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We need time tracking

Sascha Picchiantano
suggested this on July 23, 2009 05:40

Hi,

I know there is Harvest. But that's yet another tool we would need to sign up to, and Harvest ist not exactly the tool we want to use. What options do we have from inside Zendesk to track time spent on tickets?

Thanks

Sascha

 

Comments

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Jake Holman

Have you looked at the report Zendesk can generate? You are able to see how long it takes tickets to be solved - albeit, time intervals. So for example, we have a report which shows us how many ticket were resolved within an 1, within 12 hours and took longer than 12 hours.

July 23, 2009 05:57
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Sascha Picchiantano

Yes, I've seen that, but it does not allow me to specify a time frame, nor can I choose to drill this down to a user, organisation or group.

Also, the report looks at the time a ticket was open, not at the time we actually spent working on the ticket. Huge difference.

I am talking about time tracking in terms of billing. I need to be able to track how much time I spent on single or many tickets in a certain time for a certain organization, so at the end of the month I can tell (and bill) my customer: Hey, we've worked 76 hours resolving your tickets. Pay. :-)

Something like a little timer would be nice. Say you open the ticket, hit the timer button, then start working, and when you are done working, you hit the timer button again. The time is then recorded alongside the ticket, and reports can be run against the time records. That would be fancy. It doesn't need to be fancy though. It would be enough if we could just log time against a ticket (and report against the time logs).

Make sense?

July 23, 2009 06:19
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Shawn Collenburg
Project C Beta Testers

There are "pro" versions of this (aka Harvest), but for some very simple time tracking, we just added a "Hours" field, plus a check requiring the field have a value when the status is being set to "solved". The agent can still just enter "0", but we actually see that as a feature (since we have two actually, one for analyst time, one for technical time).

Add a view, drop needed fields, and you're good to go. Export the view as CSV to Excel for any advanced analysis required.

Cheers, Shawn

July 28, 2009 11:29
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Sascha Picchiantano

that's great! where do I find that?

July 28, 2009 23:14
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Shawn Collenburg
Project C Beta Testers
July 29, 2009 07:18
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Duane Olson

Hi,

I agree with the above comments.  I need a way to add/increment a "time spent" field and then submit that to a time and billing system.  I do currently use Freshbooks, but they only allow you to submit time to a project.  I have hundreds of customers and don't want to create a project for each one.  Are you working on a way to make Zendesk completely flow into a time and expense tracking/billing system?  Any ideas?

 

I really like how Freshbooks has a "support" tab and you can attach "items" to the ticket like "1 hour of labor" or expenses.  Then, when you invoice the ticket, it will pull all items from the ticket.   This is nice.  However, they don't have any other features like email piping, reminders, etc.  I am really frustrated...

 

I am certainly willing to switch to any accounting system if I cna find a good support ticketing system that will fully integrate with it.

Thanks.

Duane

March 24, 2010 13:24
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Jaco Smit

I also think that having better time tracking on tickets would be a great help. With us tickets are dealt with on a priority level. Thus you would sometimes stop working on a lower priority ticket and first deal with a higher one.  At the moment we use an extra time field as state above and tell tech to update the time spend value every time they work on it but this is prone to suffer from human error. Maybe something like a separate time entry for each response from the tech, this can then is totaled when the ticket is solved to provide a more accurate total.

Thanks Jaco

May 04, 2010 11:26
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John Grange

I have read through this, and I do not think that simply adding an hours field will cut it (not for me anyway). I would prefer to see something where I can add a time spent to a ticket for each set of hours that I work on the ticket: 

 

So I work 2 hours on the date 5/27/10, I click add work log, and input the hours and what I did, then save. Now on 5/28, I work another 3 hours on a ticket, add the hours, what I did, etc... This allows you to get a report on what hours were spent by a technician, what they did, and also allows the customer to see why it took 5 hours to solve this particular ticket (not all tickets involve directly interacting with the customer!)

May 29, 2010 08:55
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Simon Whittaker

Agreed, this is the biggest missing feature of zendesk for me atm, I would like to have a required field in each response from the agent stating how much time was spent on the ticket and from this be able to see reports of _actual_ time taken instead of just the time the ticket was opened until it is solved. I would then like to be able to extract this info on a per client/company basis (weekly/monthly) for invoicing if required. 

June 09, 2010 03:19
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Gary

I would like this feature. The ability to record time against a Zendesk ticket in the same way that Harvest allows you to against a project would be idea. Their implementation is very elegant and easy to use. e.g. with the timer button the analyst can click on when they start working on the tick, or they can just key in the hours and minutes for an activity.

June 09, 2010 16:09
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Jake Holman
Product Manager

I'm going to mark this as not planned, but I want to explain the expectation. 

We're probably not going to build a native time-tracking widget to compare to things like Harvest, that's a very specific use that I don't think will be beneficial to a majority of users.

However, what we do plan on doing is providing a better metric engine and thus reporting. This will mean we'll be able to accurately tell you how long an Agent took to respond to an End-User each time that End-User replied, for example. Or we'll be able to tell you how long it took for the ticket to be resolved, taking into consideration business hours. 

