Forums/Documentation/Agent Guide

Merging a user's duplicate account

Anton de Young
posted this on April 06, 2012 14:03

Since end-users can submit requests using different email addresses and via social media such as Twitter, it's possible that duplicate end-user accounts can be created in your Zendesk.

The user profile allows you to enter multiple email addresses for a user and then set one as primary, which means that regardless of the email address they use to submit a request, they are properly identified and a new user account is not created.

A duplicate user account can also be created if the end-user submits a request via Twitter and their Twitter account has not been added to their user profile.

To handle multiple accounts for the same end-user, you can merge one end-user account into another end-user account. You can only merge registered (verified) end-users. Administrator and agent user accounts cannot be merged.
Note: If your account uses single sign-on and handles user authentication with JWT or SAML, the merge users option is not available. This is because the user accounts are managed outside of Zendesk.

After merging accounts, any tickets created by the duplicate (now merged) account are updated with the primary user account.

Note: A merge cannot be undone, so be careful to select the correct user accounts.
To merge a user's duplicate account
  1. Click the Search icon () in the sidebar.
    Zendesk Classic: The search field is in the upper-right of the top toolbar.
  2. Enter the name of the user you want to merge in the search box and click the user's name when it appears.

    Alternatively, you can open a user's profile from one of their tickets.

  3. Click User options in the bottom toolbar, then select Merge into another user.

    Zendesk Classic: Select Actions > Merge user.
    The Merge tool appears.
  4. Enter the user's name and all users that match what you entered are displayed. Select the correct user and then click Merge.
  5. When prompted, click Confirm and Merge to confirm the merge. If you want to cancel the merge, close the window instead.

How user data is merged

When you merge one user account into another, the tickets owned by the user account being merged become the tickets of the user that account was merged into and the data in each user profile is combined. The following table describes how user profile data is handled as a result of a merge. The user being merged is referred to as the merging user and the target of the merge is referred to as the receiving user.

User ticket and profile dataMerge results
Tickets All of the merging user's requested tickets are now requested by the receiving user. CCs are treated similarly.
Phone number Receiving user's value is not affected by merge.
Direct Line Receiving user's value is not affected by merge.
Primary email Receiving user's value is not affected by merge.
Secondary email All secondary email addresses are maintained, merging user's email is added as an additional secondary email address.
Language Receiving user's value is not affected by merge.
Time Zone Receiving user's value is not affected by merge.
Organization Receiving user's value is not affected by merge, but note that tickets aren't automatically updated and may maintain old organization values.
Tags Merging user's tags are lost.
Details Merging user's details are lost.
Notes Merging user's notes are lost.
Picture Receiving user's value is not affected by merge.
 

Comments

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Thomas Lee

Hi ZenDesk,

I've been playing with your beta and have noticed that there is not a "possible merge" notification. Could you verify this?

Thanks for your help!

June 11, 2012 10:15
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Seth Morgan
microvellum

Does a merged users closed tickets follow them into the merged account?

October 01, 2012 10:01
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Hey Seth: 

The closed tickets will follow. You'll notice in the ticket comments that the original user will still show, but it will have a user deleted tag next to the name. 

October 04, 2012 08:41
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Troy Christmas
ousd2

Given that merging won't work with remote authentication, what should we do if a user calls about a ticket that they first initiated via email?  We can merge the tickets, but how do we capture the phone number?

Likewise, if a user calls first and then we follow-up via email, how do link the phone number account with the email from remote authentication?

October 14, 2012 21:18
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Remote authenticated users still have a profile within Zendesk. You can add the phone number to the profile field or to the notes section, so it appears on the sidebar when you're working on a ticket. 

October 17, 2012 08:48
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Sergio Alvarez
treering

Is there a way to "Unmerge" if you merged the wrong email addresses? >.<

October 26, 2012 11:37
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

It is not possible to revert a merged account once the merge is been completed. 

October 29, 2012 07:16
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UNSW
unswf

Hah!  Naughty programmers...

