How a school integrates OneDesk's customer widget into their Learning Management System

For small teams, using managed software solutions is an easy way to provide functionality without investing in resources to build it. However, managed solutions can also be restrictive when customizations are needed. It then becomes a burden trying to find other tools that will seamlessly integrate. In particular, content management systems (CMS) are streamlined to help companies create, manage, and deliver content, handling much of the scaffolding for users. Although this is great for keeping the workflow focused, it also limits what users are able to modify and change. This is why a client came to us seeking some way to bring helpdesk support into their existing application.

Our client is a university with a learning management system (LMS) that works similarly to a CMS, but is tailored to providing educational materials and coursework. Specifically, they are looking for a way to enable their helpdesk agents to more easily answer students’ questions with their existing LMS, for which they use a mobile platform. Doing so with a widget with realtime messaging with support agents seemed like the ideal solution as this introduces minimal changes to the current software they are using and would be relatively unintrusive on mobile. Their solution previously was to direct students to a Google form which would gather the details around their issue. Although this got the job done, it was clunky, slow, and forced students to navigate away from the LMS.

Bringing top-notch support into an existing application

Our client’s LMS runs on software called Moodle. Moodle does a lot of the heavy-lifting for them in terms of providing educational functionality to their students, without requiring them to have a full-time development team to create and maintain the system. The main concern our client had about finding a helpdesk and support system for their needs was around how it could be integrated into their existing LMS. Because they do not have a team of developers to add functionality to the LMS, they need the integration to be simple and lightweight, but to also efficiently facility support communications. This is where OneDesk’s messenger widget shines. As long as our client has the ability to add a JavaScript snippet to their webpage, they can merely insert our widget code into their HTML and have the OneDesk messenger available to all their users.

Taking in new requests via messenger or e-mail

One of the best features in OneDesk for providing an interactive support experience is through the messenger application, which our client can embed on their webpage. This creates a chat environment for students to then quickly reach out for help without having to leave the website. Beyond the instantaneous back and forth communications with students, the messenger also allows tickets to be created directly from the conversation, making it easy for the support team to maintain context. OneDesk also automatically creates a customer entity in its ticketing system if the student provides their e-mail, which makes it easy to view all of a student’s queries. The support team can also designate whether or not they are online, making it clear when responses will be quick and realtime. An additional messenger feature for instances when students leave the chat early is the ability to e-mail them any further communications from the support team. Although this is only possible for those who provide their e-mail address for identification, it ensures that conversations do not end pre-emptively without full resolution. For students needing help that don’t want to use the chat, our client already has an e-mail address for ingesting incoming support requests. This workflow can then be easily integrated into OneDesk using auto-forwarding – every ticket type in OneDesk has its own e-mail address to which new e-mails will automatically be logged in the system. Even though this cannot retroactively add previous e-mailsk, we do accept files in .mmp, .mpt, and .csv format so older e-mails can be imported into OneDesk.

Providing support through the messenger at all hours

It is expected that for small to medium-sized businesses and organizations such as schools, support is not provided 24 hours a day. But what should a student do if they are in a bind in the dead of night? While the OneDesk messenger does not ensure active around the clock support, it offers a way for our client to provide some level of assistance even when their team is offline. In the messenger, our client can provide an offline greeting that can direct students to other resources and leave key details to expedite support once the team is back online. For example, our client outlined wanting a way to ask for the requester’s e-mail even if they chose to chat as an anonymous user. The offline greeting is the ideal spot to ask for this information. All messenger communications are tracked in OneDesk so this information will be available as soon as a support team member opens OneDesk to review any conversations.

When software is good at what it does but limits extensibility, companies can be put in a tough position. Is the best decision to stick with their current tools and all the limitations, or to move on to something else? This is where OneDesk’s flexibility complements well-loved solutions, and adds new functionality with just a simple addition to introduce the widget. Despite its flexibility, OneDesk is uncompromising in its fully-featured helpdesk and project management software. With an unobtrusive way to integrate with existing and already established software, OneDesk allows organizations to experience the best of both worlds: robust content management and a solid helpdesk support system.

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