Macros for Multifaceted Tickets

Support tickets come in many shapes and sizes; some are simple questions, and others are complex problems. They might be concerned with a particular product feature, or they might be a sales or billing question, for example. It’d be great to be able to classify them, so you can make sure they’re routed to the appropriate department, as well as generate reports that show what areas of your business are spawning the most tickets (and therefore may need some attention).

What are some ways to classify tickets?

You could create a custom drop-down Field, which provides a consistent set of choices, but that limits your agents to a single choice per ticket. What if tickets are about more than one thing?

You could have your agents manually add tags to tickets. Since tags aren’t mutually exclusive, you’d get the “mutliple selection” benefit – but you risk inconsistency between tags, since agents might mistype tags or give them different names.

You could create a series of custom checkbox fields, which provides a set number of choices and allows for multiple selection, but that can take a lot of screen real estate if you have a lot of options.

So what to do, if you want a compact solution offering a controlled number of options and multiple selection? Don’t despair!

Enter The Macro (Your New Best Friend)

You may have thought Macros were only useful for providing templates for answering common questions, but it turns out they can do a good job of allowing your agents to classify tickets too. Using a menu of macros doesn’t take up any extra space in your agent’s ticket view page, lets you control the set of available options (useful for consistency in reporting), and allows for multiple selection of ticket subject areas. Finally, your agents will also be able to use the macro Search feature to quickly find the option they want, so they don’t even have to navigate the menu structure if they know what they’re looking for. Sounds pretty sweet!

Each macro’s going to add a specific tag to the ticket (without necessarily adding any comment text or making other changes to the ticket). Those tags can then be used in your views, reports, and other business rules just like any other tag. (This is similar to how custom drop-down and checkbox fields work, by the way.) Since the tags your macros will add are independent of each other, your agents can choose as many macros as are applicable for each ticket. So you could choose the “Function X” macro as well as the “Sales” macro, and both macros' tags would be added.

Set It Up!

The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure Enable tags on tickets is turned on in Settings > Tickets . This lets your agents see the Tags field when they’re looking at a ticket, as well as remove tags that aren’t relevant. For example, if someone makes a mistake and applies the wrong macro, they can just click the X on that macro’s tag to remove it.

Next, create a Macro for each option you want to allow ( Settings > Macros > Add Macro ). You can organize your macros into a nested list just like you can with custom drop-down fields, using two colons (“::”) to delimit each level of the menu:

All each macro is going to do is add a tag to the ticket. In your macro, you’ll want to choose the Add tags option to append your tag to what’s already there, and not Set tags , since the latter will replace any existing tags on the ticket:

Here’s what the macro menu will look like when your agent creates a new ticket (or edits an existing one):

Granted, it’s a little more work to set up than a single drop-down field, since each macro must be created separately. But it’s not any more work than it would be to set up a series of checkbox fields, and once you have your macros menu set up, it’ll work like a charm.

So there you have it! Once you’ve got these macros set up, your agents will be able to accurately classify your tickets with one – or more – subject areas, making it easy to find and track the tickets in any area of your business.

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  • Avatar
    Josh Smith


    In your experience, what's the best structure for macros?  Do they work best when they are structured like an email template or when they are snippets that agents piece together to answer questions?

    In any case, I would assume that it's best if agents use the macros and personalize to fit the ticket.


  • Avatar
    Laura D.

    Hi Josh, 

    Most of our macros are similar to email templates if they are meant to go to external requesters. Some are fairly complete while others have prompts for agents to fill in. The macros we use to transfer tickets between teams and departments are more like forms with short starting phrases and space for agents to add necessary information. 

    This isn't the most explicit description, hopefully it helps a bit though. I would start be determining who will be reading the macro once it's submitted - that may provide some insight into what form is best. 

  • Avatar
    Jennifer Holmes

    I understand you can create a macro in such a way that it will not let the agent send the ticket unless all the prompts are completed. Is this true and if so how do you do it?

  • Avatar
    Trisha Patel

    Hi Jennifer,

    This only works when solving the tickets when you have 'required' ticket fields set up I'm afraid.