Alias for End User in Community

Planned

10 Comments

  • Official comment
    Nicole - Community Manager
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    Hi all! 

    I am happy to say that I have an update for you. The product team has resumed development on the community platform, and aliases are one of the top features they're looking into. Thank you for sharing your feedback on this; you have helped to influence our products in their new direction. 

    We'll continue to keep you posted as things progress! 

  • mathieu.horn
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    We are having the same problem here. Any effective workaround found?

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  • Corrin Duque
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    Unfortunately no.  We discovered that even with our workaround of cloaking the users last name and organization there is no way to turn off the auto subscription to emails that displays the full user name and organization.  As a result users who wish to remain anonymous (which in our case is most) simply do not comment or contribute to the community.  It has caused an unfortunate impact which virtually killed our launch.  

    There is possible a solution that might be worth mentioning if you are interested.  It still has some shortcomings that made us rule out it's worth, but is the best work around we encountered thus far.  Zendesk could create a private app for setting up user profiles.  

    Here's what the Zendesk solutions engineer was able to come up with.

    There is a potential solution for using the alias attribute within end-users, which can't be directly set within the agent interface, but is able to be updated via an API call. In looking at the SSO specifications for both SAML and JWT, neither appears to support the manipulation of that value via SSO.  If SSO is being used that leaves us with two general paths:

    1. Poll the /api/v2/incremental/users.json endpoint of our API periodically to keep track of user creation. If a user is created, make sure their alias is set. The downside of this approach is that if the API call to update the alias fails for whatever reason, the user's regular info would be displayed, which isn't acceptable.

    2. Create a custom app that would facilitate user-creation (and updating), insuring that the alias is set & updated correctly in each of those cases. In talking to some of our services & success folks, this seems like it would be a fairly low level of effort. The off-the-cuff number that they suggested was something in the neighborhood of $2,000 to build such an app, but I would want to have you sit down with one of them to discuss the details before providing an exact number.

    If you come up with something better I'd love to hear.  We are in a holding pattern with a community that is not getting any traffic due to this inability to have a secure alias.

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  • mathieu.horn
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    Thanks for the update.

    I can't understand why there is no Alias or username management in ZD ???. It seems to be a basic for any public forum.

    We can try to force our end users to create an Alias when creating their account and try to map it to a custom field in ZD however I am not sure that it would get passed through the JWT SSO.

    Not the best customer experience in any case. I have raised a ticket with support before seeing your post here but now I am not optimistic.

     

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  • Corrin Duque
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    I found it surprising that there was literally no post of other Zendesk users desiring an alias.  I suppose the majority of those using Community have members who are building relationships while networking.  In the truest nature of community there is a collaborative element that definitely fuels growing the community. In our case however it is a deal breaker for most of our customers.  They won't participate if they can't keep their identity private.

    The first recommendation by Zendesk was to create the users with their alias and add a custom field of "Legal Name".  As you said, it would require mapping and all the requester names on all tickets would be the alias name instead of the actual name.  Not acceptable for our business model.

    Let me know what you find out.

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  • Laura Theis
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    Our customers are not able to change their username due to other integrations we have that need to use their full name, but many of our customers don't want their full name shown on our forums. Would love to see this feature implemented. Thanks!

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Hey Laura - 

    Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, development on the Community product has been suspended indefinitely, but we'll keep this thread open in case it gets picked up again in the future. 

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  • Ambroos
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    "Unfortunately, development on the Community product has been suspended indefinitely, "

    Too bad :-(( The privacy issue was the reason we disabled our community after some time. We got too much complaints from our customers about privacy. People really want to communicate about our products in a forum, and help others, but not with their names being indexed by search engines.

    The utterly clean look and feel and simple one-stop-shop approuch for our customer service agents whas the reason we did not bother to install another 'heavy' community package. 

    The real issue with a community is: you will need less agents if people help each other :-) That is also what we saw happening. People started asking and answering questions among themselfs, we had 'product experts' from our wholesale suppliers answering customer directly, it worked pretty well.

    Now we are looking for another clean solution wich we can integrate with our e-commerce platform and Zendesk, but without all the clutter, usually associated with online forum software.

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  • Dru Kepple
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    +1 for this feature. We're in a similar situation where our end users would prefer some anonymity.

    Thank you for letting us know that you're looking into it, at least.

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Hey Dru - Good news! Not only has development on the community platform resumed, but aliases is one of the first features the team is looking into. We don't have a set ETA yet, but will keep you posted!

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