OTRS guide

From LizardWiki, FastLizard4's wiki and website
Revision as of 12:04, 4 February 2014 by FastLizard4 (Talk | contribs) (Work in progress, not yet complete)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

This page is still a work in progress!

OTRS, short for Open-Source Ticket Request System, is an email helpdesk system that LizardNet uses for various customer support applications - for example, to allow operators of LizardNet Minecraft servers to respond and send emails to players. This page attempts to document how to use OTRS. OTRS is, admittedly, very complex, but only in that you have to know how to find the functions you want to use - in other words, it's very easy to get used to the system!

Herein, users of OTRS responding to emails and such are referred to as "agents", while the people sending those emails and asking for support are "customers".

Finally, note that all timestamps in OTRS are in UTC.

Getting an Account

Accounts can only be created by FastLizard4. An account requires three pieces of information:

  • A username. This is the name you would use to log in to OTRS, and is only visible to you and OTRS administrators.
  • An email address. This is the primary way you are identified on OTRS to other agents, and is also the address OTRS will send notifications (like a customer responding to a ticket you are marked as the owner/respondent of) to. This is visible to you and other OTRS agents. Customers never see your email address, as all correspondence is marked as being from the OTRS queue's address.
  • A first and last name. This is also how you can be identified to other agents, but more importantly how you are identified to customers. Although real names are probably best, pseudonyms are allowed, though ones that sound real (e.g., have a first and last name) are preferred. If necessary, though, it is possible to set a single-word pseudonym as your first and last name as well.

Using OTRS

Logging In

The OTRS login screen (click to enlarge)

To log in to OTRS, navigate to https://otrs.fastlizard4.org in your browser and enter your username and password. Simple, right? Just remember that if this is your first time logging in to change your temporary password to a new one! Remember to use a strong password.

The Dashboard

File:OTRS dashboard
The OTRS dashboard (click to enlarge and show the little descriptive labels in the image)

The first thing you'll see after logging in is the dashboard. The three most important things here are the lists "New Tickets" and "Open Tickets / Need to be answered". New Tickets is a list of new tickets that no one has yet looked at - that is, new emails from customers. Open Tickets is a list of tickets that someone has already claimed or an agent has either opened him or herself or has already responded to, but the customer replied. Usually, these tickets are locked to the agent that was handling them, and to filter the list to ones locked to you, select the "My locked tickets" filter. We'll talk more about ticket ownership and locking later. But, for now, know that when you click on a ticket in this list, you'll be directed to the ticket Zoom page.

There are also some buttons at the top of the screen you should be aware of:

  • The Dashboard button returns you to the dashboard.
  • The Customers button allows you to search the list of customers and tickets that belong to them
  • The Tickets button allows you to go through a list of all opened and closed tickets, as well open new tickets.
  • The Statistics button shows, well, statistics.
  • The magnifying glass opens up an advanced search window, but...
  • The text box labelled "Ticket Number" allows you to quickly search for a ticket by entering its ticket number (which looks like "2014020442000018"), or by simple fulltext search.
  • The dropdown box to the left of that (which starts out saying just "-") is a list of saved searches, including one called "last-search" which repeats whatever search you've just performed.
  • Clicking your name next to "You are logged in as" will open up your user preferences
  • And the little power button icon (Reset button.svg) will log you out of OTRS.

Due to the nature of the information handled by OTRS, which is strictly confidential, please never use OTRS on a public computer, and always log out of OTRS or lock your entire computer when it is unattended.

User preferences

The user settings screen

The user preferences screen contains some important settings you should look at before starting to use OTRS.

You will want to change your password, of course, after logging in for the firs time, to something that's not the default temporary password

Under "Email Settings", you can configure when the system will automatically email you - for example, if a new ticket is opened in one of your queues, or if a customer replies to a ticket you're the respondent on. In either case, you'll also need to define your queues under the "My Queues" header - control-click to highlight the queues you want to watch, then click Update.

Finally, if you are going to be away from your duties for a while, activate Out Of Office Time so other agents know that you won't be available.

Ticket Zoom

The ticket zoom screen (click to expand and show annotations)

The ticket zoom screen is the screen seen when opening a ticket, displaying its contents and information about it. The central part of a ticket is the email thread, a record of emails to and from the customer as well as internal agent notes. When a ticket is "locked", only the owner (indicated in the sidebar to the right) can send emails to the customer, though any agent may add a note to the ticket. In addition, when a customer replies to a closed ticket, it's automatically reopened and locked to the owner.

We will cover some basic ticket operations here.

Linking tickets

It's possible to link two tickets together show they show up under each other's "Linked Objects" section. To do this, click the Link button near the top of the page and supply the ticket number of the ticket to be linked to.

Changing owner

Click the "Owner" button to change the owner of the ticket.

Adding notes

To add an internal note to the ticket, click the Note button. Note that notes cannot be seen by customers, only by OTRS agents.

Merging and Splitting tickets