Collecting In-App User Feedback in Dovetail Agent

In a previous post, I covered the basics of Action Items, and how they can be used.

Here, I’ll illustrate how we used action items as a way of capturing user feedback within the Dovetail Agent app.

in-app user feedback


Within the page header in Dovetail Agent is a Send Feedback icon.


Send Feedback Icon / Link in Dovetail Agent


Clicking that opens a Send Feedback form.


Send Feedback Form


It’s a very simple form – a dropdown for the subject: Suggestion, Bug, Compliment, or Question, and then a Feedback text box, where the user can type in some feedback.

This feedback mechanism allows our users to easily report a bug, ask a question, or send us a compliment about something within the app.

Upon submitting the form, the user gets a simple Thank You message.

And just like that – we’ve captured some feedback from the user directly in the app. Quick and easy.

Under the Covers

Behind the scenes, we’re actually creating an Action Item.


Feedback Action Item

When the Action Item is created, we capture:

  • The subject that the user selected (Suggestion, Bug, Compliment, or Question)
  • The notes that the user types in
  • The user who submitted the feedback (since they’re logged in, we already know who they are)

In addition, to give us (the sys admins) some context, we also automatically capture:

  • The user’s web browser information
  • The user’s operating system
  • And the page that the user was on when they submitted the feedback

It’s not uncommon that an issue may arise in a web app that is due to a user’s browser, browser version or OS, so by capturing this information automatically, we have that information should we need to reproduce their issue.

By capturing the page that the user is on, this also provides some additional context.

For example, if they say that the History tab looks funny, we can easily know that they’re talking about the history tab on the the subcase page (as opposed to the History tab on the case page or on the site page, or on the contact page). It also gives us the *specific* subcase that they’re looking at.

This basic information is often the first things a tech support person would ask for. So we’re automatically capturing it up front.

Feedback Configuration

The Action Item Type will be “Feedback”, and it gets routed to the Feedback queue.

Of course, all of this is configurable.

The Type is set using the ActionItemSettings.FeedbackType application setting.

And an auto-destination rule is used to route it to the appropriate queue.

So both of those are easily changeable to meet your specific business requirements.

Business Rules

Once the Action Item is created and dispatched, the appropriate time bombs are created, so any business rules will fire, such as notifying the members of the Feedback queue that a new Action Item has been dispatched to that queue.

Business Rule – Web Hook

We can also use the Web Hooks message functionality within Dovetail Carrier to make a web service call via a business rule.

For example, we can post a message to Slack (a group chat app) that feedback has been received.

Object Type: Action Item

Start Event: Dispatch

Condition: Task Type = Feedback

Condition: Queue = Feedback

Action: Post to Slack:


Business Rule – Post to Slack using a web hook


And that  rule will post a message to Slack, so your whole team can immediately  be aware of any received feedback.



Slack Group Message


From here, the action item can be accepted from the queue, and your own workflow will decide what you want to do with the feedback, such as

  • Respond to the user, perhaps engaging in a dialog to better understand the feedback
  • Push this feedback into a change request (or into your other development issue tracking system), for tracking it as a development issue.
  • Or perhaps simply acknowledge a nice compliment and close the Action Item.

Very Meta

I think this is a cool feature of the app and a cool use of action items.

We’re using action items within the app itself to capture feedback about the app.

And by keeping this feedback in Action Items, we’re easily able to separate customer issues (which are captured in cases) from user issues/feedback.

We can have different SLAs, different business rules, and it also will simplify our reporting by not mixing the two.

Moar Feedback

So what’s *your* feedback about our Feedback feature?

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

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