November 08, 2012 20:22
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Jennifer Rowe
Zendesk

Oops! :)

November 09, 2012 13:48
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Johannes Gehrs

Hi, is it possible to merge users via the API?

December 13, 2012 03:42
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Merging users via the API is currently not supported! 

http://developer.zendesk.com/documentation/rest_api/user_identities...

December 13, 2012 07:26
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Seth Wylie
insightsquared

Is there any tool that will help us identify likely candidates for accounts that should be merged??  We tend to get folks who tell us, "ZenDesk says that my ticket has been deleted!" because they've clicked a link from a ticket email, but they're currently logged into Zen using a different account than the one that created that ticket, and they see a page that says "You do not have access blahblah. It may have been deleted."  This is particularly common for us because we have single-sign-on set up with our system, so, when someone's email address changes, the next time they go to Zen, it authenticates them using their new email address in our system and creates a new, separate Zen account for them.

January 23, 2013 10:49
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Hi Seth: 

We don't have anything that would indicate accounts needing a merge, unfortunately. We see this question come up from time to time, though there's really no way to force a user to use a specific email address unless registration is locked down. Even when SSO is the primary log-in method, there's nothing to prevent your end-users from using another email address when trying to authenticate. Manually searching for and consolidating accounts is really the best way to handle this. I've often found that when a user reports ticket deletion, or they didn't get your reply, they usually understand the mishap when I merge the actual tickets with a new comment. 

January 28, 2013 05:26
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Seth Wylie
insightsquared

Thanks for the reply Justin :-) I agree that it isn't an awful setup that exists now, but it isn't excellent either

January 28, 2013 06:58
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Tiffany Eng

I'm an agent and now have a new email. How do I merge my 3 other emails into my agent profile? Or more simply? How do  add my new identity to my agent profile, if there is already a user with tickets for that new email?

April 05, 2013 16:27
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Dave Dyson
Zendesk

Hi Tiffany -

You can add additional email addresses into your existing user profile -- see "Adding user contact information" in our documentation here

Hope that helps!

April 06, 2013 10:30
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Tiffany Eng

Thanks- It says that new email is associated with my other (non agent) account. I already have tickets assigned and linked to the new account due to mail forwarding... I just don't want to lose any ticket activity if I delete that the other non-agent profile...

April 09, 2013 10:10
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Brandon K.
Zendesk

Hey Tiffany,

If you have tickets associated with your old profile you could always use the 'Merge into another user' feature in the user options panel on the bottom left corner of the user profile screen. If you merge the profiles, the email from your first profile will be added to the second profile and all tickets assigned or requested by the profile will be put under the merged profile, this includes closed tickets.

I hope this works for you!

April 19, 2013 13:37
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Tiffany Eng

Thanks Brandon. I believe the problem is that I am an owner/agent and I can't merge from a non-agent into an agent.  So my plan now is to re-open the tickets I created with my new email, switch the requester to my old email and then somehow switch the email on my old email (Agent/owner) account to my new email. Does that seem right?

April 19, 2013 14:26
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Tiffany Eng

Actually, that didn't work either because I can't seem to be able to change the requester on closed tickets. And I can't add my new email to my Agent account because it has "already been taken."

April 19, 2013 14:30
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Brandon K.
Zendesk

Hey Tiffany,

Closed tickets cannot be edited, so you will be unable to manually change the requester on these tickets. The only way to do this would be to downgrade your agent account to end user, merge the two profiles, and then upgrade the user back to agent. As for currently open tickets, you will be unable to add the email address to your primary account until the other profile is deleted, and you cannot delete your old profile while you have currently open tickets. I would recommend that you first assign your currently assigned tickets to a dummy group that you create just for this purpose, downgrade to an end user, merge your profiles, upgrade back to agent, and then bulk assign all tickets in the dummy group back to you. This seems like a lot of steps, but I believe that this will be the quickest way for you to achieve the transfer you are looking for.

