A lookup relationship field is a custom field that you can use to establish relationships between tickets, users, and organizations.
You can use the Zendesk API to retrieve lookup relationship data. For example, you can request a list of all tickets related to a specific support manager. To learn more, see Retrieving lookup relationship data with the API in the developer docs.
Understanding lookup relationship fields
A lookup relationship field is a type of custom field type that you can add to users, organizations, or tickets in Zendesk. See About custom field types. After adding a lookup relationship field, team members can use it to establish relationships with other users, organizations, or tickets.
You can add a lookup relationship field to ticket forms, user profiles, and organization pages. When you do, agents can use this field to look up and select from a list of users, organizations, or tickets in your Zendesk account.
You can use lookup fields in creative ways that serve your specific business needs. For example, you could create a lookup field called Manager, tie that lookup field to your account's users, and add the field to your ticket form. Your agents could then use this field on a ticket to select a manager from a list of your organization's users.
Topics covered in this section:
Understanding the custom field
A lookup relationship field is a custom field that lets you look up and select from a list of users, organizations, or tickets in your Zendesk account. The following example shows a lookup relationship field on a user profile page. A team member typed a dash (-) in the field to list a filtered set of organizations in the account:
The list of options in a lookup relationship field is auto-populated as you type into the field. You don't have to define the options yourself as you do with a dropdown custom field, though you can filter them when you define the field (see Filtering the field's options).
After selecting an option, you can view the record details by clicking the field name:
You can add lookup relationship fields to the following pages in the Zendesk interface:
- The user profile page
- The organization page
These pages represent the possible source object of a relationship. For example, a user displayed in the user profile page can be the source object of a relationship with another user, organization, or ticket. The lookup relationship field lets you select the other object — also known as the related object — in the relationship.
You can make a lookup relationship field conditional so that it only appears to agents under certain circumstances. See Creating conditional ticket fields.
Understanding the relationships
A lookup relationship can be expressed as follows:
source object → related object
The source object is the Zendesk object that contains the lookup relationship field (among other fields). It can be a user, organization, or ticket. The related object is the object specified by the lookup relationship field. It can also be a user, organization, or ticket. Lookup relationships with Zendesk custom objects are not supported.
A lookup relationship can be any combination of a user, organization, or ticket with another user, organization, or ticket.
If you create a relationship between a source ticket and a related user, the ticket record will have a lookup relationship field identifying the user. However, the corresponding user record will not have a field identifying the ticket. Instead of a field, the user record will have a Related tab listing the ticket along with all the other source objects it’s related to (see Viewing lookup relationships for users and organizations).
Each source object can be related to only one related object. However, many source objects can be related to one related object. For example, after adding an organization lookup relationship field to users, you could then establish many relationships between users and one organization. Example:
- User 1 - Org A
- User 2 - Org A
- User 3 - Org A
You can view the relationships in ticket forms, user profiles, and organization pages.
You can also use the Zendesk API to list the users, organizations, or tickets related to a specific related object. For example, you can request a list of all tickets related to a specific support manager. To learn more, see Retrieving lookup relationship data with the API in the developer docs.
Searching records by lookup relationship field values is not supported.
There are many ways you can use lookup relationship fields to build out complex relationship ecosystems within Zendesk Support. The following are some examples to help you start thinking about ways you can use these custom fields:
You're an admin for a trucking company and you want to associate shippers, drivers, and recipients with tickets. You add three filtered lookup relationship fields to tickets: a user field named Drivers, an organization field named Shippers, and another organization field named Recipients.
Your company is in the business-to-business (B2B) space and interacts with many other companies. You want to track the relationships these companies have with each other. You decide to use organization lookup relationship fields to create and track these relationships. For example, you might have a field named Partner, a second named Subsidiary, and a third named Competitor.
In another business-to-business scenario, each of your account managers works with a key stakeholder at each of your customer companies. You create a user lookup relationship field named Account Manager to establish relationships between the stakeholders and your account managers.
You want to designate emergency contacts for members on your team in case a member is not available. You decide to use a user lookup field named Emergency Contact to create these user-to-user relationships. In a more complex use case, you could add additional user fields -- Backup 1, Backup 2 – to establish a priority of backups for each person.
Adding lookup relationship fields
You can add up to ten active or inactive lookup relationship fields to users, organizations, and tickets. The field is displayed on pages in the Zendesk interface.
You can also create lookup relationship fields with the Zendesk API. See Lookup Relationships in the API reference docs.
If you delete a lookup relationship field, the data in the field isn't preserved. To preserve the data, deactivate the field rather than deleting it.
