Forums/Community/Product Feedback

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Auto suggest forum topics

Paul Alexander
suggested this on August 31, 2009 16:47

When user's submit requests, I'd love it if Zendesk would automatically suggest forum topics. This could be based on the auto-tagging feature so that if a new request is automatically tagged, forums tagged with the same tags would be suggested to the user before the case was submitted. As the body of content grows in the forums, fewer and fewer support requests will require direct support staff involvement.

 

Comments

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Colin Murphy
singlefeed

Very big +1

Ticket deflection is a cornerstone of any good help desk / ticketing system.

February 23, 2010 15:46
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Paul McCann

We are still fully evaluating between Zendesk and Tenderapp, and we find that the auto suggest feature of Tenderapp will over time cut out so much work for us that it may be worth using even though it has less features. You can see the example of how the auto suggest works at http://tenderapp.com/tour/help/ 

I would also like to back this feature for Zendesk and help users help themselves.

March 12, 2010 04:54
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Brian Biggs
fluid

We're evaluating ZenDesk and Tender App as well. The autosuggest feature on Tender App is nice but it only suggests after a user has posted a new topic. If the user finds the topic helpful, they would need to mark their discussion topic as solved or delete it. 

 

It would be really nice if auto-suggest would work as  the user types. Helpstream offers this. 

March 24, 2010 17:28
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Colin Murphy
singlefeed

@Brian Biggs We loved Helpstream - from a functionality standpoint - when we were evaluating various KB/forum/ticketing providers... but it was a bit out of our price range...

March 25, 2010 09:13
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Jake Holman
Product Manager

I've been hearing good things about Helpstream's functionality. It would be great if I could bring a few of you into conversation over email and gather some of the stuff you really liked - feasible for you both (or anyone else that'd like to volunteer)?

Jake Holman
Zendesk

March 25, 2010 09:15
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Colin Murphy
singlefeed
March 25, 2010 09:36
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Brian Biggs
fluid

Surely. brian at fluid.com

March 25, 2010 10:02
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Rob Holmes
nzpost

Very important feature to cut down on unnecessary tickets. Any update on progress on this?

May 12, 2010 22:37
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Rob Holmes
nzpost

Relates to a similar discussion in the Community Help forum - https://support.zendesk.com/entries/161783-zendesk-equivalent-of-rn-s-smartassistant

Could the suggested topics be based on the Related Topics widget (just add an additional step when submitting the ticket which displays the related topics and allows the user to read these prior to actually submitting their ticket)?

May 28, 2010 22:09
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Michelle
BigTent

The topic suggester is great, but it would be greater if it were used to deflect new tickets by suggesting related articles when the customer is typing in his/her ticket.

June 03, 2010 20:37
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Svetlana Astakhova

We too find such feature very important.

A visitor sends an inquiry, zendesk automatically scans the inquiry and finds relevant entries in the knowledgebase, and sends an autoreply to the inquiry with the suggestion to check out relevant articles. The inquirer can then be asked "Was it helpful?", if the answer is yes, the ticket is automatically closed .

June 23, 2010 04:11
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Jacob Hiller
jumpmanual

Kayako does this very well.  Less tickets = less money and time to man the help desk.  I think a greater focus needs to be placed on this.

June 24, 2010 14:59
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Scott Stanford
willowgarage

Another corollary would be suggesting relevant tickets within the end user's organization (e.g., if someone already filed this ticket or something similar).

July 09, 2010 00:13
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Rob Holmes
nzpost
@Scott Stanford great suggestion, like your thinking.
July 09, 2010 15:08
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Adrian

Any update about this? I would like to switch to Zendesk but with the amount of tickets that would come in without this feature would be too much for my staff.

July 13, 2010 20:16
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Jake Holman
Product Manager

@Scott, that is pretty awesome - we'd have to limit it to shared orgs only though.

@Adrian, no update at the moment. This is not currently being worked on.

July 14, 2010 01:38
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Jacob Hiller
jumpmanual

We set our homepage jumpmanual.zendesk.com to be the required starting place.  But it looks as if it is the contact form.  This way when people type in the "subject" it actually searches the forum first.  Then if it doesn't find the answer in the forums, they will be prompted to send a ticket.

This way the only way to send a ticket is if the knowledge base has been looked at.

There is only one problem.  The search on the home page is not very "smart."  By smart I mean that it will pick up only exact matches, it won't show a related forum if there is even one word that s not an exact phrase match.

