Using skills-based routing (Enterprise)

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59 Comments

  • Kristen Mirenda

    Hi @davide -- I have some good news, that manual skill updating by agents is in development and should be available this quarter. Automatically updating skills is a lot harder and is currently under investigation as our next priority,

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  • Paull Charman

    Is there any update on when we might be able to use skills as conditions in triggers?

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  • Ola Timpson

    Will we be able to apply a Skills filter to multiple views at some stage? This feature could work really well for us, as we have agents within teams covering different products, but I really need to filter 3 different views on skills match.

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  • Antonio Naddeo

    We have different departments and we use ticket groups to reassign a ticket to a different department: a group for each department (Support, Billing, Tech). I thought that Skills Routing would be a great way to get rid of the several groups and using the simpler set of skills to assign a ticket to a different department (support , billing, tech support etc). After playing a bit with the tool I think that skills routing cannot be used for escalating tickets. 

    I understand that skill routing only works on ticket creation, so if a new ticket comes in and agent need to assign manually to a different department using skills routing, this is just not possible because:

    1. Agents cannot manually edit the skills, only admin can change the skills on the ticket, what is the point of this?

    2. Skills do not work when the ticket is simply updated, so even if we were to create a field called "escalate to billing" to be manually selected by the agent who wants to assign the ticket to a different supporting group it would not work because skills to do not work on tickets updates. 

    Am I missing anything?

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  • Brett Bowser
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hi Antonio,

    1. You are correct and currently agents are unable to manually edit these skills on the ticket. However, as mentioned above by Kristen, this feature is currently in development and will hopefully be released this quarter.

    2. Correct, skills based routing only works once a ticket is created. As and admin, you would need to manually update the skills field. However, the agent should still be able to assign over to a different group if necessary unless they have group restrictions set up.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!

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  • Melysa Cheatham

    Has there been any development on Zendesk pushing tickets to the agents instead of the agents pulling tickets to themselves?

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  • Kristen Mirenda

    Thank you for all your questions -- it's great to see so much interest in the feature! Obviously we can't do everything at once, and some of your asks are complex or have a lot of interdepedencies. But we do take them into account on balance against the many other product requests we receive.

    As of today,

    @Pauli -- using skills in triggers is not currently planned. Having one rule kick off another gets pretty complicated. We hope that routing rules can replace many triggers, however. We are also looking at ways that routing rules can be re-run after ticket creation so the rule may be applied later in the ticket lifecycle as triggers are.

    @Ola -- we hear you and it's on the backlog, but it's highly cross-dependent with work on the Views feature that would be needed in order to accommodate it. I don't have a timeline for you right now.

    @Melysa -- we are moving in that direction and it also involves a lot of cross-product coordination and prioritization. I don't have a timeline for you either, but it is part of the ultimate vision as of now.

    In the meantime, I hope the newly launched ability to have agents update skills on a ticket is helpful to your desired workflows! https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360025120514

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  • Stassa Miller
    Community Moderator

    This setup means I need to turn off the triggers set to route tickets in order for skills-based routing to route the tickets?

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  • Au Finh Saechao

    We are in the process of implementing skills-based routing. Just out of curiosity: what is the thinking behind having tickets without a skill to be considered a skill match for all agents?

    This appears to the case for both the skills match view and the /api/v2/routing/requirements/fulfilled.json endpoint. Seems counter-intuitive, especially since the views now only filter for skill matches and there is no way to create a "catch-all" skill that is not assigned to any agents.

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  • Masha Patrakova

    Hello!
    Are tickets checked against skill conditions in the order they are listed in? Both the order of skills and order of conditions inside?

    Say I have

    Spanish
    Any 
    Device language = ES
    App language = ES

    French
    Any
    Device language = FR
    App language = FR

    English
    No conditions

    Would each ticket be checked against 

    1. Device being ES

    2. App being ES

    3. Device being FR

    4. App being FR

    5. If nothing matched - set to EN?

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  • Kerry Scotney

    I briefly tried SBR in our Sandbox but decided not to roll it out just yet. There are no skills etc configured in our system. However, the Skills field now appears on tickets when I view/create them in both the Sandbox and the Live environment. Has the facility to turn this off been implemented yet?

