Using macros to update tickets and chat sessions

A simple and effective way to streamline your workflow is to create macros for support requests that can be answered with a single, standard response. This saves you the time and effort of crafting a separate response to each customer that has the same issue.

Macros can be created from scratch or based on existing tickets. Macros contain actions, which can be updates to ticket properties, ticket comments, or chat sessions. Macros can be applied manually to tickets or chat sessions by agents.
Note: Chat macros are available for Regular, Plus, and Enterprise.
There are two types of macros: personal macros (created by an agent or administrator for their own use) and shared macros (created by an administrator for everyone's use). A personal macro is only visible to and can only be used or modified by the agent or administrator who created it. Administrators can create shared macros and also modify all shared macros, regardless of who created them.
Note: Personal macros are available only for Regular, Plus, and Enterprise.

Macros can also be organized into categories to help the support staff quickly locate and apply them. For more information, see Organizing your macros.

Zendesk macros to get you started

Zendesk provides a number of macros to get you started.

  • Close and redirect to topics

    This sets the ticket status to closed if it is an incident of a known problem, informs the requester via a comment that the ticket has been closed and recommends that they visit the forums for more information about the incident.

  • Customer not responding

    This is a reminder that can be sent to the requester if they have not responded to a request for more information on a pending ticket.

  • Downgrade and inform

    This tells the requester that the priority of their request has been downgraded to low and that there may be some delay in resolving their request.

  • Take it!

    This macro is a shortcut for agents to assign a new request to themselves.

These macros can be used as is or edited or cloned so that you can modify and repurpose them as needed.

Applying macros to tickets and chat sessions

You can manually apply macros to tickets and chat sessions. You can apply more than one macro to a ticket or chat. Keep in mind that what one macro does can easily be undone by another macro.

So why would you apply more than one macro? A typical use case is a ticket that contains more than one question or issue, let's say two in this example. You might have set up two macros that both insert a comment into a ticket to answer each issue separately. By applying each macro to the ticket you add two comments and address both issues in a single response.

To apply a macro

  1. In a ticket or active chat session, click Apply macro in bottom toolbar.
    Zendesk Classic: Click the Apply Macro link.
  2. Search for or select a macro from your list of macros.

    Note: Macros can be set up for a specific channel, Web (tickets) or Chat, or for All channels. If you select a macro that is not enabled for your channel, it will not be applied. Unless your admin included the channel in the macro title, there is no indication in the macro list as to which macros are available for which channels.

    The actions defined in the macro will be applied. If the macro updated the ticket comment or chat session, you can edit the text before submitting the ticket or sending the chat.

  3. To apply another macro, click Apply macro again and select another macro.

Applying macros to tickets in a view

Just as you can make bulk updates to many tickets at once, you can also apply a macro to more than one ticket using your views. See Bulk updating, deleting, and merging tickets.

Creating macros for tickets

Unlike triggers and automations, macros only contain actions, not conditions. Conditions aren't used because nothing is automatically evaluating tickets to determine if a macro should be applied. Agents evaluate tickets and apply macros manually as needed.

Remember, there are two types of macros: personal and shared. Agents can only create personal macros, for their own use.

Note: You can create a macro from an existing ticket. For information, see Creating macros from existing tickets.

Creating personal macros for tickets (agents)

Although only administrators can create the macros that are shared by all the agents in your Zendesk, agents can create macros only for their own use.

Note: Personal macros are avaible only for Regular, Plus, and Enterprise.

To create a personal macro for tickets

  1. Click the Admin icon (), then select Macros.
    Zendesk Classic: Select Manage > Macros.
  2. Select the Personal tab, then click Add macro.
  3. Enter the title and add actions for your macro (described below in Building macro action statements).
  4. Click Create Macro.

Your personal macros are added to the list of available macros.

You can also watch this short video.

Creating a Personal Macro (01:25)

Creating personal or shared macros for tickets (administrators)

Administrators create macros that are shared by all agents in the Zendesk or macros that are shared by only agents in a specific group. Administrators can also create personal macros for their own use.

