November 11, 2019

How to Set Up a Support Ticket System in WordPress [9 Steps]

They say great customer support is the key to conversion.

Remember that time when you were confused about which TV you should buy? One had great hardware, the other was jaw-droppingly stunning. One had visuals as vivid as a rainbow, the other’s UI was butter-smooth.

You couldn’t decide! But you didn’t know who to ask for advice!
Then came along the store’s customer support guy.

Within minutes he got to know what your requirements were, factored in your budget, and then recommended the best option for your need.

And voila! You walked away with a brand new TV and the satisfaction of a purchase well made.

That’s the power of customer support.

And to bring this to your online store, you need to set up a strong customer support system.

Here’s how you do it, in 9 simple steps.

Step 1: Choose a WordPress Support Ticket Plugin

The first and most important step is to choose a robust WordPress support plugin, as this will impact your entire customer service process.

Some of the basic features you should look for while choosing a WordPress support plugin include:

  • Quick and easy creation of support tickets
  • Customizable support forms
  • Ability to add and manage a large number of support agents
  • Integrated email support
  • Ways to easily track support tickets (using tags, categories, etc.)

Some of the features that are good to have, but not mandatory could include:

  • Ways to track support agent productivity
  • Live chat support
  • Automated responses when your support agents are offline
  • Multilingual support for tickets
  • …and many more

Considering these criteria, there are quite a few WordPress support plugins you can choose from.

This includes all sorts of options, from helpdesk and support software like Zendesk or HelpScout to native WordPress plugins like Awesome Support or WSDesk.

For the purpose of this article, we will be setting up our support ticket system with WSDesk.

WSDesk by ELEX is a WordPress help desk plugin that does your job and does it well. It has a simple AJAX-based design, which makes it easier to manage for the support agent. In addition, it lets you set up action-based triggers depending on predefined user workflows.

The plugin stores your support data on your system as opposed to in the cloud, to prevent loss of privacy due to security breaches. It is available in both, free and premium versions.

Now that we have everything we need, let’s begin!

Plugin Installation

> Download the Free/Premium .zip file of the plugin
> Go to your WordPress Dashboard
> Plugins
> Add New
> Upload plugin
> Select the WSDesk .zip file from your computer
> Click Install
> Activate

This should open the Quick Setup Wizard tab.

Note: You can change any of the settings later in your WordPress Dashboard. The Quick Setup Wizard is just to help you get started and ensure you do not miss out on any important details.

Step 2: WSDesk Quick Setup Wizard – Basic Information

On the first page of the Setup Wizard, you will be asked to enter all the basic information required to set up WSDesk on your website.

WSDesk Quick Setup Wizard Tab 1

The main fields are:

WSDesk Support email
This is the primary email address that will be used to communicate with your support clients.

Starting ticket ID
Here you can set the first ticket number/ID you want to start with. The default ticket number is 1, but in case you have been using another helpdesk plugin before and you want to continue that sequence, you can set a custom number/ID here as well.

WSDesk Support Page Title
This is the title of your Support Page, which will be displayed on the website

WSDesk Individual Ticket Page Title
This is the title of the page your support clients will see when they open their specific ticket page.

WSDesk Existing Ticket Page Title
You can have a separate title for new and existing ticket pages if required.

Once this information is added, you can move on to the next step, configuring your support form fields.

Step 3: WSDesk Quick Setup Wizard – Configure Ticket Fields

There are three basic form fields that WSDesk has by default – Email, Subject, and Description.

WSDesk Quick Setup Wizard Tab 2

If you want to add additional fields to the form so that you can get more information about the support request from your users, click on ‘Add Field’.

WSDesk Quick Setup Wizard – Add New Form Field

There are several field formats available, such as:

  • Text box
  • Password
  • Radio button
  • Checkbox
  • Email
  • Date
  • Attachment
  • IP Address
  • Google reCaptcha

In case you want to add a field but not use it in the form, you can simply make it Inactive.

WSDesk Quick Setup Wizard Active/Inactive Form Fields

Inactive fields are shown to the left, while Active fields are shown to the right.

After customizing the support form, it is time to move on to your Support Email Setup.

Step 4: WSDesk Quick Setup Wizard – Basic Email Setup

You need to integrate your email through IMAP so that your support emails are automatically converted into WSDesk Support Tickets.

To do so, you need to add the:

  • IMAP Server SSL URL
  • IMAP Server SSL Port
  • Email from which tickets are to be imported (the one you added on the first page)
  • Password of the email account
WSDesk Email Configuration.
Source: WSDesk Documentation

For more information about IMAP integration, take a look at WSDesk’s official support configuration article.

You can also integrate your Google GSuite account here, but you will have to set up Google OAuth for GSuite.

The next step is to add your Support Agents!

Step 5: WSDesk Quick Setup Wizard – Support Agent Settings

Support Agents includes your team of people who will be handling all your support requests. Here, you can set up their details, user roles, as well as their capabilities for handling support.

