Use automations to send alerts when a ticket needs a reply

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24 Comments

  • Chris Hardie
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    We have some cases where an agent inadvertently sets a ticket to "Open" without making an initial user-facing reply. The example given here only works for tickets that are "New." How can we detect tickets of any status that don't have an initial reply?

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  • Kayla Schmidt
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    Hi Chris, I believe you should be able to accomplish what you’re looking for with a trigger. I’ve created an example in my test account and you can tweak as needed and edit the email body to your liking, but basically this trigger would look for whenever Agent replies are zero and the ticket Status is Open. Then you can perform the action of emailing a specific user or a whole group notifying that there is an open ticket with zero agent replies. It seemed to do the trick with my testing, so I hope it helps with your workflow! 

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  • Thomas
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    Is there anyway of notifying all agents within Zendesk instead of sending them an email? We are trying to notify all agents when a ticket comes through from a specific channel. Thanks.

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  • Jessie Schutz
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    Hi Thomas! Welcome to the Community!

    There isn't any functionality that allows that built into the product, and I'm not able to find any apps that do this either. The closest thing I found was the Notification App, but it's not automated.

    Another option would be to use our API to create an app of your own that does this. You can find our API resources here.

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  • Heather R
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    @Thomas,

    We use Slack as a way to alert agents that prefer a non-emailed alert.  There is a desktop and phone app and they work great!

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  • Evgeny Belyaev
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    Good day ZenDesk community!
    I need to set an alert when ticket has been created and there was no agent reply for more than 10 minutes - how can I achieve that? All the metrics I have available in the automation condition dropdown are "Hours since..." and measuring first reply time in hours is unacceptable for our business.
    Can I get reply time measured in minutes somehow?
    I tried setting the value of 0.2 hours for example, but this is not accepted by ZD.

     

    Thanks in advance!

    Evgeny.

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  • Heather R
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    Hi @Evgeny,
    Good point. I believe hours is the only Automation option. I wonder if you could play around with Zapier? I believe there would be a way to copy Zapier on created ticket emails and have it send back somethingnin minutes if other conditions are not met, add a tag and have a trigger fire off the alert you're looking for.
    I haven't done this myself so I'm not sure how to walk you through it but I do know Zapier will allow so many "Zaps" per month for free. I mention this because depending on your volume, it may not be free.
    I hope others have better recommendations for you!

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  • Ivan Bukata
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    Hi, i set almost the same conditions as you

    status: open

    Hours since requester update: greater than 24

    and get an error: 

    Automation could not be updated as:

    • Automation must not run multiple times per ticket. It must have a time-based condition that is only true once (Hours since created is 24) or an action that nullified a condition ("Priority Is High" and an action setting it to "Priority Is Urgent").
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  • Jessie Schutz
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    Hi Ivan!

    You can't created an automation that would run multiple times on the same ticket; it's necessary to add a nullifying condition to make sure it only runs once. We go into detail about how this works in this article.

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  • Simon Dunton
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    I haven't thought of a way of timing alerts on the basis of fractions of an hour, as Evgeny was looking for, but I have devised a supplementary automation to handle the situation that Chris Hardie described last year - i.e. to flag up where a ticket has been assigned, yet replying to the requester has got overlooked.
    You create an optional dropdown ticket field like "FirstReplyNeeded" and give it an optional value such as "Outstanding". Assuming that you use the basic triggers "Notify requester of received request" and "Notify requester of comment update", then you add an action to the former trigger that sets FirstReplyNeeded = Outstanding and an action to the latter trigger that resets it to null.
    The automated alert is fired off when Hours since assigned is [your choice] and FirstReplyNeeded = Outstanding. Other conditions could be the Ticket Group and Ticket Status less than closed, or individual assignees. This alert provides a safeguard where tickets could get assigned inadvertently to agents who are actually absent as well as those who are just absent-minded sometimes.

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  • Jessie Schutz
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    Thanks for sharing your solution, Simon!

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  • Krisztina Péterfi
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    Hello Zendesk Support!

    I would like to set the automation like when we get a ticket with open or pending status to only get reminder e-mails, if the following ticket has no update greater than 48 business hours. Could you please suggest me the proper way to set this up?

    We already set the way when we have a ticket more than 48 business hours Zendesk generated a reminder e-mail to take care about the topical ticket.

    Thank you!

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  • Brett - Community Manager
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    Hi Krisztina,

    Are you wanting this automation to fire if no update has been made from requester of the ticket or the assignee? You have a couple options when creating this automation and I've attached an example below: 

    You can use any of the following conditions depending on who you're waiting for an update form:

    • Hours since update
    • Hours since assignee update
    • Hours since requester update

    Let me know if you have any other questions!

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  • Krisztina Péterfi
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    Hi Brett!

    I wasn't clear entierly, but you just suggested me that I wanted to make.
    I have set automation to fire if no update has been made from the assignee group and it works well.
    Thank you for your help, I really appriciate it!

