Send Email Notifications to Secondary Emails in Support
2020-11-12 We have been struggling with issues surrounding primary and secondary email addresses for our end-users. There is a ZD Support thread here that looks like the issue has been going on for over 4 years now, and I haven’t seen a workaround or fix published.
Here’s our backstory…
In our configuration, we do an export out of our HR system each night and upload that to Zendesk to populate email addresses for our employees. Each employee should have a company-issued email address and a home email address on their profile. The API sets the company email address as primary and the home email as secondary.
The problem we have been running into s has been that our employees will email us from their home email stating that they cannot access their company email. When we go to respond, Zendesk sends the notifications to the primary address on file, which is the email they do not have access.
We realized the issue after several upset employees complained that we never responded to their requests. Their words were, “If I email you from my Gmail account, you should respond to my Gmail account.” We couldn’t agree more.
So then our agents started adding the employee’s Gmail address into the CC field, thinking it would send the notification to both addresses. Unfortunately, Zendesk is too smart. It knows the Gmail address is assigned to an existing user and only emails the primary company address.
We then discovered that we could switch the primary email address on the fly however our agents do not have access to modify customers. We do this because all customer data should be coming through the API. We further secure our instance by allowing only those customers created through the API to submit a request.
We always want a notification to go to their company address for tracking and communication purposes. Our dream would be for Zendesk to message all email addresses on file every single time. We would settle for being able to message both the primary and secondary on a ticket-by-ticket basis.
After raising the issue to Zendesk support, they recommended two workarounds...
- To treat the secondary email address as email Targets and then notify those Targets through Triggers (not the most convenient considering the high number of users we are talking about here).
- The other thing would be creating a new user profile using that secondary email address.
Option 1 isn't an option when we maintain thousands of customer records. Option 2 is technically possible but creates another issue. Here is why...
When we receive a ticket, it is auto-assigned to that single person record. Our agents then look at that person's record to get a history of their previous requests. They look for things like:
- Have they requested the same thing before?
- What did we do last time?
- Was that issue resolved, or did it bump-bump-solve?
If we were to create a different person record for every single email address on file, the agent lookup functionality would become much more difficult. We would need to search across multiple people records instead of it being housed within one record.
It would also detract from our reporting capabilities since management looks at things like top requesters and an individual’s request history. Since we have several departments inside of Zendesk, it helps us get a better picture of how often someone is reaching out for help which, in turn, shows us where we need to do more training for our employees. Splitting our employees into individual records for each email address would skew things like top requester and require extra effort to view a person’s history.
If we could send mail to all addresses, or even CC the secondary address, this would resolve a pain point for our agents and a major communication breakdown for our employees.
2022-12-09 This is still an issue Zendesk. Please help us help our customers.
You make an eloquent case for a problem which actually is much older than 4 years.
As a long-time ZD user myself, I can often argue for both sides of an issue (not every nice feature is worth the investment and maintenance cost), but in this case I truly do not understand why this was not fixed years ago.
Let's see if we can get this bumped up for re-consideration.
I would love this too! Users often email us from different email addresses to the one they checked out with and I would like to be able to reply to the one they emailed us from.
I have to highlight this: In our case, changing a CC email address without user consent is not only a bug that is against the instinct of normal email users. it's a violation to data privacy and security. It has caused our clients' distrust to us and may even lead to legal actions.
This issue has been there for so long that I kinda lose confidence it can ever be fixed. Our agents have more or less accepted the fact with pain and always double check the primary email address of the requester before sending replies. However, it is still shocking to us that the issue also applies to CC. We used to think that only main requesters were affected until today.
Now it's a totally different story, as CCs can be added by end users who are not aware about the "smartness" of Zendesk and the automated email address switching. Since our clients are in the pharmaceutical industry and are super sensitive to information confidentiality, such issue may lead to very big consequences.
That's exactly what happened today. The CC email address was added by our client who had no idea that it was recorded in ZD as a secondary email address, and there was a primary email address not even belonging to their company. Our agent's reply ended up being delivered to another company, without awareness of our client or agent.
Please, fix it, thank you very very much.
Nearly everyone of our customers has more than one e-mail address. And it´s a common use case that someone is writing us from his secondary e-mail address (e.g. e-mail address from work). This person wants the answer also to his secondary e-mail address and not to the primary.
At the moment you can´t even see quickly from which e-mail address a user is writing you. You have to click three times to see the sender address and then change the primary e-mail address in ZD and switch it back after you answered the customer. That is not a smart solution for a modern CRM tool and it doesn´t save time compared to a normal system.
We would buy more licenses for our agents if this problem would be solved but for now it remains in a test phase until we have a real benefit from it.
this is a huge issue, please add cc of secondaries
definitely have seen the "the problem is with their primary email address, so they email from their personal email" situation many, many times. if you don't think to look for that as a possibility, it can be frustrating for everyone. and even so, if the agent doesn't have user profile edit access, they're stuck anyway and need to contact them outside the ticket.
This is definitely a must have capability of Zendesk! It’s to be expected that an End-User could have multiple email addresses, and he could contact us from any of them and expect to receive an answer to the same one.
We should be able to switch between primary and secondary addresses, when sending a public comment.
The fact that we also can’t recognize at first glance that the ticket comes from a secondary email is also frustrating.
- End-User sends us a ticket requesting assistance from his secondary email -> we answer his enquiry, but our message goes to the primary email and the End-User doesn’t check that email or has even stopped using it -> End-User doesn’t receive our answer, gets frustrated; his issue remains unresolved.
- We can’t even recognize that a ticket comes from a secondary email in the agent workspace. We don’t actually know that our answer will go to a different address.
- From a legal point of view it is also not acceptable to send emails, possibly containing personal information, to addresses other than the one used for the particular request.
