Adding the On-hold ticket status to Zendesk Support Follow

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The On-hold status is optional and not available in Zendesk Support unless you enable it. What is it used for? With it you can track tickets that require input or resolution from a third party. This gives you another level of detail so that you can more accurately track who currently has responsibility for a ticket.

As an example, imagine that your company produces a product that includes components from partners and other suppliers. If you have tickets that require their input, and for which the assigned agent can do nothing but wait for that input, setting the ticket to On-hold provides you with a tool for distinguishing between tickets that are the responsibility of your support staff and those that are waiting for a third party.

The On-hold status is available on Team, Professional, and Enterprise. You must be an administrator to enable On-hold status.

If you track your agents' performance, adding and using the On-hold status allows you to filter out all On-hold tickets from the agent's individual performance tracking. The On-hold status is added to the Status condition between Pending and Solved. So if you want to track the tickets that are truly an agent's responsibility using a view, you can use the condition statement Status less than On-hold, which will return tickets that are set to Pending, Open, or New.

You can also use the On-hold status to create a workflow for tickets that require input or a resolution from a third party. For example, you can create views by tickets that are on-hold, or you might create an automation to remind the agent to contact the third party for an update, or use a trigger to directly send an email reminder to the third party.

Community Tip! Andrew shows how to set reminders for On-hold tickets in our community forums!

In addition, the On-hold status is available on Professional and Enterprise as an extended reporting metric called On-hold time in hours. This new metric and its effect on other extended reporting metrics is described in Using the On-hold status in your reports below.

It's important to also note that the On-hold status is only visible to Zendesk Support agents; it is not visible to end-users. For end-users, tickets that are set to On-hold are always displayed as Open.

Enabling the On-hold status

An administrator can add the On-hold status to Zendesk Support.

To enable the On-hold status

  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Ticket Fields.
  2. Locate the Status field and then click Edit.
  3. Select Add status On-hold.

  4. Click Update field.

Using the On-hold status in views and SLAs

You create new views, or edit existing views, to track tickets that are On-hold. You can select On-hold as the value of the Status condition and also use the Hours since on hold condition.

The On-hold status is added to the Status condition between Pending and Solved. This means that the condition statement Status less than On-hold will return tickets that are Pending, Open, or New and Status greater than On-hold will return tickets that are set to Solved or Closed.

The Hours since on hold condition allows you to specify the hours that have passed since the ticket's status was set to On-hold.

In SLAs (Service Level Agreements), the On-hold status is treated like any other status that is less than solved. SLAs cannot be paused based on the On-hold status.

Using the On-hold status in your reports (Professional and Enterprise)

The On-hold status is available on Professional and Enterprise as an extended reporting metric. This means that to track your On-hold tickets using a report, you add the On-hold time in hours condition.

The On-hold time in hours metric is the cumulative time that a ticket is in the On-hold status (available in both business and calendar hours) and it allows you to track how long tickets are waiting for a response or resolution from a third party.

When you add the On-hold status, it is also calculated into the Requester wait time in hours metric, which is now defined as the cumulative time that a ticket is in a New, Open, or On-hold state. This is the total amount of time that the requester waits for support. The requester isn't aware if the ticket is with a Zendesk Support agent or a third party; it's not relevant to the requester.

Note: The Agent wait time in hours metric is not affected by the On-hold status. This metric is still defined as the cumulative time a ticket has been in a Pending state (awaiting a response from the requester).

How the On-hold status works with ticket sharing

The On-hold status only affects ticket sharing agreements that use Make public & private comments; sync status. Because On-hold is an optional status in Zendesk Support, these ticket sharing agreements treat On-hold as Open.

For example, if a shared ticket is set to On-hold by the sending account, the ticket is displayed as Open in the receiving account. All other statuses will sync normally.

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  • 0

    Hi all,

    Just want to check, would you use "on-hold" status when you're waiting for a response from a Light Agent? I.e. someone within the organisation who isn't able to communicate directly with the Requester?

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    Possibly, but if you are assigning it to the light agent, would it not be best to have the status open?

    I would use on hold more if the ticket was still assigned to me, but I was awaiting some outside communication. For your interest - I always use a tag that will reopen the ticket for me after a specified period of time 2 hours, 4 hours, 24, 48, 7 days etc.

  • 0

    Thanks, @AndrewJ, but you can't assign a ticket to a Light Agent. Hence the question. The assignee remains the [full] Agent, but they are waiting on a response from the Light Agent.

  • 0

    Ultimately it is down to your work flow as to what status to use when. As Andrew suggests on hold is typically when you are waiting on someone other than the customer who is not the assigned agent.
    So yes you could use on hold as you suggest.

