Merging a user's duplicate account

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Since end-users can submit requests using different email addresses and via social media such as Twitter, it's possible that duplicate end-user accounts can be created in your Zendesk.

The user profile allows you to enter multiple email addresses for a user and then set one as primary, which means that regardless of the email address they use to submit a request, they are properly identified and a new user account is not created.

A duplicate user account can also be created if the end-user submits a request via Twitter and their Twitter account has not been added to their user profile.

To handle multiple accounts for the same end-user, you can merge one end-user account into another end-user account. Administrator and agent user accounts cannot be merged. You can merge unverified end-users into a profile as long as they have only one or all of the following:
  • Email address
  • Twitter account
You cannot merge in to an end-user profile if the end-user has only one of the following:
  • Phone
  • Blank/not contact channels
  • Direct number

Even though an end-user profile with only a direct number appears in the drop-down menu (shown below), it is not possible to merge into it.

If you try to merge into a profile with only a direct number, you will receive the error message below.

Note: If your account uses single sign-on and handles user authentication with JWT or SAML, you can merge users only if there's no external ID associated with a user.

After merging accounts, any tickets created by the duplicate (now merged) account are updated with the primary user account.

Note: A merge cannot be undone, so be careful to select the correct user accounts.

 

To merge a user's duplicate account
  1. Click the Search icon () in the top toolbar.

     

  2. Enter the name of the user you want to merge in the search box and click the user's name when it appears.

    Alternatively, you can open a user's profile from one of their tickets.

  3. Click the User options menu in the upper right, then select Merge into another user.

    Zendesk Classic: Select Actions > Merge user.
    The Merge tool appears.
  4. Enter the user's name and all users that match what you entered are displayed. Select the correct user and then click Merge.
  5. When prompted, click Confirm and Merge to confirm the merge. If you want to cancel the merge, close the window instead.

How user data is merged

When you merge one user account into another, the tickets owned by the user account being merged become the tickets of the user that account was merged into and the data in each user profile is combined. The following table describes how user profile data is handled as a result of a merge. The user being merged is referred to as the merging user and the target of the merge is referred to as the receiving user.

User ticket and profile dataMerge results
Tickets All of the merging user's requested tickets are now requested by the receiving user. CCs are treated similarly.
Phone number Receiving user's value is not affected by merge.
Direct Line Receiving user's value is not affected by merge.
Primary email Receiving user's value is not affected by merge.
Secondary email All secondary email addresses are maintained, merging user's email is added as an additional secondary email address.
Language Receiving user's value is not affected by merge.
Time Zone Receiving user's value is not affected by merge.
Organization Receiving user's value is not affected by merge, but note that tickets aren't automatically updated and may maintain old organization values.
Tags Merging user's tags are lost.
Details Merging user's details are lost.
Notes Merging user's notes are lost.
Picture Receiving user's value is not affected by merge.
Custom Fields Receiving user's custom fields remain intact. Merging user's custom fields are lost.
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Comments

  • 0

    Hi ZenDesk,

    I've been playing with your beta and have noticed that there is not a "possible merge" notification. Could you verify this?

    Thanks for your help!

  • 0

    Does a merged users closed tickets follow them into the merged account?

  • 0

    Hey Seth: 

    The closed tickets will follow. You'll notice in the ticket comments that the original user will still show, but it will have a user deleted tag next to the name. 

  • 0

    Given that merging won't work with remote authentication, what should we do if a user calls about a ticket that they first initiated via email?  We can merge the tickets, but how do we capture the phone number?

    Likewise, if a user calls first and then we follow-up via email, how do link the phone number account with the email from remote authentication?

  • 0

    Remote authenticated users still have a profile within Zendesk. You can add the phone number to the profile field or to the notes section, so it appears on the sidebar when you're working on a ticket. 

  • 0

    Is there a way to "Unmerge" if you merged the wrong email addresses? >.<

  • 0

    It is not possible to revert a merged account once the merge is been completed. 

  • 0

    Hah!  Naughty programmers...

  • 0

    Oops! :)

  • 0

    Hi, is it possible to merge users via the API?

  • 0

    Merging users via the API is currently not supported! 

    http://developer.zendesk.com/documentation/rest_api/user_identities.html

  • 0

    Is there any tool that will help us identify likely candidates for accounts that should be merged??  We tend to get folks who tell us, "ZenDesk says that my ticket has been deleted!" because they've clicked a link from a ticket email, but they're currently logged into Zen using a different account than the one that created that ticket, and they see a page that says "You do not have access blahblah. It may have been deleted."  This is particularly common for us because we have single-sign-on set up with our system, so, when someone's email address changes, the next time they go to Zen, it authenticates them using their new email address in our system and creates a new, separate Zen account for them.