To create a personal or shared macro for tickets

  1. Click the Admin icon (), then select Macros.
    Zendesk Classic: Select Manage > Macros.
  2. Click Add macro.
  3. Enter the title and add actions for your macro (described below in Building macro action statements).
  4. Set the macro's availability.

    There are two types of shared macros: all agents in your Zendesk and only those agents in a specific group. Like agents, administrators can create personal macros as well.

  5. Click Create Macro.

You can also watch this short video, Creating Shared Macros.

Building macro action statements

Using macros you can set ticket properties, add or modify tags, and add comments.
Table 1. Actions
ActionsDescription
Ticket: Set subject You can use this action to replace the ticket's current subject.
Ticket: Status

The ticket status can be set to the following:

Open indicates that the ticket has been assigned to an agent.

Pending indicates that the requester has been asked for information and the ticket is therefore is on hold until that information has been received.

On-hold means that the support request is awaiting a resolution from a third party—someone who is not a member of your support staff and does not have an agent account in your Zendesk. This status is optional and must be added to your Zendesk (see Adding the On-hold ticket status to your Zendesk in the Zendesk Administrator Guide).

Solved indicates that the customer's issue has been resolved. Tickets remain solved until they are closed.
Ticket: Form Your ticket forms are available as actions. Select a specific form.

See Creating ticket forms to support multiple request types (Enterprise).

Ticket: Priority The priority can be set to Low, Normal, High or Urgent.
Ticket: Type

The type can be set to the following:

Question

Incident indicates that there is more than one occurrence of the same problem. When this occurs, one ticket is set to Problem and the other tickets that are reporting the same problem are set to Incident and linked to the problem ticket.

Problem is a support issue that needs to be resolved.

Task is used by the support agents to track various tasks.

Note: It's currently not possible to link incident tickets to problem tickets or set task due dates using the task action in macros.
Ticket: Group

You can set groups to any of the following:

(—) is used to unassign a group (if one has already been assigned)

(current user’s groups) is all the groups to which the agent who is updating the ticket belongs.

Group name is the actual name of the group that is assigned to the ticket.
Ticket: Assignee

You can set assignee to any of the following:

(—) is used to set assignee to no one (unassigned)

(current user) is the last person to have updated the ticket, which is not necessarily the same person who is assigned to the ticket. The current user (whoever updated the ticket last) changes whenever the ticket is updated.

Assignee name is the actual name of the person assigned to the ticket.
Ticket: Satisfaction Offered to requester.
Ticket: Set tags The tags you want to insert into the ticket. The set tag action replaces the current tags. Tags must be separated with spaces. Multi-word tags must be joined with an underscore (for example, about_sales).
Ticket: Add tags The tags you want to add to the existing list of tags (if any). Tags must be separated with spaces. Multi-word tags must be joined with an underscore (for example, about_sales).
Ticket: Remove tags The tags that you want removed from the existing list of tags contained in the ticket (if any). Tags must be separated with spaces.
Ticket: Comment/description The text of ticket comment and email notification or chat session.

The channel can be set to the following:

All for tickets and chat

Web for tickets

Chat for chat sessions

Ticket: Comment mode Public or Private. Only agents can view private comments.
Ticket: Custom fields Custom fields that set tags (drop-down list and checkbox) are available as actions. You can select the drop-down list values and Yes or No for checkboxes.

Creating macros for chat sessions

Unlike triggers and automations, macros only contain actions, not conditions. Conditions aren't used because nothing is automatically evaluating chat sessions to determine if a macro should be applied. Agents apply macros manually as needed.

Remember, there are two types of macros: personal and shared. Agents can only create personal macros, for their own use.

Note: Chat macros are available for Regular, Plus, and Enterprise.

Creating personal macros for chat (agents)

Although only administrators can create the macros that are shared by all the agents in your Zendesk, agents can create macros only for their own use.

