Hello Friendly Zendeskers,
We frequently get multiple requests from the same customer seeking support for the same issue. Some people cast multiple lines when they go fishing...
But if you're not careful you might also end up having multiple agents solve each of the tickets independently, wasting valuable support time. The challenge is to easily recognize when a customer has submitted more than one request and knowing how and when to merge those tickets together (a process we'll get to in just a second).
Why you would want to merge tickets
A good first step is learning how to easily detect when a customer has submitted multiple requests.
The way I check for duplicate issues in new Zendesk Support is a quick click on the User tab at the top of the screen, which reveals all of the new and open requests from that user, arranged together at the top of the screen.
This feature makes it very easy to manage multiple or repeat requests. In addition to that, it allows you to consider problems in a more overview way. If the customer has more than one open request, for any type of service, then those very well might be related issues. If you suspect that this might be the case then it's easy enough to click on the User tab and quickly scan the subject line of each open ticket.
When I have opened one ticket and made ongoing contact with the customer, I will usually let them know that I am going to merge their other requests into this one to prevent any unnecessary cross-communication. This helps cut down on your response time because any open tickets are clocking hours in your metrics.
How you Merge Tickets
Note: It is very important to verify that each ticket request is actually a duplicate or related issue. A ticket merge can not be undone.
Once you are certain that the tickets should be merged together, it is as easy as selecting the ones that you hope to merge (do not include the ticket that you want to merge into), and either bulk or single edit them.
To merge a single ticket into another ticket is as easy as taking note of the ticket number that you want to merge into (the one you want to keep) and then navigating into the ticket that you want to close/merge. The process for merging is initiated from within the ticket that you wish to close. When merging multiple tickets, once selected, the process is very similar, but is initiated by clicking the Edit Multiple Tickets button found on the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
The option to merge the tickets is found under Ticket Options in the upper right hand corner of the ticket.
Once you have clicked on the option to Merge into another ticket , a window opens up that asks you the ticket number, or gives you options to choose from (other tickets from the same requester).
Either way is fine, you just want to be certain that you have made the right ticket number choice to merge into. There is no going back at this stage. So, once you click Confirm and Merge the previous ticket will be closed for good.
A good practice is to deselect at least one of the options that makes the comment public when merging. Otherwise, the customer will get two email notifications for each merge that occurs, one for the ticket that was closed and one fot the merge that occurred into the ticket that is kept. It is entirely up to you whether you want them to get any notification at all. The image below shows one of those selections, if you scrolled down you would then see the other.
A link will appear inside the new ticket so that you have access to the original ticket data, but it can not be modified in any way after this step.
It might be a good idea to make some ticket merging guidelines for your agents. For example:
When to merge
- Duplicate or multiple requests
- Persistent user
- Issue is related to other issue and will be fixed by its resolution
When NOT to merge
- Tickets represent unrelated issues
- Customer wishes to keep multiple requests open
- Two tickets open by separate users of same organization
How to improve upon the process (App Tip!)
With the introduction of the new Zendesk Support User Data app, you can save yourself an extra click. With the app installed and open within the Ticket page, you can easily see if the customer has more than one open request without having to leave the ticket page, saving yourself a click there and click back each time.
You can install the User Data app by selecting the Admin icon in the sidebar, clicking Apps > Browse , locating the app, and then following the simple installation step.
Well, that about covers it. Let us know what you think! We're always happy to hear how our customers are making the most out of Zendesk!