To create a lookup relationship field
- Start by adding a custom field to your users, organizations, or tickets and
select Lookup relationship as the custom field type. For more
- Adding custom fields to your tickets
- Adding custom fields to users
- Adding custom fields to organizations
- Set the Display name, Field key, and Description as described in the articles linked from step 1.
- Select a related object to list in the lookup relationship field.
This can be a Ticket, User, or Organization. For example, if you select User as the related object, the lookup relationship field will display a list of Zendesk users.
- Click Add filter to define one or more filters to reduce the number
of options that the field can display.
You can filter objects by any number of tags or custom fields. For more information, see Filtering the field's options.
- Click Save.
Filtering the field's options
Your account could have thousands or even millions of ticket, user, and organization records. In most cases, you'll want a defined subset of records for the options in your lookup relationship fields. For example, you might want to list only users who are account managers.
By default, all lookup relationship fields let you filter the records of the related object by tag. For example, to list only users who are account managers, you could add an "account_manager" tag to the user profiles of your account managers and then define the following filter condition for the lookup relationship field:
Tags | Contain at least one of the following |
For ticket records, the following additional default filters are available: Status, Type, Priority, Assignee, Requester, Form, Organization, and Channel. See Building trigger condition statements. For user records, an additional Role filter is available.
Lookup relationship fields also support filtering by other custom fields added to the related object. For example, if you add a Security Clearance custom checkbox field to the user profile, the Security Clearance field will appear as a filter option when you add the lookup relationship field. You could then define the following filter condition for the field:
Security Clearance | Is | Checked
You can modify the filters at any time. This won't affect the values previously selected with the lookup relationship field.
To learn more, see About custom fields.
Viewing lookup relationships for users and organizations
Each Zendesk Support profile for a team member, end user, or organization includes a Related tab that lists all related source objects. The information is grouped by the type of source object (Tickets, Organizations, or Users) and the specific lookup field.
In the following example of a team member profile, tickets have a lookup relationship field called Driver. If Annie Porter is selected in the Driver field, that ticket appears under the Related tab on her team member profile. It’s grouped by the type of source object, Tickets, and the name of the lookup field, Driver.
The Related tab doesn’t appear on user profiles in your help center.
Using lookup relationship fields in triggers and views
You can use lookup relationship fields to help define triggers and views.
When adding a condition to a trigger or view, any lookup relationship fields also appear in the list of options. In the following example, the first condition of a trigger is a user lookup relationship field named Support Manager. The trigger will only fire for tickets associated with the support manager named Jennifer Hanson.
You can also use lookup relationship fields in the actions of your triggers. In the following example, the action sets the value of the organization lookup relationship field named Company Organization to Northwest Region when the trigger fires.
This is a very cool feature, but I don't see anything related to Explore? When will these fields become reportable in Explore?
It doesn't look like this is currently on the roadmap but something the team is working with our Explore team on. Currently in early discussions so we don't have any additional information to share at this time.
Let me know if you have any other questions!
Are there any plans to allow this particular option within the Zendesk interface?
"You can also use the Zendesk API to list the users, organizations, or tickets related to a specific related object. For example, you can request a list of all tickets related to a specific support manager. To learn more, see Retrieving lookup relationship data with the API in the developer docs."
Listing all records related to a specific object would be really useful
would like to see more use case scenarios of this to see If I get an idea to implement this
+1 Pedro Cassian - i feel like i have a few ideas where this could be helpful, but nothing that would be too helpful immediately..
This is a nice addition.
Can related field be used on the right side of the action in triggers?
For example, I created a user custom 'lookup' field called Deputy Agent, with the intent to use it in case of an absence of the ticket assignee. The Deputy Agent field appears in the agent profiles and any agent name can be picked from the drop-down list, which works just fine.
In my trigger, I'd like to add an action: Assignee = Deputy Agent
Unfortunately, this selection doesn't seem to be possible.
P.S. I am aware of the Out of Office App.
I'm really excited about using this new functionality, but I have some observations about the two biggest challenges I foresee in us adopting this:
Firstly, for user objects we have a drop-down that's hard-coded for a list of our agents to add an "Incident Manager" field on tickets. For this we have triggers to automatically update this value on first assignment and agents maintain their own views of their tickets. We could easily switch this out using a lookup relationship field, except that the main benefit should be to add a view of "My Managed Tickets" where the condition is to have the incident manager = "(current user)" instead of having each agent maintain their own views, but this is not an option. Also, we could retire all of the agent specific triggers with a single one that updates the field to "(current user)", but the same restriction applies here.
