Allow date to be cleared in triggers and automations
With the date field, it is only possible to set an action to:
- Set to a specific date
- Set to a number of days from now
It isn't possible to clear the field. See here:
The use case for this feature:
- Will allow the "Remind me!" to work without excluding tickets from a report
- Allow us greater flexibility when working with date fields
If you have any other use cases, comment so I can update the post.
Hi Everyone -
New PM for Triggers & Automations here, catching up on the requests in the Community. It has been great to see all the feedback from you! I certainly understand your frustrations around needing more flexibility in your trigger conditions and actions. While we are actively working to improve Triggers this is not a feature we currently have planned, however it is in our backlog of potential improvements.
Thank you for sharing your use cases as this helps our Product teams tremendously to know what is most important to you.
Thanks for posting over here, Bryan! We will be interested to see if this idea would be useful for many other users.
Yes, would be useful. When a reminder automation fires, the old ping date is no longer useful, just adds another manual step for the agent to clear it.
You should be able to do this already using the workaround of action Set to a number of days from now, and then setting the value to something unreasonable high, which will clear it. Try it out and let me know if it works.
I also wish Zendesk would support this natively.
Here is a screenshot and some more context; clearing values is an unresolved issue not just restricted to date fields:
I was excited to try this suggestion, and tried modifying an automation's action to set the ping date to an unreasonably high value (998765432109876543210), but the "ping date reached" automation didn't run at all AFAICT, which is worse than the original status. I'll investigate further as time permits, starting with manually reverting the automation to its prior state [speaking of which, it's unfortunate that automations don't yet support revision history as triggers do!].
Sure enough, as soon as I removed that action, this automation started working again. I guess ZD is protecting us from running broken automations that would silently leave tickets in unexpected state. End of investigation, as far as I am concerned, sadly.
So Nicole, we are back to the original request -- please allow triggers, macros, and automations to clear a date field (while we are at it -- please allow macros to set a date field!)
Yeah, I see the same behavior on my end after some tests, it seems this workaround no longer works.
+1 to this. We have a couple use cases:
- We've expanded the Due Date functionality of Task-Type tickets to be used across various other types of tickets by creating a hidden custom "revisit date" date field. Once the ticket is revisited, the revisit date remains on the ticket. It should be cleared out if a ticket doesn't need to be revisited.
- We've also created an "agent-deemed solved" date field to compensate for the delayed resolution time caused by bump-bump-solves (when an agent puts a ticket on pending and BBS solves the ticket out, we use this date as the solved date). We need this field to be cleared out if a ticket re-opens and is no longer solved.
Although we can make configurations to have ticket flows ignore the fields, the bigger problem is around data and reporting.
I've found a bug, or another use case, where we need custom date fields to be cleared.
Follow-up tickets do something to custom date fields regardless of if there's a value in the original ticket or not. This is problematic when the field is null in the original ticket.
Follow-up tickets with null custom date fields make them blank instead of setting it to null (blank and null are not the same). This causes follow-up tickets with blank custom date fields to be included in "Before" or "Before or on" conditions, where ones with null custom date fields are not.
Here is a follow-up/clarification on my tip for clearing the date by setting an unreasonable high (invalid) date.
So, this only works for triggers (not automations), and only if the ticket is being created.
That means, you can use it on triggers that runs as followup tickets are being created, e.g:
Ticket Is: Created
Channel Is: Closed ticket
In this scenario, the trigger will clear the ticket date field, which is otherwise inherited by the followup-ticket from the original closed ticket. That was always how I was using the workarond I mentioned, to clear some dates fields being inherited on followup tickets.
I just assumed it would work for automations and triggers updates as well, which was incorrect.
+1 for this - we'd like to be able to clear our "Reminder date" field when the date is reached and an email triggered to the assigned agent.
Yes please! We need this as well
+1 for this
We've implemented a flavour of the 'bump bump solve' process that will send an email to the requester on a date driven by a date ticket field, but there's no way of clearing the date when the client replies. This means we've had to implement some triggers to default the date, but it's added some complexity and some risks of accidentally emailing at the wrong time to what should be a fairly simple process.
In an ideal world we could have a single trigger that checks if the date is "not present", and default it to X days in the future - but because we can't clear it when the requester replies, we also need to check if the date is in the past (which isn't possible directly, so we check if it's in the previous 9999999 days) or if it's in the next X days before we change it to X.
To be honest; unbelievable this hasn't been fixed yet. Such a simple 'feature' can't take years for you to fix/implement?
+1 here. Any data that you put into a ticket field should be able to be modified by Triggers & Automations!
Without this ability, these field values get inherited on Followup tickets and mess with workflows and potentially analytics data.
I completely agree with Dan on the fact that this messes with metrics and workflows.
As mentioned, I don't believe this should be that hard to implement and would not affect Organizations that would not know about the new ability.
