Forums/Documentation/Users, groups, and organizations

Bulk importing users and organizations

Anton de Young
posted this on April 29, 2011 14:29

Rather than add users manually one at a time, you can add many users in a bulk import. To do this, you create a CSV (comma separated values) file that contains the user's data. Aside from the essential user data, such as email address and phone number, you can set user roles, define an agent's privileges, and add users to an organization.

You can use bulk import to add new users, replace existing user information data, add organizations, or replace existing organization data.

Only administrators can bulk import users and organizations, not agents.

Limitations of bulk importing users and organizations

You can import a core set of data about users and organizations. For example, using bulk import, you can import the user data described in the table below (Creating the CSV user import data file); however you cannot import the user's time zone, or photo, or language preference, etc. To import that data, you need to use the Zendesk REST API instead (see Zendesk REST API: Introduction).

There are also the following limitations to bulk importing:
  • The import CSV data file must contain no more than 2000 rows of data (one row for the header and the rest for the user or organization data).
  • You can only import one CSV file of 2000 or less rows of data per hour. Imports are queued and run once an hour. Therefore, if you've got more than 1999 users to import, you need to create separate files for each batch and import them hours apart.

Creating the CSV organization data file

If you use organizations in your Zendesk, you can bulk import a list of organizations using a CSV file. You must import the organizations before you import the users that will be added to them.

The first row of the file is the header row and contains the fields listed in the table below. You must include the header row, using all the fields and in the order they are listed below, even if you're not importing that data. In other words, you can have empty columns of data, but you must include all the header row fields.

The file must be properly formatted CSV and saved using UTF-8 character encoding.

The following table lists the fields that you can include in the file.
Table 1. Organization import data
FieldDescription
name Required. The organization name.
notes Notes about the organization. Notes are visible to agents only, not to end-users.
details Detailed information about the organization, such as the address. This information is visible to agents only, not to end-users.
default This is for mapping users to an organization. Enter one or more email domains, separated with spaces.

See Automatically adding users to organizations based on their email domain in Creating, managing, and using organizations.

shared True or False. Sets the organization as a shared organization.

See Shared organization for end-users in Creating, managing, and using organizations.

shared_comments True or False. Allows all users in the organization to add comments to each other's tickets. The shared field must also be set to true.

See Shared organization for end-users in Creating, managing, and using organizations.

group Enter a default group for the organization. See Mapping a group to an organization in Creating, managing, and using organizations.
tags When user and organization tagging has been enabled for your Zendesk (see Adding tags to users and organizations), you can add tags to the organization. Separate each tag with the comma.
custom_fields.<field key> When you perform a bulk organization import, you can import a custom organization field by specifying the custom_fields. prefix and the field key.

For example, for the field key subscription_date, use the following to set the imported values for this field.

custom_fields.subscription_date
Note: To locate the key for a custom org field, click the Admin icon () and select Organization Fields, then click the name of a custom field. The field key appears in the properties panel on the right.

If a field value is not formatted correctly, the import will fail and you will receive an error report specifying which records failed to save.

Important: To set the value of drop-down list options, use the tag you added when you created the drop-down list.

See Adding custom fields to organizations.

Importing the CSV organization data file

You can import new organizations or update information for existing organizations.

To import the CSV organization data
  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select People.
    Zendesk Classic: Select the Manage menu, then select People.
  2. Select Bulk Organization Import (located in the right column).
  3. Choose the type of import you want:
    • Create new organizations
    • Update existing organizations
      Note: Warning! Currently, update actually means replace. In other words, if you select Update existing organizations, it replaces the existing data for the listed users in your CSV file. If you want to add some additional organization data after you've added the organizations to your Zendesk, your CSV file must also contain all the original data from the initial bulk import plus the new data.
  4. Either click Choose File or the Let me paste in data instead link.
  5. Click Import.

Your import is added to the queue and the organizations are added to your Zendesk when the import process is complete. See Limitations of bulk importing users and organizations. You'll receive an email when the import is complete.

Creating the CSV user data file

When you create a list of users to add to your Zendesk, you'll probably generate this list from some other user management system such as an Employee database. Most of these systems have some facility for creating a CSV export file. If you need to create the list from scratch you can use a program like Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice.org Calc.

The first row of the file is the header row and contains the fields listed in the table below. You must include the header row, using all the fields and in the order they are listed below, even if you're not importing that data. In other words, you can have empty columns of data, but you must include all the header row fields.

The file must be properly formatted CSV and saved using UTF-8 character encoding.

