Forums/Documentation/Getting Started Guide

Solving your first ticket

Jennifer Rowe
posted this on April 04, 2012 09:32

In this lesson you'll learn the basics of ticket management in Zendesk, including how customers submit tickets and how those tickets appear in your Zendesk. You'll submit a ticket as a customer using email, then you'll respond to the customer and resolve your first ticket as an agent using Zendesk.

View the overview video or read this topic to learn more about tickets.

Submitting your first support ticket

Whenever a support request is received in Zendesk, a ticket is created.

Tickets can be created through multiple channels including email, your website, social media, online chat, and phone. Regardless of where conversations are started, they all become tickets.

In this lesson, you'll pretend to be a customer and submit a support request through email.

When you signed up for your Zendesk account, you were given a Zendesk support email address: support@youraccount.zendesk.com. You can see your account name in the URL displayed in the address bar when you are logged in to Zendesk.

Note: You can change this email address. We'll discuss how you do that in the next lesson.

To submit a test ticket

  1. Open a new email message in your email client.

    Tip! If you are an administrator, send test email from a an email account other than the one you used to set up your Zendesk account. Zendesk recognizes your email as the owner of the account and treats it differently than email from another email account.

  2. Enter support@youraccount.zendesk.com in the To field. For example, support@mondocam.zendesk.com.
  3. Enter a subject and message. If possible, write a question or problem you might get from a real customer.

  4. Click Send. Your email is sent and a ticket is created in Zendesk based on the email.

Responding to a support ticket as an agent

When a customer sends a support request through email or any other channel, it becomes a ticket in your Zendesk. Tickets are organized into views.

Views define a collection of tickets based on a set of criteria that convey various ticket states such as open and unassigned, pending, and unsolved. Views are essential for managing the ticket workflow because they create meaningful groupings of tickets.

New tickets appear in the Unassigned tickets view. Let's find the test ticket you submitted and respond to it.

To find and update your test ticket
  1. Click the Views icon () in the sidebar, then select Unassigned tickets in the list of views.
  2. Click the title of the test ticket you submitted from the list of unassigned tickets.

    Now let's update some of the ticket fields and add a comment. A Zendesk ticket has predefined fields but you or your administrator can also add custom fields as needed (see Assigning tickets to agents).
  3. Click Assignee and select your name.
  4. Click the Type field and select Question. That means that the customer is asking a question. Other types include Problem, Incident, and Task.
  5. Click the Priority field and select Normal from the drop-down menu. You can also set priority to Low, High, or Urgent as needed.
  6. Type a message in the Public reply comment box.

    Public reply comments are sent to the customer whereas Internal note comments are only visible to other agents. In this case, let's ask the customer to give us more information.

  7. Click the arrow on the Submit button and select Pending.

    The Pending status means that you are waiting for more information from the customer.

    For more information about ticket statuses and other ticket fields, see Managing your tickets.

    The ticket is updated and an email message is sent to the customer!

Responding to a support ticket as a customer

When you update a ticket, Zendesk notifies the customer. Go back to the email account you used to submit the support request to see what the notification emails looks like. In your email account you will see two replies:
  • Email confirmation that the support request was received
  • Email notification that the ticket was updated and needs more information

These replies were automatically sent out by Zendesk by something called a trigger. Triggers are business rules an administrator defines (there are also some pre-defined triggers) that run immediately after tickets are created or updated. Triggers are a powerful tool; you'll create a trigger in Assigning tickets to agents.

To update the ticket from the customer perspective

  1. In the email account you used to submit the support request, open the email about the ticket update.

    The title contains the problem you entered in the original support request. The body contains the support request and the comment you added when you updated the ticket as an agent. There is also a link to the ticket.

  2. Click Reply and type a comment in the email.
  3. Optionally, you can add an attachment so that you can see how it appears in the ticket in your Zendesk. Sometimes customers will need to send attachments to help you understand their problems.
  4. Click Send.

    The email is sent and your reply is added to the ticket as a comment.

Now let's go back to Zendesk and take a look at the updated ticket.

Solving a ticket

Now that the customer has responded with more information, let's resolve our test ticket.

To solve the test ticket
  1. Click the Views icon () in the sidebar, then select Pending tickets in the list of views.
  2. Click the title of the test ticket to open it.
  3. Review the customer comment.
  4. Enter a comment in the Public replybox.

  5. Click the arrow on the Submit button and select Solved.

You've solved your first ticket! The ticket status is Submit as Solved. The ticket status will automatically update to Closed after 4 days unless you or the customer update the ticket.

Note: This status change is controlled by something called an automation. An administrator can change the number or days it takes for a ticket to change from Solved to Closed (up to 30 days) by editing the Close ticket 4 days after status is set to solved automation.

