Forums/Community/Support tips & notes

Build Custom Workflows With Tags

Ted Barnum
posted this on September 29, 2010 12:37

By Matthew Latkiewicz | August 6, 2010

Tags are a versatile tool within your Zendesk utility belt. Because they can be used in many different contexts, they are often your best bet when trying to set up custom workflows. We discussed previously how you can use tags to analyze your macro use. In this tip of the week, we’re going to see how tags can be used to build automated workflows when using custom fields.

 

Adding Custom Fields

Adding custom fields to your Zendesk web form allows the form to fit your specific business’ needs. For instance, let’s say you run a screen-printing business, and you direct customers to your Zendesk web form to field questions about your various products. In order to make the form more relevant to your business, you’ll want to add a custom field called “products.” This way, your customers can indicate which products they are writing about.

To do so, go to the Manage tab in the top navbar and click Ticket Fields. Next choose “add custom field” in the upper right. You can add a number of different kinds of fields to your customer request web form, but for now, let’s go with a drop-down list.

On the next page, you’ll fill out the options for your new ticket field.

Tip of the Week: Build Custom Workflows With Tags

 

Custom fields can be for agents only, or you can make them visible to end-users. In this example, let’s make the fields visible and also editable — meaning your customers can choose a product and change the value of this field. You can also enter the options you want to include in the dropdown.

Note that each custom field automatically gets an associated tag. You’ll see why in just a second.

When you save your custom field, visitors to your Zendesk web portal can now see it.

Tip of the Week: Build Custom Workflows With Tags

 

Anytime a customer fills out a web form and chooses one of the products, the corresponding tag will be automatically added to that ticket.

Tip of the Week: Build Custom Workflows With Tags

 

Acting on Our Custom Fields

One of the most powerful features of Zendesk are the triggers. We’ve discussed triggers before in this series, such as setting up auto-responses to common questions, organizing tickets with multiple email addresses, and when it’s best to use automation or triggers. Triggers are the automatic actions taken when certain conditions are met within your Zendesk. With triggers, you can, among other things, send out an email to your agents when a new ticket comes in and automatically change the priority of a ticket based on what the subject line says.

Let’s say you want to automatically assign the tickets that come in based on the custom field you just created. When a customer chooses t-shirt, for example, you want that ticket to go to your guy in charge of t-shirts. You can accomplish this with a trigger.

To add a new trigger, again go to the Manage tab. This time choose Triggers & Mail Notifications and click “add trigger” in the upper right.

You want the condition that fires this trigger to be when a customer chooses “t-shirt” in your newly created Products ticket field. When you look at the options, you can see all of the built in fields, such as Status, Type, and Priority, but you won’t see your custom field. How can you build a trigger that fires off your custom field then? Turn to tags.

trigger-conditions-zendesk 2.png

 

Now you can build your trigger based on the tag “t-shirts,” which as seen above, is automatically added to the ticket when a customer chooses that option on the request web form.

A simple version of the trigger looks like this:

Tip of the Week: Build Custom Workflows With Tags

 

Now, anytime a customer chooses “t-shirts” on the web form, their ticket will be automatically assigned to your guy in charge of t-shirts.

We know that everybody’s support needs and workflow will differ. In order to sculpt Zendesk to better fit your needs, you’ll want to check out custom fields and tags.

 

Comments

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Bruce

Yebbut can you set the value of a drop-down field (or indeed any custom field) via a trigger? I wanted to force a drop-down to a particular value when a ticket is Solved, but custom fields are conspicuously absent from the "Perform these actions" list. Aaaargh!

February 09, 2011 16:47
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Sonny Byrd

I am in exactly the same dilemma as Bruce. I really need to be able to use Triggers and/or Macros to assign a particular value to our custom drop down ticket fields. Is this possible, or will it ever be? Any feedback would be really appreciated. 

March 08, 2011 10:55
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Dave Nunez

Hear, hear! I can't believe custom field values can't be set with triggers. This largely nullifies their usefulness.

