You can use trigger conditions to let assignees know when a side conversation is created, closed, replied to, and reopened. You can also use trigger actions to create email side conversations and child ticket side conversations automatically.
This article includes these sections:
Trigger conditions for side conversations
The default behavior for side conversations is that the assignee on the ticket doesn’t receive emails, but they do see temporary, in-product notifications. If you want the assignee to get emails about side conversations, you need to use triggers.
You can create trigger conditions for side conversations so that assignees know when a side conversation is created, closed, replied to, and reopened. Without them, the agent assigned to the ticket (who, ideally, is also the creator of the side conversation) may have a hard time knowing what’s going on with a particular issue.
This section includes these topics:
About trigger conditions for side conversations
Side conversation + Is + Created
Created is the initial state of a newly created side conversation.
Side conversation + Is + Closed
Closed is the state of a side conversation after the agent clicks the Mark done button to close the side conversation.
Side conversation + Is + Replied to
Replied to is the state of a side conversation after someone adds a reply.
Side conversation + Is + Reopened
Reopened is the state of a side conversation after the agent clicks the Reopen button to reopen a side conversation.
For a complete list of the different conditions and actions that you can use to create triggers, see Trigger conditions and actions reference.
- Set ticket status to pending or on-hold upon creation of a side conversation
- Automatically assign the author of a side conversation to the ticket
- Send an email notification to the ticket assignee when a conversation side conversation is replied to by others
- Set a ticket’s status to open if a side conversation is replied to by anyone but the assignee
Example 1: When side conversations are created
Here’s an example of a trigger condition about how to handle side conversations when they are created.
Example 2: Updating ticket status when side conversations are replied to
Here’s an example about updating ticket status when side conversation replies are replied to.
Example 3: Notifying ticket assignees when side conversations are replied to
Here’s an example about notifying ticket assignee when side conversations are replied to:
Trigger actions for side conversations
You can save time in certain situations by creating side conversations automatically using triggers. You may want to do this if your company has a process that doesn’t really require manual review.
This section includes these topics:
About trigger actions for side conversations
There are two trigger actions that create side conversations. They are:
- Side conversation via email: Creates an email side conversation. To see this option, email side conversations must be enabled.
- Side conversation via child ticket: Creates a child ticket side conversation. To see this option child ticket side conversations must be enabled.
When the conditions in the trigger are met, the trigger runs, and the side conversations specified by action statements are created. These actions are similar to ones for side conversation in macros (see Using macros to create side conversations).
It’s also important to note that when a side conversation is created via a trigger, the Side conversation + Is + Created condition is suppressed.
About creating child ticket side conversation via triggers
When creating a child ticket side conversation, it's best to use a ticket that is already assigned to an agent as the parent ticket. This is true regardless of whether the child ticket is created manually from the ticket interface or via a trigger. When a child ticket is created, if the parent ticket has not been assigned to an agent or group, then the resulting child ticket will include the Zendesk System User as the requester of the child ticket.
If an agent with access to the parent ticket is not part of the group the child ticket is assigned to, the agent cannot update the child ticket, unless they are the requester or follower on the child ticket.
On triggers that create side conversation child tickets, you may want to consider adding an action for setting the assignee to an agent or group.
Example: Onboarding clients
Here’s an example of how someone might use triggers to create side conversations.
Let’s say that you have a business that operates co-working spaces. You want to streamline your process for onboarding new clients. You can use side conversations to make sure that these things happen automatically:
- Create a child ticket side conversation assigned to the Finance group. Make sure they have the client’s information, know when to start billing, and that they bill the correct amount.
- Create an email side conversation and send it to the Facilities vendor. Ask them to schedule a deep cleaning of the clients new office before their start date.
Each of these side conversations are repeatable, templated interactions that lend themselves to being automatically created via trigger.
Things you will need
- Ticket forms with custom ticket fields
- New or updated triggers that include side conversation actions
- Side conversations and child ticket side conversations are enabled
- An admin creates a special “New client” ticket form that includes various required fields for new client info, such as “Name,” “Start date,” and “Office number.”
- An admin creates or updates triggers to automatically create side conversations about onboarding a new client.
- A manager logs a ticket, using the “New client” ticket form.
When the conditions in the triggers in step 2 are met, the triggers run, and these side conversations are created:
- A child ticket side conversation is created and assigned to the Finance group. They are asked to set the new client up for billing.
- An email side conversation is created and sent to the Facilities vendor. They are asked to schedule a deep cleaning of the client’s office before their start date.
- The manager and the Finance group use the child ticket side conversation to discuss onboarding tasks.
- The manager and the Facilities vendor use the email side conversation to discuss onboarding tasks.
Creating side conversations using triggers
Before you proceed, make sure that side conversations is enabled. You may also want to enable child ticket side conversations.
- In Admin Center, click Objects and rules in the sidebar, then select Business rules > Triggers.
- Click Add trigger to create a new trigger, or open an existing trigger for editing instead.
- (Recommended) In the Conditions section, add strict condition statements, to avoid creating unnecessary side conversations.
For an example of how to do this, see Creating strict condition statements for side conversation triggers.
- In the Actions section, type “side conversation” into the field, and then choose one of the available side conversation actions.
Note: Email side conversations and child ticket side conversations must be enabled to see these options.
Repeat this step as many times as needed to add additional side conversation actions to the trigger. For a workflow example, see Example: Onboarding clients.
- (Recommended) Add an Assignee action to the trigger.
When the trigger runs, the author of the side conversation (email or child ticket) matches the assignee in the originating ticket. If the ticket is unassigned when the trigger runs, a generic Zendesk system user is used instead.
- Fill in the To, Subject, and Message fields, and then click Add action.
You can use placeholders in these fields.
Make sure that you enter a valid recipient in the To field. This is especially important with email trigger actions since they must be typed correctly. If you enter an invalid email address, there will be no warning in the user interface that the email wasn’t sent.
- If you are creating a new trigger, click Create. If you are editing an existing trigger, click Save instead.
- (Recommended) If you have an existing trigger that includes the Side conversation + Is + Created condition, note which actions are included and then remove them from that trigger. Then, add those actions to the new or updated trigger from the steps above. We recommend doing this because, when a side conversation is created via a trigger, the Side conversation + Is + Created condition is suppressed.
Creating strict condition statements for side conversation triggers
If you have triggers that create side conversations, we recommend that they include strict condition statements to avoid the creation of unnecessary side conversations. One way of doing this is with tags.
To create strict condition statements for side conversation triggers
- Create a tag called triggered_sc.
- Open a trigger for editing that is used to create side conversations.
- Add the following condition statement to the trigger: Tags + Contain none of the following + triggered_sc.
Doing this means that the trigger doesn't run, if this tag is already on the ticket.
- Add the following action statement to the trigger: Add tags + triggered_sc.
If the trigger runs and a new side conversation is created, this tag is added to the ticket. The tag is what prevents the trigger from running again in the future and creating new, unnecessary side conversations (because of the condition in step 3).