To create a personal macro for chat

  1. Click the Admin icon (), then select Macros.
    Zendesk Classic: Select Manage > Macros.
  2. Select the Personal tab, then click Add macro.
  3. Enter the title.
  4. Add the action Ticket: Comment/description, then select Channel: Chat.

    This sets the action for the chat session. You can select Channel: All if you want this macro to be available for both tickets and chat.

  5. Click Create Macro.

Your personal macros are added to the list of available macros.

Creating personal or shared macros for chat (administrators)

Administrators create macros that are shared by all agents in the Zendesk or macros that are shared by only agents in a specific group. Administrators can also create personal macros for their own use.

To create a personal or shared macro for chat

  1. Click the Admin icon (), then select Macros.
    Zendesk Classic: Select Manage > Macros.
  2. Click Add macro.
  3. Enter the title.
  4. Add the action Ticket: Comment/description, then select Channel: Chat.

    This sets the action for the chat session. You can select Channel: All if you want this macro to be available for both tickets and chat sessions.

  5. Set the macro's availability.

    There are two types of shared macros: all agents in your Zendesk and only those agents in a specific group. Like agents, administrators can create personal macros as well.

  6. Click Create Macro.

Editing and cloning macros

You can edit and clone macros. Cloning a macro creates a copy that you can modify and repurpose. Agents can only edit and clone their personal macros. Administrators can edit and clone their personal macros and all shared macros.

To edit a macro
  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Macros.
    Zendesk Classic: Select Manage > Macros.
  2. Locate the macro you want to edit and click Edit.
  3. Modify the title and actions as needed.
  4. Click Update Macro.
To clone a macro
  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Macros.
    Zendesk Classic: Select Manage > Macros.
  2. Locate the macro you want to clone and click Clone. This command appears when you move your mouse over a macro in the list.
  3. Enter a new title for your macro and modify the actions as needed.
  4. Click Create Macro.
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Comments

  • Avatar
    Justin Ruffell-Ward

    Nice guide! Thanks.

    It's just a shame Non Admin Agents can't Share macros with other Agents. Currently I have to give my agents too many permissions in order to do this, or get them to email me all the macros they want to add. Another permission level option to allow agents to share their macros with others would be useful.  If others would find this useful you can add your support here:https://support.zendesk.com/entries/192432-let-non-admin-agents-create-macros-that-can-be-shared-with-other-agents

  • Avatar
    Andrew Mills

    How about adding a similar function to the macro management page?  It fine to be able to organise it in the ticket view (nice in fact), but once you have your 80+ macros tidily in there... the management page is ... well... un-manageable!

  • Avatar
    Dylan Verheul

    How about a macro that converts a ticket to a forum question? Currently, macros cannot active the "Update and save to forum" action.

  • Avatar
    Wendy

    I would like to be able to add a subject to the macros - we do a lot of manual reaching out to individual members and there are 32 macros that need subjects. 

  • Avatar
    Joy Carletti

    @Justin - Thanks for adding the feature request! 

    @Andrew - On the Plus+ and Enterprise plans, there is a search functionality for your macros. 

    @Dylan - Because the "Update and save to forum" action requires a lot of decision making on the part of the person taking the action - whether to edit the ticket/forum post for any private information, whether to change the title to something more appropriate for a forum, choosing what forum a ticket belongs in, choosing who the ticket requester should be (agent/requester) etc. - this is not something that we are going to be able to put in a macro.

    @Wendy - Can you clarify what you mean by "subject"? Every macro has a title, which should cover your subject. You can actually nest macros in the same way that you can ticket fields, so if you have ten macros on the subject of billing, you can start all of those macros with the word Billing, then two colons, then the title of your current macro. (So it would look like Billing::How do I enter credit card information?)

