What is the difference between triggers and automations?
The differences between automations and triggers highlight two different aspects of a support workflow: time and action.
Automations within Zendesk Support are specifically time-based. Use them when you want an action to automatically happen according to a timeframe set up in your workflow. Automations run every hour on all your tickets that are not closed.
One way to think about when and how to set up an automation is to write your support workflow and indicate if you have any time requirements associated with any of the steps. For example, use automations if you want to send a reminder email to your customer if you are waiting for information from them for over three days.
Triggers within Support fire when other specific actions took place. Triggers are run through every time a ticket state is changed and triggered if the changes match the conditions defined in the trigger.
Use triggers when you want certain actions to take place only when some other actions took place. For example, use triggers to send a particular answer to a question when that question comes in. Every time a ticket is touched, changes attributes or has a comment, the system checks if any of the trigger conditions match the change and fires them off.
You might not be able to automate the research it takes to troubleshoot a ticket for instance, but you can automate the ticket's escalation. When the agent assigns the ticket to another group, for instance, you can create a trigger that fires off an email to the members of that group.