Wouldn't it be helpful to have a guide that outlines generally the best ways to manage your queue of tickets?
Queue Management is an essential component of any efficient Zendesk Support. Generally speaking, the style used when managing the queue is largely dependent on the number of agents you have and your company's products.
Managing the queue for a Zendesk Support on a small/medium scale
For a Zendesk Support on a smaller scale with a fewer number of products or agents, one method of managing the queue is by separating the types of tickets being received.
Let's look at an example of a company with just a few types of products.
In this scenario it's a good idea to separate the tickets based upon which product the customer will be submitting a request for. Separating the tickets can be done a couple of different ways that I'll outline below.
Option 1: Web Portal
Enhance the options available to your customers so it's simple to select which product they have a question about by adding a custom drop-down field to your ticket submission form. See Adding and using custom ticket fields .
This is the drop-down set up:
This is the default form:
This is the form with an example drop-down field added to the default form:
You may notice that setting up each field option you can also assign a tag. First of all, you're very observant. Second, editing the field allows use of a unique tag, for example 'bear'. We'll come back to this later.
Option 2: Email
Other than using a custom ticket field, another way to separate out tickets is by using different, product-specific, emails. For example:
- If a customer has a question about the product "bear", direct them to email your support team at bear@YOURCOMPANY.zendesk.com or "bear@YOURCOMPANY.com"
- If a customer has a question about the product "lion", direct them to email your support team at lion @YOURCOMPANY.zendesk.com or "lion@ YOURCOMPANY .com"
Now you can set up triggers that tag incoming tickets based on which email they have been received at. Check out this example:
For more detail on triggers, see Streamlining workflow with ticket updates and triggers .
Once tickets are coming in and getting tagged based on your pre-defined drop-down options you can set up custom views again based on these tags. For example "All 'bear' Tickets" displaying all tickets created with the tag for "bear".
Remember when I said we'd come back to tags? We're back, thanks for reminding me :)
When your triggers assign tags based on the email address that received the customer question, you may notice that in tickets the moment this tag exists that custom field is also set to the appropriate field option, respectively. In other words, emails sent to bear@YOURCOMPANY.com have the tag added 'bear' and the field set to 'bear'...how convenient! See Using views to manage ticket workflow .
Now let's create a view so that we can only see tickets belonging to each product. We can build a view with a condition based on the custom field that we created earlier.
Below is where in the views condition drop-down that you'll select the example custom field:
Here's an example of what the active views will look like with these new views based on a selection from the custom field:
Now that your tickets are entering Zendesk Support and are organized, you can even assign a group to one view each, for example. You're excited, I can tell!
Managing the queue for a Zendesk Support on a larger scale
With many agents, one approach is to dedicate an agent to a "Queue Manager" function (or the "QM" for short) who will perform the following actions:
- Handle the main queue and assign tickets to groups/agents (maybe according to their speciality?)
- Quickly scan for trends or potential issues happening to many customers at once (See our tip on Problem & Incident ticketing)
- Send tickets requiring a higher level of specialization or different tools to another team (Engineering, Development, etc)
- Make sure the difficulty of tickets being assigned are going to the right agent (new agents should be getting the easiest tickets, more difficult tickets go to more seasoned agents)
Beyond the QM, it's a good idea to have predefined roles for your agents/groups based on products and/or ticket channel. Here are a few examples for using Zendesk Support on a larger scale.
Example: The Call Center
This instance of Zendesk Support will handle a presumably large volume of calls coming in covering all aspects of your product(s). This type of queue is best managed by having a large number of agents and is more likely to be managed by each agent after calls are finished. Once the QM assigns tickets to this group, usually simpler tickets that don't require a lot of time, the agents themselves can use the Start button to zap through ticket after ticket.
Example: The Online Store
Many online stores will leverage email and possibly the web portal as main modes of ticket submission. It is common, however, to direct your customers to a FAQ to answer most questions without requiring a ticket submission by leveraging the use of forums. Agents who might also still be taking calls would be replying to questions in the community Q & A forums. Remember, an agent answering one question on the forum is likely addressing many future questions from future customers who visit that forum. See Setting up and managing forums .
Example: Email Only
If you only uses email as the channel to submit requests, then in addition to the tips above to aid the agents in organizing and streamlining tickets, it may be helpful to modify ticket properties via email exclusively. For example, you can add a tag using #tag: bear to set the product field to "bear" See Updating ticket properties from your inbox .
Though if you're denying your agents the superior experience of our slick app , you're doing them a disservice. "The People's Republic of Propaganda".
Example: The All-Purpose
Last but not least we have the Zendesk Support that does it all. This scenario includes using most, if not all, channels of ticket submission and may even utilize the API .
So your groups may look something like this:
- Social Group (Twitter and Facebook)
- Phone Group
- Chat Group
- Forum Moderators
- High Priority Tickets Group
- Good Ol' Fashioned Email Tickets Group
You might have some tickets that require a heavier investment of time. If this is a common workflow, then you might have a role which we affectionately refer to as "Tank" where an agent can dive deeply into the issues and guarantee a quality response.
While there are many ways to run your instance of Zendesk Support, there are also many best practices mentioned above that can help to make Zendesk Support more efficient. By applying the relevant suggestions above to your instance of Zendesk Support based on its workflow this will help make things beautifully simple :)