How can I send email notifications to secondary emails in Support?

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28 Comments

  • Nicky Clark
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    Our use case is that we don't want it to send to all of a users email addresses, we just want it to reply to the one that they emailed us from rather than just sending everything to the Primary Address.

    Which email address our users consider their primary can change without us knowing. Today's example - a user created a new address ~6 months ago, so his record had his original email as his primary and his new email as his secondary. He continued sending emails from both addresses for some time.

    Today we found out the hard way when multiple emails didn't reach him and he got very frustrated that we "weren't replying" that the original email had since been retired. We had no idea that even although he was emailing us from his secondary address all of our replies were going to his primary address, or that those weren't reaching him. 

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  • CRSI IT Department
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    I would like to throw our hat in the ring on this one as well. We need some sort of logic that says whatever email address was used to send the message to Zendesk should be the one used to respond. One of the main reasons we are moving to Zendesk is because the customer interaction is more like an email string where we just reply back and forth until the question is answered. I'm quickly finding that this may not be the case for us.

    In our scenario, we are supporting internal employees. Not everyone has a company issued address so the staff person's primary email can change without us knowing. In a benefits open enrollment situation, answering employee emails/questions in a timely manner can have serious consequences if we do not resolve their issue before the end of enrollment.

    In Nicky Clark's post, they "found out the emails didn't reach him and he got very frustrated that we "weren't replying" that the original email had since been retired. We had no idea that even although he was emailing us from his secondary address all of our replies were going to his primary address, or that those weren't reaching him."

    I can't imagine what would happen if staff missed a benefits open enrollment because we couldn't simply reply to the email that they used to send the message.

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  • Nicky Clark
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    Agreed, this is still causing ongoing issues for us that our clients can email us from one of their secondary email addresses and then never receive a reply to that address. 

    Isn't that a fundamental principle of emailing, that replies should go to the sending address of the email you're replying to?

    We've started using SSO for Zendesk with some of our other products and very often the email address that someone has registered with (thus, their primary email) is absolutely not the one they send most of their communications from. We have to merge their secondary address into that primary account, otherwise they don't have access to their own tickets when they login to Zendesk via SSO. This means they never receive email replies to the address they've actually emailed us from.

    This is escalating into a much bigger issue for us as time goes on. 

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  • Joel Boonstra
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    I, too, would love to see a solution whereby we could opt to have all user email addresses included in notifications, either by default or as one-time configuration we could opt-in to in our trigger definitions.

    Our use case is similar to some of those above; we have clients that may have a primary address associated with their site's domain, and also a gmail.com or similar address. They are not always consistent with which one they use to reply, especially if they are using gmail to read/reply for multiple accounts. E.g., they may not have their gmail set up to automatically reply "From" the address they received the email at.

    If they do that, then initially their email comes in as a private comment, as they are not a CC and their email is not associated with their account. That's fine.

    From there, we have two options:

    1. Merge the two users into one. This will allow all future comments to come in from either address as public comments on the ticket. It will also allow us to have a cleaner user list (no duplicates) and richer data overall.
    2. Not merge the users, and instead explicitly add the new address as a CC. That will let them update that ticket, and see replies to both addresses, but we'll end up with two "users" in the system, and for any future ticket we'll need to explicitly add them as a CC again. This kinda solves the reply-to-both issue but means that researching ticket history for users is harder, as it depends on which address they used to initiate a ticket.

    In addition to the "I closed my primary account months ago, why are you still using that?" scenario mentioned by Nicky above, there may be times when clients are using their alternate email address because the primary one is having issues (e.g., they are trying to solve mail connectivity issues with their primary email address) and so when they email us from the alternate address, a merged-address situation means that they will send from a working address but our replies will go to a nonfunctional address.

    It would be really great to be able to have the ability to reply to secondary addresses somehow:

    • by adding a (requester - all addresses) option for triggers
    • by automatically making any address that a requester uses on a ticket part of the notification (e.g., if they respond with a secondary address, all future notifications for that ticket use both addresses)
    • by adding some sort of flag on the ticket itself that allows us to opt-in (or opt-out) of notifying all user addresses
    • some other way I haven't thought of

    I realize that some of those suggestions may be impractical but this is a very common scenario for our customers and I would love to see a way for it to work well.

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  • Bonnie Schofield
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    This 'workaround' is really a useless suggestion when we have thousands of emails coming in, often from a secondary email associated to a customer account. Is there any update on a system update to send outgoing email ticket notifications to both the primary and secondary email addresses on an account?

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  • Nick Vincent-Maloney
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    As many of these readers have mentioned, this is hardly a viable alternative. It's absolutely crazy to me that you can't include an email address that is stored in our data to a field to send email. In my case, sometimes the secondary email address is a Gmail address, for example. The user's primary address might be from an educational organization, which doesn't allow accessing Dropbox or GoToMeeting or sometimes blocks ZD all together. In this case, I'd like to send a Dropbox link or GTM invite to the Gmail (secondary) email address. Or just communicate with the user to get around occasional blocks.

