Cross-referencing Issues

Support tickets do not exist in a vaccuum. They often relate in some way to other tickets and to other issues, sometimes in other repositories. GitHub gives you ways to make these connections within your issues.

Referencing other issues

You can reference other issues and pull requests in a GitHub issue comment and that reference will appear in the timeline of the other issue or pull request. This is useful for tying multiple support requests together. If someone reports a problem and several other people report the same problem later, you could have them all reference the original one to keep track of the scope of the issue.

Referencing issues in other repositories

To increase the utility of the cross-referencing feature, GitHub allows you to reference issues in other repositories. For exmaple, if a user reports a bug in your product, you could open a new issue in the product's repository and reference it in your support request issue. Each new report of that bug could reference the root cause issue. This would give the engineering team a sense of the scope of the problem. It would also allow the individual support request issues to be updated with a notice in their timeline when the root cause issue is closed.

Marking duplicates

It is not uncommon for people to send in duplicate support requests. GitHub offers a way to mark issues as duplicates, and show that reference in the issue timeline. This is especially useful for multiple requests from the same user where you would want to respond to all of their questions in a single response. Marking one as a duplicate lets you close one, respond to the other, and have a record of that activity.