Secondly, for ticket objects - for some incidents we always want a problem ticket to be created, so we could use one of these fields for this purpose and make it mandatory for solving the ticket. However, where we currently use problem tickets there's an easy way to view all incidents linked to it - this won't exist using a lookup relationship. The best solution I can find would be to search for "fieldvalue:1234", which may bring back other tickets which have a number the same as the ID in a different field, or the even less convenient search "custom_field_64286819...:1234" and have all agents save the field ID for searching.
I think these would be the two main sticking points I will have with my agents if I try to move us across to this feature - which is a shame because I suspect that these will stop us fully embracing this great new functionality.
Can you confirm if these two cases have been considered or what the roadmap looks like to more fully integrating these fields into other areas of the system?
Thanks in advance!
I have setup an "organization lookup" field.
Currently, when you view an organization, you can see all the tickets and all the users... it would be great if I could view all the associated tickets that have that organization listed.
Michael M. Adams
Can you shed some light on how you are using the organization lookup field? I recently submitted this product feedback and am wondering if you might have figured out how to achieve this
For us, one client may have multiple associated vendors and one vendor may have multiple associated clients.
When a vendor submits a ticket, we use the lookup field to associate the applicable client with that ticket. We use that associated field to display in all of our views so we can see the requester and associated organizations (client or vendor) with that ticket. That is my only use case for the moment until Zendesk expands the lookup field functions.
My hope is that Zendesk will allow those associated tickets to show up under the organizations Zendesk page so we can see all the tickets associated with those organizations (and visa versa).
Just a heads up, the Organization is condition for filtering objects seems to be broken, or I just do not know how to use it.
Also, it would be cool if the org and requester operations could do something like:
- Requester is "Current end-user" and only show the related tickets for that user and the same for any tickets for that user or that are in the org. Would make it easy to identify related tickets across the same user, i think?
There appears to be a limitation for this field type which I've not seen for any other ticket fields:
I'm not able to find any documentation explaining this limitation, bit this is a total of 5 such fields including deactivated fields - not just active fields.
When will it be possible to add Lookup Fields to end user forms on the Help Center?
Currently tickets are agent only, so it restricts these kind of use cases.
Is there any way to notify(send email to) the user in lookup field of Users on Ticket about certain activity on ticket?
Thomas (internalnote.com) it says in the article that they are supported... but you are a zendesk moderator and have 4 upvotes, which worriesme... or is it just Ticket type of lookup fields is not supporteD?
That is what I am looking for. But I have done some testing and found out If it is of user type:
- Cannot be used in views to filter on “(current user)”
- Cannot be used in trigger actions to send emails
- Cannot be sent an email in automations
So, that is not a complete solution/feature!
Is there any solution to this?
We'll continue to assist you on the ticket you raised with our support team. Kindly check your email for updates. Thanks!
This is great, but I'd love for their to be a lookup field available for end users. For example, a manager submitting an equipment request ticket for an employee would select the employee in a lookup field.
It's a bit crazy this isn't already available.
Ditto to Marks' comment, we'll also need to be able to report on these fields in Explore.
Unfortunately, I have to agree that this looks like a half-baked feature. Lots of potential but then (according to Zendesk support on using user lookup fields in views):
(...) you are not able to use end-user identities as a condition. Even if this is within a lookup relationship field with no filters on it. You are able to add a custom lookup relationship field to the columns for a custom view, but you cannot use that field to group or order the view (...)
So forget about having views that show tickets where in the lookup field you have end-user X. And forget about grouping or sorting views using those fields...
And I haven't checked Explore yet...
Hi Folks.. I do see a few unanswered questions.. Sorry for the delay in responses. Let me start with questions from the top:
Shayan Moussawi - You should have the Related Tab in your Users and Organizations page by now. This will enable you to let's say view the Tickets or Organizations where Shayan was a Relationship Manager. The details have been updated in the article.
Pedro Cassian, Bobby Koch - Since you posted this request, we had added a few examples that we have seen customers using Lookup fields for. Do let us know if there is any specific use case you'd like to validate. We'd be happy to help
Serge Mucibabic - At this point, we don't have any plans to add Lookup fields to the right side of the trigger. I will bring it up internally to see the possibilities of that option. My assumption here is that Deputy Agent is a field in the Agent's profile. And when you assign Serge as the Assignee to the ticket, based on a condition, you want the Assignee to automatically change to the Deputy Agent.
Dan Sowden - For the first point, I definitely see the value of it.. I was however wondering if you could use the Related Lists tab capability for this use case. But I do empathize with the pain point for the Incident manager to go to their user profile to see the list of tickets. For the second point, my understanding is that you are trying to build a ticket->ticket relationship.. You could potentially create a sidebar app to bring out the incident tickets that are associated with the problem ticket. We do have APIs for surfacing this information. Would love to hear your thoughts on this
Michael M. Adams - Was the Related List feature able to solve for your use case?