If you do have urgent need for time tracking, to bill your customers for time spent for example, I can recommend these 3 guys: http://www.zendesk.com/extras/time-tracking-billing

June 10, 2010 04:21
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Simon Whittaker

I don't think that's enough tbh, could you not bring in a required field in every response from an agent called time spent which they then fill in their time spent in that session. This then will assist us in seeing how long was _actually_ spent on a ticket instead of time from logging to marking as solved. I could then create a report to see real time spent.

June 10, 2010 04:24
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John Grange

I do not think you are getting it, we need a way to add a work-log to a ticket! I don't want to add another time tracking app, i just want to be able to click a button on the ticket, input how many hours I spent AT THAT TIME, enter the date, and possibly how much my time was worth per hour. The the next time I work on that same ticket i would do the same, OR if another agent works on the same ticket he too ads his work log for however many times he works on the ticket.  Then at the end of the day I can get a report on how many hours the ticket cost, and even break it down by how many hours each agent spent. This a crucial feature that is missing from this otherwise great app, just because you have a third party that does something similar does not mean it is the same thing, and it dose not mean you should diss-service your users by not implementing a very needed feature!

June 10, 2010 07:56
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Shawn Collenburg
Project C Beta Testers

John - You can add custom fields that do just this, and furthermore require they be filled before you can mark the ticket solved. Then add a CSV based view that spits those fields out for passing along to accounting etc.

Cheers, Shawn

June 10, 2010 08:00
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John Grange

Shawn, please explain how I might do this, I know i can add a static field called hours, but i need to be able to add date/time stamped worklog multiple times to the same ticket?

 

Example :

https://sites.google.com/a/sd-networks.net/hd/

June 10, 2010 08:06
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Shawn Collenburg
Project C Beta Testers

Hi John - I see what you're wanting (and wny), and it's not possible with Custom Fields right now (you'd need more of a "custom table"). The best you can do is a rolling sum total in the fields, and then entering agent-only comments for supporting info.

Cheers, Shawn

June 10, 2010 08:11
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Simon Whittaker

@John

this is exactly what we require as well - I think it is a crucial feature. Many other helpdesks have this feature(heldesk pilot being the one I have worked with most recently)

Hopefully this will be implemented

Simon

June 11, 2010 01:10
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John Grange

@Simon

 

Good, I hope that if we show them exactly what we need in this system they will understand that third party add-ons are not what we are looking for, and that more people might see the benefit of this kind of simple time tracking. 

June 11, 2010 06:45
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Leslie

I have read all the comments on tracking time spent on a ticket.  This is also what we are looking for.  We need to be able to create a report at the end of a month for a specific organization showing how much time was spent on their support tickets.  I have considered the custom field for hours spent on a ticket.  The CSV feature does not have a filter.  You have to print every ticket in the system since you have been using the system. 

August 09, 2010 00:39
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Frank Mogensen

We too need simple time tracking. Actually I can't believe that we do this manually in Excel with a HelpDesk system in this millennium :-)

Here is why we need it:

1. The Applet plugins are worthless. No synchronization of companies, accounts or projects. All data must be entered manually,
    and you have to swap back and forth between systems.
2. Being able to see a table with time spent on the ticket in 1st line, gives a good insight of things that needs escalation
3.  Its essential to see how long supporters use on different tasks and tickets, to be able to educate and sharpen delivered services
4. Its key to supporters to see where there time has gone, and on what. 
5. Everyone can run support, if time is of no importance. ZenDesk demonstrates by lack of time tracking and reporting, that time
    is of no importance. TIME = MONEY

Suggested road ahead:

1. Implement basic time tracking on tickets. Time spent (Hours:Minutes), Type (Billable, Un-billable, Other) 
    Phase Two: implement reporting based on time spent / billing related to supporters and customers

2. Enhance integration with External Applets to allow for automated exchange of Customer data / projects.


The right place to "draw the line" is that time relates to support tickets, and should be directly in the support system.
Billing relates to financial aspects, and that should be tone externally through applets.

Home to hear your opinion.
/Frank
 
 

August 24, 2010 14:15
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Robert Nance

Please please please add time tracking.  I need to be able to enter a value for time spent (in hours, .5, .75, 1.5, etc.) for each ticket entry with an automatic total for the whole ticket.  I'd then like to be able to run a report based on an individual or organization that gives a running total of time spent for a chosen time period.  This would greatly enhance your product.

September 09, 2010 07:42
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Samantha Goodwin

This is crucial for us also. I have just signed up for Zendesk, but since we haven't really started using it yet we may have to cancel and go elsewhere if this isn't going to be added at some stage.

September 13, 2010 02:19
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Jake Holman
Product Manager

I'm afraid there's still no plans for this type of feature. While, as I've mentioned previously, we'll be making some improvements on the metric side of things to see how long a ticket took to solve, and how long it was with either party, we have no plans to introduce the level of time tracking desired at this time.

September 13, 2010 02:46
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Simon Whittaker

That is very disappointing, there are obviously a number of people that require this :( Personally I think being able to track _actual_ time spent on a ticket is  a required feature and could well be enough for us to look elsewhere, we are currently having to review our options. Some of our billing is done on a time and materials basis and this is very difficult to do with the current setup.