Suggestions for improvement:
- Being able to see the actual Email Address that the Ticket was sent from - this is a mandatory change from my point of view. For example next to the End-User Name in the Ticket there could be additional information “send via Secondary email XXX@YYY.com”
- Zendesk automatically sends the public reply to the email address that the request was made from.
- Option to switch the “Send To” email address – dropdown with all emails available for the user.
- Option to add secondary emails as CC
Hi, adding another request for this feature. We have a need to email a user at multiple email addresses sometimes and are not able to do so.
Thank you for your input Milena Rusanova GfK. The legality of sending personal information to the wrong address is why we have refrained from bringing additional agents into our instance. It's hard to bring an HR team into the product when they cannot 1) know which email address initiated the conversation and 2) be guaranteed they are communicating with the address that initiated the communication.
If this could be addressed, we would buy more product licenses and onboard more agents.
We need also such a feature. Please implement such a feature which is requested since 11 years now.
I have a scenario that's quite different from OP's but the need to reply to end user at the email address that the user emailed us from remains identical.
This shortcoming feels like yet another limitation of Zendesk's ticket-centric design. And while a solution might violate some Zendesk internal product philosophy or cause them to rethink the very underpinnings of their product, seems like for a need this fundamental and universal, it would probably be worth pursuing.
At the very least it seems like another Frankenstein app add-on could be developed by Zendesk to address this, if not address it natively in the application itself.
And with that said, I feel like a workaround with a custom ticket field, and a webhook calling Zendesk tickets API could be implemented by a Zendesk admin with some ingenuity.
For our teams, it is NOT effective to have multiple users for the same client as it actually confuses the communication. Having the ability to CC an outside/none EU email address is quite important for us. Please get this option added ASAP. Thank you.
Absolutely baffling behavior. Why would I want to respond to a different address than the one that contacted me? Our issue is that users will lose access to their primary email and submit from an alternate one, but since we leverage external IDs on user profiles during ticket submission, the alternate email gets added as a secondary & our replies go to the "bad" address.
This is truly an absurd problem to have. It affects Zendesk customers and their customers' customers.
We are setting up the messaging system and one of the issues we face is that if a member has 2 email addresses and has started the chat via the secondary email address it becomes a problem when we resolve the ticket as it sends the conversation update to the primary email address. It becomes very difficult to keep checking which email address the member has started the chat so that they can receive it on the same address. The workaround is too long for the number of chats we receive and need to respond to. We really need zendesk to work on this as it impacts the efficiency of the team.
I have discovered this issue after attempting to tidy up our duplicate users who may email from different email addresses. I now find that the system then ignores the from email and just replies back to the primary email with no way of CCing in the secondary emails from a customer profile. this means the customer may be expecting a reply to account B but the reply comes to account A.
the email trail needs to remain intact with the exact email address they sent the request from. without this, the secondary email feature is utterly useless. Our clients do not use the ZenDesk portal, only email.
utterly useless feature, and apparently no way to reverse all the merging i have done or easy way to split a customer.
it's things like this that really put me off of products and I already have a list of things i hate about ZenDesk, I would not recommend to a friend!
fix this, it's stupid!
There is a redundant (older) post here: https://develop.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360034441633-Send-email-notifications-to-secondary-emails-in-Support
Note from the Zendesk Community Team: the link above no longer works as the developer community was merged into the main community in 2021 and that feature request is considered represented in this thread.
Adding my voice here - this needs to be fixed. We need to quickly verify emails are coming from the right address for security reasons. I was going to program a target to post the "sending" email as an internal note and its not even an option in the api.
We have reached the end of our rope with this and are exploring FreshDesk and HelpScout. It's just unbelievable that simple basic features like this aren't even being considered. Scratch that...these aren't even features - this is literally a bug.
I agree. For reporting reasons, we need to have all of the associated emails under the end-user profile. However, occasionally people need to reply to the secondary email address from time to time or to BOTH emails if requested by the end-user. Please bump this up. Thanks!
In our business, we have end user internal customers that are part of different revenue generating and requesting teams. We need to be able to easily search these records, report on them, as well as track history of requests.
This issue will definitely impact our business across all of our brands/teams!
My use case is very similar to the original poster and the headache is enormous. Please fix.
Well, the day has finally come. I'm so excited to share that we're finally off of Zendesk. Moved to Helpscout earlier this month and it's been such a breath of fresh air. The point here isn't to promote HS, though.
Our whole support team is so glad we don't have to deal with the following issues any more (and, is very regretful we didn't make this change sooner) :
- This issue...insanely struggling with browser performance and autocorrect not working.
- The ticket views not automatically refreshing (seriously, how is this acceptable? It's 2023)
- Horrible/painful handling of CCs in tickets where multiple emails need to be Ccd in.
- Thoughtless handling of primary/secondary/multiple emails for a single contact. Basically, you can't give a contact multiple emails, you have to create a separate contact for each email they'd like to be notified at. Ridiculous.
In the years we've been with Zendesk, no new features have been added; and if anything, features have been "broken"/degraded. Zendesk is the most basic solution for ticket management, and cares not one bit about listening to their users. I hope to see even more solutions recognize this, listen to what their users need, and build more alternatives that make sense instead of using Zendesk.
I've been waiting for this day to be able to unsubscribe to this thread. Best of luck to all of you, and hope you find an alternative that works for you.
Our Account Managers submit tickets on behalf of our clients and we would like to be able to email the secondary email address which is the clients and not reply to the AM.
Hi Jonathan March has there been a solution for this issue yet? We are having the same one.
Howard Fischer No solution yet that I've noticed! To be clear, Community Moderators are just users like yourself.
Hello, i have the same problem.... how can i escalate this problem?
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