Sounds like you need some type of a helpdesk / webdesk.
I presume since you mentioned opensource, you would need PHP / mySQL?
LivePerson has a good program for this - its not cheap though.
We are also looking for such as system. How are other ecommerce sites handling large quantities of emails to firstname.lastname@example.org with more than one person assigned to answering them? When searching Google with the following term: "email management software", I have found many programs, but most are feature loaded or don't have all the basic functions we are looking for.
We too run an ecommerce site and this is why we need it. I found sugarcrm (4.0 version) may do exactly what we need.
As soon as I get a chance, I will be loading and trying it out.
I too would love to hear what other people are using in this area. It's been a never ending search for us and we need something new in a bad way. VisNetic is about the closest thing that we've found, but it had a lot of issues when we ran the trail.
one of my clients has all of his ecommerce sites email go to a open source software called kayako.. It is kind of a bear to setup on the begining but once running seems to do well. Send Me a PM and I will send you the URL of the client.
I have handled this a few ways, and honestly every way has their goods/bads. Most recently, I forwarded all email to Gmail to allow the people to just pull the emails from there. Gmail is nice because it groups the conversations together, so reps handling a response can see the trail. Email comes from email@example.com but with Outlook it shows on behalf of firstname.lastname@example.org (which is dumb).
Now, on another larger site, I developed a custom email handler to route emails to an SQL Server database. When the reps would open the email list, and they chose an email to read, it would 'lock' that particular email so people wont answer the same email. Like Gmail, there is a full trail to the conversations, and reps can search emails etc. Most importantly, you could tie emails directly with orders, so you could have a trail of your relationship with the customer from start to finish (and reorder).
I really havent found a 'good' ticket system for *ecommerce* sites. Sure there are a lot of them, but I found a lot of them to be clunky and geard to web-hosting or tech support type of companies for the most part.
I would love to find something between Gmail and my custom solution, as most clients wont pay for the custom solution, and others don't want to use Gmail'ish solutions.
I can't vouch for this but it may be worth looking into: [sourceforge.net...]
mambo/sugar are two that come to mind