September 13, 2010 02:52
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Leslie

We are using Quick Books Online for our accounting.  We invoice a client for the number of support time they use during a month.  I created a custom field for total time spent on a ticket, but there is not a way to get a report that includes that field unless I use the full export to csv feature.  Only the top Zendesk package includes the export to csv.  At the end of a month we manually have to go through each ticket and record the total time for each ticket.  This is way to much work.  Is there any other way to export data from a custom field?  The comments I am reading are very disappointing that time tracking is not even slated for a future enhancement.  I can not imagine what company would not want to track time on a specific ticket.  The time that the ticket is openned and closed has little meaning, except for response time. 

September 18, 2010 16:35
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Robert Nance

Please please please add time tracking.  I need to be able to enter a value for time spent (in hours, .5, .75, 1.5, etc.) for each ticket entry with an automatic total for the whole ticket.  I'd then like to be able to run a report based on an individual or organization that gives a running total of time spent for a chosen time period.  This would greatly enhance your product.

September 19, 2010 10:41
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Ed Dowding

If people would be willing to contribute a one-off development fee for this, I'd be up for seeing if a time tracking feature could be added more simply than Harvest. It's a feature I need, too, but don't want to bear the whole costs myself. Tweet me @ed_dowding with what this would be worth to you, and I'll have a think. 

September 29, 2010 02:30
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Frank Mogensen

Service Delivery time reporting is not as easy as it sounds. Imagine these scenarios / Reports:

- Time used on a case with adjustable time range
- Time used on a customer sorted by case/dat with adjustable time range and option for billable / non-billable hours
- Time used by supporter with adjustable time range sorted by date / customer
- Supporter Weekly Time/Case Matrix to enter missing time for 8 hours work pr. day, overlooking the week. 
- Contracts often include a given number of support hours, or estimated hours. Warning of limit.
- Lots of customers prepay support. Eg. 50 hours. How to count down and refill ... 

I've tweeted my $ number. PLEASE EVERYONE NEEDIN TIME DO THE SAME.

Best Frank

September 29, 2010 03:17
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Simon Whittaker

@ED

We would also find this useful - doesn't seem like Zendesk will be bringing anything in any time soon which is very annoying as seems to be a core requirement to me.

 

Cheers

 

S

September 29, 2010 03:56
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Robert Nance

I'd support this but a plan must happen quickly as I am about to leave Zendesk for Autotask. 

September 29, 2010 06:32
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Frank Mogensen

On 2nd thought. I personally don't believe this will happen as ZenDesk does NOT recognize that support very much integrated with time & billing.
I could accept if the integration with other cloud solutions like Harvest was transparent, but seriously .... no user, customer, case integration exists and you have to flip back and forth with lots of manual steps.

Simon I'm sorry, but I do think we have to find another solution than ZenDesk, when running business where time is important !

Robert, thanks for pointing me to Autotask. I'll have a look at it.

/Frank

 

September 29, 2010 06:44
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Simon Whittaker

@Frank - thanks for that. It is very frustrating that time isn't seen to be important. Harvest is not an option for us due to the flaws you mention.

@Robert - thanks for pointing me towards autotask. The problem is, I really like Zendesk and their way of doing things - except for time logging!!  Will investigate autotask further

Cheers

 

S

September 29, 2010 06:51
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Duane Olson

Guys,

I'm with you on all of this!  I am currently in help desk "limbo" as I can't find a solution that integrates with time and billing well.  I use Freshbooks to invoice and LOVE it, but their support tab/help desk portion SUCKS!  They just keep telling us "we have no plans to work on it right now... use Zendesk"!  It sounds like a broken record after a while...  Problem is that the widget that integrates ZenDesk and Freshbooks only allows you to bill time to projects and doesn't allow you to track time per ticket or customer (which is what you guys are asking for) and I want too!  I can't create a project for 200-500 customers.. that's too many to manage.

 

I have asked Zendesk to put time tracking into tickets a long time ago too.  They just tell me about the reports for the time to close a ticket... WE all know that's not what we are referring to.  We can't bill off that!

In the meantime, I have tried Autotask.  It shows some hope, but is very complex.  I only ran a few months.  Now, I am trying WorkEtc and that seems better, but still leaves something to be desired.  I am back to using Freshbooks for invoicing (best there is!) and doing all the manual work to use the support tab built in (no email piping, no attachments, no anything extra).  For me, it is more important to have my tickets attached to my invoicing so the client has one system (single login).

If anyone has any other ideas... please let me know.  I am growing tired of trying to find a solution that works with Freshbooks or finding a replacement that gives me good online invoicing and ticket tracking.

Thanks guys...

Duane

September 29, 2010 07:11
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Ed Dowding

I'm thinking something VERY simple: a widget which contains a stop-watch timer, which updates a custom field called "time". Doing much more than that and it's probably not worth the effort / cost. 

September 29, 2010 07:21
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Mikkel Svane
Zendesk

Duane, how could the Freshbook widget be improved to support your need?

September 29, 2010 12:14
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Gary

I feel the same way as most of you. Zendesk is a great product as far as it goes, but time tracking is one feature missing.

