At Zendesk, we’ve created a custom ticket field named Business Impact to help our customers indicate the level of urgency of an incident or question when they submit a ticket. It's not only important to assess how critical a situation might be, but also important to continually assess the impact to make sure we're providing you with the right level of support.
The definitions of business impact levels are based on primary communication functions and normal business operations.
- Primary communication functions make it possible for our customers to interact directly with their end users. They include inbound and outbound messaging using any communication channel (for example, email, messaging, voice, or Facebook) as well as maintaining an accurate record of any interactions.
- Normal business operations are other activities that Zendesk customers use to get work done. They include ticket assignment, voice call routing, customization of agent views, and running reports on tickets. With normal business operations, customers typically have more flexibility in deciding how and when they are done.
This article contains the following sections:
Understanding business impact levels
There are four business impact levels our customers can choose from when they open a support request:
Level 1 - Critical
The issue disrupts a primary communication function or compromises the security or integrity of your data.
The disruption is ongoing and the need for resolution is time-sensitive with no reasonable workaround until the issue is resolved. Any incident where the security of data is at risk should be assigned as critical. This includes any scenario in which our customer is unable to communicate with their end users.
- All agents unable to sign into Support
- One-way audio for all Talk agents
- The Chat widget is not loading for end users
- End users are not receiving ticket updates
- High-risk security vulnerabilities (for example, single sign-on (SSL) is not working)
Level 2 - Major
The issue degrades a primary communication function or significantly disrupts or degrades your normal business operations.
The issue is occurring in your production environment and is time-sensitive. Significant unplanned effort is required to workaround the issue to maintain normal business operations.
- Business rules are malfunctioning
- Reporting is unavailable for the entire account
- Product latency is greater than ten seconds
- App errors that don't prevent ticket submission
Level 3 - Moderate
The issue slows normal business operations or has caused a loss of functionality relied on for normal business operations.
The resolution has some time-sensitivity but the issue can be worked around without much effort.
- XML export is not functioning; workaround is CSV export
- Talk calls randomly being put on hold
- A short delay when clicking submit on tickets (up to 5 seconds)
- Explore reports are failing to export
Level 4 - Limited
The issue or request is informational in nature and its resolution will not directly impact current business operations.
- Agent signatures are not populating on outbound ticket responses
- Views with permission for only the view creator are not being displayed
- Markdown in tickets is not rendering correctly
Assessing business impact
Assessing business impact can take some practice. When assessing business impact, here are some things to take into consideration:
- To what extent are primary communication functions disrupted?
- To what extent are normal business operations impaired?
- Is a workaround available and does the workaround impair normal business operations?
In each case, it’s important to represent how much of an disruption the problem is to your core workflow. When deciding between multiple impact levels, always choose the greater criticality (for example, more severe business impact). As new information comes in, we will re-evaluate the business impact together.
Understanding how business impact and priority work together
The purpose of the priority field is to prioritize tickets in views where the purpose of business impact is to identify the level of urgency specific to you. Both fields are important for running an efficient and effective support operation.
Zendesk customer advocates are responsible for ensuring that the ticket priority is set appropriately, and can increase the priority if it is set too low.