Over the past year, many users asked about features for expanding bbPress forums plugin to support system. bbPress is flexible enough to be extended, but the big question is: what features such plugin needs?
There are many solutions for providing support, most of them are available as specialized plugins that use own tickets based system or they are the third-party hosted solutions. But, forums can be used very effectively for support, and the fact that bbPress is tightly integrated into WordPress, it allows you to extend it further and integrate into your customers and products systems.
Dev4Press has a powerful plugin (GD Knowledge Base Pro) for implementing knowledge base into WordPress with integration with bbPress. We also have very popular GD bbPress Toolbox Pro plugin for extending what bbPress can do. And, the next project would be to turn bbPress into the support system. I already have many ideas on how to make support system using forums, but based on what other users might need in this area, I would like to hear your suggestions for such plugin.
Here are some of my ideas:
- Add new user role for support staff users.
- Set and control each forum as support based.
- Assign support staff to individual forums.
- Notifications system for support staff to get notifications about new topics, changes in topics and more.
- Expand topics with flags for support question type, resolution, and status.
- Centralized front page for support staff to display global support overview.
- Centralized front page for users to get overview off own support topics and statistics.
- Track response times for new topics, track resolution times.
- Forums access based on the products each user owns (connected to your own products and licensing systems).
- Topic views for filtering support topics.
- Widgets related to support status, statistics, topics.
- Management for the open hours for each support staff user.
Let me know what you think and what other ideas you have. If you need to, include screenshots or mockups.
The work on this plugin would begin in April or May this year, and I expect the work to continue through the Summer for release in the Autumn of this year. The plugin will be released as a premium only plugin, there will be no free version. And, the plugin will be used on Dev4Press support forums as soon as it is ready.