submission: After reading knowledgebase facts, a customer asks a question from the online Help Desk area of your existing (or new) site. A category will be selected for the issue, and a file may be uploaded.
Review: All agents assigned to that category are notified by email that a new issue has been submitted. When free, the agent will click on the link provided in the email to review the issue. Available information will include the text and any files provided by the user plus the automatically generated system statistics gathered by Help Desk (ex. Browser & OS being used.)
Work with the Customer: (Responses/Updates) If he has enough information, and the expertise, the agent may claim the assignment and begin working with the customer. The agent may upload and attach files to the client's email if desired. Further updates to the question are shown internally and to the issue submitter only at this point.
Resolved / Public Issue : Once the question has been resolved to the satisfaction of the agent (and hopefully the customer), the issue status is manually changed to read resolved. At this point the issue may be made public by checking the Include in Knowledge Base (Public Issue) button. An email is sent to notify the submitter that the issue has been resolved, together with a link to the issue.
If during review, or during the course of working with the client, an issue is determined to be outside the realm of the agent, or needs to be elevated to a higher-ranking agent, the agent may simply re-assign the issue to his supervisor (who will be automatically notified by email.)
Anytime the agent logs in, he can see how many new issues he has accepted from his home tab. The details of all issues are available, and the agent may respond from the site (with or without having received an email.) So, even if he is temporarily without email access, he can still work.
Aside from the information gathered by Help Desk, and offered by the user, the agent has access to his own and/or other agents’ previously written solutions or drafts (by category and sortable.) The previous solutions can then be applied to this answer. (Saves time, adds consistency to solutions.)
Agents have other tools available to them to help improve efficiency, and to allow them to work from any pc with internet access. Some of these tools are: an online contact book (where individual contact info can be made available to other agents, or not!) An agent may record items that require his/her attention in his online To-Do-List.
The administrator(s) (usually the manager(s) of the business or group) may access detailed or summary issue / agent / system statistics at any time. The administrator also decides which level of information access and editing rights another agent may have, and initially sets up new agents.