Collect Ticket and Customer Information With Custom Fields

HelpdeskPilot is fully loaded. Each line of code and every pixel of design is carefully thought out to help you serve your customers better. We know for a fact that our customers pay as much attention to details as we do and hence our developers have designed HelpdeskPilot to be extremely customizable.

From the background color to fields in the forms, there are a bunch of customization options to make a HelpdeskPilot instance fit perfectly to your needs. Your HelpdeskPilot instance is ready to use out of the box and all the industry standard fields and forms readily available. However, if you feel the need to add more fields to your ticket, we have it figured out for you too.

Types of Custom Fields

HelpdeskPilot lets you create custom fields in two different sections of the ticket –Ticket and Contact fields. The process to create them is the same, but they have to be created in two different sections of the Manage tab for the sake of better organization. Custom contact fields play a significant role in collecting more data from the customer, to get to understand their concerns better. Ticket contact fields are primarily for managing the ticket more efficiently by the support team.

Creating a Custom Field

Creating a Custom Field

Creating a Custom Field

When creating a new custom field, you can make it dependent on another custom field. Better yet, if the field you are linking to already has another dependency, that can be taken advantage of too!

Choosing the Custom Field Type

Choosing the Custom Field Type

To ensure that data collection is done correctly, you can try using the custom field types from the drop down list. For instance, if you don’t want people to enter anything but numbers in a field, choose the field type Number. Nobody can get away with typing “xyz” for a telephone number then!

As the name suggests multiple option fields allow you to provide multiple values and let your users choose more than one value.

Settings and Permissions

Field Settings

Field Settings

Fields can either be made mandatory when filling in the details or visible only to the staff. If you are creating a ticket level field, there is the additional option to make the field compulsory when it’s marked completed. So, if you have a field to collect the operating system used by the customer and if it’s left blank when the support team is closing the ticket, they won’t be able to until the data is entered.

Drag and Drop to Select the Order

Drag and Drop to Select the Order

Like every other option, HelpdeskPilot makes it easy for you to limit custom field access only to certain categories. To make things even more easier, custom fields can be reordered and you can have different order for each category as well! Besides, it only takes a simple drag and drop to move things around.

How many custom fields have you created in your instance? Do let us know how custom fields help you collect relevant information from your customers and assist them better!

Identify Tickets Past The Due Date

A timely response is what makes a customer happy. It shows that the customer is important to you and you care about his/her concerns. Helpdesk Pilot SLA feature is a great way to ensure that all customer support queries are attended to on time.

However, if you don’t have service level agreements with your customers or just want a quick fix to access tickets that are past their due, you are in luck. A combo of the Due Date feature and smart rules can help you achieve similar results.


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New Updates to Helpdesk Pilot: Advanced Search, Merge Tickets, Auto Assignment and More

A new version of our user friendly support system, Helpdesk Pilot is now available. A ton of new features, enhancements and bug fixes are part of this new upgrade.

We’ll be walking you through many of these features in the coming days. In the meantime, here is the complete changelog:

New Features

  1. Advanced search option (including custom fields)
  2. Now possible to save search results and set landing page options on a per staff level to a specific saved search
  3. ALL NEW – Actions drop down option in ticket detail page for actions that can be performed
  4. Merge tickets
  5. Auto Assignment feature – assign tickets based on round robin assignment
  6. Integration with Olark live chat and SnapEngage live chat services
  7. New print options – ticket list page for multiple tickets. In ticket detail page-options to select/deselect Messages, Forward notes, Private Notes, Activity log
  8. Custom favicon support for instances which have Re-branding option
  9. New BCC template for Reply template, so that all customer replies can be BCCed to one email ID
  10. Configurable settings for fields to be displayed on staff new ticket form
  11. Ability to add private notes to tickets from staff replies to email notifications
  12. Added due date condition and due date as action in Smart Rules
  13. Added set category in the actions list in Smart Rules
  14. Log of deleted tickets (Note: Not applicable when category is deleted and tickets under it are bulk deleted)
  15. Added custom field import in contact import via CSV/XLS
  16. New tags – last_customer_reply and last_staff_reply in notification templates
  17. Email field optional on new ticket form
  18. Quick ticket bar
  19. Helpdesk Pilot now supports new languages – Russian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Turkish, Bulgarian, Norwegian, Hindi, Romanian, Albanian, Greek, Slovenian, Hungarian, Czech, Traditional Chinese, Italian and Korean.

