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Guide to managing support tickets

We're actively rewriting our user guide, so check back for improved coverage.

In Kayako, all of your customer conversations are tracked as tickets (you might also know them as support tickets, support requests or incidents).

Any message which comes into the helpdesk - whether from the web, the support center or email - is tracked as a ticket, keeping everything related to a conversation in one place.

In this section

Know the ticket basics


Tickets belong to departments. A department is like a folder for tickets: tickets can only belong to one department, and you can assign staff teams or individual staff users to departments, which allows them to access and manage tickets in that department.

Typical departments might include Sales, Support, Opportunities, Bugs and Receipts. Departments can be public or private: if a department is public, it means your customers can select that department when creating a new ticket in the support center.

Ticket properties

A ticket has various ticket properties which let you manage incoming requests effectively and build a speedy workflow. 

Property Examples Description
Type Issue, Feedback, Bug, Lead A ticket type usually indicates the type of ticket, to label tickets with something specific to their content or context. Which ticket types you create depends on your organization. Some Kayako customers like to use ticket types for improved reporting and analytics: for example, the nature of an Issue type ticket may well be different to a sales oriented Lead ticket.
Status Open, On Hold, Closed A ticket has a status, which represents where the ticket is on its journey towards resolution. Typically, tickets come in to the helpdesk as Open, are set to On Hold while you're waiting for a response from the customer and are set to Closed once the ticket has been resolved. You can create custom statuses to suit your own workflow.  
Owner   Tickets can be assigned to individual staff users (who then become owners of the ticket), which usually means that individual will take responsibility for the ticket.
Priority Low, Medium, High Ticket priorities are fairly self-explanatory. You can create custom priorities to suit your own workflow, and also allow your customers to select their own priority when creating their own tickets (useful because you can configure Kayako to trigger different notifications depending on a ticket's priority as well as other properties). 

How your customers create tickets

Using the support center

By default, your customers can submit new tickets in the customer-facing support center (

Kayako support center

Your customers can select the department to create the ticket in, as well as a priority, subject, message and file attachments.

This is highly configurable: you can create custom fields to capture specific pieces of information from your customers (more about that below), determine which departments they can select, whether or not they can select their own priority or whether they can create their own tickets at all.

If you have started building your knowledgebase, Kayako will automatically search for and suggest answers to your customers as they type out their enquiry (reducing the number of incoming support requests, increasing customer WOW!).


You can connect your Kayako helpdesk to any number of POP3 or IMAP mailboxes to bring email into the helpdesk from across your organization.

By bringing your organization's email into the helpdesk, you can enable your team to distribute and collaborate on tickets in one place, rather than managing lots of separate mailboxes and email addresses. 

Kayako will take care of all the message processing automatically: determining what is a reply to an existing conversation and should be added to an existing ticket, which emails should create a new ticket and whether an existing ticket should be reopened. You can also use Kayako's powerful email parser rules to automate the routing of email and tickets.

Find out more about fetching email into Kayako below.


You can use the Kayako REST API to automatically create tickets on behalf of anyone - whether generated by your backend systems or other integrated apps. Find out more about the Kayako REST API.

Reply to a ticket

The magic happens in the staff control panel (

Here, your team can review, assign, reply to and manage tickets. Your team can also create tickets (in effect, sending an email to a customer) or create tickets on a customer's behalf (for example, if you want to record the details of a phone conversation or ask someone to follow up with the customer by email at a later date).

On the left hand side, you will see the department tree. This lists all of departments you have been assigned to. Click on status under each department to view the tickets in that department and set to a particular status.

Kayako staff control panel

Above the department tree, there are a couple of shortcut filters: My Tickets shows you all of the tickets which are open and are assigned to you. Inbox shows tickets which are open. Unassigned shows tickets which are open and not yet assigned to anyone.

Open a ticket and click on the Reply tab to start composing a reply. At the same time, you can change the ticket's properties (like the status and priority) which will be saved once you send the reply.

Kayako viewing a ticket

Fetch email into Kayako

You can connect Kayako to any number of POP3 and IMAP mailboxes using Email Queues, which are responsible for connecting to the mailboxes, fetching email and processing the email into tickets. 

Find Email Parser in the admin control panel ( and then click on Email Queues. Click on New, and then follow the steps to connect your mailbox.

If you are a Kayako OnDemand customer (if you are trialing Kayako, you are probably trialing Kayako OnDemand), you will find an email queue already configured: This email queue is active - you can start sending email to it right away.

Find out more about creating email queues

Custom fields

Kayako's powerful custom fields builder helps you customize various forms across the helpdesk - including the new ticket form - allowing you to make sure the right information is collected from customers to equip your team to answer customer enquiries quickly.

To create a custom field, find Custom Fields in the admin control panel. First, create a custom field Group to organize your custom fields. In this example, we have group called Product information and various fields to collect information about a customer's product.

Ticket custom fields in the support center

Find out more about customizing your helpdesk with custom fields.

Bonus: Turbo charge your tickets

Kayako is ready to go out of the box. While we've quickly gone through the basics, there is a lot more Kayako can do to turbo charge your support and enable your team to improve customer satisfaction. 

If you're ready to dive in, we suggest starting here:

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  1. Varun Shoor

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