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FYI - How we're managing client billing from ZenDesk tickets

Jack Bremer
posted this on July 08, 2010 09:47

So, we're really loving ZenDesk and it's working a charm for us and our clients - to the point we're trying to put 90% of our communication through it.

This is a brief explanation of how we're now managing time recording and invoicing to clients...

Important points:

  • We've created two custom fields: "hours not billable" and "hours billable" which are updated during the life of a ticket until it becomes closed.
    - this is so that we can add zero-cost items to a clients invoice to show how generous we've been - if we do something that takes an hour but don't charge them they should be informed of that - Christmas'll be here before you know it ;-)
  • We made those fields appear where necessary by editing the particular views used in this approach
  • We used the "More Screen Real Estate" widget [http://support.zendesk.com/entries/21587-the-more-screen-real-estat...] to show us more info from tickets in the particular view we're using - fantastic!
  • We've turned off the automation to close tickets that have been solved for 4 days, meaning it defaults to ZenDesk's standard 28 days until auto-close

The process:

  1. Support ticket opened, actioned and marked as "solved"
  2. Accounts dept scour the "Recently solved tickets" view, amend the title of the ticket to something meaningful as necessary and apply one of two tags:
    "invoiced" means that they have recorded the ticket into our Quickbooks accounting system ready to send to the client (we reference the ticket number in that invoice, and use the exact title of the ticket as the item description in the invoice)
    "ignore" means that a ticket need not be invoiced for, but should stay in the system for reference
    [We just delete tiny things like a client asking for someone's phone number etc.]
  3. Trigger marks any tickets which are set as "solved" and have tag of "invoiced" or "ignore" as "closed"
    This obviously means they disappear from the list of "solved" tickets that the accounts dept look through
  4. Automation sends email alert to the accounts dept if any ticket has been set as "solved" for more than 48 hours - this only gives the client 2 days to reopen a solved ticket, but means we are billing quickly

While we're adjusting to this methodology, we have a couple of extra views to double check nothing's getting missed but in a few days it should all be sorted, with invoicing being done regularly and easily - as long as we invoice all clients within 28 days of any support ticket being closed that is!

Would REALLY welcome your feedback - is this a dangerous way to go, could we improve on it, does it help you?

Thanks!

 

Comments

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Jack Bremer
3B Digital
July 08, 2010 23:19
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Jack Bremer
3B Digital

Updated to add reference to the "More real estate" widget I just discovered this morning!

http://support.zendesk.com/entries/21587-the-more-screen-real-estat...

July 08, 2010 23:48
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Benjamin Bell

Hi, how do you manage the fact that people have to remember to add to the existing time value, so say it has 1 hour already, and someone spends 2 hours on the ticket, and so they update the field, and might possibly enter 2 hours, meaning that you lose an hour of revenue....  it just seems a bit clunky, and so am wondering how it works for you and if you have come up with a automated way of updating this field.....

April 17, 2011 01:22
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Jack Bremer
3B Digital

Hi Benjamin,

Very valid points you raise there - we just do spot checks on tickets, and coach employees on using this feature diligently.

The alternative would be using a time tracking solution like Harvest, which connects to ZenDesk:http://www.zendesk.com/blog/time-tracking-with-harvest

April 18, 2011 08:07
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David Birchmier
Askmpa

When we first started with Zendesk I actually read this post and it was very helpful. It gave me some great ideas on how to setup a simple billing view within Zendesk. Later we expanded it to include the ability for management to audit and assure that no billable tickets were ever missed.

One BIG feature we had to have to make it work was rock stable reliable time tracking on a PER-TICKET BASIS. Nothing existed...so we built it ourselves!

It's called TymeShift and it's the easiest, yet most flexible time tracking solution available for Zendesk:  http://tymeshift.com

We originally developed it to solve our own time tracking / billing needs, and have now decided to release it. We really hope that it can help others like it has helped us!

 

It will allow your agents to:

  • Easily clock in and out on any ticket
  • Switch seamlessly between tickets
  • All time is logged and cleanly summarized for billing purposes
  • Agents can leave billing notes if they desire

 You can check it out here: http://tymeshift.com

We love Zendesk and hope this new App will make things even easier for users!

July 07, 2012 00:10
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David Birchmier
Askmpa

I have some VERY EXCITING NEWS! 

TymeShift is now LIVE in the Zendesk App Store! 

You can find us in your Zendesk App store, at http://tymeshift.com, or the official integration page: http://www.zendesk.com/apps/tymeshift

 

Much love to ZendeskTSheets, and all of our awesome beta testers for helping us create the world's best time tracking solution for  the world's best helpdesk, Zendesk! 

December 15, 2012 13:50
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Thanks for the update, David! 

December 17, 2012 07:19
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