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Configuring for Serving External Customers

OneDesk is well-equipped to handle an organization’s operations when you are supporting external customers.

Configuring OneDesk for External Customers

There are a couple of settings to change to get a head start on keeping things organized for external-service organizations.

External Quick-Start Step 1: Views and Items (Tickets, Tasks, Projects)

1.1 Default View Setup - By Customer

As an organization working on items for external customers, use the “By Customer” view as your default way of looking at projects. This view forgoes portfolios. 

Turn off the “By Portfolio” view by hovering over “Views” on the left-hand side and selecting the cog wheel. Uncheck the “By Portfolio” view and set “By Customer” to default.

To keep things simple, you can turn off the portfolio item type entirely by going to more applications -> administration -> projects -> portfolio tab, and toggling the portfolio item’s visibility to off.

1.2 Project Setup

If you are working on a project for a particular client, you should add the customer organization when you create the project.  

OneDesk can automatically create projects to contain the tickets for a customer organization (more on this later). An example of projects in the “By Customer” view is shown below:

Create folders inside these projects to further organize your work. 

1.3 Tickets vs. Tasks, Auto Forward Tickets

Tickets will represent the items submitted by your external clients directly via email, webforms, the customer portal, or through the live chat. These are usually worked on as a priority.

Tasks, on the other hand, represent longer-term work you are doing, either for a customer or internally. This is any work which is not a ticket.

Set your support email to auto forward to the ticket creation email [ticket@______.onedesk.com] in more applications -> administration -> tickets. This way any incoming email your support center receives is created as a ticket inside OneDesk.

More information on setting up auto forward for Gmail, Outlook.

Add the support email you are forwarding to the “Never add as follower” list in emails -> appearance settings to help prevent email loops. More info on loops.

External Quick-Start Step 2: Automations and Routing  

There are some automations you will want when serving external customers. Access your automations by going to more applications -> administration -> tickets, tasks, projects, or timesheets, depending on what item you wish to edit automations for. 

The first one you will want to create is one that places incoming tickets into a dedicated project for the Customer organization, as follows. Do this under more applications -> administration -> tickets -> Workflow Automations

Create the following automation if you are working with external customers. This automation will create a customer project automatically for any new items submitted by customers if a designated project does not already exist.

OneDesk maintains a list of other useful automations, which you can access here.

2.1 (Optional) Routing for External-Service Organizations

Alternatively to the above automation, you can route tickets of specific customer organizations at the organization level. Do this under more applications -> customers -> [the customer organization you want to set up routing rules for].

Here you can choose what happens to items submitted by this organization. Selecting “Add Routing Section” will prompt you to fill out the action of a pre-filled automation. 

For example, you can automatically assign a team or user to any tickets created by a customer organization. This is useful if you have entire teams or users dedicated to certain clients.

External Quick-Start Step 3: Customer Apps

When serving external customers, a large amount of your communication will be handled through OneDesk’s customer applications.

Organizations serving external customers will embed the customer apps widget onto the homepage of their website. This is the recommended way of exposing these apps to your customers, since it allows you to add or remove customer-facing apps directly from within OneDesk Admin. 

However, links to individual customer application pages can also be placed in the support section of your website, or embedded as iFrames.

More information on embedding:

Now your organization which serves external customers is set up for success inside OneDesk.