    Whatever the reason, if one of my users asks me to include an alternate email in the ticket, I want to be able to do this. Leaving the emails as two separate users is also a workaround but I much prefer merging them into one so I can see all their tickets at once.

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  • CRSI IT Department
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    Right there with you Nick! Based on the oldest reply, this thread has been going on for at least three years. I had hoped that the technology would've evolved enough during this time to allow for the system to add a customer's secondary email addresses as CCs.

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  • Jessica
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    We are struggling with the same issue. We found out because multiple partners were reporting they are not receiving our messages. 

    We merge e-mail addresses into one account for logging purposes as they are linked to the Salesforce account of that partner. 

    The reply has to go to the email it was sent from. It's ridiculous that an email provider like Zendesk does not work like that. 

    Zendesk please fix this issue! 


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  • René Strass
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    Yes, also here this problem causes a lot of trouble and circumstances.

    We also work with customers and partners who use multiple email addresses and urgently we need a way to not only handle the primary email address.

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  • tom
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    Need this very basic feature

    My scenario, customers use different email address to checkout with so when we follow up email the customer with that email they don't get it because it is an email they don't use often. I don't know what goes through their mind when placing an order and not to expect an email... I too find it strange but it happens far too many times then have the faff to sort out zendesk to amend the primary email which then presents even more problems because the shopify app only checks primary email.

    ARGHH so frustrating.

    So many simple problems on zendesk just not thought about such as editing closed tickets but heh thats another story

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  • Cole Carey
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    Just commenting to share yet another reason to make this happen...

    We have thousands of students who use both personal emails and school emails to communicate with us about our service. Depending on their location, they will interchangeably use one or the other. 

    In our case, having the ability to choose which email address we are communicating with while still keeping all associated email addresses within one user is incredibly important to us. We use both the web-based tools and the API to not only communicate with our customers but to programmatically analyze data for a variety of reasons. Having multiple end-users for one individual is not something that is viable for us.

    I noticed a comment from Kristal Lam:
        "Thanks for the feedback everyone! This is currently something we are looking into. I will continue to post updates with where we're at."

    It's been at least a year since we've heard anything about this needed feature. Kristal, if you're still out there, any word?

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  • David McKnight
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    Here is an actual, frustrating case, and it happens more times than you can imagine. Actually, it is why I came across this thread, because I was trying to find out how to resolve this issue.

    I had an open support ticket with a client, and the primary email address for the client was attached to that support ticket. The client sent us a spreadsheet. We responded that we received it.

    A few days later the client responded to his original email from another email addressHe asked us to cancel his contract, since he never received any response from us. Because that other email address was a new addition to the support ticket, it saved the message as a private note, which means he would not see it if he looked at the email from his other email address.

    We saw he sent that email from the second email address, so we added that email address as a CC on the support ticket, creating a new end user with that email address. That worked. He saw the message at the new email address AND the primary address. However, now Zendesk was looking at that new email address as a different user.

    We didn't want to have two users for the same client, so we merged the new end user into the old end user, and retained the new email address as a secondary address. Now we have ONE user. Success! No wait.

    Now Zendesk will not allow me to CC the secondary email address because it will only send email to the primary address. Huh?! Wait a minute. He's not looking at the primary address email right now.

    • Problem would have been mostly solved if Zendesk would just allow me to CC the secondary address. Then I KNOW he will get it regardless of which email he is looking at.
    • Even better, had Zendesk allowed me to add the secondary address at the time the "private note" got added, and convert the private note to a public one, that would have been ideal. But I can live with just CCing the secondary address. I even thought I did that by typing in the secondary address under the CC list -- NOPE! Zendesk converted the typed in secondary address into the primary client address. Come on guys!

    A client using multiple email addresses is common. If the only reasonable way we have of addressing it is creating a secondary end user, and adding it to the org, that is problematic, because we also encourage clients to create a Zendesk login to view their support tickets. They will now be confused, because if they log in under their primary email address they won't be able to see any tickets created under their secondary address unless we explicitly allow them to view all org tickets, which we may not want to do.

    Please fix this Zendesk. At the very least, just allow me to CC a secondary address in a support ticket.

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  • Adam Steinberg
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    All I'd like to be able to do is to ensure that the SLA starts when a customer replies from an alternate email address. Is there a trigger that could be set up for this?

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  • CRSI IT Department
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    I contacted Zendesk Support and asked them how to report this issue so it gets addressed in a future release.

    They recommended "You can make your request in this link right here 👉​ Development feature requests."

    Not sure why we'd put it in the developer platform feature requests but I just posted it out there. Please add comments and up-vote if this is something you'd like to see addressed.

    My post can be found here: https://develop.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360034441633-end-email-notifications-to-secondary-emails-in-Support

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  • CRSI IT Department
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    Wanted to give a quick update, my team is meeting with one of the Zendesk Product Solutions Managers next week to discuss this. In his words "This is an issue that we are aware of, and unfortunately not easy to resolve.  I would be happy to share with you what we are doing around this important roadblock." I will report back here with any solution we are able to derive.