If I could find a way to fix that I think that solution would be perfect!

September 03, 2010 01:21
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Rob Holmes
nzpost

Nice approach! I'm guessing the guys are aware that their search needs some work - I saw a job ad or two a while back for search specialists. 

@Jake - care to confirm or deny?

September 03, 2010 12:46
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Jake Holman
Product Manager

That's right, our search technology will see some upgrades pretty soon. 

September 03, 2010 13:56
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Jacob Hiller
jumpmanual

That's great.  I think with the new search abilities this "tweak" would work for this solution.  It should deflect a lot of tickets.

September 03, 2010 17:41
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Jacob Hiller
jumpmanual

@Jake - Any idea when this might be done?

September 04, 2010 20:07
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Jake Holman
Product Manager

Most likely not until next year (which isn't very far away!) while we upgrade our search tech, and indeed introduce a few other bits into Zendesk - we'll then be able to review the way in which users flow through the support process (and how you can customise it) with a much better standing.

September 04, 2010 20:21
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Nick Jackson
unilincoln

Very briefly, is this planned to have any kind of email-based deflection as well? We hope to route the majority of users through web, but it would be nice if a 'simple' email like "how do I change my password?" can be replied to with a few suggested KB articles.

November 10, 2010 07:55
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Tom I.
oranged

+1 for this as well as improving the search. I would look for another post here on the search topic but zen desks search is much, much too strict and seems to ignore the content of many posts.

March 01, 2011 04:44
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berly

Do you have any clue of when this will be able. We are still hesitating very much because of this missing feature! I will really be a great help for us and all our customers!

March 09, 2011 05:37
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Jacob Hiller
jumpmanual

WE have found a new nice tweak using Zendesks new drop box... which is awesome.

So.. instead of a regular form, we hid it, and added a new "ask us' tab... and that uses the new dropbox feature with the auto sugggest as well.

The parsing of the autosuggest could use some tweaking still but we are loving the solution.

Here is our Zendesk:

http://jumpmanual.zendesk.com

March 09, 2011 14:00
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Jake Holman
Product Manager

@Jacob: Hah, that's pretty clever. By the way, there's a newer new version of the dropbox - you should make a new dropbox and take a look!

March 09, 2011 14:29
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Jacob Hiller
jumpmanual

Thanks Jake :)

 

I'll definitely take a look...  

 

BTW we released our integration with Clickbank recently and have brought on several new and happy Zendesk customers... 

 

We're just coming out of beta and we'll be bringing in many more.

March 09, 2011 14:47
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Jacob Hiller
jumpmanual

@jake... is it the advanced featurres, better parsing, and cleaner output of suggestions for the new one?

March 09, 2011 14:52
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Jake Holman
Product Manager

@Jacob: All detailed right here: http://www.zendesk.com/blog/dropbox-redesign-new-metrics-with-goodd... 

Mainly cosmetics.

March 09, 2011 14:57
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H
skimlinks

Massive +1 on this request. Considering switching over the Uservoice to get this functionality if Zendesk do not roll it out soon.

 

Jake, is there an update on this?

July 15, 2011 04:05
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Jake Holman
Product Manager

@H: The problem is really a matter of search. Generally when you search for things (on your computer, a web app, itunes, etc) you're doing a keyword match. That is to say the application takes what you typed, remove "stop words" such as "and" or "the" and then runs a search on the words that are left.

With deflection, it's a little different. Generally speaking your customers will type in a question into the subject, or generally use the same language as when they speak to or write to a human being. 

We call this "Natural Language", and it's very very hard for computers to understand it. If you ask a search "How do I change my password?" then it doesn't understand that this is a question, do it will remove "How, do, I, my" (typically) and then run a search against "change" and "password".

This in turn means the results returned aren't as relevant as they should be and as such can be useless to the customer - that eventually leads to frustration. 

This is part of the reason we have not heavily invested time into putting deflection into part of the global ticket submission workflow. There's also a number of other things we need to work through such as making that "deflection" experience as less annoying as we possibly can! 

For the record, I wouldn't imagine Uservoice have cracked natural language search either - trying doing "how do I change my password?" and see how many results are returned which aren't relevant. 