  • Avatar
    Wendy

    Hi Joy,

    Thanks for your response! Sorry I wasn't clear as to what context. We create a lot of new outbound emails to that require the use of a macro (not automated in our site yet). I would like the option of adding an email subject to the macro so that the "subject" is autopopulated when I pull up a macro on a new outbound email. I hope that's a little clearer. :)

  • Avatar
    Bill McCart

    Can macros created by agents be "converted" to admin macros? That would be nice and I wouldn't have to recreate from scratch the agent macros we want to share.

  • Avatar
    Jill Kaselitz

    @Billmccart While there's currently no option to convert personal agent macros to admin macros, this has already been suggested in our Feature Request forum.  You can post your feedback and vote up this request at https://support.zendesk.com/entries/277244-allow-agents-to-create-macros-that-can-be-shared-amongst-all-agents  In the meantime, you could temporarily boost this agent to an admin to allow them to make their macros visible to all agents. Please feel free to email us at support@zendesk.com if you have any questions. 

  • Avatar
    Ibai

    Is it possible to trigger macros with either Trigger or automations? I'm looking for a way to update the ticket (i.e. add a follow up) without a human interaction and it doesn't seem to be possible.

  • Avatar
    Rodney Keener

    To apply a macro to more than one ticket at a time, It would be amazing if you were able to apply a Macro to multiple tickets and before solving the ticket have a draft mode for your response.  This would allow for sharing the same information on multiple tickets with the ability to customize each ticket before sending.  

  • Avatar
    Donna Weeden

    Macros work well with automations.  Create your automation with appropriate conditions and then select "Apply Macro" as your action.  This works well to apply a macro to multiple tickets at once if they meet a set of conditions.  (ex. xyz server goes down and you want to apply a macro response to all tickets created in the last 4 hours that has a "xyz_server_down" tag)

  • Avatar
    Marc Roth

    Can some of you (ones who are propoents of doing it) provide a good case scenario for why an agent should ever *use a *Macro change a ticket's subject?

    IDK - to me it seems like A. that's what tags are for. B. it changes the integrity of the ticket, much as changing every headline in the New York times to be the same which would render the headline moot and in normalization theory render the field wasted memory.

    I'm looking for a best practices understanding here so that I can offer the very best consulting services to my clients who use ZenDesk. Right now I would say that categories and tags are where you sort and paraphrase and argue profusely that the subject is sacred as it sets the thesis for a customers request.

  • Avatar
    Marc Roth

    Use a Macro to change a ticket's subject.

  • Avatar
    Andrew Mills

    Marc - I don't use macros to change subjects, however I could see a reason to... we get some very strange subjects.. including people trying to give the entire issue in the subject line :-D

    SUBJECT: "Please can you log in to my machine and fix my email issue as I have talked to my serivce provider and they say there is no issue from there end and it must be an outlook issue.  I need this done really fast etc... etc..."

    Shows as "Please can you log in to my machine and fix my..."

    Description " As above"

    Does that explain anything?... not all our users are structured and IT savvy

     

     

  • Avatar
    Marc Roth

    Andre, I can see that. Let's go Devil's advocate here.

    If I were your ZenDesk Admin and you were an agent on my team - you just walked into my office or sent me an e-mail suggesting that you want to cut down run-on subjects in order to make it look more fluid in your views.

    I want to disagree and moderate this to a Tier I category with a priority of low and tag it beginners questions. Not because you're wrong about them being less IT savvy, but because you're right.

    I can now let the number of low tech savvy customers bubble up over time so that we achieve the approach of helping low tech users in whatever proportion to the business model they warrant being serviced. Perhaps this means holding their hands a bit more and assigning them to a group where lower tickets solved per period is understood, or if it's a huge population of our users then dumbing down our UI and building more robust BI is worth the investment. If that's a bad approach but the potential gains exist maybe we collaborate on ways to smarten up the users so that they get optimal utilization out of our products or service as well as the goodwill that comes with helping them become better all around computer savvy users.

    Am I right or wrong?