    UPDATE :  I noticed that although not configured and in use, the SBR field was set to visible by Admins. Once I set to Disabled, this resolved the issue.

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  • Krysta Privoznik

    Hi! We set up a language skills based trigger based on website URL, but are not seeing that it is being applied in Zendesk for offline and maybe online chats too. Is someone able to assist us to ensure we set this up correctly?

    Thank you!

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  • Oliver Tietze

    Dear Zendesk, as mentioned above from others I would love to learn about your concepted use cases.

    Many of the processes which we though Skill Based Routing could be good for are not doable for us, because no skills could be set by triggers, macros or automations (even not by bulk edit), and no-skill tickets are always shown.

    This means we have to use groups instead, which produces a mess of rules + unwanted visuals.

    Examples:

    • Escalated tickets that get processed by Level 2 agents. Our work is a lot based on macros. Assigning a ticket to a higher level currently means "assigning it to another group". To set the needed skill the agent would have to manually fill the "Skills" field, because the macro could not do it.
    • Tickets covering a specific problem so we generate a temporary workgroup. We search for all related tickets and could bulk edit them. But: assigning the needed skill is not possible, so we would have to get back to group (or workarounds based on tags). Clicking ticket by ticket to set the needed skill is a no-go.
    • Tickets that turn out to be in a specific language. Same as above.
    • Tickets SHOWN in the skill-based list view: Even if we had "English" tickets marked and "English" agents present, the english tickets cannot be identified, because ALL tickets have a "Skill match" checkmark. This way our extra-skilled agents have to process everything - and eventually the "English needed" tickets are just showing up after their shift has ended and no one else could process them. Sorting the matches is essential.

    I could go on with various use cases, but I need to understand the general concept of "Skill based routing" before I could point out the problems we'd like to solve with it. Please help up. I don't seem to be the only one.

    Btw we have 177 Macros, 95 triggers, 8 automations, ~20 views and 30 groups. We process ~1.500-2.000 tickets a day.

    Regards

    Oliver

     

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  • Oliver Tietze

    Masha Patrakova as far as I learned "no conditions" is not possible for SBR. You have to set at least one condition to assign that skill to the ticket. 

    Skill rules are, as far as I know, ALL processed, because multiple skills could be set. But not sure on that. Contact your Zendesk Customer Success Manager to know for sure and roll out the rules you need ;)

    Oliver

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  • Au Finh Saechao

    Oliver Tietze great points!

    We had the same problem with that last bullet point. There is a check mark for all tickets that don’t have a skill. This is by design, but I still don’t quite understand the rationale.

    Great to know about the other use cases you just listed out.

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  • Helen Foot

    I'd like to echo the points a couple of people have made above:

    1. We need the ability to apply SBR to more than one view.

    • We have multiple departments with different structures and ways of working in one instance. While SBR could work for the ones with basic implementations, or one complex implementation, it won't work for combining all of them together, e.g. some sort views by SLA, others by Priority - it's impractical to order any one view to suit all of them. Multiple skill-based views would solve this.

    2. The ability to toggle the filter of a view by skill (or frankly even just a field value in general) would be very welcome.

    • We have multiple tiers of agents in some departments, where the most expert fail-over to less expert tickets when they are done with all the expert tickets they can work on, or for cover when other agents are out. At the moment they all have to have access to all the possible views to do this, and one single SBR view is not going to solve this without a filter.

    3. Skills need to be editable by macros and triggers.

    • If they can only be updated on creation or manually then the usefulness of them and the usefulness of triggers in an SBR system are greatly diminished.

    4. Skills should be available as a value to filter on in standard views.

    • In lieu of the above multiple views or flexible filters for a single view being possible, it would be very useful to be able to just create a static view based on a skill or selection of skills - if we can't do this then skills become just another thing to update alongside the current groups/tagging in place to achieve the same aim.
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  • Sara Gardinier

    Has partial matching (as mentioned in this post https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000789788/comments/360000389728) been assessed as viable? (or not?)

