Build Custom Workflows With Tags Follow

By Matthew Latkiewicz | August 6, 2010

Tags are a versatile tool within the Zendesk Support utility belt. Because they can be used in many different contexts, they are often your best bet when trying to set up custom workflows. We discussed previously how you can use tags to analyze your macro use. In this tip of the week, we’re going to see how tags can be used to build automated workflows when using custom fields.

Adding Custom Fields

Adding custom fields to Zendesk Support web form allows the form to fit your specific business’ needs. For instance, let’s say you run a screen-printing business, and you direct customers to your Zendesk Support web form to field questions about your various products. In order to make the form more relevant to your business, you’ll want to add a custom field called “products.” This way, your customers can indicate which products they are writing about.

To do so, go to the Manage tab in the top navbar and click Ticket Fields. Next choose “add custom field” in the upper right. You can add a number of different kinds of fields to your customer request web form, but for now, let’s go with a drop-down list.

On the next page, you’ll fill out the options for your new ticket field.

Tip of the Week: Build Custom Workflows With Tags

Custom fields can be for agents only, or you can make them visible to end-users. In this example, let’s make the fields visible and also editable — meaning your customers can choose a product and change the value of this field. You can also enter the options you want to include in the dropdown.

Note that each custom field automatically gets an associated tag. You’ll see why in just a second.

Tip of the Week: Build Custom Workflows With Tags

Anytime a customer fills out a web form and chooses one of the products, the corresponding tag will be automatically added to that ticket.

Tip of the Week: Build Custom Workflows With Tags

Acting on Our Custom Fields

One of the most powerful features of Zendesk Support are the triggers. We’ve discussed triggers before in this series, such as setting up auto-responses to common questions , organizing tickets with multiple email addresses , and when it’s best to use automation or triggers . Triggers are the automatic actions taken when certain conditions are met. With triggers, you can, among other things, send out an email to your agents when a new ticket comes in and automatically change the priority of a ticket based on what the subject line says.

Let’s say you want to automatically assign the tickets that come in based on the custom field you just created. When a customer chooses t-shirt, for example, you want that ticket to go to your guy in charge of t-shirts. You can accomplish this with a trigger.

To add a new trigger, again go to the Manage tab. This time choose Triggers & Mail Notifications and click “add trigger” in the upper right.

You want the condition that fires this trigger to be when a customer chooses “t-shirt” in your newly created Products ticket field. When you look at the options, you can see all of the built in fields, such as Status, Type, and Priority, but you won’t see your custom field. How can you build a trigger that fires off your custom field then? Turn to tags.

trigger-conditions-zendesk 2.png

Now you can build your trigger based on the tag “t-shirts,” which as seen above, is automatically added to the ticket when a customer chooses that option on the request web form.

A simple version of the trigger looks like this:

Tip of the Week: Build Custom Workflows With Tags

Now, anytime a customer chooses “t-shirts” on the web form, their ticket will be automatically assigned to your guy in charge of t-shirts.

We know that everybody’s support needs and workflow will differ. In order to sculpt Zendesk Support to better fit your needs, you’ll want to check out custom fields and tags.

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  • 0

    We're currently using tags to manage different team workflows in the same instance of ZenDesk, but the workflow tags are getting a little confusing when tickets are re-assigned to different teams. How have you/other users been managing intersecting workflows with tags?  

    For example:

    1. A ticket comes in to our Product Group and is assigned the tag 'workflow_product'.
    2. The ticket is re-assigned as 'on hold' to our development group for their internal input on an issue and gets assigned 'workflow_dev'. The ticket now has a 'workflow_product' and a 'workflow_dev' tag. (which causes problems with our triggers).
    3. Once the dev team resolves the question, it's re-assigned back to the Product Group.

    I think I'm looking for a clean way to only have one workflow tag per ticket, but it's getting hard to manage as tickets go from one group to another. Any advice or best practices around managing this would be helpful.

  • 0

    Hi Julia!

    It'll be a bit complex, but you should be able to set your triggers to remove an existing tag when the ticket is assigned to another group.

    Your trigger conditions will give you the option to Add tags, which adds an additional to the ones that are already there; Set tags, which will remove all tags currently on the ticket and replace them with the one(s) you specify in the condition; or Remove tags, which will remove whatever tags you specify in the condition.

    Set tags can get tricky since it wipes out all existing tags on the ticket. If you have other tags you're using that you need for other workflows, you probably won't want to use that one. Even if you really only use one tag per ticket, it could still end up being a hitch in your getalong if your workflows evolve to include more tags further down the road. So just proceed with caution there.

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