The following table lists the fields that you can include in the file.
Table 2. User import data
FieldDescription
name Required. User's full name.
email Required. User's full email address (someuser@mycompany.com).
external_id If you have an ID other than the user's email address (such as an employee ID or customer reference number), you can include it here.
details Detailed information concerning this user, e.g. an address. This information is visible to agents only, not to end-users.
notes Notes concerning this user. Notes are visible to agents only, not to end-users.
phone The user's telephone number.
role Case sensitive: "End-user", "Agent", or "Admin". If you don't set a role, the user is set to end-user.
restriction Required when the user's role is set to agent. Restriction sets the agent's privileges, the tickets they have access to, etc.
You can enter one of the following values:
  • assigned, which means tickets assigned to this agent only
  • groups, which means tickets within this agent's groups(s)
  • none, which means that they have no restriction and can access all tickets
  • organization, which means tickets requested by users in this agent's organization
  • requested, which means their own tickets (the agent is the requester)

In the Enterprise version of Zendesk, you use the restriction field to assign your agent users predefined or custom roles. See Assigning an agent to an Enterprise agent role below.

organization The name of the organization that the user will be added to. The organization must already exist or the import will fail.
tags When user and organization tagging has been enabled for your Zendesk (see Adding tags to users and organizations), you can add user tags. Separate each tag with the comma.
custom_fields.<field key> When you perform a bulk user import, you can import a custom user field by specifying the custom_fields. prefix and the field key.

For example, for the field key subscription_date, use the following to set the imported values for this field.

custom_fields.subscription_date
Note: To locate the key for a custom user field, click the Admin icon () and select User Fields, then click the name of a custom field. The field key appears in the properties panel on the right.

If a field value is not formatted correctly, the import will fail and you will receive an error report specifying which records failed to save.

Important: To set the value of drop-down list options, use the tag you added when you created the drop-down list.

See Adding custom fields to users.

A note about welcome email sent to users in a bulk import

When you add new users to your Zendesk via a bulk import, each user receives the welcome email message. The welcome email contains a link to verify their email address, which prompts them to select a password and then sign in to your Zendesk. You can prevent the welcome email from being sent to all these users by updating the welcome email setting.

Note: If you started using Zendesk on or after August 21, 2013, welcome emails are not sent to end-users until you activate the Help Center. See Getting started with the Help Center.

To prevent the welcome email message being sent to users

  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Customers.
    Zendesk Classic: Select the Settings menu, then select End-users.
  2. In the User welcome email section, uncheck Also send a verification email when a new user is created by an agent or administrator.
    Note: If you started using Zendesk on or after August 21, 2013, this option is not available until you activate your Help Center.
  3. Click Save tab.

Assigning an agent to an Enterprise agent role

In the Enterprise version of Zendesk, you can assign your agent users predefined or custom roles (see Custom agent roles). These roles are sets of permissions, not just single permissions as are the standard restrictions listed in the table above.

To set a custom agent role, you set the user's role to agent and then use the name of the role as the restriction value. For example, you can set an agent to any of the following five predefined agent roles:

  • Admin
  • Advisor
  • Light Agent
  • Staff
  • Team Leader

If you've created your own custom agent roles, you just use the name of your custom role. As an example, here's a CSV example for setting an agent to a role called Help Desk Mastermind.

"name","email","external_id","details","notes","phone","role",
"restriction","organization","tags"
Enrico Venticello,"venticello@somecompany.com",,,,,"agent","Help Desk Mastermind",,

If you accidentally use a role that doesn't exist in your Zendesk, the agent is set to Light Agent. You can then manually change the agent's role to another role by editing their user profile.

Note: In the Enterprise version of Zendesk, agent roles override the standard agent restrictions. This means that you can't use any of the standard restrictions listed in the table above. You must use an agent role. If you try to import or update an agent user with the standard restrictions (for example, "assigned"), the agent is set to Light Agent.

Also, the import is case insensitive, which means that both of following custom role names set the agent to the same role: "Help Desk Mastermind" and "help DEsk mastermind".

Importing the CSV user data file

You can import new users or update information for existing users.

To import the CSV user data
  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select People.
    Zendesk Classic: Select the Manage menu, then select People.
  2. Select Bulk User Import (located in the right column).
  3. Choose the type of import you want:
    • Create new users
    • Update existing users
      Note: Warning! Currently, update actually means replace. In other words, if you select Update existing users, it replaces the existing data for the listed users in your CSV file. If you want to add some additional user data after you've added the users, your CSV file must also contain all the original data from the initial bulk import plus the new data. See Updating existing user profile data below.
  4. Either click Choose File or the Let me paste in data instead link.
  5. Click Import.

Your import is added to the queue and the users are added to your Zendesk when the import process is complete. See Limitations of bulk importing users and organizations. You'll receive an email when the import is complete.

Updating existing user profile data

As noted above, when doing a bulk import, you can select the Update existing users option, which allows you to update the user profile data of users that you've already added to your Zendesk. Be aware however that some of the data is replaced and some of the data is just appended to the existing data.

The following user data is replaced:

  • name
  • email
  • external_id
  • phone
  • role
  • restriction
  • organization

The following user data is appended (added to the existing data):

  • details
  • notes
  • tags
 

Comments

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Lauren Parks
digarc

Do users added via bulk import receive an email notification right away of their account?

May 23, 2011 08:25
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Anton de Young
Zendesk

Lauren,

They will receive the email as as soon as the bulk import has been processed and they have been added to your account. 

May 23, 2011 16:19
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Kelly Hoffer
Zendesk

This is true as long as under Settings> End-users>

 

 

May 27, 2011 16:42
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Kevin Foster

Is there a way to export the existing user list back to a CSV file, make changes to a field (e.g. Organization), and then upload the CSV back and update the existing users?

