Out-the-box a new "Submit Ticket" tab will be shown on your InstantKB 2011 homepage.
As with all tabs within InstantKB you can customize the Submit Ticket tab changing the icon, text or access for various member groups. Foe example you can restrict access to anonymous members.
Submitting a Ticket
Users can open tickets from your knowledgebase front-end. As an administrator within InstantKB 2011 you can easily customize the form presented to users when submitting tickets. You can reorganize fields, add new custom fields (over 14 types) or simply hide existing fields.
To help mange custom expectations InstantKB 2011 now introduces the ability for you to define service level agreements or SLAs. If you define agreements InstantKB will display the expected response time to customers ensuring everyone knows what to expect...
As with all other tabs within InstantKB you can customize the permissions for opening support tickets. For example you may require users register before they can open a support ticket. By default InstantKB 2011 will allow all users to open new support tickets.
A whole host of new features are available within the InstantKB 2011 staff control panel allowing your staff members to track & respond to tickets. Staff members can define alerts to ensure user feedback or escalated issues are never missed. Standard replies reduce the time it takes for you to respond to common customer enquiries...
Staff Responding To Tickets
As a staff member you can quickly identify & respond to new tickets. Customizable workflows allow you to define notifications & automated multiple change actions on fields as a ticket progresses through workflow. Staff members can also define the time worked on a ticket allowing administrators to view reports for time spent with clients.
Manage How Tickets Work
As an administrator within InstantKB 2011 you can customize exactly how tickets & other custom ticket type tabs work.
A set of separate options will be displayed here for any custom tabs you create.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
Administrators can now define SLAs which can be applied to tickets through a number of mechanisms. You can associate SLAs with specific member groups within InstantKB allowing you to prioritize submissions from various groups. For example you may have a priority support group with a SLA defined for 6 hours whilst say anonymous visitors could have a SLA of 24 hours.
Depending on the SLA InstantKB will set the tickets due date. If ticket does not receive a response before the due date it will be marked as overdue & any custom escalation rules you've defined will be ran against the ticket.
Outlook Style Rule System
To help manage incoming tickets within InstantKB 2011 administrators can create automated rules to determine how user submitted content is managed & assigned.
Combined with our service level agreements you can use automated rules & SLAs to better manage custom expectations by displaying an expected response time to your customers depending on the status or priority of the ticket.
The expected response time shown to customers is linked directly to the due date for tickets shown to your staff members. If a ticket does not receive a response in a timely fashion escalation rules can be used to notify specific staff members or update the status & priority of overdue tickets.
To help you manage incoming tickets InstantKB 2011 introduces a new rules system. Similar to Microsoft Outlook you can define rules for user submitted content to ensure it's prioritized & assigned correctly.
Escalation rules ensure overdue & priority issues always raise to the top of your ticket list.
In addition for maximum flexibility you can define multiple custom escalation rules to perform additional actions on overdue tickets. For example you may wish to update the status & priority of a ticket or automatically assign overdue tickets to a specific staff member with an optional email notification.
If you define service level agreements tickets will be marked as overdue if they don't receive a response before the due date. InstantKB will monitor overdue tickets in the background and execute any custom rules you've defined.
To help reduce the time it takes to respond to common questions you can't publish within your knowledgebase staff members can define public or private standard replies. These can easily be used when responding to clients to minimize the time it takes you to get through your support load….
Public standard replies are visible to all staff members within your Staff CP whilst private standard replies are only visible to you within the Staff CP.
Your staff members can create alerts to keep them informed of ticket activity.
Similar to our new rules system you can define a number of conditions for alerts.
For example you may only wish to be alerted when a new ticket is submitted to a specific department or when tickets are escalated or updatd.
New Documentation / MSDN style tabs
We've introduced a new option when creating knowledgebase, troubleshooter or downloads tabs.
This will add a splitter in-between the tree view navigation on the left and the content on the right. When clicking a category within the tree view control a single article will be displayed on the right as opposed to a list of several articles. Our new documentation skin is provided with InstantKB 2011 to demonstrate the new split view.
You can see an example of this skin used within our own online documentation at…
Status & Priority Icons
To help more easily identify at a glance the priority or status of items within InstantKB alongside custom highlighting you can now also associate small icons with any status or priority.
Similar to the InstantForum 2010 update InstantKB 2011 introduces our new plug-in framework. This will allow developers to extend & add additional functionality to InstantKB without having to modify the core code.
This makes it much easier to preserve custom modifications during future product updates . We also intend to develop a number of sample plug-ins to hopefully inspire others.