This video covers how to set up and configure your customer portal.

OneDesk includes a customer portal, which is a small web application that you can put on your website to allow your customers to interact with you, submit tickets, add discussions, and things like that. You can open the customer portal by clicking your name and clicking “customer portal”. Now, the customer portal is entirely optional. Many times you can interact with your customers entirely through email and the customer does not even need to know this customer portal exists, but if you’d like to provide an interface for your customers to interact with you on the portal, OneDesk includes that feature.

The customer portal is a simplified interface that provides the tools for your customers to be able to find published tickets or tasks or knowledge based articles, to be able to search for them, filter by them, see their status, follow them, and of course, submit new ones. They can do this by clicking “add new” and completing a form for a new task or ticket or whatever else you’ve configured.

OneDesk has a lot of controls to control what you can see on the portal and, of course, the style of the portal. Let’s go through those. To control and configure your portal, click the administration icon and click “customer portal”. Here, you’ll see all the different options for controlling your portal. I’m going to walk through them for you.

Here is where you can turn off the portal completely if you don’t want to make use of it.

Here’s a link that will launch the customer portal so you can see it.

Here’s where you can turn on the ability for your customers to a view previously submitted items and here’s where you can turn on and off the ability to submit new items. You can decide whether you’d like to submit new ideas when they’re “logged in”, when they’re “not logged in”, or “never”. If you set it to “when not logged in”, then an anonymous visitor will be able to submit a ticket, or a task, or whatever else on your customer portal, and we will ask for their email address when they submit it. When they are logged in, we already know who they are, therefore we will not ask for their email address.

Now, what can a visitor do on the portal? Well, if you check this box, they’ll be able to register themselves and just sign up on their own. If you uncheck this, you will have to invite them from the customers application over here. Turning this option on allows them to follow items using the follow button which allows them to receive notifications for new comments on that item. Here, you can allow them to see the status of the ticket or task. Turning that off will hide that from them.

This controls what filters show up on the side panel. Here are the different filters that are available, and you can turn those off by unchecking those boxes here. Of note, the filter options only appear when the visitor would have results for that filter. So for example, if the visitor has no tickets in the open status, then the open link will not appear in this list.

What can the visitors see on the portal? Well, here is where you require log in to see the items, and you can choose one option from this dropdown.

The first option limits the visitor to only seeing their own requested items. So if they submitted the ticket, they can see it. If they did not, they cannot. The second option allows them to see tickets not just by them but also by other users in their in their organization. You can group your customers into organizations in the customer’s application over here. The third option allows visitors to see tickets in the projects they are following. So if you select this option, then once you’ve added a customer to the project, he’ll be able to see things in that project. This next option combines the option to see items the customer has created in his organization and in the projects he is following. The fifth option combines the first and the third option, so it’s only their own requested items and the items in the projects they are following. And finally, “all published items”, which is the default. All published items means once you publish the item, they can see that item on the portal. So it’s the simplest option, but of course it provides very little control over who can see what.

Since the items must be published for a customer to see it, this last option overrides that. So when you check this box, it allows the visitors to see their own items, even if they’re unpublished. So it says, “Check this box if you’d like your visitor to always see their items in addition to those covered in the rule selected above.” That’s right here. This makes those items visible to the requester, even if they are unpublished and regardless of which project they are in. So this is a powerful option that says, “Customer can always see his items,” regardless of what project they’re in, regardless of whether they’re published or not. And it combines, of course, with the rule selected above.

The appearance page is where you’re going to change the colors of your portal. So you can use your company logo here by turning that on. You can set your company logo in the organization preferences up here. Here’s where you’ll change the colors. You can click a color, make a change, then click this link to check out how it looks. Don’t forget to refresh. Here’s where you can choose to either use English as the customer portal language or you can make a custom language file.

To make a customer language file, choose custom language, download the template, modify the text mappings in this template, and then re-upload it right here. This allows you to not only translate into another language, but also change the text on the portal if you want it to be something different. So if you want to say “find” instead of “search”, you can make that change here. Now you can put the portal on your website. There’s some documentation right here, but it’s pretty simple. Just click generate snippet and copy and paste the snippet onto your website just before the body close tag on whatever page you’d like this to appear.

Next, we have the forms. I showed you before how the customer can create a new ticket by clicking “add new” and clicking “ticket” and completing this form. You’ll want some control over these forms. The first thing you can do is determine what forms you would like. By default, we have task and ticket forms, but you can add new ones. You get one form for each item type that you’ve turned on in your configuration. There are up to 30 different types that you can turn on. By default you only have task and ticket turned on. To turn on other ones, just go into the tickets or tasks, application and add new subtypes.

Right now, I’ve got the ticket form expanded and you can see it here. You give the form a title, give it a subtitle, and here you can determine what properties you’d like to show on the form. You’ll just select a property here and add it to the form. Even custom properties can be added, so you can add a variety of of properties that match your needs, and you can also change the property name on the customer portal.

Here’s where you can mark it as required, and here’s where you can remove it from the form. Sometimes when you select a property, there’ll be additional options here. For example this will allow your customer to submit a ticket directly to a specific project. So which project should they be able to submit to? Here, you can choose “selected projects” where you can determine what those projects are, or you can choose the default which is “only the projects that the visitors are following”, so the ones they belong to. This will mean that when a visitor decides to submit a ticket, you can ask what project they’d like it to go to and they can only submit it to projects that are visible to them.

As you can see, there’s lots of ways you can configure your customer portal. If you have any questions, you can reach out to us here, and we’ll be more than happy to get you set up as soon as possible.