The Out of Office v2 app is a tool for managing the availability of an agent in Zendesk Support, and ensuring that tickets assigned to unavailable agents are properly handled if updated by a customer.
This article covers the following topics to help you install, use, and extend the app:
- How the app works
- Installing the app
- Changing the app settings
- Using the app
- Understanding the 'agent_ooo' tag
- Known limitations
How the app works
The Out of Office v2 app displays the availability status of the agent assigned to tickets in Zendesk Support.
For administrators, it also displays a list of agents and their availability.
The app prevents tickets from being accidentally assigned to an agent who is unavailable. When this occurs, a pop-up notification is displayed to the agent.
Installing the app
To install the Out of Office app
- In Support, click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Apps > Marketplace.
- In the search bar, search for Out of Office, and select the app from the results list.
- Click Install in the upper-right corner.
- Select or unselect the Confirm status change checkbox. Unselecting this option disables the status change confirmation message. As a result, you cannot choose to unassign an agent's open tickets when marking them as unavailable.
- Select or unselect the Force unassign tickets checkbox. Enabling this setting unassigns an agent's open tickets automatically when their status is changed to unavailable. This option is disabled by default, allowing the unassign action to be run on a case-by-case basis.
- Select or unselect the Prevent assignment checkbox. Disabling this option allows tickets to be saved if they're assigned to an agent who's unavailable. A warning is still displayed that the assignee is unavailable, and agents can assign tickets to themselves regardless of their status.
- Select or unselect the Surface errors encountered
when bulk updating tickets? checkbox. Enabling this option causes the unassign process to take longer. Some tickets may still not get updated by Out of Office even with this setting turned on. This setting simply verifies the ticket updates and surfaces any errors encountered whilst updating tickets.
- If required, select and configure role restrictions and group restrictions.
- Click Install to complete the setup.
Changing the app settings
You can modify the app's default behavior by changing the app settings.
To change the app settings
- In Support, click Admin (), then select Apps > Manage.
- In the Out of Office app icon, select Change Settings from the dropdown options menu.
- Modify your settings and click Update.
Using the app
An agent can modify their status using the app in the ticket sidebar or accessing their user profile.
To modify your availability
- In Support, click View, and double click on a ticket to open it. Alternatively, select your user profile icon the upper right, and then click View Profile.
- In the ticket app sidebar, under the Out of Office app, select the Availability toggle button. A confirmation dialog box opens to confirm the change.
- Click Set as Available to enable availability, or Set as Unavailable to set your status as unavailable.
An administrator can access the Out of Office dashboard to view the availability of agents and modify an agent's status.
To view and modify an agent's availability
- In Support, select the Out of Office icon in the left navigation bar. The dashboard opens.
- Click on the Availability toggle button next to agent. A confirmation dialog box opens to confirm the change.
- Click Set as Available to enable availability, or Set as Unavailable to set an agent's status as unavailable.
Changing the availability status either adds or removes a tag on tickets with a Pending, On-Hold, or Solved status, and optionally for all tickets with an Open status. For more information, see Understanding the agent_ooo tag below.
When a pending or on-hold ticket is reopened by an end user and the assignee is unavailable, a trigger fires that returns the ticket to the unassigned ticket queue.
The app checks the status of the assignee each time a ticket is saved. If the assignee is unavailable, the app warns the updater that the assignee is unavailable. If the Prevent assignment? setting is enabled, it also prevents tickets from being saved if the new assignee is unavailable.
The following functions and behaviour can occur when using the Out of Office app in Zendesk Support:
- An agent can assign a ticket to themselves if they are unavailable. The following warning is displayed after the ticket is saved:
- An agent can update a ticket if they're not the assignee and the assignee is unavailable. A warning notification is displayed that the current assignee is unavailable:
- Tickets that are assigned to an unavailable agent with a Pending and On-Hold status, but are updated to Open, are reassigned to the respective ticket's parent group. However, the Assignee field becomes empty. Status changes from Pending or On-Hold occurs when an end-user replies to an email notification.
Understanding the agent_ooo tag
When the Out of Office app v2 is installed, it automatically creates in Zendesk Support the following items:
- A user field that applies an agent_ooo tag to users marked as unavailable
- A trigger to handle the unassign action on a ticket based on the agent_ooo tag
- A trigger to remove the agent_ooo tag from a ticket when it's assigned to a different agent
Note: These items are required for the app to work. Don't delete or modify them.
Changing the availability status either adds or removes an agent_ooo tag on tickets based on the following rules:
- When an agent marks themselves as unavailable, the agent_ooo tag is added to the agent's user profile in the Agent Out? user field
- When the agent changes their status to unavailable, the tag is added to all tickets with a Pending, On-Hold, or Solved status. When the agent changes their status to available, the tag is removed from these tickets
- Any open tickets with the tag are unassigned on update
- If the ticket assignee is changed, then the tag is removed
- If the tag is removed from a ticket, no other tags are removed
The Out of Office app has the following limitations:
- If the Prevent assignment? setting is disabled and a ticket is assigned from one unavailable agent to another unavailable agent, the agent_ooo tag will be lost. This means that the ticket will not be unassigned if it is reopened
- Agents are able to assign a ticket to a group with only one agent even if the sole agent in that group is unavailable
- The message 'Error: Unable to get list of agents' is displayed for users if their role has the 'Cannot browse or search for users' permission set
- Agents without administrator rights can't change their status using the app dashboard in the left navigation bar of the agent interface. They can still change their status in their user profile or from one of their assigned tickets
- The agent_ooo tag is added to solved tickets. If the ticket is closed while the tag is applied, the tag will not be removable. This may be undesirable for reporting purposes. If so, the system automation that closes solved tickets can be modified to remove the agent_ooo tag
- When marking an agent as OOO and un-assigning all open tickets, only some of the tickets will actually get unassigned
- When a ticket assigned to an OOO agent gets updated, the ticket is assigned back to the parent group with a null Assignee value. The trigger working in the background during this action does not currently send an email notification to the agents in the group
- The app does not prevent assigning tickets unless the ticket is updated individually through the Zendesk interface. Triggers, Mail API, REST API, and bulk editing will be able to bypass the assignment restrictions
- In some instances, if an agent is downgraded to an end user while unavailable, they will retain the agent_ooo tag until it is removed manually. Any tickets that the end user creates also inherits the agent_ooo tag.
If you were previously using the Out of Office V1 app and have recently upgraded, please review the following steps if you are having issues with agent availability and tickets being assigned:
- Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Settings > Customers.
- Make sure that the Tags on users and organizations setting is enabled.
- Click Save tab to save your settings.
- Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Apps > Manage.
- Select the Out of Office app. In the settings, toggle the Force unassign tickets setting on and then off, and finally set it according to your requirements.
- Click Update to save your changes.
Version 3.8.1 — 2019-11-11
- Fixed an issue with the navbar location not sorting agents in alphabetical order by default
- Fixed an issue where searching for agents is case sensitive
- Fixed an issue where the Out of Office toggle button was showing up in the sidebar for end user profiles
- Fixed an issue where the new ticket screen allowed an agent to assign a ticket to someone who was set to Out of Office
- Fixed an issue with the "Surface errors encountered
when bulk updating tickets?" feature and app setting, where tickets were not properly checked for successful updates or not.