I've seen another product called beetil that has some of the same ease of use appeal of zendesk but goes quite a bit further, includes timetracking and some ITIL/SM bits such as problems, change, release, CI etc.

In any case, their timetracking implementation is a good example of what Zendesk need to implement to satisfy the ppl in this discussion IMO.

September 29, 2010 13:50
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Simon Whittaker

Beetil looks great!!! Just signed up for free tour, pricing is similar to ZD as well.

September 30, 2010 00:41
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Frank Mogensen

Me too, just signed up to BeeTIL, and its easy to use as ZenDesk, but far more mature from a Time Management, ITIL Management and Knowledge Management perspective.

Only problem found is lack of mobile apps. On every ticket you can add time used directly, and see both how long you youself has used on the ticket, and how long your colleges have used. The time usage reports are great, but the product is missing mature "billing reports". For users of external billing all data can be exported directly to CSV.

Like many others of you, creating projects for incidents in Harvest is nothing compared to working with time directly on tickets.

ZenDesk have a look at BeeTIL .... and please recognize that time is essence to everyone working with IT-support, whether internal IT-departments or IT-support companies. 

/Frank

September 30, 2010 03:11
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Duane Olson

@Mikkel,

Thanks for your response.  The problem with the Freshbooks widget is not really your issue, it is a Freshbooks issue.  Freshbooks REQUIRES you to bill your time to a project (same as Harvest I think) and your widget links up to that just fine.  However, I work with hundreds of customers many of which I only see once.  I can't use and manage projects for all of them as it would be very cumbersome and a waste of time.  I want to be able to bill the ticket time and expense DIRECTLY TO the customer and not to to a customers project.  

This is exactly how the FRESHBOOKS support tab works and it is how I wished your product worked. For example: I open a ticket in the Freshbooks support tab and attach time and expenses directly to the ticket.  When done, click "Create Invoice" and all the time and expenses go directly to the customer record.  Why can't ZenDesk tie directly into the freshbooks customer record (not a project)?  IT was the main reason why I don't currently use ZenDesk.  I don't understand why this idea/concept is so hard.  I've been begging and PLEADING with Freshbooks to put more features into their support tab for years now.  Or if there was another product that would connect up with Freshbooks in the manner I described, that would be great..

Anyone check out WorkEct?

September 30, 2010 08:20
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Rajesh Khanikar

I am a new zendesk user, but I have used Service Desk Plus from Manage Engine, I am dissapointed to know we cannot track time of worklog in Zendesk, this is essential for billing, it will be difficult to continue using Zendesk without this feature.

October 05, 2010 13:59
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Serge Regoor

Hello fellow Zendesk users,

I too was looking for a time tracking widget, but more in the sense of a stop-watch. We do our time tracking in another project management solution (being Project Insight, very recommendable!), but I needed some way of tracking time per 15 minutes.

I made a small custom HTML widget for this, I'll attach it to this comment. Copy the code in the text file to a custom widget in your Zendesk, and activate the widget in your ticket page as usual.

You can start/stop the timer using the left button. The right button contains the timed minutes per hour, i.e. 0,25 = 15 minutes. Clicking the button copies the value (i.e. "0.25" or "0.75") to the clipboard for further usage. It's probably relatively easy for someone else to make a button that copies the value into a custom ticket field or something, but that exceeds my own usage needs.

Hope it helps!

October 09, 2010 02:11
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Stephanie Chen

Thank you Serge!!! I modified it so it automatically starts when the page loads and updates a custom ticket field when it changes. This way an agent doesn't have to hit start and stop unless they need to, but there are no extra clicks an agent has to do to track time. =)

October 13, 2010 19:14
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Simon Whittaker

Hi there,

 

I found this http://www.mojohelpdesk.com/ by accident earlier. Looks to have some really nice features including time tracking AND it's only $99 a month for as many users as you want

Am investigating export/import options atm but thought others might be interested.

S

October 15, 2010 08:43
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Gary

Stephanie, any chance you can share your version? Thanks :)

October 17, 2010 21:24
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Ed Dowding

@Stephenie - that's the solution I was going to do one day! Brilliant! Can you share? :) Perhaps post your Amazon (or whatever) wishlist so we can show our thanks? 

October 18, 2010 04:05
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Simon Whittaker

Hi Stephanie,

 

Could you share your updated version?

 

Much appreciated

 

Simon

October 18, 2010 04:07
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Stephanie Chen

Hi guys,

Of course! I didn't include it originally because it's a little weird. Let me know if you have any trouble.

To use: Replace lines 8 and 32 with your Custom Field ID, which can be found by going to Manage -> Ticket Fields, and editing the one where you want to record the time. The Custom Field Id should be in the widget on the right. (It won't work in preview mode because it can't find the custom field element, so just open up any ticket to see it in action). 

Other info/customizations:

My manager required that the time spent was reported in minutes out to 1 decimal place. You can change it to more or less precise by editing line 62, either removing the toFixed() or by changing 1 to however many decimals you want to include. It's a little weird that the timer in the widget is minutes and seconds and that the time recorded is in minutes, but oh well, it's mainly for reporting.

I also have it so it adds the amount of time previously spent on the same ticket to the total time spent on the ticket. So every time you open and update a ticket, it adds that time, and you can turn this off by removing + iOldTime on line 37.