July 15, 2011 10:05
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Paul
xheo

It doesn't need to be a natural language search to be effective. If you're searching the forums against the subject question, there's a high probability that the way it was asked in the forums will use the same language as the subject line in the support question. Tuning the answers in the forums to use matching keywords will also improve the search results. We built our own deflection system that just uses the subject as a search against a Lucene index and it works very well. Nothing all that "smart" or "natural langauge" about it. 

July 15, 2011 13:55
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community engine

@Jacob Hiller ("This way when people type in the "subject" it actually searches the forum first.  Then if it doesn't find the answer in the forums, they will be prompted to send a ticket.").

+10

Thats' exactly what I'd want to see as well. In fact, out of all the SaaS issue and knowledge management tools I've investigated, none seem to have this feature. I'd love to see this in Zendesk along with predictive search (like Google has) so that it speeds up user searches with the first 5 most relevant based on the keywords theyve typed, along with the option to "View all results".

July 17, 2011 15:38
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community engine

@Jake:

I noticed this is marked as Planned. What are the details of this (ie, what will it be able to do and not be able to do based on your planning)? And what is the expected delivery date? Looking forward to this very much.

July 17, 2011 15:41
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Jacob Hiller
jumpmanual
@community engine we tweaked our site for this. Check out support.jumpmanual.com
July 17, 2011 16:44
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community engine

@Jacob Hiller:

Thanks I already checked out your site. Its fantastic to say the least! I'll definately be playing copycat on some of the methods you've used on your Zendesk knowledge base!

July 17, 2011 18:03
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Jacob Hiller
jumpmanual

@community engine

Thanks, really appreciate that. 

We took the normal contact tab out and added the autsugest link instead, to get a similar affect.

The Zendesk search algorithms need a bit of tweaking but I'm sure they'll get to it.

If you want the code I used for that just hit me up.

July 17, 2011 18:18
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Reto Laemmler

@Jacob Hiller

Hey, I would be interested in how you did replace it by the Ask Us tab. Would you mind to share it with me at rl@doodle.com ?

Thanks,
Reto 

July 28, 2011 06:57
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Hannah
viglink
Hey Jacob, Any chance you can give your insight on your box with the relevant searches/topic? It's awesome and seems to be what we're looking for! If so, could you email me @ hannah at viglink dot com? Thanks!!
August 11, 2011 17:48
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Jacob Hiller
jumpmanual
@reto This should be the code to add it: Event.observe(window, 'load', function() { $j('#top-menu .tab_forums').after($j('
  • ASK US
  • ')); }); It probably only works if you already have dropbox. Here is the code to hide regular forum tab: li.tab_new , li.tab_forums{ display:none; } @hannah that should help you as well right? This is just a drop box widget that also shows up on our top tabs with some extra script.
    August 11, 2011 18:07
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    Jacob Hiller
    jumpmanual
    @reto @hannah This is also the code that works with the other some how (???) to hide the regular submission request. Event.observe(window, 'load', function() { $$('#top-menu #green')[0].insert('
  • Forums AND article & feature requests.
  • '); }); Event.observe(window, 'load', function() { document.getElementById("buttonsubmit").value="Begin"; }); Event.observe(window, 'load', function() { document.getElementById("suggestion_submit").value="Begin"; }); Event.observe(window, 'load', function() { $$('a[href="/forums.rss"]').each(function (e) { Element.hide(e.parentNode); }); });
    August 11, 2011 18:12
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    Hannah
    viglink
    Wow, Jacob--you're WAY faster than ZD support! We've just started with ZD so we dont have a dropbox yet, but something we will definitely look into asap. Your set up is great. Thanks.
    August 11, 2011 18:13
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    Jacob Hiller
    jumpmanual
    hah :) ZD support is fantastic so hit them up and they can help you set it up, you can also show them what we have. You'll love it. We make out own ZD extension for Clickbank vendors and they have all been quite happy.
    August 11, 2011 18:14
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    Hannah
    viglink
    haha, i've already emailed ZD support! just anxiously awaiting their response!
    August 11, 2011 18:17
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    Jacob Hiller
    jumpmanual
    They'll get you back BTW, Viglink is awesome - I'm interested on both merchant and affiliate sides... cool concept.
    August 11, 2011 18:25
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    Kevin
    aonetworks
    @ Jake - Zendesk built this functionality it into the feedback (dropbox) tab, so you obviously realize there is value in forcing a search to happen prior to allowing a user to submit a request. With that understanding, we need an option in the web portal to have the "Submit a Request" feature work in the same way. I want my customers to "self-help" as much as possible. We are finding that once the users have found the "Submit a Request" button, on subsequent issues they stop using the "Search" function first. It is easier for the user to submit a request and let us give them the correct solution, then for them to search for it. This is killing my agents productivity. We truly believe Zendesk has been a great asset to us in providing spectacular customer service. But we recently reached the point where I needed to bring on an additional agent, (moved from 3 to 4), in part because my customers are not bothering to search the forums to find our published answers to common issues. We are consistently answering variations on the same questions. Because of this situation, I am forced to look at the fully-burdened cost of the additional agent vs. the value Zendesk brings us. You guys are great at getting new enhancements into the system, and I see this is marked as "planned". Don't let it get placed on the back-burner. It will help companies like us to "Love our help desk" quite a bit more.
    August 23, 2011 11:37
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    Reto Laemmler
    @Kevin - I couldn't agree more with you! We actually are planning to switch to Uservoice just because of the lack of this feature.
    August 23, 2011 23:36
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    Rvlawrence

