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Old 13 Feb 2008, 19:02
FlyBoy73 FlyBoy73 is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Using a help desk for member support in large communities

In my larger forum, which today has 3.3 million posts and about 130k members, keeping up with members requests in the admin email alone can be daunting, not to mention keeping up with staff requests in our private staff forums.

I decided it was time to look into a real help desk system to both share the load across a number of staff members, keep track and easily find historical data, and speed up the process of helping members and potential members. I can only guess at the number of potential members we have lost because they had problems with their accounts, registering, etc. While I/we have tried to keep up with all the emails, it has been a challenge..

I researched a number of them and decided on using Kayako eSupport. I have a friend that owns a data center and this is what they use along with a number of other DC's I am aware of. One of the larger pluses is that they have a bridge called membershare (I think) that will utilize vB's user db so that forum members won't have to use a second login.

Members can submit tickets via a web interface or by sending an email to our support email account and a new ticket is created. I won't go into all the features since you can see them for yourself here: http://www.kayako.com/esupport.php?page=detail

Currently we are "beta" testing out the system and training certain staff members how to use the system. As soon as vB 3.7 goes gold I we are going to implement a major upgrade of the forums and then integrate the help desk system into the forums, etc.

So far, it has worked out great even with a limited number of staff. I am planning to route all requests through the help desk system ranging from abuse complaints, copyright complaints, account changes.. You name it, it will be done here, and handled by multiple staff rather than one or two. Of course, admin only requests will be assigned to the admin group... Super Mods will handle issues that only super mod or above can handle..

We have around 100 staff members so spreading it out will also speed up response time greatly..

Once everything is fully upgrade / integrated with the site, I'll let everyone know how it shakes out... I think it will be a huge plus to any large / active forum..

Of course, that's just my opinion...
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