HUGE thanks to Serge to providing the original code.

-Stephanie

October 18, 2010 10:43
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Stephanie Chen

Eh you guys are smart, but just to correct my English, I meant replace just the number in lines 8 and 32, not the entire line ;)

October 18, 2010 10:45
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Gary

Just implemented your version Stephanie. Its awesome! Simple yet very effective. Thanks heaps!!!

October 18, 2010 13:32
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Ed Dowding

Stephanie, you rock! Thank you!

October 18, 2010 13:54
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Marco Pietersen

I finished a blog about timing tickets. In my blog I point out that a simple start/stop has several disadvantages. My recommendation for Zendesk actually is to use their smartphone apps and add some timing posibilities.

http://pieterzen.blogspot.com/2010/10/ticket-timer.html

After reading this discussion I found out that the timer button isn't actually Zendesks, but was created by Serge Regoor. Funny thing is... He's my boss ;)

October 30, 2010 13:22
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Frank Mogensen

I wonder why developing things like "Benchmarking" is prioritized over important issues like time tracking?

Zen's complete lack of understanding that "Time is Money" for a lot of their clients is discouraging.

The missing time tracking (that is common in most servicedesk systems i know of), would make ZenDesk the ultimate tool for professional companies that

bill time to customers.

I don't want to go into the discussion of the existing integrations solutions ... they are not satisfactory for a hundred reasons.

Zen, why would you downplay the importance of knowing what our time is spend on, and who is spending it, and more importantly, why do you keep "silent" when your customers are complaining? C'mon .... take a stand and explain yourselves !

My suggestion to you guys: build a "features needed" voting list, and let your customers partly decide what is important by voting.
I'm thing and hope that time tracking would be voted before "Benchmarking" :-) 

November 21, 2010 17:40
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Rajesh Khanikar

I agree with "Fmo", we don't need benchmarking (I doubt we will use it), but time tracking is essential. We are unable to fully migrate to zendesk due to lack of this essential feature. I am 100% sure that we will not renew our zendesk license if time tracking is not available.

November 22, 2010 00:56
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Taras Savchuk

Lack of time tracking in Zendesk is very sad.

Zendesk's guys should do one of the following: add per-comment custom fields or add complete time billing.

I'm using custom field for time tracking now, but i can't import it in GoodData as fact...

I'm going to look at Beetil /Mojo Helpdesk as alternatives.

 

P.S. I also don't need "benchmarking" feature.

November 25, 2010 14:00
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Chad Thomas

In my situation the Freshbooks widget works awesome.  BUT, i have set service contracts with each client, and i'm not dealing with thousands of clients and one-off clients.  What drew me to zendesk was the component nature of it, where they don't try to reinvent the wheel, but rather hookup with other companies that do what they don't.  

That said, I think the more effective path to take here is taking up this issue with freshbooks and/or harvest.  It shouldn't be very difficult for them to change the way that their widget works, and allow for billing clients without a project.  Zendesk implementing a giant new feature like this VS. Freshbooks adjusting theirs? It seems to me that's what Mikkel was thinking with his post - and if he's onboard for a change, i'm sure he's got a pretty good connection with the freshbooks folks to push that to happen.

Just a thought....

 

-c

November 30, 2010 14:57
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Duane Olson

Chad, I believe you are right.  However, good luck with Freshbooks... they don't seem to be too interested in changing anything related to support tickets.  I've been asking them for years now.  As a matter of fact, I am converting over to Work Etc because of that.

December 01, 2010 22:04
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David Marlin

I must concur with the posters here - Zendesk really needs a simple timer widget.  Could be a deal killer.

December 03, 2010 08:59
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Frank Mogensen

Jake Holman (ZenDesk) is quite clear on this subject. 

I'm afraid there's still no plans for this type of feature. While, as I've mentioned previously, we'll be making some improvements on the metric side of things to see how long a ticket took to solve, and how long it was with either party, we have no plans to introduce the level of time tracking desired at this time.

I don't know if he writes on behalf of the company, but obviously he has decided that time is not important, and that all companies that
only exists because the manage their time (=money), should choose another product.

The silence from ZenDesk indicates that his point of view has not changed, and all of the suggestions from customers are really not important.

On another point ... support systems contains time tracking ... not billing systems. Discussing more integration with billing systems with regards
to time tracking is fundamentally not a path to take!

We might as well close this thread and deal with ZenDesks lack of customer understanding.

December 03, 2010 09:12
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Taras Savchuk

Frank, thanks for very clear definition of current situation.

I agree completely with each and every o your words!

December 03, 2010 12:22
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Gidi Delayahu

Thanks Stephanie, I've just implemented your solution - It works like a charm!

 

Does anyone know how can I "collect" all the time we've spent on one organisation's ticket and present it in a widget?

December 09, 2010 07:16
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Mat Gauvin

Really need to have this resolved. Time tracking is vital for us as well.

