How to use Targetprocess for customer support | Targetprocess - Visual management software

6 years ago

How to use Targetprocess for customer support

Updated on July 29th, 2016: This article is now obsolete.  A more current version can be found in our User Guide, here.

Targetprocess is probably best known as a project management software application: moving cards on Kanban Board, planning and tracking work, checking reports - that kind of stuff. While this is most certainly true, you’re missing out if you’re not using Targetprocess for customer support. The support is mostly email-based, and runs with a free Targetprocess Help Desk app:

How to use Targetprocess for customer support. Image 1

Easy as pie, isn't it? However, there’s so much more under the hood, that it deserves a closer look.

Set up process and workflow

First things first. To manage the incoming customer requests, the Help Desk practice should be enabled for you process. This is at Settings-> Processes -> edit your process

Set up process and workflow
Then, you need to look into the workflow for Requests and update it to fit the way you work. For instance, you might consider adding a new “Active” state for cases in progress, or “Wait for fix” to indicate that the problem is confirmed, and now it is up to developers to fix it.

By the way, did we mention that we use TargetProcess for our own customer support? Here is the screenshot of our workflow for requests:

How to use Targetprocess for customer support. Image 3

Set up email communication

Receive emails

About 63% of all our customer requests are created from the incoming emails. Sending an email to support@yourcompany.com is a fast and intuitive way for customers to reach you.

Create an email integration profile at Settings -> Plugin to start receiving emails:

Receive emailsTo finish the setup, follow the instructions in this guide.

TargetProcess will convert emails to a thread of comments, which is much more convenient than adding a new request every time. Requests should have the Ticket#1234 token, where “1234” is a unique ID in TargetProcess.

There’s no need to worry about this token, as the following alert is included to all the outgoing notifications:

--- Please do not remove this line! TargetProcessTicket#1234 ---

Customers just need to reply to the email, and TargetProcess will take care of the rest.

FAQ

1. How do I make sure all the emails are processed?
You can set up one default rule without any “when” conditions, e.g.:
“then attach to project 1 and create request in project 1”

The rules are checked from top to bottom, so it makes sense to put this rule to the very bottom. This can also be the one and only rule.

2. Can I receive emails to more than one mailbox?
Sure. Just create an email integration profile for each of the mailboxes you’re using.

3. I can’t find the Email Integration plugin in New Plugins 🙁
The new plugins work as standalone Windows services, so you need to start the POP email integration service on the server where TargetProcess is installed. If the service won’t start, check the troubleshooting guide or contact our support.

4. Can I create bugs or user stories from emails?
No, you can only create requests. This proves to be the best approach, in our experience, since requests need to be reviewed anyway. You can create a bug or a story, and still keep track of requests.

Keep customers up-to-date with email notifications

The easiest way to notify a customer about the progress of their request is an email notification. The notification goes to the customer as soon as a comment is added to the request:

Keep customers up-to-date with email notifications

FAQ

1. I don’t have the “Notify by email” checkboxes, what am I doing wrong?
Go to Settings -> Email Notifications and make sure that you have the notifications enabled.

2. Which sender’s address is put in the “From” field of the email notifications?
It depends.  For the workflow-based notifications, such as “New Bug added”, this is Sender Email from Settings -> Email Notifications:

FAQ

When you add a comment to a request choosing to notify requester(s), the system uses Reply email. You can change this email in the project edit mode (More -> Projects  -> Edit a project):

How to use Targetprocess for customer support. Image 7or in the new look:

How to use Targetprocess for customer support. Image 8

We recommend to use one and the same email address here and in the POP Email Integration plugin (see above).

3. Is there a way to notify Requesters automatically?
It is not possible out of the box. However, you can use this mashup to have the “Requester(s)” checkbox automatically checked.

That’s how the email flow looks with auto-replies turned on:

How to use Targetprocess for customer support. Image 9

Use Help Desk portal

TargetProcess offers a free standalone application for your customers and external users to track their issues and ideas: Help Desk Portal. Help Desk is just a more convenient way for external users to interact with your team. People only need their logins/passwords to be able to use Help Desk, so if for some reason you prefer to not use the email integration (as outlined above), then HelpDesk is a good option. You can figure it out for yourself, if you want to use either HelpDesk or email integration, or both.

That’s how the HelpDesk home page looks (note the available actions):

Use Help Desk portal

The HelpDesk is easy to use. See TargetProcess Help Desk Portal User Guide for more info.

FAQ

1. Can I get Help Desk for TargetProcess On-Demand?
Yes. We will  install and configure it for you. See more details here.

2. Where can I get Help Desk for TargetProcess On-Site?
Check the Tools folder in your TargetProcess installation archive. The HelpDesk file along with the setup instructions can be found there.

3. Do I have to pay for Help Desk users?
No, it is free, you can have as many users/requesters as you wish. They won’t be able to log in to the main TargetProcess application, though.

4. Why can’t I log in with my TargetProcess email?
Help Desk works only for requesters, so you need to register as a new user. You can use the same login email both for HelpDesk and for TargetProcess, by the way.

5. Why am I not able to select a Product when adding a new issue?
Check this guide.

6. What is Company and how do I use it?
We've got a help article for that as well.

7. My Help Desk suddenly stopped working! Why?
By default, we use a special system user for authentication between the Help Desk and TargetProcess applications. Changing the system user credentials may break the integration. Read more.

Tools and best practices

Auto Reply to requester

You can set up an auto-reply generic message, letting your customers know that their request has been accepted. There is a special plugin for that, called Auto Reply To Requester. You can find it in the Old Plugins section.

Auto Reply to requester

You can change the subject and the body of the outgoing notification as needed.

Here’s an example from our own experience:

We have different workflows for product issues/questions and ideas. The support team is responsible for issues/questions, and they are committed to reply within one business day. Ideas (feature requests) are reviewed by the Product Owner without any SLA for response. Obviously, it would make sense to have a custom auto-reply, one for issues, and one for ideas. So, we’ve added the following condition:

#if ($Request.RequestTypeName == "Idea")
Your idea #${Request.ID} "${Request.Name}" is accepted.
#else
Your request #${Request.ID} "${Request.Name}" is accepted.
You will be notified about any progress related to the request.
#end

Manage requests with Queue

TargetProcess has a convenient tool to work with requests: the Queue. We use it heavily every day for our own application support. Only the requests that require our attention are shown in the Queue; namely the ones with the latest comment coming from requesters, or the ones that are still active, but haven’t been answered for two days (so we can check back if everything is alright, and if we can close the request ).

Manage requests with Queue

You can find more information about the Help Desk Queue in this article.

FAQ / Recommended articles

1. How to work with requesters

2. How to work with duplicate requests

3. How to handle related bugs and user stories

4. Is it a must for a support person to be a TargetProcess user, or will the Help Desk access be enough?
We recommend to work from the main TargetProcess application. As a support person, you can do a lot more in TargetProcess e.g. change request states, merge requests, change requesters, create related bugs, edit comments, etc. No license is required for Help Desk, so you might save on the license costs, which is not that much, but you’ll be limited in what you can do.

See help.targetprocess.com for more tips, tricks and best practices. 

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