Paid technical support

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Description

Very often service providers offer technical support services to their clients. You can configure BILLmanager 5 to provide support services in two different ways:

  • Charge a client for provided technical support
  • Per-incident support

Charging a client for technical support

This is the easiest way which doesn't require additional configuration. You can charge a client in the ticket by entering a required amount in the ticket edit form:

Amount to charge

Click "Save parameters", "Send reply", or "Ok" to charge the full amount without discounts. If there are insufficient funds on the client's account, the account will have negative balance. The client will be notified that he was charged and will see the amount at the top of the ticket. To make a refund, you will need to delete or edit the expense.

Charges for technical support

In such a way you can offer non-recurring paid support services, if you normally provide technical support for free.

Per-incident support

Per-incident support allows to provide technical support services on a paid basis. You can configure the billing system to require a support incident when submitting a ticket to the Support department. You can select the check box "Require support service" or charge clients manually. Per-incident support is described below.

Admin area

Per-incident support can be provided in one of the following ways (one, two, or three variants can be used together):

  • Incidents are added to a client's account after one of the actions below have been performed:
    • New client registration (in BILLmanager Corporate a new clients is registered with a certain project for the first time)
    • The first payment is made
    • A certain amount of funds (or advance payment) is added to client's account
    • You have added incident manually in the Client's configuration form (BILLmanager Advanced), or in the Client's account edit form (BILLmanager Corporate)

"Lifetime" incidents are automatically added to the client's account and can be used at any time

  • You can sell lifetime support incidents
  • You can sell recurring support incidents

If you choose the second and the third variants, you first need to create a tariff plan (select the Paid support type and the Incident add-on ).

Adding support tickets automatically

Support incidents will be added automatically:

  • For client registration (in BILLmanager Corporate - a client is registered with a certain provider for the first time) - the "For new clients" field. Enter the number of incidents that will be added after the client has been registered (or registered with a certain provider).
  • When making the first payment - the "For the first payment" field. Enter the number of incidents that will be added after the client has made the first payment in your system. Changing the payment status into "New" will deduct incidents from his account. They can be added again after the clients makes a new payment.
  • When adding funds to account balance - the "Add funds to account balance" and "Amount" fields. Support incidents will be added to the client's account according to the value in the "Amount" field. The amount that was not used will be applied when making a new payment. Changing the payment status into "New" will deduct incidents from account.
Incidents configuration

Adding support tickets manually

In some situations you may need to add or deduct support incidents from a client's account. Navigate to the Client configuration form (if you use BILLmanager Advanced), or to the Client's account configuration form (BILLmanager Corporate).

By entering a certain value into the "Maximum number of support incidents" field you can change only lifetime support incidents regardless the number of incidents that have been already deducted from his account. In the "Incidents usage" field you can see the total number of lifetime incidents that the client has used over the whole period.

Adding support tickets manually

Configuring tariff plans

To allow your clients to buy additional support incidents, you ca can create one or multiple tariff plans.

  • A lifetime period - lifetime incidents will be added to client's account. You can change their number manually.
  • Any other period except for "daily" or "trial" - incidents will be added based on the number of services. E.g. when a client orders paid technical support (10 incidents included), for 3 months on April 11, he will be given 10 incidents from April 11 till May 10, 10 incidents from May 11 till June 10, and 10 incidents from June 11 till July 10.

You can mix order periods in one tariff plane. Note: when renewing a service for a lifetime period, the client will be given lifetime incidents. Existing unused incidents will be available until their expiration date.

Tariff configuration is much similar to other types of services, except for a "Value scale type" - "By value packages " for lifetime packages. This will allow clients to buy additional incidents and forbid to cancel them. Otherwise, paid support services can be managed in the same way as other BILLmanager services.

Client area

If the service provider didn't configure a paid support service, his clients wont't be able to send a ticket to departments which require incidents unless he has support incidents on his account. If he doesn't have support incidents, such departments won't be displayed at all.

If the support service is set up, and the client has support incidents, the client will see the notification informing that an incident will be deducted from his account when submitting a ticket to the paid support department:

Client doesn't have support incidents


If the client doesn't have support incidents, the service is not purchased at all or is already expired, the client will see the notification informing the there are no available incidents. He can purchase incidents by clicking the corresponding button:

Noification

When trying to submit a ticket, the client will be informed that he doesn't have support incidents. However, he may send tickets to other departments, which do not require incidents.

Incidents management

Clients сan order support incidents if their service provider has set up a paid support service.

Navigate to Support --Support tickets -- "Support incidents"

Incidents management

By clicking the "Support incidents" button a client can:

  • purchase incidents (place a new order in the Cart). If you use BILLmanager Corporate, incidents can be added automatically when a client gets registered with a certain service provider.
  • renew the support service if it has already expired.
  • change parameters of the existing support service.

In the form that will open the client can perform the following operations:

  • Purchase additional incidents. If the service expires in more than a month, incidents will be added to each period
  • Renew the service
  • Change the tariff plan, if his service provider allows this operation.

On the screenshot below you can see the support service management form (support packages):

Incidents management

Usage of support incidents and available incidents are displayed on the Dashboard -- Information.

Deducting incidents from client's account

Support incidents are deducted from the client's account:

  • automatically when the clients submits a new ticket to a paid technical support department
  • manually by support staff

First, time-limited support incidents will be deducted, then - lifetime incidents. Incidents of the first type can be returned only from the ticket, lifetime incidents can be returned from the ticket, or you can add them manually to the client's account.

You can manage support incidents in the "Support incidents" field in the ticket edit form. The field shows the number of incidents deducted for technical support that was provided in that ticket. Decreasing the number in the field will return incidents to your client's account, increasing the figure will deduct incidents from his account. You can view incidents history in the ticket history.

Additional notes

Provider can view the number of support incidents available to his client in the "Incidents" module. The list displays the total number of "lifetime" incidents, and recurring incidents.