March 22, 2011 00:14
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Forest
Zendesk for iPad Beta
Hi Dave, I have great news, custom field values can be set with triggers! Each option in a custom drop-down field has a corresponding tag and you can create a trigger that adds a tag, which in turn sets the field value (you can set, add or remove tags with a trigger). Triggers can also be used to set the value of a checkbox, if you decide to choose a tag to be added to the ticket when the checkbox is selected (ticket field options). If you have any questions or if you need additional information, please let me know. Thanks, Forest Anderson
March 22, 2011 05:57
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Patrick Lindblom

Hmm, We'd like to be able to save the First Assignee in a custom field to be able for that person to check up on "his" tickets even when bouncing them off into the organization and drive the process forward. We could do this with the custom field and drop down w/ tags but this would make us having two lists of users. What I would like to do is to set a tag with a placeholder such as {{ticket.assignee.name}} and copy that information to a custom field. I cannot seem to get that to work. Any tips on how to do it?

March 24, 2011 09:11
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Marlene Summers
zuora

Hi,

I also want to do what Patrick stated.... I want to a trigger to ADD TAG with the First Assignee's name, so that we can track the ticket as it moves around.  Is this possible?

June 30, 2011 15:54
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John Brandt
domoinc

The images aren't loading! Is it just me?

August 15, 2012 13:13
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Mat DG
netxtra

Hi, I have the exact same requirement as Marlene and Patrick, in order to retain ownership of the ticket I would like to record, as a custom value, the owner of the ticket which in this case would be the first assignee rather than that person lose sight of it as it moves between teams.

Is this possible now or in the future?

December 05, 2012 02:52
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

I don't think a custom field would be the ideal solution here. You could simply add a tag for the initial agent and build a view to look for those specific tickets. You could add the tag manually, or use a trigger to add the tag when a ticket is assigned to each agent. 

December 05, 2012 05:25
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Mat DG
netxtra

That makes a lot of sense, and seems super simple too. I shall give it a go and see how I get on, thanks Justin.

December 11, 2012 04:22
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Cheers! 

December 11, 2012 05:14
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Vince

Hi Guys, are tags case sensitives in zendesk? 

Thanks!  

December 21, 2012 06:47
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Negative, Vince! They are not. 

December 21, 2012 07:12
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Ted Barnum
Zendesk

Currently, Tags  may contain the following characters:

  • a-z
  • 0-9
  • underscore _
  • dash -
  • colon :

If you do use an uppercase letter when typing in a Tag in a ticket or article, it should get bumped to lower case.

December 21, 2012 11:01
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Omer Pines
websplanet2

Ted, what about dot "."   ?

May 12, 2013 08:51
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Brandon K.
Zendesk

Hey Omer,

Yes, your tags can contain the dot character.

May 13, 2013 10:57
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Ted Barnum
Zendesk

To add to Brandon's comment,

Tags  may contain the following characters:

  • a-z
  • 0-9
  • underscore _
  • period .
  • dash -
  • colon :

The characters used for delimiting-spacing words inside Tags (formed by concatenating words) are listed last, and in the recommended order of use.
While a colon is a valid character in a Tag, using a colon inside a Tag may cause an issue when using the Tag in a Search in the web portal, as colons have a special meaning in searches as a separator of a data type and the value. For example:

tag is "my:tag"

search for tag "tags:my:tag"

May 13, 2013 11:17
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Tobias Braun
global

Are there any plans to support uppercase characters in tags? Maybe you could add an option to allow case-sensitive tagging or not.

August 01, 2013 07:48
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Laura D.
Zendesk

Hi Tobias, 

At this time I don't see any plans to make tags case sensitive from the Product team. Is there a specific issue this is creating for you?

August 01, 2013 10:29
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Tobias Braun
global

Well, we tag our tickets with internal product ID's and our employees are used to uppercase characters in the ID. It's working with lowercase characters but it would be nice to have uppercase too :-)

August 01, 2013 23:39