Thomas (internalnote.com) , Stephen Barbarino - We are currently in the process of discussing the ability for Lookup fields to be accessible from Guide. There are additional nuances around permissions that we need to figure out. Our customers wouldnt always want their end customer to access all your users, organizations or tickets through Lookup fields access. We will have an update on the timelines for you in the first half of next year. BTW - appreciate the use cases you have shared.
Shameen Rana - This is something that we are actively working on. Let me double confirm with the team and ensure that I give you the latest information. Do you mind sharing your use case for sending an email to users associated with a lookup field?
Mason McCoy, Mark Ganusevič - The good news is that integration for Lookup fields working with Lookup fields is in the plan for 2023. I will let you know any specific dates once we get to a more specific date range.
hi Carlos Santos - I am sorry to hear that you weren't satisfied with the feature.
Could you share your use case on why you wanted to use end user value in a Lookup fields to be used as a condition in a view?
Hi Ashwin Raju.
We have tons of situations where the ticket is pending on specific users of our Zendesk (approval, participation, clarification, execution, etc). And they may be agents or end-users. So I'm using a lookup field to allow the agents to associate each ticket with the user the topic is pending on and I also record the date. And that part works fine.
However, I need my agents to be able to create views where they have the tickets pending on specific users (one or more) and at this point we can use lookup fields as criteria but we can only search for agents. No good.
Additionally, even if we could specify one or more end-users as criteria, we can't use the lookup field to group or sort the view. If we have a view that lists a lot of tickets pending on a lot of different users, that would come handy. But we can't. Also no good.
On top of that, maybe we could use Explore to generate dashboards to take the place of the views we can't create. Big NO on that one as well.
My workaround: I have a parallel field (simple drop-down) where, using external API automations, I create an option for the user the ticket is pending on. When I change the lookup field, the automation updates the options in the parallel drop-down and updates the ticket with the correct option. Given that the simple drop-down does, in terms of views and Explore, everything the lookup field can't, the issue is resolved.
But let's be honest, it's a major overkill. The lookup field should do it all.
Thank for looking into this.
Hi Ashwin, thanks for taking the time to address all of the questions individually, that's really appreciated. I'm not sure I fully understand the concern though. If a Zendesk customer doesn't want to expose data through lookup fields to their end customer through guide wouldn't they just not use a lookup field then?
Our use case around Zendesk is focused on an internal customer base where having the ability to lookup users would really help. When we were evaluating products to be used as an internal ticketing and service management platform, the Zendesk team said this would be possible but I can honestly see us outgrowing this solution in a few years without this functionality.
we have a lot of feedback for this feature, feels like it has a LOT of potential that we are only jsust starting to see.
I would love if the Zendesk supported Salesforce Integration could be compatible with Lookup fields. Being able to model parent/child relationships in Zendesk would huge!
Caros, boa tarde!
Ao utilizar esse campo, não é inserido a tag conforme os demais campos, como por exemplo de lista suspensa que registra a informação selecionada.
Alguém já passou por isso?
Carlos Santos - Thank you so much.. This helps.. I was also able to get a few more use cases on this. And have sent it over to the tech team for checking feasibility and effort. Will keep you posted on this.
Stephen Barbarino - Let's take an example. In the very near future you will be able to point Lookup fields to a new version of Custom objects that my team is currently building. Let's assume "Shoe La La" as a hypothetical company that maintains Order information in their custom objects. They associate the specific order in their return process through a Lookup field and want their customers to select the specific order they want to return. John Doe, a customer of Shoe La La, wants to return a shoe that he purchased. John goes to guide, creates a return request and at this point is asked to fill in the order which he wants to return. This lookup field should not pull up all the orders in Shoe La la, but should only pull up orders associated with John..
The whole purpose of the Admin exposing the order lookup field in the return form is reduce the effort of the agent by passing it on the end customer. However, in such a circumstance, it is critical that the Admin has the ability to control what the end user sees.
Dan R. - Totally agreed. Are you thinking mapping the Lookup fields in Salesforce to Lookup fields in Zendesk .. Or the Master detail relationships to something similar in Zendesk?
Guilherme Santi Clair Da Silva - This field does not insert tags into the Ticket, User or Organization like a drop down. Think of this field type as similar to a Requester field or an Assignee field. Was there a specific use-case that you were trying to utilize tags for ?
Google Translated(Hopefully google translated it right :) ) : Este campo não insere tags no ticket, usuário ou organização como um menu suspenso. Pense nesse tipo de campo como semelhante a um campo Solicitante ou Destinatário. Houve um caso de uso específico para o qual você estava tentando utilizar tags?
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