Reviewing a ticket's history

Zendesk keeps a history of all ticket activity, including automatic actions by automations and triggers, in the ticket history. Let's look at the history for the ticket you just solved.

To view the history of the test ticket
  1. Hover over the +add tab in the top toolbar., then select the ticket title from the recently viewed tickets section.
  2. When the ticket opens, click Events on the right above the comments area.
  3. Scroll through the list of events to see the history of the ticket.

    Notice that events by automations and triggers are also recorded, including a notification email that was sent when you solved the ticket.

  4. When you are finished, click Comments to show comments only.

Summary

In this lesson you sent a support request as a customer using email, then solved the ticket as an agent in Zendesk. This gave you an opportunity to see how email support requests become tickets and how you can easily update and manage tickets in your Zendesk.

Next Lesson: Branding your Zendesk

 

Comments

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Shirley

Is it possible to solve a ticket via your email? I know we are able to add ticket comments however is there some sort of email subject line trigger that is recognized by zendesk to mark a ticket as complete?

February 21, 2013 12:54
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Jennifer Rowe
Zendesk

Yes, Shirley! See this topic on updating ticket properties from your inbox.

February 21, 2013 14:07
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april greer
thefragranceshop

is it possible to delete a ticket without sending a reply ?

also how do you forward an email from zendesk to a non zendesk user ?

March 11, 2013 09:47
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Brandon K.
Zendesk

Hey April,

The default triggers in Zendesk will not send out a message to the requester unless a comment is left by the agent when updating the ticket. So if you changed the status of a ticket to Solved with no comment, the requester would not receive an email letting them know that the ticket has been solved. You could also delete the ticket by clicking on ticket options at the bottom left corner of the screen and click 'Delete'.

As for forwarding an email from Zendesk to a non Zendesk user, you could add the user as a CC on the ticket, or you could create an email target by going to Settings > Extensions > Targets and then creating a trigger that would notify the target under certain circumstances. Adding as a CC would definitely be a simpler option though, and you would be able to do this on the ticket itself.

March 11, 2013 10:17
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David Szostek

Is it possible to REQUIRE the customer log in to the portal to view the agent's response and to submit any future updates? I have a "Secure Messaging" type of system in mind.

To that same end, is it possible to encrypt the database or certain database fields?

June 25, 2013 09:48
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Laura D.
Zendesk

Hi David, 

There isn't a way to 100% require users to do this, but if you deactivated all of your triggers no messages would be sent by email so the only way end-users could see responses or make one would be to login to the web portal. You might want to have some messaging about that on your home page just to let people know. 

We don't offer ways for customers to select encryption through settings but certainly our databases have multiple security features. If you'd like to learn more see the Security section of our website. There's a datasheet on that page that you can download too - it provides a few more specific details.

June 25, 2013 14:00
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Morgan Chan

Hi, How to submit a ticket via web by end-users?   This way, any end-user can submit a ticket through web and will fill in fields that I need them to fill in.

July 23, 2013 01:10
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Avi Warner
Zendesk

Hi Morgan! Your Zendesk is actually setup to do this automatically. If a customer goes to http://YOURSITE.zendesk.com/, they can click 'Submit a Request' and submit a ticket there!

For general information, take a look at this article for setting up your web portal: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/21242606-Customizing-your-Web-portal

Also, if you want to create new custom fields for them to fill out, you can do that too! https://support.zendesk.com/entries/20611326-Adding-and-using-custom-ticket-fields

July 23, 2013 12:12
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Morgan Chan
hopebaytech

Hi The web portal referred in your link is not the same as the new Zendesk portal which doesn't have key features like Submit Request or Check Existing Requests. I need to quickly build a support portal, pls advise how you can help. Rgds Morgan 

July 30, 2013 11:23
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Avi Warner
Zendesk

Hi Morgan, if you're not seeing 'submit a request' or 'check your existing requests' that just means you're logged in as an agent. If you logout, you should see those tabs appear.

July 30, 2013 11:26
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Jeanne Hentges

Hello, our customers pay a support maintenance contract in order to utilize our support team.  If a customer sends an email, is there a way to populate a field in the ticket for the agent to see which customer it is and if they have active maintenance?  I assume that we could use the customer lists which we could pre-populate with our contact's email address, company name, contract status and as long as the email matched a company listed in that list, it would work.  Is that correct?

March 19, 2014 14:09
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Emily
Zendesk

Hi Jeanne, 

If you'd like to see what type of contract the requester is on when you're in a ticket, why not tag the all End-user or Organization profiles in question with Active_Maintenance if they have it? Any time that End-user or Organization submits a ticket going forward, it will have that tag. 

March 21, 2014 12:13