    I agree this feature is very much needed and will add TREMENDOUS value to Zendesk.  Please implement this.

    October 25, 2011 16:47
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    Benni
    hasoffers

    Yes. Please implement.

    November 27, 2011 19:40
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    Jake Holman
    Product Manager

    We plan on implementing a very low touch, non-obtrusive solution by the end of this year. I have no further details on this just yet.

    November 28, 2011 08:12
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    Mikko Savolainen
    bluegiga
    +1 for this. I'm considering to get Zendesk, but won't do it unless this feature is there.
    December 03, 2011 03:24
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    Reto Laemmler

    We already moved away from Zendesk to Uservoice because of this feature. This feature does magic. 

    December 05, 2011 00:42
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    Stuart Brereton
    easyfundraising2

    @Jacob Hiller

    Hi Jacob, I am just looking at implementing the cool knowledge base search utility 'dropbox' that you are using.  I don't know if this is the correct protocol but would it be possible for me to ask you a quick question?  My email address is stuart at easyfundraising.org.uk.  I promise not to bombard you with a whole load of questions.

    December 07, 2011 02:37
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    Pete P
    qatarairways

    The best auto-suggestion feature I know of is the one from RightNow Technologies. Check out the search box on KLM Airlines homepage (www.klm.com).

    December 08, 2011 08:08
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    David

    Is there an update on this feature request?

    December 19, 2011 18:33
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    Kevin
    aonetworks

    @jake: In your previous post, you mentioned a solution was coming by the end of the year.  Schedules slip, no worries there, but can you provide a quick update?  Is this still on the way?

    January 03, 2012 15:53
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    Dave Dyson
    Zendesk

    There's now an option in Settings > Channels > Web Portal called "Topic Suggestions" -- Zendesk will suggest related topics in your Knowledge Base to End-Users submitting tickets, based on keywords entered in the Subject field:

    Topic_Suggestions.png

    March 08, 2012 12:28
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    Spike

    I love this new feature... activated it this week ourselves. 

    March 08, 2012 12:39
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    David

    Nice addition. Good Job Zendesk.

     

    March 14, 2012 18:11
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    Flor Ortiz
    chairhero

    Hey Dave,

     

    What if I don't want it to be based on the Subject the customer puts in, but the a drop down field they selected? We are trying to prevent waiting for responses from triggered emails and just making sure customer include all information and attach all the pictures we need. A simple pop-up or even something on the left-hand side that allows us to give them further instructions before they submit the support ticket will be helpful.

    April 03, 2012 11:55
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    FoxyLearning

    I would also like to see this feature implemented on the ticket creation form generated by the Feedback Tab (similar to the way that it is done by UserVoice). I don't particularly like the workflow of the "Enable Topic Suggestions & Knowledge Base Search" option for the Feedback Tab and would rather have it just be the request submission form with the autosuggested forum topics after they enter their question (this is how it works with UserVoice's feedback/help tab -- it's a nice UI and workflow). 

    April 06, 2012 12:42
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    Florin
    earworks

    This answers the request when the web form is used but not for email requests.

    Many of the other helpdesk apps offer the ability to include suggested answers from the knowledge base as automatic reply to an email.

    Since this request was marked as done please support the email-related request at https://support.zendesk.com/entries/21213948.

    September 08, 2012 16:40
    Topic is closed for comments