We recently released a major update to the Dovetail SelfService app. There’s SO many great new capabilities here.
I would group these enhancements into 2 major categories:
- Dynamic Content, Pages, and Menus – making it easy to create and edit content throughout the app
- Knowledgebase Enhancements – making the knowledgebase much more prevalent, approachable, and functional
Lets take a run through the highlights of this release.
Dynamic Home Page Content
When a user logs into SelfService, they’re immediately taken to the Home page.
In the past, if you wanted to change what was displayed on the home page, you would need to customize the HTML page content, and re-deploy the application.
Now, the home page content comes from a solution. So you can easily edit the solution using Dovetail Agent, and the home page is dynamically updated.
SelfService supports the use of markdown for content.
This allows your content to include rich text (headings, bold, italics, hyperlinks, etc.), tables, images, and embedded videos.
Notice in the image above, we’ve included:
- Headings and Sub-Headings
- Bold Text
And that’s only some of what you can do!
Content pages can include dynamic content, i.e. content that is dynamically resolved based on the particular solution the content is coming from, and/or based on the user that is logged into the application. This allows for displaying personalized information to the user.
Notice in the image above, where it says Hello Scott. The word Scott is resolved based on a dynamic variable.
Here’s what the solution looks like in Dovetail Agent:
Notice that it says Hello [Contact First Name]. [Contact First Name] is actually a rule property that gets dynamically resolved at runtime.
Because we’re using Rule Properties, this opens up a huge set of capabilities, including regular rule properties that traverse a schema path, Function-based Rule Properties, and Configuration Item Rule Properties.
Custom Content Pages
In addition to the base pages that are supplied with Selfservice, custom content pages can be created.
This allows you to dynamically create pages within the application, without having to customize the app or re-deploy it.
Just like with the Dynamic Home Page Content, the content for custom pages comes from a solution. And like with the home page content, markdown is supported. This allows your content to include rich text (headings, bold, italics, hyperlinks, etc.), tables, images, and embedded videos.
The content can also contain dynamic variables.
Here’s a couple of custom page examples:
A custom page showing how videos can be embedded within the page.
A custom FAQ page, including a header image, an ordered list, and hyperlinks to other knowledgebase articles within the app.
Notice the last modified data at the bottom – this is another example of a dynamic variable.
The top navigation bar includes a number of fixed menu items (Home, New Case, Profile, etc.).
It also includes one configurable menu item – Knowledge Base.
In addition, it allows for adding your own custom menu items.
Menu items are controlled by the Selfservice Menus user-defined list.
Out of the box, there will be one top-level menu – Knowledge Base. And under that item, are Search, Recent Articles, and My Favorites.
- add new sub-items under the existing Knowledge Base item
- add new items at Level 1 (same level as Knowledge Base)
- an item without any sub-items will render as a link (similar to the Home link)
- an item with sub-items will render as a drop-down (similar to Knowledge Base)
Once you’ve added items, then you need to define where these items should link to. This is done by setting the Additional Info property on the item.
The Additional Info will contain the URL of where the menu item links to. This can be either:
- a full URL, such as http://dovetailsoftware.com
- a link within the app, such as ~/content/135/Tax_FAQs
My Favorite Knowledgebase Articles
Users can click the heart icon on a solution to favorite it. Clicking it again will un-favorite it.
A user’s favorite solutions are available via the Knowledge Base – My Favorites menu item.
Recent Knowledgebase Articles
The 25 most recently updated solutions are available via the Knowledge Base – Recent Articles menu item.
Comment and Rate Knowledgebase Articles
Within the application, users can comment on, and rate knowledgebase articles.
When a comment and/or rating is submitted, a new note (notes_log) will be added to the solution, and can be viewed from the History and/or Activity Log within your Agent application.
A business rule can be used to take action when a comment is submitted, such as notifying the solution owner, or sharing the comment to your support team.
More Context for Solution Listings
Solution listings now include more details, including:
- last updated date
- created date
- more of the description
- average rating
- whether it’s a favorite or not
Add paging to all listing and search pages
We’ve added paging to all of the search and listing pages.
So users will see 20 items at a time, and can click to move forward/backward through the result set.
Change severity on a case
Users can now change the severity of their cases.
Recall that Severity tells us how important the customer deems the case to be.
When a customer changes the severity on a case:
* the severity is changed (of course!)
* that activity is added to the case history, allowing us to see who did it when, as well as the old and new severity
* a time bomb is created.
The creation of a time bomb means that we can craft a business rule to fire on this event.
So we can alert the case owner that the severity was changed.
Or, if the severity was changed to a certain value (such as Urgent), we may want to notify others in the organization as well.
Severity Help Text
When a user creates a case, or changes the severity of a case, there is a help section that provides more details related to the case severity.
This is important, as there are often workflows, notifications, and SLAs that are defined based off of a case’s severity level.
The content of that help text comes from a solution, which means it’s easily changed to meet your specific needs.
Just like with the home page content, markdown is supported. This allows your content to include rich text (headings, bold, italics, hyperlinks, etc.) or
Within the application, users can submit feedback, such as a Suggestion, Compliment, Bug, or Question. This allows system administrators to collect feedback from end users.
Behind the scenes, this will create a new Action Item, which will be automatically dispatched to a queue using auto-destination rules.
By default, Action items with a type of Feedback will be auto-dispatched to a queue named Feedback. This can be controlled using Auto-Destination rules.
Register / Request access workflow
On the Sign In page is a link allowing users to navigate to a page to request access to the application.
The user fills out the form and submits it.
When a user submits the form, an Action Item is created, which will be automatically dispatched to a queue using auto-destination rules.
By default, Action items with a type of Register will be auto-dispatched to a queue named Register. This can be controlled using Auto-Destination rules.
From there, your internal workflows would kick it, so you get to decide how to handle requests, how to create/update customer data, etc. We could automatically create a contact and/or site, but we’d rather not potentially pollute our customer data. But, we have set up the app so that if you wanted to automatically create a contact and/or site, this becomes a fairly easy customization.
Track page visits
Every time a user visits a page, that is recorded within table_dt_web_log. This allows for reporting and analysis of user behaviors, most visited pages, etc.
Every time a user performs a search, that is recorded within table_dt_search. This allows for reporting and analysis of user behaviors, common search terms, areas to add missing content, etc.
In the past, I would say that the SelfService app was more focused on the Case Management side of things. With this release, we’ve amped up the Knowledge Management functionality, making it easier for customers to find the information they’re looking for, and thus reducing the number of inquiries that need to be handled by an agent.
In addition, the Content Management features help support the KM functionality, making it super easy to create new pages, publish new content, and tailor the menus to make it easy for customers to find the information they need.
If you’d like to learn more about the SelfService app, check out the documentation here.
Or feel free to get in touch, and we’ll be happy to walk through the app in more detail, and discuss how SelfService can benefit your customers.