WSDesk Quick Setup Wizard – Adding Support Agents

The default user roles in WordPress are applicable here as well. So, the Admin user role has maximum capabilities, while the other roles are restricted in their ability for ticket management.

You can edit existing Agent profiles by clicking the Edit Profile tab and add a new support agent by clicking the ‘Add Agent/Supervisor’ tab.

And the basic setup is done!!!
You are now ready to go to your WordPress Dashboard or view your support ticket.

WSDesk Quick Setup Complete

Clicking on the ‘Go to Settings’ tab will take you to your WordPress Dashboard, where you can study and understand the plugin settings.

Step 6: Understanding the Tickets Dashboard

The Tickets Dashboard is the one place where you can track the thousand and one details for each and every ticket – the date it was raised, to whom it has been assigned, its status, ticket number, tags if any, your agents, the total number of Solved, Unsolved, and Pending tickets, and a lot more.

WSDesk Support Tickets Dashboard
Source: WSDesk plugin documentation

A clean layout with color-coded tickets makes it really easy for you to manage all your support requests and increase customer satisfaction on your e-store.

Step 7: Configuring Plugin Settings

Most of your support ticket system is set up at this point, but here is a look at the rest of WSDesk’s plugin settings to understand everything you need to know about the plugin.

WSDesk General Plugin Settings

General Settings
Here are a few things you can do under the general settings tab for WSDesk.

  • Choose the support agent, to whom the new tickets will be assigned generally, who can then assign them further to other agents
  • Set the default status for new/tickets and client replies to Solved/Unsolved/Pending
  • Select who can raise tickets, all visitors, only registered users or guest users
  • Set the number of tickets to be displayed per page
  • Enable/Disable auto-suggestions for Support Agents and Clients
  • Enable/Disable a custom folder for attachments, per ticket
  • Limit the size of attachments users can upload
  • Select the file extensions you want to accept for attachments
  • Optional creation of user account while creating a new ticket
  • Allow users to close the tickets they have submitted
  • Choose the display type (HTML/Text) for support tickets
  • Enable creation of tickets from any website using API
  • Enable addition of debug logs to PHP error log file
  • Setup redirect URLs after the user takes a specific action on the website
  • Option to convert all URLs in ticket conversations to hyperlinks

Ticket Status
Here, you can change the names of the default ticket statuses, their colors, and also add custom statuses apart from Solved, Unsolved, and Pending.

Ticket Tags
Create new tags you want to add to your support tickets, which will help you sort and filter tickets better.

Ticket Views
This lets you categorize ticket menus that will be displayed in the Dashboard.

Ticket Page
Configure settings here to decide what information about the ticket is displayed in the Tickets Dashboard.

Triggers and Automation
Set up triggers to automate responses whenever a user takes some action on the website, related to support.

Form Settings
This helps you customize your Support Form, including the form titles, form button text, form width, etc.

Backup and Restore
As the name implies, you can backup and restore your plugin settings from here, which includes bulk deleting/restoring of tickets, setting the duration for which backups are stored, etc.

Export Data (CSV)
You can export all your tickets and related data in a CSV file format from this section.

That concludes a brief overview of the settings of your support ticket system. Now, let’s see how you can track your requests and analyze how well your support system is doing.

Step 8: Reports Management

WSDesk lets you create comprehensive reports for tickets, support agents, etc. You can filter reports by date, duration, category, and support agents.

WSDesk Reports Page
Source: WSDesk plugin documentation

To assess the productivity of your Support Agents, you can see the number of tickets they have cleared and the average time taken to solve a ticket.

In addition, to get an idea about how happy your customers are with your support ticket system, you can generate Satisfaction Survey reports, where you get an idea of the average tickets resolved and the average time taken to solve the issue, for a given duration.

These reports help you in understanding the performance of your support ticket system and hence, take constructive steps to keep improving it.

Step 9: Email Settings

We have already seen the basics of Email configuration in Step 4, but let’s take a detailed look at it here.

In the Email Dashboard you have:
– Support Emails (Outgoing)
– Google OAuth Setup
– IMAP Email Setup
– Email filter and Block

In the Support Emails tab, you can configure the email templates that will be sent to your Users and Support Agents, whenever a Support request is raised.

WSDesk Email setup

You change your Google Authentication and IMAP settings from here as well. In addition, you can add filters for your emails and even block spam email addresses from raising support tickets.

Summing Up

That concludes our tutorial to set up a support ticket system with WSDesk!

In addition to this article, you can also refer to WSDesk’s plugin documentation for detailed information on setting up and configuring the plugin.

A support ticket system really matters today, as personalization and enhanced customer experience become more and more important in the digital world. I hope this article has helped you somewhat in creating a strong and powerful support ticket system for your website.

In any case, feel free to ping your doubts and challenges during this process. I’ll do my best to answer them right away!

Happy ticketing!

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Pranoti Panchwagh
Pranoti Panchwagh

I'm an avid reader and classical dancer, who loves nothing better than curling up with a book and a cup of coffee. When not burning digital ink, you can find me trekking or listening to music, and they're not always mutually exclusive!


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