June 22, 2011 12:43
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David G
emmhelp

I have the same question as Kevin.

We just started using the capabilities of the Organization, and currently most of my users are not assigned to any ORG.

If i could export the user list, modify it to add them to the proper org, and then re-import it that would be great. We have 1312 end users and i would hate to think we have to do this manually.

 

Thanks for any reply.

July 09, 2011 04:24
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Neville Kennerley
ubtaccountants

I want to do the same as Kevin and David - how do we do it?

July 25, 2011 19:41
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Cory Brown
keeran

I have the same question as above as well. Also, can you bulk update tags for Organizations, or is that only for users?

August 04, 2011 23:27
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Anton de Young
Zendesk

Kevin, David, Neville, Cory:

Sorry for the delayed response. We do not currently have an option for exporting your user data as a CSV file. If you're on the Plus+ plan you can download user (and group and organization) data in XML format (Manage > Reporting > Export). However, you'd then have to convert it to CSV. Not an easy thing to do unfortunately. As a test I wrote some XSL to do that but you'd need to be set up to do XML/XSL transformations. After that, you'd need to clean up the file in Excel (or some other spreadsheet application), add your new data, and then import it into your help desk. Possible, but lots of work. I would suggest adding this as a feature request to this forum: https://support.zendesk.com/forums/1848-feature-requests

August 11, 2011 13:45
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Cory Brown
keeran
Thanks Anton. We've since developed a Google spreadsheets solution to update organization tags.
August 12, 2011 03:23
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Kirk Cohen
can you provide a template?
August 16, 2011 23:20
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Pete P
qatarairways
Hi Anton, could you please provide the structure for the user data file on the enterprise plan (light agent, staff, etc.) and enhanced user roles. Cheers, P!
September 13, 2011 02:33
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Anjanette Montagnino
tracksmart

Hi,

I noticed that it mentions that if I provide a password the end user will not receive the welcome message. What message will they receive? How will they know how to use the support site?

Thanks,

Anjanette

September 20, 2011 07:35
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Max McCal
Product Manager

If you add passwords to the accounts, users will not be notified. No message will be sent out in this case.

You can notify them through other means, of course, but generally it's best to leave it blank unless it's an internal user who you maintain. The welcome message can contain any information you like, and it's usually easier to use that messaging to inform customers how to set up their own password than to try setting one for them yourself.

Thanks!

September 20, 2011 12:10
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Anton de Young
Zendesk

Pete P, 

The enterprise roles aren't supported in the bulk import yet - but they will be soon. For now, in Zendesk Enterprise, the agent users you import will be set to Legacy Agent. You can then manually change them to the other agent roles. 

October 04, 2011 09:37
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Kevin Kallassy
insd

Forgive my ignorance, but if I wanted to create the user list in an excel file, do I assume that each cell works in place of the commas?

 

Thanks in advance,

Kevin

October 06, 2011 07:07
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Kevin Kallassy
insd

I'd like to also add that I have attempted to import a test user with a CSV file and receive an error. It says "Illegal quoting on line 2" I've attached the file that I am using to test.

Any idea what this means?

 

Thanks,


Kevin

October 06, 2011 07:56
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Anton de Young
Zendesk

Kevin, 

Yes, you can create the import file in Excel. You then need to save it as a CSV file, which it looks like you did. However, it's not a valid file. It should be pure text. Try to save it as a CSV file again. After you save it, you should be able to open it in a text editor and just see the data separated by commas. 

October 06, 2011 08:46
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Kevin Kallassy
insd

Anton,

Thansk for all of the help, we've sucessfuly imported users via the CSV file. I have one more question though regarding the details field in the imported file.

We'd like to have the details formatted correctly in the users profile but we haven't been able to do that yet. We've tried using a few characters (,.;':") but nothinghas worked yet.

Here's an example, we would like the details box to include an address:

555 main street

wherever, IN 12345

Room 123

 

When we do a bulk import with our test users, the details box updates with the information, but it ends up looking like this:

555 main street wherever, IN 12345 Room 123

 

Is there a character that we can use that will tell zendesk that we want a new line?

 

Thanks in Advance,

Kevin

October 19, 2011 11:41
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Max McCal
Product Manager

Hi, Kevin -  This took me a bit of digging to find, but it looks like if you're creating a CSV file you can get line breaks if you insert a carriage return. I was able to do this by using Alt + Enter on a PC or Control + Option + Return on a Mac. If the cell actually has a full carriage return that will translate into the notes or details field on your user. Please give it a try and let us know if it works for you.

October 24, 2011 16:45
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Laura

@Anton I tried creating a few users using CSV, I want them to be light agents. However since you said they first have to be imported as regular agents, I used "agent" as the role. But I get an error because I am at my max number of agents. Is there a way around this?

November 29, 2011 13:17
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Anton de Young
Zendesk

Laura, 

For now I think you'll need to import them as end-users and then manually change them to light agents. 