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Automate Your Customer Support With Smart Rules

Customer support requires every member in the team to be vigilant at all times. Slacking on expected standards will end up attracting customer ire. So, it’s always better if you could take redundant tasks off the support team’s hand to make them focus on supporting customers instead.

Take for instance the case of timely notifications. If a ticket remains unanswered for hours or days at a time, ideally it should be escalated to the next level support for immediate redressal of the issue. Otherwise the customer might become irate and take his business elsewhere. Do it manually every day and sooner or later, important support tickets might slip through the cracks.

Similarly, if you have dedicated staff attending to a particular segment of your customer base, tickets created by those customers can automatically be assigned to the right team members instead of the regular support queue. On the other hand, if a reply sent to a customer fails to get a response after a set number of days, such tickets might have to be closed automatically.

Smart rules in Helpdesk Pilot takes care of activities like these without any human intervention. Simply put, smart rules help automate a major chunk of the administrative duties of a support team. Naturally, the support team can just focus on what they do best – helping customers and stay productive.

Creating a Smart Rule


New smart rules can be created from the Manage section of your instance. After giving it a relevant name and a clear description, there is an option to set it’s status to be either active or inactive. This option helps you use smart rules only when they are needed and instead of deleting them forever, you can keep them in the list for using it sometime in the future.


As I noted earlier, conditions define how effective a smart rule is, in enhancing the productivity of the support team. Helpdesk Pilot offers a bunch of default conditions that cover almost all aspects of the support instance. To make conditions more complete, Helpdesk Pilot includes all the custom fields you have created in the instance as well.


There are many actions for you to trigger once a smart rule is in place and they are all great. I’m going to focus on the mail action to give you an idea how flexible Helpdesk Pilot actually is.

Putting Tags to Use

Since smart rules are all about automation, it should be extremely simple to automatically address the email to the right customer, associate it with the correct support in-charge, insert the relevant ticket number and so on.


Helpdesk Pilot employs tags to make all these happen and more. Each field has a set of relevant tags and selecting them would insert the right set of information.


For example, the client tag is for inserting the name of the customer associated with each individual ticket that’s processed by the smart rule. In the same vein, tags like subject and ticket id always pull the respective subject and ticket number of every ticket managed by the smart rule.


Tags aren’t limited to the recipient and subject fields alone. They can also be inserted in the body of messages at the appropriate places to make the email sound more personal.


Once a smart rule is created, it can be assigned to one or more categories. Smart Rules feature is available across all our subscription plans and there is no limit for the number of smart rules one can create.

How have smart rules enhanced the productivity of your support team? Do share with us the smart rules you have in place in your Helpdesk Pilot instance!

Team Communication Made Easy With Private Notes

Customer support is a team effort. To resolve issues, you might need many hands on deck. However, there should be only one point of contact for the customer to avoid confusion. Exchanging emails for communicating internally to get the issue resolved beats the whole point of having a cutting edge support tool. That’s why Helpdesk Pilot has the Private Notes feature.

A support executive can ask around the floor for clarification or help on a particular topic, but at the end of the day it’s not on record and might not be the best idea when the ticket is up for a review.

Private notes come in handy to address issues like these. There couldn’t be a better way to communicate internally and is just perfect for documenting the support process in its entirety.

Absolutely Private

True to its name, Private Notes are very private and are visible only to your staff. The customer could never access or get hold of a private note. Never. The use case scenario for a private note could be anything. For example, to reply back to a customer requesting for a discount, a support executive might need the input of the billing or marketing team. A private note promptly opens up a discussion at the end of which the customer is apprised of the outcome.

Private Notes makes more sense if you have a distributed workforce. No matter where your support, operations or marketing team is located, they can work together right from Helpdesk Pilot to provide a world class customer support experience. When part of the support team is leaving at the end of their shift, private notes detailing the vital parts of a conversation with the customer ensure that the team stepping into a new shift could hit the ground running as soon as they sign in.

Creating a Private Note


Creating a private note is extremely simple too. In the ticket details screen, click on the Add Private Note button.


In the private note section, you can compose a message just like you would every other time, except this time only people from your team have access to the update. Since private notes send out email alerts to all recipients, use the drop down menu to select only those who are relevant to this particular conversation.

Once updated, private notes are distinctly marked for clarity so there could be no confusion distinguishing between internal and external communication.


There is no limit for the number of private notes that could be created for each ticket.


