At SupportBee, we are big believers in the idea of collaborative customer support. In our own team, everyone participates in customer support, including our developers. Every time a new person joins the team, we add him/her to our SupportBee so he/she can start reading all the conversations and start learning from them. Many of our customers do the same.
In the first few weeks, we prefer the new joinees get a hang of our support questions and policy by simply reading through the existing conversations and asking questions by commenting on them. Since they are not actually replying to customers, or making decisions about archiving, deleting or any of those actions on tickets, it is preferable to have an interface where such functions are removed. We are launching a new user role called 'collaborator' to address this. Not only does this support this specific use case, but can be quite helpful in involving a lot more employees in support without giving them the privileges of an agent or an admin.
Collaborators are team members who can read and comment on tickets, and carry out a few other functions. They cannot reply to customers and they cannot archive, trash or mark a ticket as spam. When they login, they see a much more minimal interface and they do not have to worry about accidentally replying to a customer or archiving a ticket. Just like agents, they get email notifications for tickets and they can add comments via email if they prefer to stay in their email inbox.
We do not yet provide reports for collaborators. If you are an admin, you will not see reports for collaborators in the Reports dashboard.
You can add collaborators to your desk in the same way you add other team members. Visit the Users section in the Admin area and click on the "Add a New User" button. When adding the user, choose the Role "Collaborator". An invitation email will be sent to user's email address. The user can click on the link in the invitation email to join your desk as a collaborator.
Collaborators and API access
You can still access the API on behalf of the collaborators but the actions that are not allowed will return a 403. Using a collaborator access token is a great way to provide more limited access to your integration.