  • 0

    @Paul - sorry forgot about that :-$
    Admission: we aren't on Enterprise...

  • 0

    An option to allow our Customers to see the on-hold status would be incredibly useful.  We use this status so our customers can raise suggestions which we would like to remain in Zendesk - but demonstrate to customers that we have read and responded to them and suggested that they are "on-hold" until a future time.

  • 0

    Hello. So I am trying to add the on hold status, I am an admin, I click through to settings, select ticket fields, edit the "status" (which does say that it is a system field vs one of our custom fields) but I have no place to select the "on hold" feature. Can someone help me trouble shoot this?



  • 0

    Hi Matt!

    Are you on the Essential plan? The On-Hold status is only available on the Team plan or higher, so that might explain why you can't find it.

  • 0

    Ah, we meet again Jessie. I am indeed on the Essential plan. Well played Jessie. Well. Played. :)

  • 0


  • 0

    Can end users see the status on hold?  Ours seem to only see "Open"

    It appears we might just need to turn on the visibility for end users but I wanted to verify.

    Thanks, Lisa

    Edited by Lisa Walton
  • 1

    Appears we cannot edit "Visible to users" - Why not?

  • 0

    On hold shows to users as Open.  From my perspective this is the correct functionality.  

    On hold can be used in a number of ways - but from a customers perspective, if a ticket is 'On hold' rather than 'Pending' , it isn't waiting on something from them, it is awaiting some action, event or update from us or a third party that we are somewhat responsible for.  Fundamentally that is 'Open'.  The 'On Hold' status is great for agents though as it moves a ticket that might be awaiting a third party or some event out of their actionable ticket queue.

    We always apply 'On Hold' with a certain number of days to reopen (there's a tutorial for adding this)

  • 1

    Why does the configuration provide the option to enable for end user but not allowed to be enabled?  We use the "on hold" status for issues that are awaiting change from our development team in our software.  If they could see that on hold status they could separate those tickets from current support open issues.

  • 1

    Hello Lisa,

    I'm not sure why that is missing - mine is blocked out too.  I'm wondering if this setting has been deprecated (@Jessie - do you know?)

    Do I understand correctly that you are wanting your development team to see the on hold status?  

    I'm not clear on where the devs are looking and expecting to see this, are they CCed on the ticket, or looking in the agent interface?

  • 1

    Our dev team tracks the issue in TFS and our support keeps these tickets "on hold" so that we can keep them separated from our other open tickets.  When the fix is done we test and then post back to the end user and resolve when possible.  It just seems strange to have the configuration but not allow us to use it.

    Thanks, Lisa

  • 1

    Andrew,  We are a software company - I was referring to our development team...Not Zendesk dev team.

    Thanks, Lisa

  • 0

    Hello Lisa - I didnt think you were Zendesk - nor am I - just a volunteer mod.

    Your workflow makes sense, thanks for clarifying.

  • 0

    Hey guys!

    What we're looking at here is a UI layout thing. All ticket fields have the same theoretical options available:

    The difference being that when a field can't be made visible to end-users, you can see the check box, but you can't click it:

    As Andrew observed in his first response to Lisa's question, we set it up like this on purpose; "On Hold" could be confusing for your customers so it's best to keep it out of the mix.

    All that said, it's hard to tell that the For end-users field isn't actually available for selection. It would probably be easier to differentiate between what's available and what's not if it were greyed out or something.

    I poked around a bit in the Product Feedback forum, but I wasn't able to find any existing posts about this. @Lisa, I'd definitely encourage you to create a new post over there with your suggestion if you'd like. Our Product Managers see all those posts (even when they're not able to respond) and take them into consideration when making plans for improvements to the product. :)

  • 0

    @Jessie I am having the same issues as Lisa - We use Zendesk in the same way and the ability for end-users to see a status as "On-hold" as opposed to "Open" is valuable. 

    I dont understand why Zendesk decided to implement this feature in this way because "could be confusing for your customers"...... isn't that exactly why you offer the ability to check and uncheck that box and give each Zendesk client the ability to shape Zendesk to our needs? If it were confusing, we would just turn it off ourselves.

    Is there anyway that we can have the box checked by a Zendesk developer for our instance and override the restriction?

  • 0

    Hey guys!

    Apparently I missed the Product Feedback post about this the last time I searched for it! You can find it here:

    Ability to show On-hold Status on Customer Portal

    I believe that one of our Product Managers was doing some customer interviews about this functionality at one point, so I'm going to touch base with her and see if there's any new information to share. In the meantime, I'd encourage you to add your vote and detailed use case to the thread.


    Edited by Jessie Schutz
  • 0

    Thank you.

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