Even though part of a group, there might not be a need to include everyone in the customer support process. Those who don’t want to be a part of this process can turn off private note alerts from their Settings page.

How do you use private notes in your company? As always, leave your comments below!

Respond Faster Using Canned Actions

Customer communication requires a personal touch. Straight up copy pasting templates or generic responses isn’t going to help you impress your customers. However, in some cases you might need to send automated responses to customer support queries.

For instance, you might get a bunch of mails everyday asking for the product manual or how to reset the login password. Responses to those queries are definitely going to be more or less uniform.

Or it could be a lengthy pre sales pitch requiring you to explain in detail the advantage of using your product. Instead of the support team coming up with an answer every time, you could use a professionally written sales copy which highlights the features better. That’s when Canned Actions come in handy.

Canned actions of Helpdesk Pilot are stored responses that you could use while replying to tickets. These help cut the hassle of typing in similar responses every single time saving a whole lot of time in the process. To create canned actions, head over to the Manage section. Helpdesk Pilot allows you to create multiple canned actions and select them all later from a drop down. Cool isn’t it?


Creating a canned action begins by giving it a name and explaining in brief the context of it for the sake of others.


Insert the text of the content and if necessary select appropriate actions to go with the canned action. Options to change the status and priority of the ticket and assigning it to a member of the team are available. For example, you could set to mark all tickets to high priority and assign it to a customer support manager automatically if a canned action for escalation is used.


The Helpdesk Pilot team values your privacy and you can pick and choose who gets access to which canned action. Not only that, canned actions can be restricted to certain categories to prevent irrelevant responses sent out by mistake. Yes, we thought of everything to make things easier for you!


To see a canned response in action, open a support ticket and hit the Reply button. Use the Apply Canned Action drop down to pick the one that fits the ticket better and then click on Update the ticket button. That’s it, Helpdesk Pilot will automatically perform the associated actions and you can move on to helping the next customer.

Do you use Canned Actions already? What additional features would you like to see added to Canned Actions?

Measure the Support Metrics with Custom Reports

The Helpdesk Pilot dashboard is a thing of beauty. At any given minute, you can checkout the key metrics of your support process from a bird’s eye view. From ticket inflow to status and priority, things that matter are presented in a visually sumptuous format. Consider this the vital stats of your support team over the past week and it’s perfect for arriving at business decisions on the fly.


But, most of us need to do more with our data. Mixing and matching various sets of data might end up offering valuable insights about the state of the support infrastructure in place. We understand the concern, and that’s the reason we have built the ability to pull custom reports in Helpdesk Pilot.

Custom reports offer you a variety of ways to put multiple data points together and come up with charts and graphs, which then end up enlightening you about interesting trends that otherwise might have gone unnoticed.


After logging into your Helpdesk Pilot account, head over to the Reports section. Name the report appropriately and you can even add a brief description explaining what this report is all about for other users of the Helpdesk Pilot account.


Now, we come to the interesting part of the reports section – adding Data Sources. Every single aspect of the ticket is up for closer inspection. Not only that, Helpdesk Pilot also allows you to add the custom fields you have created so far to be used as well! Besides, you can add multiple data sources and collate all the data together in any manner you please.

As you can see, you have the option to create reports with certain mandatory data sources as well as some optional additions. Each data source can have a condition, which in most cases is a check if data is available or not.


And, as the last step, access to the custom report can be restricted to a select group of users helping you keep internal numbers private. As soon as the report is run, a quick rundown of numbers from the data sources is put right in front of you just like in the case of the dashboard.

The numbers are followed by a colorful graph that visually showcases the ebb and flow of tickets based on the selected sources. By default, the graph shows the ticket status over a period of time, but you can toggle it to display assignment and priority visually as well.


To see the numbers for a particular day, just hover the mouse over that day in question. This wealth of information isn’t locked away and it can be downloaded in CSV or Excel formats for internal use. Pie charts are like icing on the cake and they throw more light into the stats.

If you offer a Service Level Agreement to your customers, then you will really appreciate the SLA section of the reports. A precise breakdown of SLA performance ensures that you are always on top of one of the key metrics of your business.


That isn’t everything. The table view at the fag end of the page offers equally compelling information too. Toggle between the views and you will be surprised to see some juicy nuggets of information from the data sources you are analyzing.

Response Stats and Staff Performance views are two of my favorites! In the coming day, let us explore more about each of the views in detail.

What’s your thought on the Custom Reports feature? Got any suggestions to make it better? Sound off in the comments section!

