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Help Desk Functionality

On one of the other threads, an add-in for distinguishing bugs from features and handling customer inquiries was discussed.

This made me think that it would also be nice to have a way of providing basic automated help desk functionality, kind of like an FAQ troubleshooter type of thing.

In a way, gathering this type of information is similar to the bug tracking process because often, simple support calls are about things that people think are bugs that really are not (such as a keyboard not being plugged in), or about minor known bugs that have not been fixed yet or have some sort of trivial manual workaround.

It makes sense that such things should be entered into a database to save IT staffers from getting the same trivial calls over and over again, or to avoid the scenario where a person who has fixed something before and would instantly know what to do isn't working that day so someone else wastes a bunch of time solving a problem that's already been solved.

True, all this could be done on a separate company website or intranet or whatever, but I am curious to see if anyone else would use something like this and thinks it would be a valuable addition to FogBUGZ...

Tim Lara
Tuesday, January 22, 2002

We are doing this with a separate installation of FogBUGZ.  We didn't want to mix the help desk stuff up with the development stuff, but we thought that FB functionality would serve for help desk issues.  So we installed a second copy of FB and it works fine.

FB used in this manner is not quite up to snuff with a real help desk application, e.g., there's no obvious way to track how many customers have problems with a particular issue or have requested a particular feature.  (Of course, it was not designed as help desk software, so this is not a criticism.)  However, as long as the same people are using the help desk installation and the bugs installation, there's no additional license cost, so we saved thousands by doing this.


Chris Dunford
Wednesday, January 23, 2002

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