The most common type of ticket is a Question. It’s routine for agents to answer the question, solve the ticket, and move on to the next one. But what about those times when the issue is larger and impacts several customers? Some problems are so big it can end up flooding your help desk. This could be anything from a copy machine failure, a network outage, to the entire website going down. It is likely you will receive several tickets from customers reporting such a large-scale event. This is where the ticket types Incident and Problem can keep your Zendesk streamlined and efficient.
An Incident is defined by Zendesk as any issue that is a symptom of a larger problem. And Problems are larger issues that typically involve several smaller symptoms impacting multiple customers. Simple right? Here’s an example:
Your agents get a phone call that the website is down. After a quick check, they confirm the site is down for everyone. They create a ticket and set the Type to Problem knowing that other users are likely going to report the same issue.
Sure enough, when other calls and tickets arrive noting the issue, their type is set to Incident where a second drop down opens up prompting to "Link incident to problem."
Note: Sometimes agents don’t know an issue is widespread until they see it in multiple tickets. It’s easy to go back to one ticket and change the type to Problem so that these future tickets can be immediately created as Incidents.
To keep things nice and neat, any Problem ticket will now show an agent the Linked incident tickets so you can dive deeper as necessary.
After some investigating, the web problem is fixed. The agent solves the Problem ticket, which automatically solves all the attached Incident tickets with a friendly (and customizable) note that all is restored. Here is how the confirmation looks:
To keep things personalized, don’t forget that you can use placeholders in the comment communicating that the issue is solved. Typing in the two brackets (as in the image below) will bring up a menu of placeholders you can use to make sure that even though you are sending out a mass message each user is still being addressed personally.
So whether the website being down affected ten users or a thousand users, your support staff can notify all of them in one swift action saving time for your staff and your customers.
Taking it one step further
Now, to track and manage your Problem and Incident tickets, create the view, report, and trigger described below.
Create a view for Problem tickets
Go to Manage > Views > Add View.
Name the view “Problem Tickets”.
Under Meet all of the following conditions, add the conditions Status is Less than Solved and Type is Problem.