December 09, 2010 12:59
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Cory Carson
/add Unfortunately, we will not continue past our trial period due to this limitation. We use and love freshbooks. I really like ZenDesk, but we need a more comprehensive package. Frank is right...time is money. A ticketing solution without a time tracking feature is not a ticketing solution at all...IMO. I think you have a great product Zendesk, but you and/or Freshbooks are missing the boat here. FYI, we have evaluated AuoTask and ConnectWise in the past. Both of which have too steep of a learning curve for a small business. The apps are awesome if you are willing to go all in....and I mean ALL IN. Not to mention you have to sign a year agreement. I think this is ridiculous for a hosted solution. Thanks to this thread we are going to evaluate WorkETC. It's hosted, all in one, cross platform, web based, very affordable, and does not require a contract from what I've seen so far. One potential downside is that they don't offer a support phone line (email only), but that's a gamble I'll take with everything else they have going for them. Good luck on resolving this issue to the rest of you.
December 17, 2010 04:31
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Brandon Phelps

This is tragic.

All I need is time tracking for each event (comment), mark billable, not billable or pending billable, and then have the time spent summarized at the top of the ticket. The timer app while cool isn't sufficient because I don't see what time was spent where.

After that, I need the Harvest widget to suck out each time event and assign those times to a project code depending on Zendesk organization and billable status of each time entry.

I love love love the integration with Salesforce, with mobile apps, with Harvest, etc. I love the simplicity of the system. I extremely dislike that this is apparently never going to be developed in the near future.

December 31, 2010 07:05
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Brandon Phelps

I'll add that we make a huge chunk of money out of our service desk today.How do we track it? The same way Frank does, by a lame Excel spreadsheet. No integration, massive disruption to the workflow, confusing for the clients sometimes.

Our trial will likely expire because this basic feature is missing.

December 31, 2010 07:10
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C. Bonebakker

We also need time tracking. So we have to look for another app for our helpdesk, to bad because my first impression was good

January 06, 2011 06:21
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cvit

You can add me to the list for time tracking as well.  I've looked at all of the solutions everyone else has mentioned and I too am going to let my Zendesk trial expire.  It's unfortunate because I really liked Freshbooks and I thought that the combination with Zendesk would be sublime.  The lack of this one feature just absolutely kills it for me though.  The idea of trying to tie in Freshbooks to Zendesk to a third-pary something or another - no thanks.

 

I also have to mention that although I appreciate Jake being direct and honest about Zendesk's intentions, it's odd to see so many customers request a single feature only to be told by the company that wants their money that they're not interested.  The way I run my business is that if my customer wants something I don't offer, I offer it.  Why not just charge $10 more a month for this feature and put that money towards paying back development costs?  I hate throwing around buzzwords, but isn't that a win/win?

January 09, 2011 08:19
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Toby Blackburn

Well I'm going to add my name to the hat too.  Currently on a trial, and lacking this feature means I won't be taking it forward - every other helpdesk platform I've used handles time spent, and again my business needs me to be able to bill to within 5 minute intervals of actual time spent, not time open.  Has anyone at Zendesk actually worked in a real helpdesk environment supporting multiple customers?  Unfortunately the additional hacks to bring functionality closer isn't good enough for me, and indicates support problems further down the line.

January 09, 2011 16:01
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Scott Buckham

I've added my vote for this too. I think Zendesk is a great product except for this clear lacking. We don't even bill for time spent directly but it is a key metric for us to track. Please consider adding this function - I wouldn't have bothered trialing the software if I new it was missing. We all look forward to a favourable reply

January 27, 2011 03:12
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Gidi Delayahu
Hi zendesk, we all require integrated time tracking, and your silence on this is not reassuring... Please comment
January 27, 2011 04:42
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Bill L. Barnett

I can say that I checked all of the sites mentioned previously - worketc, harvest, connectwise, beetil, mojo, etc, etc. - plus some that I found on my own that weren't mentioned before.  For my needs, which include the ability to interface with Freshbooks, I found BlueFolder.com to be a great match.  It's not a perfect product, but after no less than 12 trial accounts with as many companies, BlueFolder was the service that had the closest blend of scalability with my business, ease of use, and flexibility for customization.  They even worked with me on the price.  I would say at least give them a look.  I signed up about two weeks ago and have been very happy.

January 27, 2011 17:31
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Brian Moore

We definitely need this feature as well!

March 28, 2011 15:35
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Kunal

Does anyone know if we can report off of the time tracking tool created by Stephanie? Or would we have to use the export to CSV functionality?

Thanks!

April 05, 2011 11:01
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Cyril
humaneos

Hello,

 

We've been trying this for three weeks and this missing feature is the reason why we can't adopt Zendesk. We have the feeling that Zendesk is great for internal helpdesk but totally misses basic features required by outsourcing companies...

We need to track time spent by each agent for each customers to be able to pay agent and bill customers accordingly.

Hope you reconsider it in a near future ;-)

April 05, 2011 12:47
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Richard Becerra

Spiceworks has the exact time tracking i need to track the time spent on each ticket. but it is missing other components.

April 22, 2011 16:22
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Konstantin Teplinskiy

Hello,

We setup already Zendesk in our company and wanted to buy set of additional licensees, but start thinking to test another tools due to lack of time tracking. We need to analyze how much time is used to support of different products in different regions. Harvest and Freshbooks widgets not an option for us.

