Using macros to update tickets Follow

all plans

You can simply and effectively streamline your workflow by creating 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 with the same issue.

Macros can be created from scratch, or can be based on existing tickets. Macros contain actions, which can be updates to ticket properties, or ticket comments. Macros are applied manually to tickets by agents.

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 multiple users). 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 can modify all shared macros, regardless of who created them. Administrators on Enterprise can create custom roles to allow agents to perform these tasks.
Note: Personal macros are available only for Team, Professional, and Enterprise.

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

This article contains the following sections:

Be sure to check out our community tips for macros.
Tip: Fine Tuning: Learn how to improve your agents' productivity in Sylviana Ho's Fine Tuning: Agent Productivity.

Accessing the Macros page

You manage your macros from the Macros page of the Admin Home page.

To access the Macros page

  • Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Macros.

Macros to get you started

There are a number of macros you can use to get started, including:

  • Close and redirect to topics

    This sets the ticket status to closed. If it is an incident of a known problem, the requester will be informed via a comment that the ticket has been closed and recommended 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, edited, or cloned, so you can modify and repurpose them as needed.

Applying macros to tickets

You can manually apply one or more macros toa ticket at once. 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 , click the Apply macro button in the bottom toolbar.

     

  2. Typically, your five most commonly used macros from the past week appear at the top of the macros list.

    You can select one of these, begin typing the name of the macro, or scroll through the list to find the one you want to use.

    The most-used macros display can be disabled, in which case, you'll only see the all macros list. For information, see Disabling the most-used macros option.

    Note: Macros can be set up for a specific channel or for aall 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 will be 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, you can edit the text before submitting the ticket.

  3. To apply another macro, click Apply macro again and select another macro.
    Tip: Fine Tuning: Check out how we use macros to manage tickets with Jilliana Peterson's Fine Tuning: How Zendesk uses Zendesk, Part 1.

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 Managing tickets in bulk.

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 Zendesk Support agents, agents can create macros for their own use.

Note: Personal macros are available on Team, Professional, and Enterprise.

To create a personal macro for tickets

  1. On the Macros page, click the All shared macros drop-down menu and select Personal macros.
  2. Click the Add macro button.
  3. Enter the macro name, and add actions for your macro as described below in Building macro action statements.
  4. Click Create.

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

Creating personal or shared macros for tickets (administrators)

Administrators create macros that are shared by all Zendesk Support agents 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. On the Macros page, click the Add macro button.
  2. Enter a title for your macro.
  3. Use the drop-down menus to add actions for your macro as described below in Building macro action statements, and set the macro's availability.

    The drop-down menu offers three types of macros to choose from:

    • All agents, available to all agents.
    • Agents in group, available only to agents in the group specified. A drop-down menu to choose the group appears when you select this option.
    • Me only, available only to you.

    Note: The Agents in group option is available on Professional and Enterprise. Personal macros are available on Team, Professional, and Enterprise.
  4. Click Create.

Building macro action statements

Using macros you can set ticket properties, add or modify tags, and add comments. Select an action using the drop-down menu, then select or enter specifics in the associated drop-down menu or text entry box.
Table 1. Actions
Actions Description
Set subject You can use this action to replace the ticket's current subject.
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. This status is optional and must be added (see Adding the On-hold ticket status to your Zendesk in the Administrator Guide).

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

See Creating ticket forms to support multiple request types.

Priority The priority can be set to Low, Normal, High or Urgent.
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.
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 the group to which the agent who is updating the ticket belongs. If the user belongs to multiple groups, the macro makes a series of checks to determine which group should be used. Group priority is determined as follows:

  • The group currently assigned to the ticket, if the agent is in that group.
  • The agent's default group, if one is available.
  • The first group the agent belongs to, if no default group is set.
Group name is the actual name of the group that is assigned to the 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.
Satisfaction Offered to requester.
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).
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).
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.
Comment/description The text of ticket comment, and email notification.

 

 

 

Comment mode Public or Private. Only agents can view private comments.
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.  
Add CC You can use this action to automatically copy a specific agent to the ticket or the (current user). You cannot use this action to copy an end-user.  
Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • 0

    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

  • 0

    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!

  • 0

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

  • 0

    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. 

  • 0

    @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?)

  • 0

    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. :)

  • 0

    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.

  • 0

    @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. 

  • 1

    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.

  • 0

    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.  

  • 0

    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)

  • 0

    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.

  • 0

    Use a Macro to change a ticket's subject.

  • 0

    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

     

     

  • 0

    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?

  • 0

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

  • 0

    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?

  • 0

    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.

  • 0

    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) 

  • 0

    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.

  • 0

    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.

  • 0

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

  • 0

    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.

  • 0

    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.

  • 0

    **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!

     

  • 0

    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.

  • 0

    @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.

  • 0

    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

  • 0

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

  • 0

    THANK YOU JUSTIN!

    Honestly, knowing that keyboard shortcut is a big help.

Powered by Zendesk