    Have a great day!

    Kind regards,
    Krisztina Péterfi

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  • Dan Rivero
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    Is there a way to not trigger the automation if the ticket is updated by any agent, rather than just the assignee?

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Hi Dan -

    It depends a little bit on your workflow and how you have your agents set up.

    If your agents always set a ticket to "Pending" whenever they respond to a user, then you could set up a trigger to send a notification to the assignee group any time the ticket has been in "open" status longer than X hours, assuming that, if an agent responded, it would have been set to another status.

    There's also a condition for Ticket: Hours since update which would fire any time there's been no update (from either the requester, any agent, or any other trigger/automation) in a given period of time.

    If neither of those works for your circumstances, a slightly more cumbersome way to set it up would be to have a tag applied when any agent responds (either manually or via a macro) and then set it up so that, if that tag is present, the automation does not fire. But that would only work the first time as the tag would then be on the ticket going forward unless removed by an agent.

    Let me know if any of those fit your use case, or if there are more details I should know to help you out.

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  • Venkatesan Kannan
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    Hi,

        I have been looking for a way to send an alert to groups, if any tickets are untouched for around 15Mins. I have tried the options under Triggers, Automations in Zendesk support product. But its giving options such as "Hours Since" only and there are no options for "Minutes Since". Is there any way to get notified using triggers or automations for the time elapsed in Minutes?

     

      

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  • Brett - Community Manager
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    Hi Venkatesan,

    Automations will only fire once every hour within that hour. Unfortunately there's no feature available that will get you more granular than that. You're best option would be to use Hours since ... > Less than > 1.

    I recommend taking a look at the following article for more information:

    Can I have an automation check conditions in minutes instead of hour

    Cheers!

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  • Rebecca Love
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    Is there any way to have the automation email to the requester copy into the ticket as a public reply?

    I am concerned that a client will say that they never received the email and would like a point of truth that is transparent to the client.

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  • Heather R
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    @Rebecca,

    I'm not aware of a way to copy the email in to the ticket, but if you're on Enterprise, you can enable the Email Archiving option in Admin --> Settings --> Tickets. Scroll to the bottom and add an email (I suggest a new dedicated one that can be accessed as needed).  This account will start getting a copy of EVERY email sent out of your Zendesk.

    You may want to set up a process to delete emails after a given time period to keep the email account clean, perhaps every month you clear out last month's emails.

    I use this archiving function to also monitor any new triggers or automations we're customizing to ensure it looks the way we expect from a customer experience point of view.

    Hope this is helpful!

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  • Dan Cooper
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    Hi Rebecca, 

    If you look in the events log on a ticket, you can see where notifications were fired and typically a high level overview of the contents are included if you click on the link next to the event entry.  This may get you just enough to show that the message fired and the general contents - even though it wouldn't be a full email like Heather's solution above.

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  • Rebecca Love
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    Thanks Heather and Dan - Is this something we could look at improving on?

    I am a bit concerned that the requester will look at their portal to see the correspondence and claim we made no effort to follow them up. I would prefer to be more proactive and have this in the ticket for the requester to see, as they cannot see events.

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  • Dan Cooper
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    Hi Rebecca,

    There are some community posts floating around that can show you how to populate a comment on a ticket using a trigger and a target.  These workflows aren’t supported by Zendesk, but many customers use them because they do mostly work.  You’d have to watch out for a few things if you do that: 

    • Be careful not to double notify.  If your trigger is sending an email and applying a public comment, you would send an automated email with the public reply
    • Keep it simple.  The main reason this isn’t supported is due to timing issues.  Your trigger build may have complexity in it and the public reply posted could conflict with the way triggers runs - it may come in later than expected or sooner in that flow.
    • This solution will always post from the same person - whoever you set as the target.  You may want your comments to appear as if they are from the same agent, but these notifications may feel more automated (they are) than you’d like to present to your customer. 

    Hope this helps give you something to check out.

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  • Heather R
    Comment actions Permalink

    Hi Rebecca,

    I see what you mean.  Well, I have used "Notify Target" in the past and posted a comment to the ticket (usually a private comment but it's just as easy to make it post a public comment). 

    If you were to go that route, you may want to test it thoroughly because you'd basically be just using the "Notify Requester of ticket update" trigger because you're essentially updating the ticket, and the trigger would send the "usual" update rather than an update outside the history of the ticket.  In other words, if you set up the Notify Target and have it update the ticket and NOT email the requester, you'll have to adjust all your triggers because you don't want to double up on updates. 

    I hope you follow what I'm saying because it seems I might have Monday Brain today.

    Step 1: Set up an API token. (Admin --> Channels --> API tokens)

    Step 2: Set up a Target (Admin --> Settings --> Extensions--> Add Target - see screenshot

    Step 3: Update your triggers with "Notify Target" and select the target name you named in Step 2.

     

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