November 29, 2011 16:27
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Laura

OK, thanks.

December 07, 2011 10:46
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Anton de Young
Zendesk

Laura and others, 

You can now set enterprise agent roles in a bulk import. See Assigning an agent to an Enterprise agent role above.

January 09, 2012 11:46
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Martin Grøn
golfbox

I would like to say +1 to being able to export the user data, make changes to the file and import it again - we do not have API access and more than 800 user, so I dont want to do it manually!

February 03, 2012 06:30
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Ososoba

Is it possible to setup CRON jobs in zendesk, so that it imports a CSV file of newly added customers on my online store regularly? And what happens if one of the imported contacts already exists?

February 11, 2012 04:20
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Clint Wilson
cazoomi

Very Helpful thread ZD team and just sent to a Zendesk client for test importing today.

~Clint

@cazoomi

February 17, 2012 07:56
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Owen Pickford
tangohealth

It's not clear to me from the instructions how an upload will affect a user that is already in ZenDesk.  It seems to me that everything implies the data uploaded will overwrite the data that is already in ZenDesk.   Is this true?   More specifically, if you upload a file with non-required fields left blank will it overwrite information that is already in ZenDesk with the blank field, essentially removing the data in ZenDesk?  


If this is the case, definitely +1 do exporting data from ZenDesk.

February 24, 2012 08:16
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Anton de Young
Zendesk

Owen, 

Yes, that is currently how it works. See my note in Importing the CSV user data file above. 

February 27, 2012 11:24
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Kevin Foster

I found a cheap program to convert the data from XML to CSV.

http://www.xml-converter.com

It worked great! Made the process much quicker than dealing with XSLT transformations.

March 01, 2012 10:12
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Kevin Osburn

Hi Everyone,

3 Questions before I do a bulk user upload.

1) If I choose "Update existing users" for a bulk upload, will all the user's existing tickets remain intact? 

2) Which field is connected to the user's ticket; name, email or something else? I need to change a few names and emails, but don't want to loose any info.

3) If I leave the 'password' field blank, will the user be prompted to change his/her password, or does the current one remain intact?

Thanks ahead of time for any help.

-Kevin

April 18, 2012 13:34
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Liz
csusa

It would be amazing if the emails said the original uploaded file name so one could keep track of successful imports and failures. 

May 18, 2012 18:51
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Ron
Box.com

Anton,

So I get that importing a blank field entry will remove the current data in Zendesk (serious bummer). My question is about the password field. If the user already exists, and they are accessing our Zendesk with SSO, what happens if I update their record with the password field empty? Does this clear existing password and interfere with SSO, or does it not matter since we are using SSO?

May 25, 2012 10:58
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Charles Howes

Hi -

What if I want to import "end-users" without them receiving an automated welcome email? I work for a non-profit and want to import our donors so we know who is contacting us. However, I don't want to annoy them.

Thanks,

Charles

May 31, 2012 15:02
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Brian Bell
wrar

Is there any way to first do a bulk import or organizations? How about a bulk import of tags for office names?

 

June 29, 2012 10:06
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Jason Baffour
Zendesk

Hello Charles,

After doing some testing I was able to determine that if you uncheck the box next to 'Also send welcome email when a new user is created by an agent or admin' at Settings--> End Users then an email will not be sent out when the user is created.

Regards 

Jason

July 03, 2012 01:48
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Jason Baffour
Zendesk

Hi Ron

By design they can just leave the field out, sso users don't need passwords.

Jason

July 03, 2012 01:50
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Gordon Jones
SuccessFactors

How do I bulk assign agents to groups?

I have my import file segmented into the teams or groups that I would like to import them into.

However I do not see a column for group assignment in your file format instrcutions.

 

Gordon

July 12, 2012 08:15
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Karen Berthiaume
rhodesgroup

I read all the above comments but couple things were not answered.

We have an organization that just under went/ in provess of an email address change for every user.  Format was lastname period firstname will be changed to firstname period lastname. but after @ is same.

So I could bulk update user with new email address.

  1. No one answered if password would change or be left in tack for exisiting user. 
  2. Since you can have multiple identies - will old email stay there...some idividuals are slow to convert themselves.
  3. What about all the tickets at various stages made by these users?
  4. How do I designate which email address is primary on bulk upload ( assuming it's additive/ allows multiples on bulk updating)  Some of the user have parent corp emails as well as divisional emails that they use differently depending on who they are addressing. (different @company .com endings)

Really not looking forward to doing manually.

 

July 12, 2012 13:48
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Jonathan March
Enthought

In my tests it appears that password is left intact for existing users, even if it is explicitly specified in the password column of the imported CSV.

August 15, 2012 06:52
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Defesa do Consumidor (Dev Team)

Gordon, theoretically using the http://developer.zendesk.com/documentation/rest_api/group_membershi... API is possible to assign agents to groups.

August 20, 2012 17:38
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Gordon Jones
SuccessFactors

Alexandre,

 

Thanks but my question was relating to the Bulk importer in the application not about importing it via api

August 21, 2012 12:10
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Christoph C. Cemper
how canI import users's twitter accounts?
August 26, 2012 12:04
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Mark Waitt

We would very much appreciate having Kevin Osburn and Karen Berthiaume's questions in this thread answered. Thank you for your time.