  • 0

    Hi Seth: 

    We don't have anything that would indicate accounts needing a merge, unfortunately. We see this question come up from time to time, though there's really no way to force a user to use a specific email address unless registration is locked down. Even when SSO is the primary log-in method, there's nothing to prevent your end-users from using another email address when trying to authenticate. Manually searching for and consolidating accounts is really the best way to handle this. I've often found that when a user reports ticket deletion, or they didn't get your reply, they usually understand the mishap when I merge the actual tickets with a new comment. 

  • 0

    Thanks for the reply Justin :-) I agree that it isn't an awful setup that exists now, but it isn't excellent either

  • 0

    I'm an agent and now have a new email. How do I merge my 3 other emails into my agent profile? Or more simply? How do  add my new identity to my agent profile, if there is already a user with tickets for that new email?

  • 0

    Hi Tiffany -

    You can add additional email addresses into your existing user profile -- see "Adding user contact information" in our documentation here

    Hope that helps!

  • 0

    Thanks- It says that new email is associated with my other (non agent) account. I already have tickets assigned and linked to the new account due to mail forwarding... I just don't want to lose any ticket activity if I delete that the other non-agent profile...

  • 0

    Hey Tiffany,

    If you have tickets associated with your old profile you could always use the 'Merge into another user' feature in the user options panel on the bottom left corner of the user profile screen. If you merge the profiles, the email from your first profile will be added to the second profile and all tickets assigned or requested by the profile will be put under the merged profile, this includes closed tickets.

    I hope this works for you!

  • 0

    Thanks Brandon. I believe the problem is that I am an owner/agent and I can't merge from a non-agent into an agent.  So my plan now is to re-open the tickets I created with my new email, switch the requester to my old email and then somehow switch the email on my old email (Agent/owner) account to my new email. Does that seem right?

  • 0

    Actually, that didn't work either because I can't seem to be able to change the requester on closed tickets. And I can't add my new email to my Agent account because it has "already been taken."

  • 0

    Hey Tiffany,

    Closed tickets cannot be edited, so you will be unable to manually change the requester on these tickets. The only way to do this would be to downgrade your agent account to end user, merge the two profiles, and then upgrade the user back to agent. As for currently open tickets, you will be unable to add the email address to your primary account until the other profile is deleted, and you cannot delete your old profile while you have currently open tickets. I would recommend that you first assign your currently assigned tickets to a dummy group that you create just for this purpose, downgrade to an end user, merge your profiles, upgrade back to agent, and then bulk assign all tickets in the dummy group back to you. This seems like a lot of steps, but I believe that this will be the quickest way for you to achieve the transfer you are looking for.

  • 0

    Is there somewhere to "find" duplicate accounts by entering the first/last name?  Many times we don't know the duplicate accounts exist to merge them.  

  • 0

    Hello Tracy,

    Are you asking about something in addition to the search bar under Manage > People? The search bar does a pretty good job of finding all profiles with a shared name. It may take a while for new profiles to show up in these search results, but if a profile has been in your account for a day or so it should be very good for this purpose.

  • 0

    HI Brandon, 

    Thanks for the reply.  Unless I am totally missing something using the search bar requires that I know what name to search for.  I was referring to something that would find the duplicates that I am unaware of.  If I know of the duplicate it's a one off fix to search for the name and then merge.  However, if there is a way for the system to pull all of the duplicates for me so I can merge those, that would be fantastic.  Is there a way to do that?

  • 0

    For example - pull those profiles that have 3 letters matching on first name and 3 letters on last name.  That should clearly show me if there are duplicates, which can then be merged.  

  • 0

    Hey Tracy,

    Thanks for clarifying, I had completely misunderstood what you were asking. Unfortunately, there is no way in Zendesk to search for duplicate user names automatically. You could try going to Manage > Reporting > Export and downloading a User XML Export file. This will give you all of your user information  which you could then put in another program with this kind of functionality to figure out what profiles to delete. This would be outside of Zendesk though.

  • 0

    Thanks Brandon,

    I'll go that route.  Much appreciated!

  • 0

    What needs to be done if "User options" does not exist in the bottom toolbar?  Actually, there is no bottom toolbar on the user's page.  Don't have this option off the 'actions" menu in the top right hand corner of the user's general information box either.  And I'm logged in as a user that has full admin rights.  Please advise.  Thanks, Kent

  • 0

    Hi Kent, 

    If you don't see those options, it's likely because you are in the Classic interface instead of new Zendesk. To merge a user in Classic head to Manage > People and find the user you need to merge. Click on their name (not "edit" - that's different) and you'll see a profile page. In the top right corner of that profile there should be an "actions" button that includes the option to merge the user. You'll need to know the name or email of the other user and then you'll be set!

  • 0

    Occasionally I get really weird behavior when merging tickets and users. I've been trying to merge 2 users for 20 minutes or more now. I select a user then click "merge user" then it says the user does not exist.... obviously some kind of bug. Then it switches back and forth between a user that exists and doesn't with 1 ticket. This seems to happen mostly with Zendesk Voice tickets, but I can't be sure. Hard to explain but very annoying.

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