Last updated 17 February 2017
Your add-on service is now either beta or GA and users are signing up. In the alpha phase, your focus was on integration and testing. Now that your add-on has launched, your focus should be shifting to the ongoing, day-to-day operation of your cloud service as well as assisting users who may experience problems with it. After all, your users are the sole reason you even have an add-on.
This article will give you an in-depth look at the support tools that Heroku provides to you, along with guidelines and expectations around supporting your users.
Support for Alpha Add-ons
Heroku does not provide customer support for Alpha add-ons since the customer base for Alpha add-ons is inherently a closed group with whom the partner should have already established an avenue of communication.
Whether you have your own support system in place or not, we provide you with access to our support tool, which provides you a view of the tickets assigned to your add-on. This is where our support team will escalate customer support tickets that require your interaction.
You have two options for accessing and handling these tickets:
Using our support system is the preferred method of handling support tickets, as the our user interface is designed to provide you with helpful information and features, specific to a Heroku user. If you already have a great workflow setup through your own Zendesk account, we are able to send these tickets to you there as well.
Despite whether you have your own support system (this include Zendesk), you are still expected to maintain access to our support system. This is important as, even if there is a problem with Zendesk, you will still be able to support your Heroku customers.
Heroku support system
Heroku maintains its own support system. Each add-on provider is given their own support view. This is where support tickets that are escalated to your support team will be.
When your add-on is first promoted to Beta (and again to GA), you should take time to ensure that any and all individuals who should have access to your support view are added to your add-on in the Provider Portal. This is what gives users access to the Heroku support system. This can be done by submitting a request, providing a list of email addresses (all of which must be attached to a Heroku account) from a Heroku account that is already associated with the add-on (for security purposes).
Upon receiving a support ticket, or a customer updating a support ticket that has already been escalated to you, all email addresses associated with the add-on will receive an email notifying you about the change. Anyone wishing to stop receiving these email notifications may do so by accessing the support system, clicking the name of your add-on in the top menu, clicking the “With notifications” button in the upper-right corner and selecting “Without notifications”. Please note that all accounts associated with the add-on will always receive email notifications when a ticket is past 48 hours without a response (also referred to as a “stale” ticket). There is no way to disable this. Then again, no tickets should go this long without a response.
Once in our support system, upon viewing a support ticket, you will notice meta data about the ticket in the right gutter of the page. This will prove invaluable when helping the customer.
Lastly, please note that you are able to respond to a support ticket via email. We highly encourage you to only do this when it is extremely necessary as you do not have the context which are user interface provides.
Here are the steps that a ticket goes through, from start to finish:
- A user creates a new support ticket at help.heroku.com.
- Heroku’s Support team receives the ticket and determines that it is related to your add-on.
- The ticket is escalated to your support view, which sends an automated notification email to the members of your add-on.
- You write a reply to the ticket by logging in to the support portal. You also decide which state the ticket should be in:
- Open: You need to add another response to the ticket before resolving the issue.
- With customer: You have replied and are now waiting for the customer to respond.
- Closed: The issue is resolved, and you do not expect the customer would offer any further response.
‘Closed’ or 'With customer’
Never set a ticket to “Closed” simply because you have nothing more to say. While a customer can respond to the ticket still for a short period of time, doing this can be seen as inconsiderate or insensitive; giving the customer a bad impression of your company. Set the ticket to “With customer” which will gracefully close the ticket after a few days of no response.
- Reassign to Heroku: Check this box if the ticket now needs assistance from a Heroku Support staff member. This will remove the ticket from your view.
- Make comment visible to Herokai and Add-on Providers only: Check this box to make a private note on the ticket, whether for Heroku Support staff or for your own purposes.
Heroku offers a Zendesk integration for companies that use Zendesk for support. Our system will sync tickets to your Zendesk, including the status, tags, and public and private comments. Tickets shared with your Zendesk are assigned to your team, and are your responsibility. If a ticket that is shared with you needs Heroku’s attention, please post “reassign to Heroku” in a private comment. This will alert our staff that action needs to be taken.
Since status is synced between the two systems, a ticket must remain “open” until the issue is resolved. Even if a ticket has been reassigned to Heroku, please do not put the ticket in a “Pending” or “Solved” state.
If you are using Zendesk and would like to begin using our Zendesk integration, please reach out to our ecosystem support team for assistance.
Support process and expectations
As an add-on partner, you are responsible for supporting your service and should be prepared to do so. Users will be asking questions and reporting problems. We expect that our add-on providers will respond to such inquiries in a timely and helpful manner, regardless of how they are submitted.
Heroku-submitted support requests
Initial support requests should be responded to within 1 business day. We also expect all tickets to receive an update at least once every 3 business days. As such, we strongly recommend against leaving a ticket open for a long period of time, e.g. until a bug is fixed. Instead, let the customer know the issue or feature request is being tracked, and, if possible, how they can follow along on progress (outside of the support system).
Direct support requests
Most add-on partners operate their own support ticket systems. At an absolute minimum, you need to provide a clearly advertised email address (such as email@example.com) through which Heroku users can contact you.
Occasionally, you will find it necessary to directly notify an add-on user. Under the terms of the Add-ons License Agreement, Heroku can provide you email addresses of your add-on users. You may use this information exclusively for issues related to the operation of your add-on.
Examples of acceptable notifications are:
- Scheduled maintenance notifications
- Information service interruptions and subsequent follow-ups on service status
- Plan overages
- Terms of Service (TOS) violations
- Product feature updates
- Product survey/feedback
All non-critical notifications must contain opt-out instructions or links.