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  • Sara Gardinier

    As a follow-up question, I would love to be able to have skills that override other skills. For example, if I have a ticket that has two skills, one of them being a language based skill, I would love for that skill to remove/override all other skills. Our language based skill is our most important and we need it to trump all other "skills". 

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  • Masha Patrakova

    Oliver Tietze, thank you!

    -----
    No agent with matching skills: If there is no agent with the skills needed to address a ticket, that ticket will not be added to a skills-based view.
    -----

    What are some ways to keep track of those tickets to manually fix the skills?

    Say we get a French-speaking customer who used our services in Spain: their ticket will get skills French and Spain, and we don't have agents with that skillset. 

    Is there a way to make a No skill match view to accompany the Skills match one?

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  • Katie Dougherty
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hi Masha,

    The best practice is to use the skill match column to track tickets that do not match the skill set of your agents.

    First, create an unfiltered view (or clone your skills match view). Then, set up your own skills to reflect the skills of all your agents.

    You can spot tickets that are not assigned based on their lack of a checkmark!

    See the article: https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000860028-Best-practices-Setting-up-skills-based-routing-Enterprise-

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  • Renato Milan dos Santos

    Hi, there!

    Regarding "Note: Only certain views are compatible with filtering. Incompatible views appear in the drop-down menu, but are grayed out and cannot be selected.", could you please explain the criteria Support defines a view as incompatible with filtering to be selected in the drop-down menu?

    Regards,

    Renato

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  • Au Finh Saechao

    Melysa Cheatham Oliver Tietze @... Masha Patrakova Helen Foot

    Automatically pushing tickets to agents via skills-based routing is coming soon to Playlist Ticket Assignment. It will be available by the end of August. If you prefer a pull strategy, skills-based routing will also work with our Playlist button feature using any view. You won't have to use a skills-match view, which I personally have not had any success in using.

    Sara Gardinier we just learned about partial matching use cases and will consider adding that as well!

    EDIT: moving to end of August

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  • Sara Gardinier

    Thank you Au Finh!

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  • fellownarrator

    I think this question was raised earlier, but can you you automatically route a ticket to an agent based on the skills based routing criteria?  I have an agent Z with skills X, ticket comes in that requires skills X, can that ticket be automatically assigned to agent Z?  

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  • Au Finh Saechao

    fellownarrator, it's currently not possible in Zendesk natively. However, we'll be adding this feature to Playlist soon, so stay tuned!

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  • Jamie Noell

    While we have allowed agents to see the skills on a ticket, it does not appear that agents can see the skills on their profile page.

    In addition, we would like to be able to run a report to show all skills for all agents to evaluate our skills coverage.  I know there is an API to pull the list of skills for a particular agent (/api/v2/routing/agents/{agent_id}/instance_values.json), but we need a report showing all, and I am not even seeing an API like this on the SBR developer page.

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  • Reneé Lasswell

    "Note: Only certain views are compatible with filtering. Incompatible views appear in the drop-down menu, but are grayed out and cannot be selected."

    Renalto asked this question earlier https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000789788/comments/360004856693 but I never saw the answer. I need details as to what makes a view compatible and what does not. I had made a view for our non-English languages which is a perfect fit for filtering by skills (language). But It's not showing as a view I can apply the skills to. What details can I look for to understand why it would be incompatible?

     

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  • Nicole S.
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hi Reneé and Renalto

    I checked in with the product team, and the answer is that there isn't really clear-cut criteria for what makes a view compatible or not. Apparently it has to do with how things are cached on our backend, and certain views are cached in such a way that they are incompatible. One example they gave was views that have a time based condition like "all closed tickets in the last hour," but there are a number of other things that can cause a view to be incompatible. 

    I'm sorry that we don't have a more comprehensive and detailed set of criteria we can share, but I hope that helps shed a little light. 

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  • Reneé Lasswell

    Hi Nicole,

    Thanks for that update. What do you recommend we do to get help with getting this set up on our work views. Several are not eligible to use and we can't figure out why. These are group-based, less than solved views keying off a custom category field, there is nothing time-based on them.

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