September 11, 2012 16:56
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John Berlet
evolvondemand

FYI - Per a recent policy change, we now must enable/check the "Allow admins to set passwords" option under Settings-->Security-->Password Policy in order to allow setting new/existing user passwords via the Bulk User Import. Found this out the hard way when a batch of new users was created and all of them received welcome emails asking them to set their passwords even though I explicitly set one in the .csv.

John

October 10, 2012 10:12
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Simon Hofer

Even if I provide a valid password in the csv file (password policy is low) the user gets a welcome e-mail. If I uncheck the settings "also send welcome e-mail ..." there is no e-mail sent. But unfortunately the provided password in the csv file is not stored or accepted. The user can not log-in with the password I provided in the csv File.

my csv file looks like this:

name;email;password;external_id;details;notes;phone;role;restriction;organization;tags
Test User1;test_user1@heilsarmee.ch;D3fault!;;neues detail;;123456;;;swi;
Test User2;test_user2@heilsarmee.ch;D3fault!;;detail 1;note 1;123456;;;swi;

I think, the csv import does not work like described. Even not like expexted :-(

October 29, 2012 07:19
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Eduard Gurskiy

How is it possible to assign roles to sigle sign on users (e.g. SAML users)?

November 09, 2012 09:20
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Dario Zugcic
KOZMO d.o.o. - podrška

How to bulk verify imported users? They have status (unverified).

March 04, 2013 02:44
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Lisa Renfrow
billfloatinc

Is there a way to bulk update the fields like the Alias and the Signature?

April 10, 2013 12:56
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Eli Winderbaum
bettercloud
April 10, 2013 14:47
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Jennifer Rowe
Zendesk

Hi Dario, one of our agents is going to contact you in a ticket to help you with your issue.

April 11, 2013 13:19
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Jennifer Rowe
Zendesk

Hi Eli, Thanks for sharing the templates!

April 12, 2013 09:27
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Harpreet Mudhar

Hi All

  1. How do you bulk verify user that have not verified accounts which were created for them?
  2. How do you bulk delete users that are no longer working in the organisation?

Thank you

April 25, 2013 03:55
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John Berlet
evolvondemand

@ H Mudhar - Hello - please review this posting I made on how to bulk subscribe users to a forum:
https://support.zendesk.com/entries/21322291-subscribe-users-to-forum

You can update in a similar way users' "verified" status to "true" using this CURL syntax:

curl -v -u {email_address}:{password} https://{subdomain}.zendesk.com/api/v2/users/{id}.json \
  -H "Content-Type: application/json" -X PUT -d '{"user": {"name": "Roger Wilco II"}}'

You can also delete (en masse) users once you have their Zendesk User IDs using this CURL
command:
curl -v -u {email_address}:{password} https://{subdomain}.zendesk.com/api/v2/users/{id}.json \
  -X DELETE

John
 

Example Response

April 25, 2013 09:58
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Aaron Ilika
ning

Hi Anton,

Is the "name" filed required when bulk importing users from .csv? I keep getting the following error:

"aaron@email.com","Name: is too short (minimum is 1 characters)"

I'm using one of Eli's templates above. What I'm trying to do is a test run before importing a large amount of data from a CRM.

Thanks!
Aaron

May 29, 2013 17:24
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Eli Winderbaum
bettercloud

Hi Aaron. I didn't think that that was required.

For Organization Import, "Name" is required
For User Import, "email" is required

Not sure why you are having issues, but ensure that you don't alter any of the names of the headers in Row 1.

Alternatively, it looks like you just want to import data from a CSV. There are Zendesk Apps (http://www.zendesk.com/apps) that allow you to keep them in sync, rather than one-time imports. This might be a better solution in the long term.

They have Salesforce, Highrise, amoCRM, and maybe more.

May 30, 2013 10:14
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Aaron Ilika
ning

Thanks, Eli—I'll keep trying. There might be an issue with the data I'm using as well, so I'll keep at it. In our case, we're moving from a CRM solution to Zendesk so an ongoing sync isn't ideal, but I agree that it would be helpful for those who have both Zendesk and a CRM solution.

May 30, 2013 14:55
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Eli Winderbaum
bettercloud

Hi Aaron, gotcha.

If you feel like keeping a CRM in the mix, our company does not use, but we always recommend Insightly (http://www.insightly.com/). It's very very affordable and has great integration with Google Apps if that's what you're using.

Good luck.

May 30, 2013 15:52
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Gerhard Völkl

We speak German and I'm a long time looking for a tool which converts us special characters to UTF 8.
I have tried Notepad++, but this could not export it too a csv-File. I have tried it wit using "All types", but than he destroy the UTF 8 characters.

I hope someone can help me.

June 13, 2013 10:13
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Joe
Zendesk

Hello Gerhard,

I did a bit of research into this issue online and have found a couple of possible solutions for you.