April 22, 2013 17:18
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Tracy Curtis
fit4mom

Is there somewhere to "find" duplicate accounts by entering the first/last name?  Many times we don't know the duplicate accounts exist to merge them.  

April 25, 2013 13:02
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Brandon K.
Zendesk

Hello Tracy,

Are you asking about something in addition to the search bar under Manage > People? The search bar does a pretty good job of finding all profiles with a shared name. It may take a while for new profiles to show up in these search results, but if a profile has been in your account for a day or so it should be very good for this purpose.

April 26, 2013 11:32
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Tracy Curtis
fit4mom

HI Brandon, 

Thanks for the reply.  Unless I am totally missing something using the search bar requires that I know what name to search for.  I was referring to something that would find the duplicates that I am unaware of.  If I know of the duplicate it's a one off fix to search for the name and then merge.  However, if there is a way for the system to pull all of the duplicates for me so I can merge those, that would be fantastic.  Is there a way to do that?

April 26, 2013 11:39
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Tracy Curtis
fit4mom

For example - pull those profiles that have 3 letters matching on first name and 3 letters on last name.  That should clearly show me if there are duplicates, which can then be merged.  

April 26, 2013 11:42
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Brandon K.
Zendesk

Hey Tracy,

Thanks for clarifying, I had completely misunderstood what you were asking. Unfortunately, there is no way in Zendesk to search for duplicate user names automatically. You could try going to Manage > Reporting > Export and downloading a User XML Export file. This will give you all of your user information  which you could then put in another program with this kind of functionality to figure out what profiles to delete. This would be outside of Zendesk though.

April 26, 2013 13:07
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Tracy Curtis
fit4mom

Thanks Brandon,

I'll go that route.  Much appreciated!

April 26, 2013 13:23
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Kent Bales

What needs to be done if "User options" does not exist in the bottom toolbar?  Actually, there is no bottom toolbar on the user's page.  Don't have this option off the 'actions" menu in the top right hand corner of the user's general information box either.  And I'm logged in as a user that has full admin rights.  Please advise.  Thanks, Kent

June 20, 2013 09:38
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Laura D.
Zendesk

Hi Kent, 

If you don't see those options, it's likely because you are in the Classic interface instead of new Zendesk. To merge a user in Classic head to Manage > People and find the user you need to merge. Click on their name (not "edit" - that's different) and you'll see a profile page. In the top right corner of that profile there should be an "actions" button that includes the option to merge the user. You'll need to know the name or email of the other user and then you'll be set!

June 25, 2013 14:50
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Jason J
vaporgenie

Occasionally I get really weird behavior when merging tickets and users. I've been trying to merge 2 users for 20 minutes or more now. I select a user then click "merge user" then it says the user does not exist.... obviously some kind of bug. Then it switches back and forth between a user that exists and doesn't with 1 ticket. This seems to happen mostly with Zendesk Voice tickets, but I can't be sure. Hard to explain but very annoying.

July 08, 2013 15:01
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Laura D.
Zendesk

Hi Jason, 

That does sound odd, sorry that's happening. I'm going to create a ticket for you in our system (you'll see an email from me in a minute) so that we can look into this in more detail. 

July 08, 2013 15:44
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Mike Wilson
evolvedsoftware

I have a similar issue to Jason.

One person, but with two user accounts. A lady who has changed her name from her maiden name to her new married surname. Hence two emails.

When I go to merge, Zendesk used the old maiden name based email as the default email address.

When I attempt to add the new name/email, I'm being told that the email address is already being used by another user. Only it isn't, because if I search for it the email shows in the search but I can't select the user because the user is deleted.

The error message when attempting to add a second email address to the user is: "Error saving identity" and "Value <email> is already being used by another user". (sure, but that's the user that I performed the merge with!).

I think I've found a bug here, have I?

Mike

September 05, 2013 04:26
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Mike Wilson
evolvedsoftware

I go for a coffee and come back and the email address is there!

Must have been a delay in updating under the Zendesk hood?