Best regards,

  Konstantin

 

April 26, 2011 01:17
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Seán McKenna
servasport

I agree this would be a great feature to have. The lack of it is very frustrating as zendesk has been brilliant so far!

June 09, 2011 15:11
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Lee Evans

Very close to cancelling our Zen desk for this reason.  Our client base is growing and we have to manually create these excel reports every month for every customer:
hours column: =ROUNDDOWN(SUM(I2:I62)+(SUM(J2:J62)/60),0)

June 17, 2011 03:11
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Lee Evans

minutes Column: =MOD(SUM(J2:J62),60)

June 17, 2011 03:15
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Konstantin Teplinskiy

- Very close to cancelling our Zen desk for this reason.

the same story

June 17, 2011 03:17
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Lee Evans

Naughty comments box seems to truncate messages with Excel fields. Odd.

Anyway ZD please listen to your customers.

 How about we ask Lulz to start shooting their LOIC at you, would you listen then?

June 17, 2011 03:18
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Dylan

Duane it sounds like I am in the EXACT SAME boat in regards to Freshbooks.  I have been using Freshbooks since they were called 2ndsite which is a long time ago.  I started out using their support tab and it's so close to what we need in an "All in one" system and so frustrating that they have decided to neglect it totally.  I have been at them for years and they just keep saying, try Zendesk....so I did.  But now they won't make any changes to their Freshbooks widget, and apparently Zendesk is the one that built the widget, not Freshbooks.  We are getting by for now using the widget but find that it adds individual time entries on invoices for the ticket.  I would like to consolidate all time entries for a Zendesk ticket into a single time entry on the Freshbooks invoice.  Yes you do have to create projects for every client which is annoying but you only need to do it once and you can re-use the projects every month. 

I recently tried a service called bluefolder.com which integrates wonderfully with Freshbooks via itduzzit.com.  You can create a ticket, add labour to the ticket as well as expenses and materials.  It works similar to zendesk in that you can comment back and forth with the client and the have a functional mobile system but the whole interface, mobile or not, is nowhere near as cool as Zendesk and their price is ridiculous at $200 a month plus $50 for any more users over the included 3.  

June 25, 2011 10:53
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Dylan

That said, I'm not willing to switch away from Zendesk to spend that kind of money just to increase the efficiency of my billing re time tracking.  So I struggle along with the widget for now and hope that Zendesk will either upgrade the Freshbooks widget or add a native time tracking solution.  It seems it would be so easy to add a filed per entry called "Time Spent" and have a running total somewhere at the top. 

June 25, 2011 10:56
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Frank Mogensen

Getting time tracking into ZenDesk,  requires MORE VOTES for this feature ...... Zendesk has since 2009 found time tracking unimportant.

Most likely because they figure ZenDesk is for IT-departments only, and they dislike time tracking.

Hundreds of features have been implemented since then, and I'm afraid we will never see time tracking in ZenDesk, unless alot more service providers demand the feature.

I would hope IT-departments would request this as well, because it IS important how much time you spend on what and on who.

Everyone can deliver great service if time is of no importance.

Hope to see more votes, and for ZenDesk to take this serious.

June 26, 2011 08:12
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Konstantin Teplinskiy
How we can vote? I'm sure that we can get a lot...
June 26, 2011 09:13
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Frank Mogensen

If you haven't voted, please click on "Me too" on the top message in the thread.

June 26, 2011 09:21
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David Birchmier
Askmpa

I did for ya Frank. However did write an app to integrate with Tsheets already :)

June 26, 2011 09:21
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Rick Brock

+1

June 27, 2011 16:28
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Dustin Struckman

Take a look at http://Cerberusweb.com - they have a great time tracking and reporting system built into their helpdesk. I switched over from them to Zendesk for the community features and a few other things. But it would be great if Zendesk could model their time tracking.

July 14, 2011 09:46
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Jcarroll

I understand ZenDesk's stance on time tracking... its not a simple solution because everyone does it differently and there is also the potential for a crap load of data, which would affect response times etc.   I would think that a simple integration with something like "toggl" could work quite well. for some folks even a javascript timer app might work,  (can you fill in a zendesk field with data from a javascript widget?)

Just my two cents

July 27, 2011 09:59
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David Birchmier
Askmpa

Excellent point!

 

We basically did that.... automatically populated a Zendesk field from Tsheets.

 

Was tough to build initially but it works awesome now! We build a Tsheets bridge because all of the existing time tracking applications were really crappy, at least for our needs!

July 27, 2011 13:40
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Jcarroll

can you provide the basic code for the "bridge"  it would be great to just have a java "timer button" so when you click on the timer it starts and when you click off it copies the elapsed time to the field. You could even have it append to a text time log in another field.     the next time you click the button it just sums the elapsed time to the existing time in the field..and adds another appended entry to the log field that would probably be perfect for most folks I would imagine.  If I end up building one I will let everyone know. 

July 27, 2011 14:58
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Steve Dunn
I think the FreshBooks widget in Zendesk can help you keep track of the time you have spent on support. But to track your time with FreshBooks, you’ll need to activate the widget in your ZenDesk account. Have a look at http://www.timedoctor.com - a free time management software that provides real time tracking of tasks and prevents wasted time.
August 31, 2011 01:54
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Alex
goalgetters

PLEASE READ ZenDesk,

Actual time spent on resolving a ticket as opposed to elapsed time is a critical business metric to service desk providers.