New Features & Improvements: Highlights of the September Update Rollout

The updates for the month of September were rolled out yesterday. This rollout has a gamut of new features and improvements that are ready to use for both existing and new users of HelpdeskPilot. Here are the major highlights:

<h2>New Features</h2>

<h3>Tag Auto Suggestions</h3>


Tags are a great way to group together and access related tickets. To make adding tags to tickets easier, we have now introduced the auto suggestion feature.

<h3>Sample reports and Smart Rules</h3>


It’s a breeze to create smart rules or to pull custom reports in HelpdeskPilot. Still, to help new users to better understand the power and flexibility of the HelpdeskPilot ticketing system, we have bundled couple of new Reports and Smart Rules to all new accounts created.

<h3>Sample MyQueue</h3>

The MyQueue functionality personalizes the way tickets are displayed to you. From now on, it’s turned on by default and all tickets assigned will be displayed if you visit the MyQueue section of your helpdesk account.

<h3>Better Display of Priority Indicators</h3>


To emphasize the importance of the level of a ticket’s priority, we have come up with a better way of displaying them to you. Now there are different indicators for priorities.


Each Canned Action can now have a preset time spent and tags associated with it by default.


Whenever you edit a message (created by you or another staff member), it’s duly marked in the activity log. So, no mischiefs people!

When you are replying to multiple tickets using the Mass Reply feature, you can avail the ‘no-change’ option for ticket properties that belong to various categories without altering their priority status.

To prevent unregistered customers from creating new tickets, we have removed the Create New Ticket link from the Customer Panel login page. To bring it back, follow these simple steps.

The staff who creates a new Report, is now associated to it by default. This way, they won’t be denied to access if they forgot to add a checkmark before their name. 

A fresh font and a remarkable increase in performance are also part of this rollout. To learn about every little enhancement and bug fixes, check out the detailed changelog!

Helpdesk Pilot Version 5.2 Now Available

We are glad to announce that an upgrade to Helpdesk Pilot version 5.2 is now available.


The option to edit the ticket title is now live and to do that, hover over the current title and click on the edit icon to the left.


Delete the entire title or make changes to the existing ones and hit enter. Voila! To make this feature available, the account administrator has to to enable the permission “Edit ticket subject” for the required roles.


We all love smart rules. They help automating the support process to a great extent and the activity logs keep you informed of all the smart rules executed in a ticket. To make it complete, going forward the activity log will also display emails sent by smart rules too!


With this update, you can now start attaching files to new ticket auto responders. This feature could help you distribute a PDF manual or a sales presentation with ease. And, now you can choose to send the auto responder to the contacts in the Cc and Bcc fields as well.

In addition, we have fixed some bugs to make custom field dependency and handling of filenames of attachments in non English languages work better. To view the full list of new features, enhancements and bug fixes, please click on the link below to view the consolidated change log since February 2012.

The upgrade process will be performed via a remote session, and one of our support staff
members will be performing the necessary steps in your Helpdesk Pilot virtual machine for the upgrade.

Before the upgrade, you will need to ensure that you have taken a snapshot of your Helpdesk Pilot virtual machine, based on the virtualization platform you are currently using.

This upgrade is available to all Helpdesk Pilot customers. Mail us at to schedule the upgrade at a time that’s convenient for you!

We have planned a lot of exciting things in the coming few weeks. Stay tuned!

Inline Title Editing, Improved Activity Log and More New Features

It’s just a few weeks since we announced the new enhancements and improvements to HelpdeskPilot. Now, we are back with a few more!


The option to edit the ticket title is now live and to do that, hover over the current title and click on the edit icon to the left.


Delete the entire title or make changes to the existing ones and hit enter. Voila!


We all love smart rules. They help automate the support process to a great extent and the activity logs keep you informed of all the smart rules executed in a ticket. To make it complete, going forward the activity log will also display emails sent by smart rules too!


With this update, you can now start attaching files to new ticket autoresponders. This feature could help you dispatch a sales brochure or a technical document in a jiffy. And, now you can choose to send the auto responder to the contacts in Cc and Bcc fields as well.

In addition, we have fixed some bugs to make custom field dependency and handling of filenames of attachments in non English languages work better.

As noted earlier, we have planned a lot of exciting things in the coming few weeks. Stay tuned!

Note: In some rare cases, the edit title field might appear out of place. If you experience this issue, try clearing the web browser cache and things would be back to normal again.