HelpMaster AddIn example - NiceReply.com
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
One of the best new features of HelpMaster v11 is the powerful AddIn manager. Using the AddIn manager, developers can create custom plug-in's that extend the functionality of HelpMaster. Here's an example of how a plug in was created to use www.nicereply.com. Taken from the HelpMaster helpfile.
NiceReply is a web-based service that allows your customers and clients to rate the quality of the email that they receive from your company. Read more about NiceReply from their website www.nicereply.com. HelpMaster ships with a NiceReply addin that you may choose to use. It is provided as an example of what is possible with the new Addin functionality of HelpMaster. It is not a requirement to use this Addin, and PRD Software recommends that you fully evaluate this service to determine suitability for your business.
Note that NiceReply offer a trial period for their service.
- Open the HelpMaster Addin Manager by clicking on the User menu from the main Ribbon bar, and selecting AddIn Manager
- If the NiceReply addin is not already listed, click Scan for new addins. When the NiceReply addin is found, click yes to add it to HelpMaster.
- Check the Enabled checkbox next to the NiceReply addin to enable it for use within HelpMaster
- Click the Option buttons to display the NiceReply configuration screen.
- Paste your NiceReply API keys into the configuration screen. These keys are made available from your account at the NiceReply webiste.
Configuring the HelpMaster environment to work with NiceReply
The principle behind NiceReply is for clients to rate the quality of an email that they receive. The majority of email sent to clients from HelpMaster are based on email templates, and used via the Action screen. The first step therefore is to update all client-bound out-going email templates to include a NiceReply link.
By using a link that includes both the ClientID of the staff member who has updated the job (actioned it) and sent the email, as well as the job number, NiceReply can aggregate client responses for the staff member, as well as the job. For further details about options, please refer to the NiceReply website.
To turn the text into a hyperlink, highlight the entire row of text, and the use the Insert menu and select Make selected Text in to a Hyperlink
When an action is performed, the client can receive an email based on this email template.
Here's what the client will receive
When they click on the hyperlink, they will be taken to the NiceReply website and be able to rate the quality of the email.
That's it for the client end. They've cast their vote. If enabled via the NiceReply website, the staff member will received an email with the rating - they get instant feedback!
Now the HelpMaster NiceReply administrator can login to the NiceReply website to check how well the staff are going.
How HelpMaster uses the NiceReply Addin
So far, this integration has just involved signing up to NiceReply, and updating out-going email templates to include an appropriate hyperlink. By doing just this alone, you could use the NiceReply web interface to browse ratings and feedback, however the whole point of the new HelpMaster Addin feature is to extend HelpMaster features with custom-built functionality.
The NiceReply Addin for HelpMaster will create a new tab on the client screen when looking at a staff member. Once this tab is clicked, HelpMaster will download the statistics of that staff member from the NiceReply website and display them in the tab.
Click on a job number and click View Job to open the job
In order for this to work correctly, each staff member needs to have an account with NiceReply, and the email address for the staff member must match the email in their NiceReply account.
Build, customize and extend
Although the information here has focussed on using the new AddIn capabilities with a 3rd-party survey tool like www.nicereply.com, there is no reason why you cannot use the basic principles outlined here to create your own feedback and survey tool.
By using the power of the Email Template email tags, and ANY 3rd-party survey tool (even one you create yourself - a simple web page for example), you can use any, or all of your out-going email correspondence to poll your clients - it's all in the email tags and a hyperlink!
Here at PRD Software, we've done just that, and if you've ever logged a job with our technical support, you'll get an invite to participate in our quick survey upon completion of your call.
If you've made a client survey/feedback page, we'd love to see it. We're even thinking of building this functionality right into HelpMaster, so let us know your ideas.