The first, and the one I would recommend, is OpenOffice (http://www.openoffice.org/download/). It is an open source alternative to MS Office and includes a fully-featured spreadsheet application. It also (unlike MS Office) allows you to choose the formatting of files you save, so you can explicitly save in UTF-8. You should be able to import any documents you have to Open Office and then export them as UTF-8 CSV files.

The other option some people reported is using Google Docs. You can import a spreadsheet into Google Docs and then export it from there as a UTF-8-encoded .csv file. I found some mixed reports of this though, some users complained that they didn't have this option.

I hope this helps!

 

June 17, 2013 16:42
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Gerhard Völkl

Hi Joe,

many thanks for your replay and you help, but I have tried also both thinks
and it doesn't work. I am not an UTF 8 expert, but I know that to import
the data fo Zendesk the special characters must be shown in a combination of
some letters.

For example: "Ö" must be shown as "xD6" - tha is what Notepad++ shows me.
The problem by notepad++ was that when I save it as .csv-file this special
letter was changed to "�". So Zendesk could not import the file.

If I use Open Office or Google docs both doesnot creative a UTF 8 file
which Zendesk could import. You can see that if you open this UTF 8 file
with the Windows Editor.

I have found 3 ways and this was Notepad++, Google docs and Open Office.
Alle three ways doesn't work. I have worked many ours to fix this problem,
but I have no idea how I can solve this problem.

I have attached a picture of the conversion to UTF 8 with Notepad++
I have also attached the file which I have generated with Google docs.
By Google docs I have not find if I have to convert the csv-file extra to UTF 8 format.

June 18, 2013 00:01
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Joe
Zendesk

Gerhard,

Thanks for your message and the details. I will continue to investigate this situation with our engineering team and let you know if we come up with any solutions. Sorry for all the trouble this has caused you.

June 18, 2013 09:04
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Gerhard Völkl

Hi Joe, many thanks and I hope you will find a way to fix this problem.

June 18, 2013 23:07
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Michelle Dinh

When I tried to import a list of bulk users, a lot of my customers don't have emails. I still want to log my incoming calls, is there anyway to important without have email being required?

July 24, 2013 16:39
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Eli Winderbaum
bettercloud

Hi Michelle. Unfortunately, email is the unique identifier so I don't think you'll have much luck. If your users are creating tickets on their own, I believe that they have to enter in an email address. If you are creating them on their behalf, email is strangely not a required field, so that is likely your issue.

I think you should open a ticket to see if they can run an export for you. You may be able to manually add email addresses, even if they are fake just so that you can update the incoming calls.

July 25, 2013 06:46
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Matt Bonetti
transvault

Hi there

If I am bulk importing organisations and I have a custom organisational field that is a drop-down list, what is the right syntax for the field in csv?

e.g. my custom dropdown list field has options with title/tag A/tag_A, B/tag_B, etc. In my csv file, do I need to set the appropriate field to A, A:tag_A, or something else?

Would you be able to provide an example?

Many thanks

August 06, 2013 07:25
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Dr. J
Zendesk

Check out Table 2 above - be sure to use the exact field value of the dropdown selection

You need two pieces of info:

  1. In the column, you need the:

    custom_fields.<YourKeyHere>
    
  2. In the entry/row, you need the specific title you want, (not tag)

If a picture is truly worth 1000 words, then I'm going to pretend I just typed a lot :)

August 13, 2013 15:11
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Mark Fado
Zendesk

For anyone wondering the value to use for custom checkboxes, it's 'true' or 'false' (minus the quotes). Take note that this is case sensitive, so True or fALSE will NOT work. 

August 26, 2013 01:18
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David Dilday

I've been demoing Zendesk for a while now as we are currently using another help desk system that uses AD sync.  This is helpful as we just setup the sync once, and then any time we change a users info (i.e. phone extension, title, etc) it syncs with the help desk system.  I realize that Zendesk is a hosted system so this isn't feasible, but my question is in regards to maintaining the users you import into Zendesk. 

It's not a problem for us to do a big import (we only have about 200 users), but what about new hires?  Or better yet, what happens when someone changes their phone extension or office location?  Do you suggest just doing another import periodically or changing everything manually when users request it?  Our company intranet pulls from AD, so it's nice to have to only update the data in one place.  I'm just curious as to how everyone else deals with this in order to keep your end-user data accurate when they open tickets.

August 30, 2013 20:31
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Avi Warner
Zendesk

@David, one option might be to setup remote auth with JWT (https://support.zendesk.com/entries/23675367) and use that to sync user fields for existing users with your AD. New hires can be created manually as agents, or non-agents can just login with SSO and relevant data will be passed to Zendesk.

September 04, 2013 11:46
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David Dilday

Thanks for the reply Avi.  So will ADFS not do the syncing like JWT will?  My primary concern here is for non-agents and how their "relevant data will be passed to Zendesk" as you mentioned above....how is this done?

September 04, 2013 12:59
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Adam L.
Zendesk

Hi David,

You can actually use JWT in conjunction with AD.  In this scenario, anytime a user logs in, their Zendesk profile is synced from the external database (in this case, ADFS).  If you wanted to keep the profiles synced without authentication, you'd likely need to do it manually, but otherwise you could simply maintain your AD environment and when users login, the payload would include their updated AD info each time they login, creating a sync between AD and Zendesk.  

