8 August 2012

Hints & Help: How To Write A Support Ticket

We are often asked the best way to write a support ticket-how to lay it out, get the right information across quickly, and how to reduce the amount of time spent waiting for results. The most effective way to deal with these scenarios is to compose your ticket properly, as doing so will allow the support team to see the issue and its potential solutions. In this blog post we’ll cover the most effective way of setting out your ticket, including attachments, using screen shots and using the Help Guide.
Blog 1 New Ticket Button
Fig 1. The Help tab, Support Ticket button and New Ticket button

Upon discovery of an issue that requires support, the first thing to do is set up a new ticket. Paritor features an integral fault reporting system, the Support Tickets. These tickets come straight through to first line support in our office. You can add screenshots and files to them, but more on that later. To access the Support Tickets click the Help tab at the top right of the upper menu(the ‘Ribbon Menu’). This will display the above picture. Click on Support Tickets to raise the Support Ticket Manager, where you can see tickets you’ve sent and their progress. In the upper menu click New Ticket to raise a new issue to the support team. Pressing New Ticket will yield this screen:
Blog 1 Support Ticket Basic
Fig 2. An empty example support ticket

The ‘Raised By’ field will be populated by the name of the individual who raised the ticket. Email will also self-populate. The Priority Fields are designated as follows:
  • Low: Problems which do not affect the operation of the software.
  • Medium: Problems that affect the way the service functions, causing the software not to function as specified but does not prevent the software from being used.
  • High: Critical problems that prevent the use of the software under normal operating conditions.
Accurately setting the Priority Fields lets the support team attend to your concerns within the correct timeframe.
On the Support Ticket screen you will see a box marked Feature Request. Ticking this box marks this support ticket as a suggestion; Feature Requests are the elements that you would like to see featured in the program. If there is something that you need access to all the time that is not catered for within the existing framework, this is your suggestion box. It is worth noting that some requests may not be possible to include, may exist within the program already in another form or are currently available but undiscovered. Should you submit a request that is currently catered for we will inform you the best way to reach it.

Attachments

One of the most important parts of a Support Ticket is the Screenshot. These used to be very complicated involving Paint, Word documents and so on, so we’ve included a function called Insert Image. This allows you to capture the Screenshot from the Support Ticket without having to engage an external program. When you type in the main body of the ticket, the upper menu will change to this view:
Blog 1 Insert Image New
Fig 3. Insert Image button.

When you click Insert Image, this allows the Screen Rectangle Capture button to emerge. Clicking this button allows you to drag a rectangle across the part of the screen you wish to capture and cut it out into your ticket.
 Blog 1 Capture and Close
Fig 4. Screen Rectangle Capture button.

Once you are satisfied with the image(as you may take as many as you like), click Save and Close to place the capture within the ticket as seen below:

Blog 1 Captured Image in email
Fig 5. A Support Ticket with the Screen Capture inside

Having the Screenshot included in the ticket allows the support team to deal with your query much more efficiently. A great deal of the systems work incorporates tables and process screens, and being able to see a specific and troublesome part of your query can help us understand the root of the issue swiftly. The Support Ticket also contains a button marked Add Attachments. This button allows you to add other files to your ticket, such as .rptx custom report files which are a common part of the system.

Content

The most important part of any ticket is Content. The way in which you describe your query dictates how quickly we can assist you. The most helpful way to lay out a ticket is as follows:
  • Statement of concern-‘I can’t get my invoices to print’
  • Method of arrival-‘I went through these steps to get here’
  • Effects-‘I can’t do this now either’
  • Timescale-‘I’ve got to get these off today-can you take a look at it now?’
Laying your ticket out in this method allows us to see exactly what has taken place and how you arrived at the issue. Your issue can be linked to a number of factors, such as incorrect data entry, incorrect procedure, a lack of training or unreleased software updates. Always include a Screenshot where possible.
The Ensemble, Lite and Academy systems have been designed to operate in a specific way, and trying to work around certain issues can make difficulties appear more regularly than they otherwise would. If you are uncertain how to approach something, consult the Help Guide.

The Help Guide

At the top right hand corner of your program is the Help Guide Button. This activates the systems’ internal help service-the chief function of which is to allow you to get as much out of the program as possible. As the system has been designed to be intuitive, use of the Help Guide will allow you to navigate much more efficiently through the system itself, increasing your productivity. This means less time spent on support and more time spent on progressing through the work you need to do.
Blog 1 Help Button Ensemble
 Fig 6. The Help Guide activation button.

You can also access the Help Guide through the Help Tab.
Blog 1 Help Tab
Fig 7. The Help Tab and Display Help button.

Through either means, when you click the ‘?’ button the following screen will display itself:
Blog 1 Help Guide Front Page
Fig 9. The Ensemble Help Guide front page.

This is the front screen of the Help Guide. The guide contains information on the processes contained within the program. Typing key words into the search bar at the top left corner will bring up a number of related headings in link form:
Blog 1 Help Results Blue
Fig 10. Search bar and resultant information.

Clicking the links will display their information like this:
Blog 1 Help Guide Actual Info
Fig 11. Clicking the links inside the Help Guide will give you results like these.

At the top of these pages are three buttons marked Up, Previous and Next. Up takes you back to your search results. Previous and Next guide you through the topics available. The Help Guide entries are in procedural order by heading, so an entry on billing will take you through the processes required over multiple screens.

Hopefully you have found this blog of use-if you feel there are key issues needing to be addressed, or there is a part that you feel should have been included, please contact us through the Support Tickets (which should now be no trouble at all!).

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