Service Desk is a module that allows your team to connect directly with any external party through email right inside of GitLab; no external tools required. An ongoing conversation right where your software is built ensures that user feedback ends up directly where needed, helping you build the right features to solve your user's real problems.
Provide efficient email support to your customers, who can email bug reports, feature requests, or any other general feedback directly into your GitLab project as a new issue. In turn, your team can respond straight from the project.
As Service Desk is built right into GitLab itself, the complexity and inefficiencies of multiple tools and external integrations are eliminated, significantly shortening the cycle time from feedback to software update.
For instance, let's assume you develop a game for iOS or Android. The codebase is hosted in your GitLab instance, built and deployed with GitLab CI.
- Offer email support to your paying customers, who can email you directly from their app
- The email they send creates an issue in the appropriate project
- Your team members reply to that issue thread to follow up with your customer
- Your team starts working on implementing code to solve your customer's problem
- When your team finishes the implementation, their merged merge request will close the issue
- The customer will have been attended successfully through GitLab, without having real access to your GitLab instance
- Your team saved time by not having to leave GitLab (or setup any integrations) to follow up with your customer
How it works
GitLab Service Desk is a simple way to allow people to create issues in your GitLab instance without needing their own user account.
It provides a unique email address for end users to create issues in a project, and replies can be sent either through the GitLab interface or by email. End users will only see the thread through email.
Configuring Service Desk
Note: Service Desk is enabled on GitLab.com. If you're a Silver subscriber, you can skip the step 1 below; you only need to enable it per project.
- Set up reply by email for the GitLab instance. This must support email sub-addressing.
- Navigate to your project's Settings and scroll down to the Service Desk section.
If you have the correct access and an Enterprise Edition Premium license, you will see an option to set up Service Desk:
Checking that box will enable Service Desk for the project, and show a unique email address to email issues to the project. These issues will be confidential, so they will only be visible to project members.
Warning: as the screenshot below shows, this email address can be used by anyone to create an issue on this project, whether or not they have access to your GitLab instance. We recommend putting this behind an alias so that it can be changed if needed, and enabling Akismet on your GitLab instance to add spam checking to this service.
Service Desk is now enabled for this project!
Using Service Desk
As an end user (issue creator)
To create a Service Desk issue, an end user doesn't need to know anything about the GitLab instance. They just send an email to the address they are given, and receive an email back confirming receipt:
This also gives the end user an option to unsubscribe.
If they don't choose to unsubscribe, then any new comments added to the issue will be sent as emails:
And any responses they send will be displayed in the issue itself.
As a responder to the issue
For responders to the issue, everything works as usual. Messages from the end user will show as coming from the special Support Bot user, but apart from that, you can read and write comments as you normally do:
Note that the project's visibility (private, internal, public) does not affect Service Desk.