September 05, 2013 04:31
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Jennifer Rowe
Zendesk

Nice. Sometimes all you need is more coffee :) Glad it's fixed now. 

September 05, 2013 12:57
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James Reeves
infinitez

When trying to merge a user I'm getting the message "xyz is not a valid user" ... I cant find any reference to what might be causing this error. Any ideas?

October 04, 2013 09:29
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Bob Novak
Zendesk

Hi James, are the users you are trying to merge in different roles? You can't merge an end-user with an agent, you can only merge two end-users together. If that isn't the issue, please submit a ticket to Zendesk Support (since you have an Enterprise account, you get support via email and phone as well as in our forums).

October 08, 2013 13:48
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Vas

When trying to merge a user I get the error: "<user's name> is not a valid user. Please close this window and try again." I don't even see the option to select the user to merge into. Suggestions?

October 09, 2013 07:17
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Arthur Mori
Zendesk

Hi James & Vas,

This maybe because the user you are trying to merge comes from a user account accessing your Zendesk via remote authentication. Merging with users with SSO enable is only allowed if there is no external ID present on that account. This is answered by Jake here.

If you want to proceed deleting the external ID, please view this article here 

October 14, 2013 00:52
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Vas
Thanks, Arthur. In my case, it was an account with an external ID attached. Removing the ID works.
October 15, 2013 12:30
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Georg Egger
techtorium47

I cant find it in the new Zendesk

October 24, 2013 02:33
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Laura D.
Zendesk

Hi Georg, 

In the new Zendesk, if you're on a user's profile, it's in the very bottom left corner, next to the Admin gear icon. The menu says "User options" and when you click it should bring up a menu with several choices. If you're not seeing it at this very moment, that's because we are having a minor CSS glitch that hides the "User options" link (that's being fixed asap), if you click in that spot the options will still appear though. 

October 24, 2013 13:17
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Pedro Rodrigues
itinerium

Just one issue with secondary contacts (in the new Zendesk). I'll use an example:

  • End-user has 2 emails, primary and secondary.
  • End-user leaves comment on e.g. social network to contact him ASAP to his/her secondary email;
  • Random company agent sees it, creates ticket, adds secondary email as Requester.
  • Zendesk recognizes that email address and immediately suggests the correct end-user as Requester. However, the Agent clicks on it and fails to notice that the Requester address added to the ticket is now the user's primary email;
  • Ticket is wrongly sent to the incorrect address (primary, instead the secondary).

Being able to merge users and choosing their primary + secondary contact is a life-saver. However, once we add a secondary email address as Requester, couldn't Zendesk simply verify it? E.g., ask something like "Hey, this is the end-user's secondary contact -- are you sure you want to use it?"

I realize that ultimately it may be the agent's fault, especially in my example. Nevertheless, these situations make us [our brand / everyone at work] feel a bit dumb facing our customers. Because this did happen, and we unnecessarily delayed our product's delivery for 2 days.

December 31, 2013 08:01
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Laura D.
Zendesk

Hi Pedro, 

I'm sorry this workflow is causing trouble, I can see how something like this could happen. 

Zendesk (whether classic or new) only sends messages to the primary email address of a user. This is true for agents and end-users. As you saw, when adding a requester's name Zendesk will automatically fill in their primary email address - the only way to have modified this would have been to temporarily make the end-user's secondary email address their primary address. Doing this does require the second address to be verified.

While this might seem like an issue, as long as an agent has the ability to modify end-user profiles, that agent can verify a second email address (and for that matter, a primary address) by clicking on the email address in the user's profile. Once it's verified they can make it the primary address.  

I know this takes remembering the workflow and recognizing which address is primary. It would be nice if there was a way to select which address to send messages to on a per ticket basis, but I'm not sure what that would mean from a UI or Engineering perspective. I suggest adding your voice to one of our Product Feedback threads, as that's one of the best ways to help our Product team see what's needed. I found this thread, and although it's not quite the same, it might be helpful: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/29612617-deliver-ticket-respons....

December 31, 2013 11:25