September 07, 2013 12:51
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Andy Rose
infospace

How are you supposed to "Separate tags by comma" when using CSV to import the data? Can I use a different delimiter for tags so that they don't each become a column?

September 11, 2013 12:48
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Avi Warner
Zendesk

@andy Fields with embedded commas must be quoted. ie Field1,Field2,Field3,"Tag1, Tag2"

September 25, 2013 13:36
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Andre Cleroux
teksavvy

How does one bulk update user signatures and or alias'?

November 07, 2013 13:33
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Eli Winderbaum
bettercloud

@ Andre - You'd like to update signatures for agents?

There are 2 places to edit signatures

1) The standard signature - http://screencast.com/t/Wq8NLAzZP

2) The Agent signature - http://screencast.com/t/byiXSvtiH

More reading - https://support.zendesk.com/entries/23224803-Adding-an-agent-signat...

November 07, 2013 13:40
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Andre Cleroux
teksavvy

@Eli Winderbaum

Hi Eli,

Thanks. I was wondering if there is a way to do this when using the Bulk Import (CSV)?

Andre

November 07, 2013 13:44
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Eli Winderbaum
bettercloud

Hmmm, not that I know of. How many agents do you have? The first one will cover every single agent. You can ask each of your agents to add in their own.

I know that some people are in the habit of signing their name everytime, while others will add it to #2 and leave it off each time. It can get weird when you sign your first name and then it pulls it in behind each time.

Thanks,

Eli

Eli

 

(like so)

November 07, 2013 13:45
User photo
Andre Cleroux
teksavvy

About 50 and we are planing on adding way more ;)

We tell our agents to not modify their signatures but when bulk creating users going forward as we continue to grow, we would prefer to not have to go in each user to set the signature.

November 07, 2013 13:48
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Chris Lewark
mdsol

I believe this documentation contains an error.

It says ...

Updating existing user profile data

As noted above, when doing a bulk import, you can select the Update existing users option, which allows you to update the user profile data of users that you've already added to your Zendesk. Be aware however that some of the data is replaced and some of the data is just appended to the existing data.

The following user data is replaced:

  • name
  • email

... but when I uploaded one set of users, changed ONLY their e-mail addresses, and uploaded them again, it did not update the e-mail address. Instead, it created a duplicate set of users.

 

November 13, 2013 23:19
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Terry Knox
Cambridge ESOL

Did you guys get rid of the option to choose a password for new users that you created by bulk import? It used to suppress the normal automatically sent  registration email and was sometimes useful for us. Unless I imagined it...

November 18, 2013 03:57
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Laura D.
Zendesk

Hi Terry, 

I had to do a little digging for this, I can confirm you weren't imagining things :) Technically you can still add passwords through the CSV file, however we don't recommend this as a best practice. The safer way to prevent the verification email from going out would be to turn it off in Settings > End-users before importing and then turn it back on afterwards. Please let me know if you have more questions!

November 19, 2013 13:11
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Laura D.
Zendesk

Hi Chris, 

I did a few tests (and checked with engineering) about this and here's what I found: the email address is the way Zendesk identifies the user when using CSV files.

If a file is uploaded with a different email address Zendesk will assume it's different user and create a new user as you noticed. If the file leaves the email the same and makes other changes to the user, those changes will be made to the existing profile. To change an email address on a profile, I'd say the API or proceeding manually are your best options. 

I'll follow up with the Documentation team to see how we can clarify this, it isn't clear - thanks for pointing it out and please let us know if you have more questions!

 

November 25, 2013 16:44
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Shashi Gandrath

Hi guys,

 

I have uploaded a CSV file. But accidentally refreshed the page...some of the users have been added and some are missing. When I try to add the missing users manually it says the user already exists.

I tried logging out and log in again.

But still its same.

 

Can you help me with this please.

 

Thank you

November 25, 2013 20:32
User photo
Avi Warner
Zendesk

@Andre, have you thought about setting up global signatures then? That way you don't have to have your agents worry about their signatures at all, and you can use user-specific placeholders for names (https://support.zendesk.com/entries/23224803-Adding-an-agent-signat...). 

November 26, 2013 13:19
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Avi Warner
Zendesk

@Shashi, I've created a ticket for you, keep an eye out for it. We'll need a bit more information to troubleshoot this for you.

November 27, 2013 12:55
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Samuel Trachtenberg
digitalpublishing

We mass import many users each week, and each user is imported with a set of tags. Sometimes (perhaps a year later), the same user gets re-imported with different tags. The new tags get added on to the old tags, just as the documentation above describes. The problem is, we'd like the new tags to OVERWRITE the old tags, some of which become obsolete. Is this possible?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

February 06, 2014 04:29
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James Washington
Scholarpack

Hi, the company I work for has just started to use Zendesk. We've come across an issue when bulk importing Organisations. I created a CSV to reflect the Organisations (schools) we have on file. My colleague and I uploaded the CSV into Zendesk with no issue, only when we came to look at the custom fields we had set, they don't appear. We had already setup the custom fields within Zendesk, but we don't know whether Zendesk imports the data in order of creation of the custom fields. Could anyone help me with this as we use the custom information a fair bit for everyday business.

