With skills-based routing, you can set up "skills" and associate each one with individual agents. For each skill, you also define a set of ticket conditions. Then you configure a view that identifies which tickets match the skills of whomever's looking at it.
Currently, skills-based routing is designed to get you familiar with the concepts of skills and skill types, assess whether your agents have the right abilities to effectively cover your end-users' needs, and get started setting up, testing, and piloting new business rules for routing. Future releases will allow you to create more streamlined workflows and route tickets more directly.
Before getting started, you may want to check out Best practices: Setting up skills-based routing for suggestions about how to best approach this process.
This article discusses the following topics:
Understanding skills-based routing
This section includes the following topics:
About skills and skill types
There are two elements that skills-based routing is built on: Skill types and skills .
- Skill types are simply categories for skills. For example, "Languages" is a skill type, and "French" is an individual skill. "Country" is a skill type, and "Belgium" is a skill.
- Skills are any attributes of an agent that determine their suitability to work a ticket that requires them. A skill can be something the agent is able to do, like speak French. But a skill can be any other fact about the agent, like being located in the Brussels office.
While a skill can technically exist with just a name, a skill is fully defined by:
- A name
- A set of conditions that determine when a ticket requires the skill (called routing rules)
- A set of agents who have that skill
The skills-based routing workflow
Currently, skills-based routing uses the existing paradigm where agents pull tickets from views. You can configure a view to organize tickets so agents possessing certain skills can quickly find those tickets they are qualified to address.
The following is an overview of the steps you'll take to route tickets into useful views.
- Create skill types, to organize your skills into categories.
- Add skills to the skill types, based on your customers' needs and the skills or qualities your agents have (language, time zones, and the like).
- Identify agents' skills, and assign them to as many skills as you like.
- Build routing rules for each skill, so skills can be applied to the right tickets.
- Create views that include a skill match column so the viewer knows which tickets they have the skills to answer.
Creating skill types
You'll need to create at least one skill type before you can set up specific skills. You can create up to 10 skill types.
To create a skill type
- In Zendesk Support, click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Business Rules > Routing.
- On the Routing admin page, click the New skill type button.
- Enter a unique name for the skill type. Names cannot exceed 96 characters.
- Hit Enter. The skill type is created and added to the Routing page:
Repeat these steps for each skill type you want to create.
Adding skills to skill types
After you've created one or more skill types, you can add your specific skills.
Skills can be viewed, edited, or deleted after they've been created, and skills can be manually added or changed on a ticket-by-ticket basis. For information on this, see Working with skills.
Each skill type can include up to 30 skills.
To add a skill to a skill type
- On the Routing admin page, locate the skill type you want to update, and click the New skill button.
- Enter a name for the new skill. Names cannot exceed 96 characters.
Note: Each skill within a skill type must have a unique name. However, skills in separate skill types can use the same name.
- Hit Enter. The skill is added to the skill type.
- Repeat until you've added all your skills to the skill type:
Assigning agents to skills
For each skill, you need to designate agents who have that skill.
You can add or remove up to 50 agents at a time. If you have more that 50 agents to add or remove, you'll need to make multiple updates.
To assign an agent to a skills
- On the Routing admin page, click the skill type you want to open, then click the skill you want to update.
- In the Agents section, click the Manage button to display a list of all agents, and the groups they belong to:
- Locate the agents you want to assign to the skill. You can find agents in a number of ways:
- Scroll through the list of agents
- Enter an agent's name in the search box
- Filter the list of agents by group, by clicking the options icon () and selecting the group name.
- Select agents by clicking the check box to the left of their name. Once selected, agents appear in the Agents with skill list.
- When done, click the Save button.
To remove an agent from a skill
- Open the skill.
- In the Agents with skill list, locate the agent you want to remove, then click the x next to their name.
- Click the Save button.
Assigning skills to tickets (building routing rules)
Each skill needs conditions defined to determine which tickets they're applied to. These sets of conditions are called "routing rules." When a ticket is created that meets the conditions defined in a skill's routing rule, that skill is attached to the ticket. You can create views based on those skills to direct agents to tickets they are qualified to address.
Routing rules are only applied upon ticket creation, which means:
- If a ticket is created before a routing rule is set up, it won't have that skill attached to it.
- If a ticket is updated so that it no longer meets a skill's conditions, the ticket will still require that skill until you manually remove it from the ticket.
- If a ticket is updated so that it meets the conditions for a new skill, the ticket will not start to require that new skill until you manually add it to the ticket.
To create a routing rule
- On the Routing admin page, click the skill type you want to open, then click the skill you want to create a routing rule for.
- In the Tickets section, click the Add condition button under Meet All of the following conditions and/or Meet Any of the following conditions.
- If you add conditions under Meet All of the following conditions, all of the conditions must be true for the skill to be applied.
- If you add conditions under Meet Any of the following conditions, one or more of the conditions must be true for the skill to be applied.
- Select a condition, a field operator, and a value for each entry.
- When all conditions are added, click the Save button.
When a skill is applied to a ticket, it appears in that ticket's sidebar.
For information on modifying these skills, see Working with skills.
Creating views with skill matches
To show an agent which tickets they have the skills to answer, you can add a "skill match" column to any view. A checkmark will appear next to any ticket matching the agent's skill set. Different tickets will have checkmarks depending on who's looking at the view.
To create a view for skill-match assessment
- Create a view, or clone an existing view, that covers common support requests (see Using views to manage ticket workflow).
- On the view's edit page, scroll to the Table columns section, and drag Skill match into the Columns included in table list.
- Update the rest of the view as needed, and click Submit.
- Open your newly-created view, and look at the Skill match column. If an agent has skills that match the ticket, a checkmark appears in the Skill match column:
Working with skills on tickets
This section discusses the following topics related to skills that have been applied to tickets:
Admins can view the skills applied to a particular ticket in the ticket UI. Currently, agents cannot see or update skills on the ticket.
To view the skills applied to a ticket
- Locate the ticket in your ticket views.
- Click the ticket subject to open it in the main window.
- In the ticket's sidebar, locate the Skills field. The skills applied to that ticket appear here.
Adding and removing skills on a ticket
You can update the skills applied to a specific ticket from within the ticket UI.
To add a skill to a ticket
- In the ticket's sidebar, locate the Skills field.
- Click the skills drop-down icon () to display the available skill types:
- Click the skill type containing the skill, then click the skill you want to add to the ticket.
- Repeat as needed, then submit the ticket.
To remove a skill from a ticket
- In the ticket's sidebar, locate the Skills field.
- Click the x on the skill you want to delete from the ticket.
- Submit the ticket. The skill is removed from the ticket.