  • Avatar
    Marc Roth

    Andrew. Sheesh, what is it with my typing today. Sorry

  • Avatar
    Andrew Mills

    I change users subjects at times, so that they make sense.  I see no problem with someone wishing to create a macro to do this, as long as it does not interfere with the basic integrity of the ticket.

    I guess there are lots of models and different reasons for or against, but it often makes sense to simplify subjects even before allocation to make the request better understood.

    If I can turn a poorly created ticket into an effective one for my client, WITHOUT having to invest in rebuilding our UI or BI or any other such thing... then why not?

  • Avatar
    Marc Roth

    Thanks for the dialogue. Views from the other side are really what I want to understand. I'm still interested in opinions on both sides of the conversation if anyone else wants to weigh in, I'm all ears.

  • Avatar
    Peter Nicholson

    In my opinion, if a Customer has entered something, then the HelpDesk (or anyone else) should not have the permission to change it. Its how they feel and its their opinion which they have the right to put and not be censored or modified :o) 

  • Avatar
    Wendy

    I love the ability to add subjects in macros not to change the subjects of inbound tickets but to add subjects to reach outs.

    We actively reach out to individual customers and we use Zendesk for this. It is usually a macro so we greatly appreciated the ability to add a subject to each macro.

    As for changing a customer's existing subject - I don't think there's a real need for that especially if their original subject helps them identify our reply in their inbox. We don't want to get lost in the shuffle!

    We do sometimes manually change the subject after we've resolved the situation with the user and we're assigning the ticket internally, i.e., having a more descriptive bug report.

  • Avatar
    Mathias Reiche

    It would be very helpful if we could use macros to change custom fields which do not set tags. Even better if we could write placeholders (e.g. requester_email) into those custom fields.

  • Avatar
    Mathias Bucht

    Is there any way to remove ALL tags with a macro like using wildcard etc?

  • Avatar
    Jane Fleming

    We have custom fields into which we enter text. It would be really good if we could use macros to enter custom text into these fields.

  • Avatar
    Andrew Reeck

    Is it possible to move a macro, as an admin, from a personal view of another user to be public for the whole team?  One of our Agents created quite a few great macros that we would now like to share.

  • Avatar
    Justin

    *Wendy: *I'm sure you've seen it by now, but you can set the subject of a ticket via a macro. 

    Mathias: You'll have to specify which tags to removes when using a macro. You can do the same thing with an automation, which would clear out those tags from tickets in bulk. Just make sure you disable when finished. 

    Andrew: Unfortunately not. You'll have to recreate the macros to share them out with the rest of the team. However, if the agent who created them is also an administrator, they can simply edit the permissions on those individual macros. 

    Jane: This isn't supported just yet, but it's a good idea!

     

  • Avatar
    Ryan Engley

    I would love to see macros work the same way as dynamic ticket fields such as {{ticket.requester.first_name}} in that hitting the { key in the comment window immediately brings up a list of fields to choose from.

    Macros are phenomenal but they do interrupt the workflow.  

    If there were a way to access them within the ticket window using keyboard shortcuts (rather than having to mouse up to the macro menu and search) it would be a significant improvement in our workflow and make Zendesk that much more friendly for those of us who spend hours and hours in it each day.

  • Avatar
    Andrew Mills

    @ryan - In new ZD you just Ctrl-Alt-M for macros and search away.  Some people use macros as building blocks for responses rather than as full answers or templates, I guess that would be a bit painful.

  • Avatar
    Ryan Engley

    Thanks for letting me know Andrew and yeah, many of our macros are snippets that we combine together to create full answers.

    For now, New Zendesk is just a bit buggy and it slows down our workflow too much to use.  Once it's all cleaned up, I look forward to switching over so we can use the keyboard shortcut.  For what it's worth, I still think a contextual key command right within the comment box would be super useful.

    Thanks again

  • Avatar
    Justin

    Control + M will open the macro menu in the classic Zendesk interface. 

  • Avatar
    Ryan Engley

    THANK YOU JUSTIN!

    Honestly, knowing that keyboard shortcut is a big help.

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