Thanks 
James Washington
Scholarpack Support

February 14, 2014 08:11
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Marci Abraham
nrocnetwork

I have the same question as @Terry Knox back in November. I am about to bulk import for the first time (new users) and it's clear from the ongoing discussion that at some point, the option to create a password via the import did exist. But now "password" is not a field in the CSV file. 

Can someone please explain how this now works? What options now exist for the end user to create the password?

Based on what I'm reading here, it seems that if no password is set in the CSV file AND we uncheck "Also send a verification email when a new user is created by an agent or administrator", we will end up with no way to have users log in.

Our use case: I want to bulk upload about 150 users before a meeting, at which they (and about as many existing users) will all be using the Community function of the Help Desk as a backchannel for meeting discussion. We don't want them to get emailed about their new account ahead of time (they will be confused and/or annoyed) and we also don't want them having to walk through the password setup process at the meeting (too distracting/off-task).

Ideally, I would like to assign them all an identical password on import (like "abc123"), and then, at the meeting, provide a nice, clean, easy instruction, like: "Go here and log in with your email address and 'abc123' as your password. Change your password at your earliest convenience."

 

February 14, 2014 13:48
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Laura D.
Zendesk

Samuel, 

I don't know of a way this can be done with the CSV export, I think the API would be the way to go, specifically: http://developer.zendesk.com/documentation/rest_api/tags.html#set-tags, particularly since you have a large number of users. 

 

James, 

I'll start a regular ticket for you so we can go through this step by step and get some more details. You'll have another email in a minute!

 

Marci, 

Let's look at your specific case in a ticket as well. We don't recommend setting passwords through bulk imports (for security) but we can look at some options. 

February 14, 2014 16:23
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Dave Dyson
Zendesk

You'd either have to find those users and remove the unwanted tags manually before using the Bulk Import feature, or use the API to look up existing users and update them with just the new tags if they exist (or create new users if they don't already exist):

http://developer.zendesk.com/documentation/rest_api/users.html

February 17, 2014 15:06
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Samuel Trachtenberg
digitalpublishing

Thank you, Laura D and Dave Dyson, for your help  Ian LaPhilliph at Zendesk Support had the same advice. I added a suggestion elsewhere in your forum to add a feature to make it more flexible to decide whether or not certain columns in the bulk import are paste-overs.

I'm not tech-y enough to follow the API route at the moment. Are there any resources you could point me to so that I can train myself?

February 20, 2014 05:56
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Lundy Lim

Is there a way to bulk verify newly imported end users without having to send them the welcome email and have them click to verify?

February 20, 2014 12:34
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Andy Rose
infospace

Lundy: You can only do this using the API. When using the API to import users, you can set the "Verified" attribute to true. 

February 20, 2014 13:39
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Laura D.
Zendesk

Samuel,

We have a list of introductory guides for various technologies used in conjunction with the Zendesk API available here: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/38281663-Zendesk-developer-docs.... Some experience with basic programming is helpful but not required for all of those guides. Hopefully they help!

 

Lundy, 

Andy is right - the API is the way to go. 

February 20, 2014 13:49
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Spike

HI All.  We're looking at using the ZD Organization fields to store information about our clients in ZD and eliminating a layer of client tracking we've been using previously.

I would like to be able to import the field information from our former crm tool and update the organization fields with that information in ZD. 

Questions:  

1) Will importing this data into existing organization records in ZD overwrite the entire organization record - I believe from the above that this is YES. 

2) Will there be any adverse affect with the users linked to the organizations when this is done?  

Any other pitfalls to avoid in this process or to be aware of? 

Thanks for any help!

February 21, 2014 12:51
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Spike, that is correct. There should not be any adverse effects to users linked to the organizations -- you are only updating organization attributes.

February 21, 2014 22:26
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Jennifer Rowe
Zendesk

Hey Spike, when you get it all set up, would love it if you want to share a "recipe" for storing client info in custom org fields. :) 

Like these: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/24387283-Recipes-from-the-Zende...

Good luck! 

 

February 24, 2014 09:12
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Spike

Here's a followup question to mine above...

Once I get all the data imported for the organizations, such as "using their own merchant acct" vs "using our merchant account", is there any way for me to use the Survey Monkey and Mail Chimp integration to now email all the USERS at organizations with organization specs like this?  

February 24, 2014 10:10
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Spike, customer lists (and the related SurveyMonkey and MailChimp integrations) currently only work off of user attributes. Your request is a common one, but we do not have an ETA yet on when we will support this.

February 24, 2014 11:26
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Jack Kwong
cpfsupport

Hi, I am trying to do a bulk upload and assign some users as "Light Agent". But when I try to upload the csv, they default to "End-user". Is there a way to get this to work properly? 

 

Thanks

March 05, 2014 14:11