Using skills-based routing

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28 Comments

  • Chad Smith

    In the admin, how are skills reordered so they are more logically navigated by the agent while updating a ticket?

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  • Danijel Moric

    Hi all, trying to setup skill-based routing for my team.

    Following the guide I am almost there. The problem is when I add the rule "Skills is Current user's skill" to the testing view, I receive the error saying the view can't be saved. Any way I can figure out why is the error appearing? The preview is correct but I can't save the view.

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  • Ola Timpson

    @... - do you have the view selected in the Routing page as a skills match view? That would block certain conditions being added. If you're using the filter in the View conditions then you wouldn't need it to be selected as skills match view as well.

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  • Danijel Moric

    Ola Timpson - Thank you!! That worked!! I thought it was necessary to add a view in the routing page to connect/filter the tickets. 

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  • PAUL STRAUSS

    Is there a way to create a routing rule to handle the following scenario?

    We have a group of agents who all possess a skill for servicing a specific brand, however, some of the agents are only serving as additional capacity during peak periods, and we'd only like them to be assigned a call, chat, or email in the event that all of the regular agents are busy or offline.

    Is this possible? If so, how would you go about setting that up?

     

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  • Terry Ehrhard

    We are seriously considering Skills Based Routing for one of our teams that support over 60+ vendors and have close to 100 associates to support those vendors, often 1 or 2 people per vendor.  Thus skills based approach seems like a strong option.

    Yet in evaluating this functionality there are several things prohibiting us moving forward

    1. We don't see a means to enable the normal "Standard Agent" to add or remove skills thus enabling them to move between various vendors to support peak ticket activity.  This appears to be an Admin-only setting which needs to be more flexible to enable the Agent to determine those changes, much in the way they can set any of their characteristics on their profile page.

    2. The lack of routing rules to evaluate form field data after ticket creation is a significant limitation.  This skills routing is an excellent concept but limiting to only ticket creation and only data prior to triggers firing is serious limitation to be addressed.

    3. Similarly to above, the skills should be reassessed upon any ticket change including automations or triggers dynamically.  Instead of manually modifying the skills on the ticket, the criteria at the skill level should be constantly re-evaluating tickets as they change and adding/removing the skill on the ticket as those attributes change. 

    4. Other groups NOT using skills still see the skills inside their form even when those skills don't apply.  There needs to be a way to set or configure which groups or forms are using skills and those that are not.

    5. More granularity is needed on the Views utilizing skills.  Rather than just "is" and "is not" black and white across ALL skills, specifying WHICH skills to evaluate is needed.  For instance we originally had plans to separate out two different skills; one for vendor and another for country/region.  That was until we determined that ANY skill being met would cause that ticket to appear.  Basically there is no way to create an "and" condition to see we want to show a view where ticket and user have skills "vendor" AND "country/region".   Basically ANY skill being met would show that ticket which isn't sufficient. 

    Would really appreciate feedback from the product team if any of these items are being addressed and when.

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  • Barry Neary
    Zendesk Product Manager

    @...: first of all, apologies for the late reply to your post

    1) This ability for someone other than admin to be given permission to edit an agent's skills is on the roadmap for 2022. I dont have an exact date but likely late Q1

    2) and 3) The ability to be able to automatically change skills post ticket creation is also key roadmap item for 2022

    4) To understand this more fully - you want to be able to specify that the skills are shown only in some forms and not others? Similarly you should be able to configure it so that the skills field appears in tickets that are assigned to certain groups and not others?

    5) My understanding is that currently the agent must have all skills associated with the ticket for them to be able to see it. So in your example, currently the agent would have to have both the vendor and country skill that matches the ticket's in order for them to see it in a view which is filtered by skills. It sounds like this is what you want?

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  • Barry Neary
    Zendesk Product Manager

    @...: sorry for late reply

    We are working on an omnichannel routing engine which will have a feature enabling overflow to occur as you describe. For now I am not sure there is any automated way for your skilled agents only to be used on non-skilled tickets in the case of other agents not being available.

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  • Terry Ehrhard

    Thanks for the reply @...

    Regarding point 4) Correct on both.  We have completely different groups working in completely different parts of the country.  One is North America (NA) and other is Germany (DE).  NA has skill types (think of an NA Skill with different vendors/partners/etc) they work with while DE has completely different skill type that contains their vendors/partner/etc.  NA doesn't want/need DE's skill type or skills shown.  Likewise DE doesn't want need NA's skill type or skills shown.  And lastly if a group is not using skills for their form/tickets, no skill types or skills should be shown at all. 

    Regarding Point 5) See samples below on what we have had to do to work around this.  We started with defining a Country skill type and Vendor Skill Type thinking that we could create an "And" condition, yet quickly learned that "ANY" skill being met caused the ticket to appear. As an example if a ticket was defined as AU, then ticket appeared in the view, OR if Google skill was met, then ticket appeared in the view. Thus there is no means to say All or which skill types must be met to cause ticket to appear.  Instead we had to create a skill type for each iteration of a vendor and country.  Fortunately these situations are limited right now but we could see if we used skills more often in other groups that using skills would be unmaintainable. 

    Fitbit - AU
    Fitbit - NL
    Google - AU
    Google - NL
    Google - US

    Appreciate the team focusing on this as we see great potential if functionality can be expanded.  We have a single view for one group that supports upwards of 70 vendors (ie skills) with each Associate/Agent given abilities to switch skills using a custom app we had to create to give the means to switch skills as needed.  Looking forward to the next update

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  • Riccardo Centomo

    There is some way to create a trigger notification skills-based routing?