We would like to have this feature as well, we are using custom "On Hold Until" date and having the date be present for tickets that are not "On Hold" anymore is confusing and breaking some of our automations. Honestly, I am surprised this is not implemented from the start.
It would be great to have the ability to clear Date custom fields via Triggers. We have such date set automatically when some conditions are met - it is called a Payment date. Sometimes the Payment is rejected and it would be good to clear this date as the Payment wasn't done on that day.
I just tried Joel Hellman's workaround for custom date field via a trigger on a newly created followup ticket.
It worked (Yay!) but the fact that it's so hacky, and that even this is only available on triggers on ticket creation (i.e. not for updates, not for automations) remains a significant pain point.
It is definitely an inconvenient moment in Zendesk's usage experience. I have an example when an agent can't do anything and has to operate tickets with fields filled with wrong values: in ticket X date field x was set to specific value, then the ticket was marked as solved and in a few days the follow-up ticket was created. The new ticket Y was with pre-filled date field y that was copied from parent-ticket. There is any option to avoid such a situation because even Admin can't change the value of the date field to nothing.
Hi all, thanks for sharing your feedback. I appreciate you highlighting this gap in the current product functionality. Whilst it's not something we're implementing at this moment in time, it's on our radar as a potential improvement as we're rethinking triggers and automations in the coming year. Thanks again for sharing - it's always helpful to understand what's top of mind for customers as we develop our roadmaps.
This is super frustrating and i dont understand how something that was opened so long ago is still not implemented? It seems like common and basic functionality that should exist.
We stick tickets on hold with a due date in the future and utilise a trigger to tag them, we then have an automation that sets their priority / and open status once the due date is met
The annoyance comes where the automation clears the initial tag but the trigger instantly re adds it as it detects a due date and there is no way to clear it.
If there is more work to be done or the date needs amending and the ticket needs to be put on hold for another reason it causes havok / manual work removing tags or due dates etc.
It is frustrating; this does seem like a fundamental gap in functionality.
I think you know this already, Kieran, but for the record -- just because an issue has been open a long time doesn't mean that it will percolate to the top and be implemented. There will always be more plausible features wanted by some people than are feasible to implement.
This fix seems like a logical no-brainer, but that might just be my own stake in it!
Kieran Thorpe I feel like there should be a way to work around that issue. Could you elaborate on the problem you're trying to solve, and what conditions/actions you've set up in your trigger/automation?
Hi Stephen Belleau I can indeed.
I'll give a scenario and then explain how we implemented this.
A user contacts our support team and lets say they need time to be with the user in person but they are not free or available until a weeks time. We will book an appointment with them and then utilize task and due date placing the ticket on hold.
The date comes, some work is completed but we need to then work with a 3rd party and place our ticket on hold awaiting an update.
Unfortunately this leads to an issue, I don't want tickets to sit on hold for long periods of time, our agents often forget about tickets they've placed on hold and they can go stale. To combat this I have an automation that takes tickets off hold after a few days. However if something is scheduled I don't want those tickets to come off hold prematurely.
because a due date has been set at some point, this ticket is now effectively able to stay on hold indefinitely.
the triggers and automations responsible work like this:
1) Tag a ticket if there is a due date
- If due date is present, add tag due_date_pending
1) Take ticket off hold on due date
- IF hours until due date less than 2 & contains none of the following tag due_date_passed THEN set status open, set priority urgent, add tag due_date_passed, remove tag due_date_pending
n.b you need to add a tag to stop this looping, and the removing of the other tag as i mentioned is immediately undone by the trigger
2) Take ticket off hold after 3 days
- IF status is on hold & hours since on hold is greater than 72 & contains none of the following tag due_date_pending THEN set status to Open
I know I can make the trigger ignore any tickets that have the due_date_passed tag as well, but this creates more nightmares if lets say a new date needs to be set in the future again, i have to open the tags field up to my agents and let them edit/delete them manually (something were trying to avoid).
Simply clearing the due date field would make this so much cleaner and easier.
Hey Kieran Thorpe thanks for laying that out!
We do something similar with our On Hold tickets, but I think the key difference to avoid the issue you face is we have a third automation.
3) Reopen tickets on hold after due date
IF status is on hold & hours since on hold is greater than 72 & hours since due date is greater than 72 THEN set status to Open
Could that be a workaround for you?
(Regardless of workaround, I still agree with the idea of being able to clear due date!)
I'd like to add my support for triggers (any maybe automations) gaining the ability to clear a date field.
We use the date field all the time. However if a case is solved but then reopened at a later date the date field still shows the last date that was set by an agent. Ideally we'd like this cleared as it can cause confusion in our teams.
Clearing dates would be useful, but clearing ANY fields would be perfect. Like text fields, for instance.
HI Dale Bone and Carlos Santos thanks so much for providing your feedback. We are always looking for ways to improve.
While the ability to clear fields via triggers and automations isn't currently on our roadmap, I've captured this in our feedback tool to prioritize as we start to look at expanding the available conditions and actions.
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