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  • Anthony Conte
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    Are you kidding me?

    Our company just used your API to merge secondary e-mail addresses (personal Gmail accounts) to primary user accounts to clean up our instance (2400 employees). We didn't want two profiles associated to every one user for obvious reasons. We wanted all tickets from a single user to live/be seen under one profile for historical context. Unbeknownst to us (why was this not mentioned when Zendesk told us to use the API to merge these accounts?!), merging these accounts breaks our ability to receive/respond to tickets submitted from these personal/now secondary email addresses. We can't even CC these secondary addresses without Zendesk auto converting the CC'd address to their primary on a ticket response.

    When a user is locked out of their company account or they have general access trouble, how are we supposed to assist them using Zendesk? Why is Zendesk creating/auto-coverting tickets under a user's primary email address even if the email that initiated the ticket creation is the secondary? How is this a thing? How has this been a problem for 3+ years? We need the ability to receive and respond to secondary email addresses. Our users can not access their company emails (not even on their phone) when they lose access to their corporate account. We are a health care company that deals with PHI, this was done by design.

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  • Dylan Cunniffe
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    Hi Team,

    We also desperately need this functionality. Here is our use case:

    We are a financial services company with a collections and enforcement team who use Zendesk to communicate with delinquent customers (along with our normal customer support team). These customers typically change addresses frequently and so, legally, we need to send communication to all known email addresses in order to ensure any enforcement case taken against them is valid.

    The simplest method would be to allow an agent to add a customer's secondary email addresses as CCs.

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  • Quinn Souther
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    We can't speak for Bonnie, but we think it would be helpful in situations where we'd like to ensure that our response is received by sending responses to all possible addresses for the requester. CC'ing the secondary address would be a decent solution for us, but CC'ing the same requester in the ticket will just send a duplicate message to the same primary address, as I understand it.

    Is there any option to change the behavior so that all validated email addresses for a requester receive the response? Just curious. 

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  • Jonathan March
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    Not sure how long it's been since I commented on this issue, but having just run into it again myself, I'll add my fervent prayer for progress on being able to CC a user's secondary email address.

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  • Sean Cusick
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    Hi Nicky,

    Thanks for your update and for your input. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you. We recognize that not every use-case is ideal with our current system. We are currently investigating possible options for improved functionality in this regard, though we want to ensure that any change we make does not negatively impact deliverability.

    We will update as soon as we have a feasible and functional solution to release.  

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  • Cole Carey
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    CRSI IT Department

    Glad to hear of something happening. Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to help everyone get what they need.

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  • Allen Hancock
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    Bonnie, I think it would be helpful to hear why you have two emails associated with the same user, if you want Zendesk to reply to both?

    Thanks!

     

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  • Jonathan March
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    Anthony, while I agree with your main concern, just a point of clarification:

    >  broke our ability to receive/respond to tickets submitted from these personal/now secondary email addresses.

    You can certainly *receive* tickets submitted from these secondary addresses; ZD processes them as if they had come from the primary address.

    The problems are in not being able to respond to them at the secondary address (without manually swapping them as you indicate, or doing a laborious trigger / target hack), and not even knowing that they wrote from a secondary address, unless (a)  they tell you so explicitly or (b) you happen to go look at the source email. (Inexplicably, even the event log doesn't tell you which email address they wrote from.)

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  • Kristal Lam
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    Thanks for the feedback everyone! This is currently something we are looking into. I will continue to post updates with where we're at. 

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  • Andreas Pfeiffer
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    Hi all,

    While I was looking for a solution in zendesk to segregate the email as the identifier in the IDP and an email where the notifications should be sent, I came accross this thread. I take the opportunity to give my use case - pretty simple !

    We have users that are invited in our directory. This means that they are registered in our directory, but without any services associated, even mail services. The directory is the IDP for zendesk when users log in. The today situation is that those invited user can be identified by zendesk, but cannot receive any notification.

    Zendesk people should keep in mind that a mail address is not only for sending notifications, but also to identify the users in case of SSO setup. There should have more settings flexibility and not only consider, by default, that sending an email to the identified mail address will reach out the user in 100% the cases.

    Thank you to take this use case into account.

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  • Dennis Lynn
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    Hey Quinn,

    There is not any sort of native functionality that would accomplish your goal, unfortunately. I did some more digging, and it looks like there have been a couple requests for a similar feature to what you are looking for:

     

    Zendesk Feedback - deliver ticket response to multiple end-user email addresses

    If using the email target Rebecca suggested will not work for you, and/or you are interested in this feature, I would encourage you to post your use-case and vote for that thread. I'd also recommend subscribing to the article so you'll be updated with any further comments. We truly value customer feedback and your voice and votes in the forums help influence future Zendesk functionality.

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  • Jessie Schutz
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    Hey Tom! Thank you for sharing your use case!

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  • René Strass
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    CRSI IT Department

    Thanks for sharing. Sounds good. Like some others here I would be very happy for any news about it. I keep my fingers crossed.

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