In reading ALL the comments stemming back from 2009 to 2011 - two years - is it not apparent that this functionality is very important to your existing and prospect clients?

There are many competing products out there that are catching up, if not exceeding, the great model that you have put together (beetil, worketc, bluefolder, etc.).

While Stephanie has created a custom widget that tries to address this, it seems a natural and strategic extension to ZenDesk's platform.  There is no doubt that this extension is not simple as it would require additional back-end tables, security, etc. as well as an API for other commonly used tools out there such as Freshbooks, etc.  BUT, there is a real need here for ZenDesk to solidify its foothold in this space let alone expand its clientele - good and bad things spread like wildfire on the internet.

ZenDesk is no different - your success has been its modular platform that is extremely user friendly interface.  Your downfall could really be the lack of the "actual time capture" that is critical to your client base.

ZenDesk has been very responsive to client suggestions thusfar and continues to make the platform stronger - why ignore this quintessential requirement?  Particularly given that quite a few clients (per above) are willing to financially sponsor this R&D??

While my organization is relatively new to ZenDesk, this missing functionality is a deal breaker for us to subscribe to more seat licenses and we are quickly approaching that break point.

Please strongly consider the opinions of all the users on this thread because they can be your strongest ally in expanding your client base if handled properly.

Time is money - if no action is taken or response provided within 2 weeks, our organization will most likely switch to another provider (worketc.com looks very promising with our initial evaluation).

Act now and you could see very healthy gains in your client base - otherwise, you may have a serious wildfire on your hands.

Think about why Apple is so successful - they have a real knack of knowing what their clients need/want. 

Note to other users out there: Please show your support by voting and providing comments.

 

ZenDesk: Gauntlet has been thrown - whatchya gonna do?

 

 

 

 

September 25, 2011 12:27
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Taras Savchuk

Alex, I agree with every word.

September 25, 2011 12:36
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Alex
goalgetters

Let's rally troops here - I have logged a new request referencing this one so it is not "hidden" in the Not Planned section.

Link below - ZenDesk prospect and current citizens - show your support by voting on the new ticket:

https://support.zendesk.com/entries/20477818-we-need-to-track-actual-time-spent-against-tickets-in-addition-to-elapsed-time

 

"United we stand / Divided we fall".

September 25, 2011 12:46
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Eric Shen
Zendesk

Hi everyone, 

Many thanks for all the feedback you have given.  We are working at Zendesk on improving the time tracking widgets, but it sounds like from what I am gathering so far, it seems like there are some cases which we may not have quite addressed (or can address given the existing widget structure).  The first item that we are working on is the Harvest widget.  We are preparing a beta for this and we'd love to invite you to try it out.  I do recognize that it may not cover all of what was discussed in this thread, but we want to at least see if we are making some progress in the right direction.  If you are interested in participating, feel free to email me directly at eshen@zendesk.com and we can put you on the list for the beta.  Also, I'd love to chat more about possible time tracking features so if you want to chat about that as well, feel free to email me.

Regards,

Eric Shen


October 05, 2011 11:16
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Rameil Hormozi

@Stephanie - i'm using your timer widget, very nice - i'd like to know how I can have the custom timer display time in hours instead of minutes?

ie. instead of Minutes = 15.0, would like it to display Hours = 0.25

 

thanks

October 18, 2011 00:27
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Jared Shusterman
sproutloud

I agree with all these comments - I do not think I can move past the trial period without this feature. 

 

I tried the integration with Harvest. Doesn't work as I need to display time in minutes not hours. I can't have agents do this conversion on the fly.

 

Plus why do I need to pay this when all I want to do is track basic time per comment as a text input? Maybe I'm oversimplifying, but doesn't seem to be that big of a task to add...

October 24, 2011 13:58
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Andres Gorostidi

I am currently evaluating the product. (zendesk), under the trial feautures,  and definitevely, I would not be able to have the management aproval on my organization to get onto this option if NOT TIME TRACKING is avaible.

It is not only to be able to bill a customer,  because some of them have fixed contracts,  but I need to known how many time I am elapsing on each one, so at the end of the year,  at contract renewals, I can justify if price should change with them or not.

Can not undertsand why Zen focus on other features and does not has a basic time tracking system,  freshbooks and hardvest are not options for me.....

I hope zen pronunciattes or says anything, . it would be enought for me to known they would rethink about it, or would implement on a short time,  otherwise I would have to go with other options  and work with a more open minder company that accepts customer request & demands.....   (i would accept suggestions of other helpdesk alternatives, with mobile access, time tracking, email, and of  spanish language)

October 30, 2011 10:32
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David Birchmier
Askmpa

Unfortunately this was a critical need for us as well Andres. We didn't have any luck with the solutions that Zendesk integrated with as they were simply not functional enough for real world use. We wound up building our own bridge between www.tsheets.com and Zendesk. It's working well for our company and we're in the process of beta testing it to release to others.

 

If it might work for you, feel free to shoot us an email at: support@mpacomputers.com

 

Best of luck!

October 30, 2011 16:25