Escalating Your Tickets With Groups

By Jill Thomas

At Zendesk, our customer advocates follow a basic ITIL workflow based on escalation. One of the goals when following ITIL is to streamline the communication channel. To accomplish this, a framework is set up so that if a Level 1 agent is unable to solve a ticket, the ticket can quickly and easily be passed on to advanced support. At Zendesk, we want to keep our resolution time down. This approach allows us to receive all tickets within one central clearinghouse and, when a ticket requires advanced technical knowledge, escalate the tickets to Level 2.

In order to follow an escalation workflow, we use Groups within Zendesk. Groups allow you to organize your agents according to the types of tickets you would like to assign them. At Zendesk we have Groups for Level 1 and Level 2 support (which break down how technical the questions are from our customers); but we also have a Development group (for bugs and other product related issues), Marketing group (for sales opportunities), and others.

Groups can be added and changed easily, so it’s best to let them adapt as your support grows and evolves.


Adding Groups

To add a Group to your Zendesk, simply go to the “manage” tab in the top navbar and select “people.” On the next page, select add “group” from the upper right.

Adding Groups


Once you have selected “add group” you will need to name your Group and select which agents will be members of this Group. With this in place, a “group” ticket field will automatically appear in your tickets (see below).

Group field added to ticket


Using Groups

To set up tiered support (e.g. Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, etc.), you will want one group (Level 1) to see all the tickets that come in to your support email address (e.g. or through your support portal. To do this, a basic Trigger can be used to assign new tickets to the Level 1 group. (You’ll find Triggers under the Manage tab.)

Group Trigger


A Level 1 support agent can then review the ticket and either assign it to themselves if they can answer it, or escalate to Level 2. Note that you can escalate a ticket to a Group without assigning it to a specific agent. This allows you to notify the whole Group that a new ticket has been escalated to them, ensuring that every agent is kept alert of the tickets coming in.

To do this in Zendesk, create a Trigger that sends an email to the Group based on these conditions:

group assignment


To speed things up you can also create a macro for Level 1 agents to use when they need to assign a ticket to Level 2. This will make escalation a one-step process and help you keep your resolution time down. (For more on macros refer to this previous tip of the week: Turn Tickets into Prepared Responses with Macros).

Groups are a simple, but powerful way to keep your help desk organized and your agents focused on the tickets most relevant to them.

Have more questions? Submit a request


  • Avatar
    Matt Hardy

    This doesn't work for me, as I'm required to specify an assignee when updating a ticket. 

    If a group is already assigned to a ticket, and I attempt to change the group and update the ticket, the group remains the same, unless I specify an individual assignee.

    Maybe I'm missing something?

  • Avatar
    Matt Hardy

    Oops... ignore that! 

    One of my other triggers was conflicting with the group assignment.


  • Avatar
    Stephanie Meyer-Scott

    Just FYI the pictures don't show up, limiting how helpful this article is

  • Avatar
    Nida Unus

    When errors are corrected in the picture. Could you in this matter or any other title.I need this urgent issue. please.

  • Avatar
    Eli Blankers

    Photos aren't coming up.

  • Avatar
    Ted Barnum

    Links to images has been fixed.