    We have set the skills but the notification of new ticket still arrive to all agents of the group.. We would notify only the specific agents of the group that have the specific skills..

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  • Cheeny Aban
    Zendesk Customer Care
    Hi Riccardo, 

    Are you pertaining to email notification? If yes, you can create a trigger and use tags to segregate the tickets from each other or if you have a ticket field for Skills, you can also add it as a condition under meet all, then target the group recipient under actions. I hope that helps
     
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  • Riccardo Centomo

    hi Cheeny Aban

    we manage many skill like here:

    The skill is define by the value of a ticket custom field like this:

    Every skill is associated to some specific agent, but in the trigger there is not the choice to add a specific condition by skill-based routing:

    The use of the tags (of the ticket custom field) as condition is not the best option to manage because the skills are manage directly in the routing rules.. We need a trigger condition like "Ticket skill is accomplish" instead of ticket tags.

    So in the action of the trigger should be add an action like "Email user -> Agent in the skills":

    I hope to explain our needs. Manage all the skills matrix by ticket tags in the conditions of the trigger is a manual duplicate management of the skills and we have to create so many triggers like the number of the skills..

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  • Tim G

    Hi Barry Neary and team!

    I'm experimenting with Skills and have a lot of the same questions as Terry above - especially around flexibility with views (e.g. using AND instead of OR for skills) and also around being able to apply Skills or update Skills through Triggers or Automations on already-created tickets.

    You mentioned there might be some changes around this available soon (Q2 2022) - do you know if there's an EAP planned or if there's any update with that please? 

    Thanks!

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  • Barry Neary
    Zendesk Product Manager

    Hi Tim G

    We are actively working on two things skills related:

    1) Adding skills to the new routing engine that we just EAP'd - the ability to select an agent to assign a ticket based on not only their capacity and status (online/offline) but also on their skills
    2) We are also working on allowing triggers to set skills

    Dont have specific release date yet, but once we have I will share

    Barry

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  • Peter Hochstrasser

    Hi Barry Neary

    I tried to use SBR, too, but had to discard it.

    In our tickets, we usually have to make a first analysis to determine which SMEs have to work on the ticket, while your current model assumes that a ticket arrives in perfectly analyzed form such that it can be assigned right at creation and assigned completely automatically.

    I implemented my solution using a web hook which sets fields on the ticket, and also adds an internal comment inviting the selected SME to work on the ticket.

    I learned a lot doing this, especially things like what happens when the SME is on vacation and the like - deputy setup is done manually today.

     

    P.

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  • Rudolph Beaton

    Barry Neary - Triggers being able to set skills will be a game changer for us. When that feature exists, we'll begin using SBR.

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  • Jamie Noell

    We used skills based routing, but agreed, we would be able to use it significantly more if…

    1. Skills could be in a trigger (i.e., used on a ticket updated, not just at the time of ticket creation)

    2. Skill updates on agent profile could be a permission on a custom role, much like adding someone in a group is today.  For example, we would like our team leader and manager role to include updating skills for someone (vs. having to raise a ticket to ask a Zendesk admin to update skills )
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  • CJ Johnson



    Are there any updates on 2 and 3? Are these still key roadmap items for 2022? 

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  • Barry Neary
    Zendesk Product Manager

    Hi CJ Johnson, yes we are due to start working on the ability to change skills post ticket creation shortly - I dont have a confirmed expected date for release on this at present, but as soon as I do I will update this post

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  • Maik Künnemann

    Hello, we are looking to use skill based routing - is there no condition for ticket tags???

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  • Barry Neary
    Zendesk Product Manager

    Hi Malik, unfortunately currently skills rules are run only once when the initial ticket is created - i.e. before any tags can be  added to ticket. It is on the roadmap to address this in the future

    Barry

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  • Maik Künnemann

    Hi Barry, oh wow only at the time the ticket is created? We can only work with skill based routing if we can change the ticket skills - so the only way could be atm to setup a webhook for https://developer.zendesk.com/api-reference/ticketing/ticket-management/skill_based_routing/#set-agent-attribute-values and use this webhook in a trigger action?

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  • Barry Neary
    Zendesk Product Manager

    Yes, that is a workaround until we have this addressed natively

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  • Graham Ferguson

    Can skills-based routing be used with any form of agent capacity management? My use case is that I need to route tickets to agents with the right skills, but if there is more than one, Zendesk should look at capacity to ensure work is distributed fairly.

    I have seen posts about the new routing EAP but this does not include skills routing.

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  • Barry Neary
    Zendesk Product Manager

    Hi Graham Ferguson

    Adding skills to the omnichannel routing engine is next up on our roadmap. Should be released in Q4

    Barry

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  • Barry Neary
    Zendesk Product Manager

    Terry Ehrhard: Belatedly, we have the capability now to allow admin to grant permissions to roles to edit skills , including the ability to add/remove skills from agent. This is in the role section under Business Rules: 'Other business rules':

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  • Ola Timpson

    Barry Neary I tried adding this permission for one of our roles. It gives access to skills settings in admin centre, but doesn't show the skills option in a user profile. This is the bit I'm really missing, so a Team Lead can check that a member of their team has the right skills and amend if needed. Right now they'd have to go through every skill in the list to see if their team member has it.

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  • Barry Neary
    Zendesk Product Manager

    Hi Ola Timpson, you are correct - having skills in agent profile is something we are looking at for the use case you describe

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