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Automate adding a comment to a ticket

Dave
suggested this on March 11, 2010 13:27

The comment field is not available in automations. We'd like it to be, and we'd also like the ability to automatically add the content of automated emails as a comment (rather than a notification).

 

Comments

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Jake Holman
Product Manager

Hi Dave,

Automations are for batch administrative ticket operations or notifications - they are not for adding comments. Rules will generally never add a comment to a ticket, and we intend to keep it that way.

Jake Holman
Zendesk

March 11, 2010 13:31
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Dave

When I read about 37 signals telling customers no, I think "what a brilliant idea." When I experience it firsthand, it stings a little. Would you condescend to explain the philosophy behind automations a little bit for a person who isn't part of your product team? Specifically, I'd like to understand what values you (ZenDesk) have that prescribes that approach.

Much appreciated.

"Love your help desk"

Dave

March 11, 2010 13:40
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Jake Holman
Product Manager

Hey Dave,

Of course, I'd love to - sometimes people just don't want to hear me talk about helpdesk geek waffles though, hence I try and keep responses short :)

There's a number of philosophies within Zendesk that need to be explained first, so I'll go through each of them as quickly as I can.

  • Audit Trail - You might refer to this as Events within a Ticket. You can see an Audit Trail when you click on 'All Events and Notifications' on a Ticket. It's a history of everything that's happened with a Ticket - each time something touches a Ticket, either Human or Computer, it will be logged in the Audit Trail.
  • A Comment - A comment is an exchange in communication, if the English language permitted it we would call it a 'Talk'. Due to a Computers lack of emotion, opinion or common sense it's unable to comment on things, it has no opinion. Therefore, a comment is made by Humans only, which in Zendesk is an Admin, Agent or End-User.
  • A Notification - A Notification isn't an exchange in communication - because it's one way. Notifications are sent by Computers, to alert Humans to a situation, or provide some information (of which was likely constructed by a Human). Notifications in Zendesk can be sent by Computers via Email, Txt or just about anything with Targets.

When we consider these three things, we begin to understand why Humans and Computers are represented very differently within a Ticket. By allowing only Humans to comment on Tickets, we keep a level of sanity - i.e. only a Human can convey an opinion (solve a problem) because only they are qualified to do so. As a result, Comments are shown within a Ticket, that way you can 'sanity check' it; you know there's only humans in this conversation.

However, we do allow Computers to use Notifications. This won't be included in a Comment because it makes no sense to include a Computer in a conversation, instead it should only really be prompting a Human to do something, "Hey, there's a new reply, you should check it out" or "This ticket hasn't received much love, maybe you should reply to the End-User".

For these reasons, we don't allow Computers' to make comments in a Human's conversation.

Hope that clears things up!

Jake Holman
Zendesk

March 11, 2010 14:04
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Dave

Thanks Jake. That seems very sensible.

March 11, 2010 14:17
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Dave
March 12, 2010 05:07
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David Siegel

Jake, I understand your position on this, but I think there's a way for you to give your users the legitimate feature they are asking for without compromising your communication philosophy. Your users are asking for automated comments because they want automated replies to be just as visible as agent comments. Currently, not only is the audit trail not visible by default, it doesn't show the body of email replies sent to users.

Here's my use case: when a user attempts to download software from my company's website many times, a ticket is automatically filed on behalf of the user, indicating that they may be having trouble downloading the software. In response to this ticket, a trigger causes my agent account  to send them an email reply (authored by a human, but sent automatically according to a rule) prompting the user to elaborate on their potential issue. Unfortunately, other agents in my organization do not know that this automated prompt was sent, and even if they were to check the audit trail, they would still not be able to see what the automated reply contained. It would be really helpful if other agents at my organization could see that I automatically sent the user some information, so that they can continue the conversation appropriately and not bombard the user with redundant requests for information.

 

This is the same dilemma that Dave is facing, and in the spirit of being helpful, he suggested a feature that would enable his apparently common use case. Your initial reply was stubborn and unsupportive, although you went on to provide a compelling and spirited justification. Dave and I simply want more visibility of automated correspondence for agents across the organization, which you could implement without compromising your philosophy.

January 04, 2012 09:33