Forums is a community on your portal using which your customers could build an active discussion to find mutual solutions. You could join and be a part of these discussions as well.
Forums is a feature that is available from the Pro plan onwards (Old plan - Garden onwards.)
Community Forums can be built with three levels of hierarchy.
At the top level, you could have various Community Categories such as Report a Problem, Discussions and so on. Within these categories, you could include specific Forums. Each of these forums can have as many individual Topics of discussion as you need.
If you are looking to convert any forum topic to tickets, so that you could reply directly to customers, you could use the option "Auto-Convert Topics to Tickets" inside the Forum folders section.
Once this is enabled, all new topics created in the respective forum would be automatically converted and created as a new ticket. This ticket would also contain a link to the corresponding Forum Topic. You could reply to these tickets and the reply would be sent to the customer as an email. While replying, you would also have the option to "Post reply in linked forum". When this option is turned on, the reply would be appended to the Forum Topic.
You can restrict the visibility of forums to specific customers or keep it internal to just your agents, if needed. While creating a 'New Forum', you would be able to select the 'Visibility' to - All Users, Selected Companies, Agents or Logged-In Users. Once the visibility is set, it would apply to any Topic added under this Forum.
Mandating the users to enter a Captcha before creating a Forum topic has been put in place to deflect spam users from your account. However, if you wish to turn it off, you could have this done under Admin > Channels > Portals > Settings.
You could moderate and approve any forum topic that is newly created before it is published on your Freshdesk portal. To set up Forum Moderation, kindly navigate to Admin > Channels > Portals > Settings > Moderate Forums and select the option "Moderate all Topics and Replies".
To approve a forum go to the Dashboard and scroll down. You will find an option of "Forum Moderation" on the right pane. Forum topics and replies that are awaiting moderation would be listed there and you could approve the topics to be published.
You can add the agents who would receive the moderation emails and would have permissions to moderate Forum Topics. To add agents to moderate your forums, please navigate to Admin > Channels > Portals > Settings > and choose an option from the list. If you choose "Moderate all topics and replies" or "Moderate topics with external link", you would have an option to choose the agents who would receive moderation approval emails.
These agents would be able to moderate any new topic, based on the option chosen, from under Dashboard-->Forum Moderation, only after approval would the topics get displayed on your portal.
If Forum Moderation is turned on, you would receive notification emails for approval, whenever a new Topic is created. You can turn off forum moderation by going to Admin > Channels > Portals --> Settings tab. When you are looking to enable/disable moderation, you will find the option to add an agent's name in there. You can remove yourself from that list to prevent yourself from receiving Forum Moderation emails.
You would face instances where you receive Spam Posts or when you would like to monitor the content which is being added to your Forums. To achieve this, Freshdesk has an option called Forum moderation so that you could moderate the forum topics which are submitted by the users, before posting it onto your support portal. Only after your approval, these posts would be made public.
If the contact is not a verified contact, the ticket cannot be converted to a topic. To verify a contact account, an activation email should be sent after which the contact could validate his account.
Forum topics can always be deleted from the Forums tab by an Admin. However, if there are spam posts being regularly posted, you can make use of the Forum Moderation feature. Here's a link that would help you set it up.
Once the Forum Moderation is turned on, any Topic would require your approval before being posted publicly on your Portal.
Yes, this could be done with the help of Portal customisation feature which is available from the Estate plan onwards in Freshdesk. If you wish to make this change, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our agents would get in contact with you to take this customisation forward.
You can disable Forums from being available to both your agents and customers by turning the 'Forums' toggle OFF from under Admin > Account > Helpdesk Settings.
After this is done, please make sure to hit the 'Save' button on the same page to save the settings.
The customers will only be able to see the locked topics, follow it and like it but they will not be able to reply to a locked topic.
Unfortunately, there is no option for the customers to post anonymously in Forum. You can have the settings in such a way that only logged in users will be able to login and start a discussion in Forum.
To Manage the Forum settings,
- Go to Admin > Channels > Portals.
- Click Edit near the portal.
- Go to Manage Sections tab and scroll down to Forums.
- Under 'Forums can be viewed by', select Logged in users.
- This will hide the Forum tab from your customer portal.
- To manage the content on your your forum, select the appropriate Moderate Forums option.
- Click Save.