Admin users viewing personal macros of other users

41 Comments

  • Jonathan March
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    @kirsten,

    I respect ZD's desire not to move precipitously and break things in an unconsidered way, but it seems to me that in this case Kim & Stephen's eloquent arguments to the contrary (like those of all of us in this conversation) should be persuasive. I am a strong privacy advocate, but presumption of privacy for agents in the content of how they plan to represent their employer to its customers simply makes no sense -- it just makes it impossible for admins to do their job responsibly. I would also note that the agents are not zendesk's customers. The company for whom they work is.

    Given that you've already said that you would not expect this change to be a heavy lift, I do think it's time to reconsider.

    Thanks!

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  • Joe Adkison
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    I'm not following how administrator access to macros that agents (representatives of a company) breaks some expectation of privacy? This very tool is used to COMMUNICATE with customers and as such should have a way to review those messages. Maybe I missed some new macro privacy legislation so I might be out of the loop on some things.

    8
  • Alex Clausen
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    +1

     

    I don't want to allow all users to make shared Macro's but I would like to, as admin, to see their Macro and change/upgrade a user created Macro to a shared macro.

    7
  • Mithun Gopalakrishnan
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    +1 

    This is needed to be able to review the settings of the personal macros. We are unable to trace errors made by agents in their personal macro. 

    One simple example is the usage of Set Tags, instead of Add Tags as a personal macro action. If Set Tags is used, it will take of all the tags that was preset to the ticket by Main Stream triggers, causing an issue with reporting and clean up at a later stage.

    7
  • Stephen Belleau
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    @kristen It sounds like you're saying Zendesk is debating whether admins should be able to view all data in their instance. That sounds very confusing to me as I can't think of any world where an admin should not be able to have complete oversight. In this context, addressing privacy concerns should be the admin's responsibility, not Zendesk's - though we certainly need Zendesk's help in improving role permissions, to give admins the tools they need to control who sees what and address privacy concerns.

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  • Kim Lake
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    +1 for everything from Stephen.

    Coming from an agent background myself and now an Admin, the notion that any employee (agent or otherwise) would have any presumption of privacy from the company they represent when communicating with customers, or expect to set up their own workflow controls with no potential for moderation or review is... odd... to me. 

    As a direct representative of our company, agents need to give the correct message, with the correct branding, tone of voice, spelling, etc. to our customers. Of course there is always a degree of trust involved which we absolutely have in our agents, but this does not negate the fact that we, as the company, need the ability to audit (and edit) that message if necessary.

    To call out, macros also give agents the ability to add further controls, not just send text by email. They can AND DO directly impact ticket workflows by incorrectly setting or overriding tags, group assignment, statuses, etc.

    The complete inability to even view these controls, let alone correct or remove them if necessary, undermines the core role of a system Admin to support workflows correctly, and is not one I've come across before in other systems. I would hope not to encounter it anywhere else, but this thread has certainly ensured Admin controls are something our management will closely question before taking on any system in future.

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  • Kim Lake
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    This is absolutely required to ensure we can validate the content an agent is issuing to a customer "in our name", and to ensure the agent is updating the content when products/policy changes within the company.

    6
  • Jade
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    I too have painstakingly gone through all public shared macros and triggers in an effort to revamp our tagging and stat tracking systems to align with Insights reports generated from Tag info.  However, after only 1 week it has become increasingly obvious that many personal macros are not inline with my system.  I've attempted to address these individually as discovered with the creating agent, but it is extremely tedious, and very ineffective when trying to essentially reboot a reporting system.  

    My current solution is to request all agents do a audit of personal macros against the rules and parameters I've set, and then do a review with them in a video conference 1 on 1 with a screen and control share in order to go through their macros without requesting login credentials.  This will be much more of a time commitment for both the agent and myself, than it would be if I could simply View(not even edit) Agent personal macros.  

    Please Zendesk you've built a wonderful system but have not accounted for some common human error, or an admin's ability to both view and curb these issues.  Stats are only as good as the input.  Please let us control the input better. 

    6
  • Erica Clayton
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    Like some other folks, I'm also a little confused about the expectation of privacy that agents believe they have or should have when it comes to macros... especially considering that we can still see the outcome of applying a macro on any ticket by doing a ticket audit and checking the ticket events.  Though I do greatly appreciate ZD's position on autonomy for agents, I don't agree that agents shouldn't expect their admins/managers to be able to access their work.  Especially when small, honest mistakes (like setting an action to "set" tags instead of "add" tags) can cause big data integrity issues in addition to service-related quality issues.

    If the ability to audit personal macros as an admin/owner won't become available, it would be great to consider a feature that allows account owners to completely turn off the personal macro option.  To be frank, if I can't audit my agents' work, I don't want them to be able to setup private replies in ZD.  Not because I don't trust them, but because I can't measure their success if I can't see what they're doing or what resources they're utilizing.

    6
  • DJ Jimenez
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    +1

    We do a monthly macro review where obsolete and/or unused shared macros get deactivated then deleted at a later date. Since we started performing the maintenance, more agents are relying on personal macros over adding to the shared pool to help out other agents. This is not so problematic for the canned responses, but as an admin I can't determine if the personal macros are setting up fields or tags correctly.

    Example: an agent, not knowing the difference, uses Set Tags instead of Add Tags

    Example: adding the tag "no_bump" when "no-bump" is the one that controls the triggers / automations

    Example: updating a value to a ticket field that belongs to another form

    5
  • Stephen Belleau
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    Thanks for replying Kristen. I appreciate that you have an agent experience SME, and as an admin we certainly do everything we can to advocate for agents, and make sure they are happy with the platform.

    However, I still feel that this agent presumption of privacy shouldn't be a concern that takes up your time or becomes a bottleneck. An agent who cares about providing quality customer service is happy to receive feedback or quality reviews when a macro needs to be corrected - they don't like sending wrong answers to end-users either! But even if one has privacy concerns about management seeing their macros, that is more of a management issue, not a platform issue. I hope you can trust your customers to address that.

    I'm sure there are other things to consider, and I do appreciate your diligence when thinking of possible consequences. I've said this before in other threads, but I believe that if Zendesk continues to grow with a focus on flexibility, more customization, and more granular permissions, then your customers will be better equipped to solve their own problems and deal with unique use-cases, as well as help each other in the community (and hopefully letting you guys focus more on development, and less on use-case analysis and research).

    5
  • Justin
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    I think I lack the understanding about what could possibly be considered "private" in a macro that cant make any changes to a ticket that is not visible to an admin anyway. Unless you are talking about the macros structure or title?

    5
  • Erica Clayton
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    +1

    As we're scaling and reworking our entire support model, it's crucial that as a manager I can access the personal macros of my agents.  I've discovered incorrect actions, poor language/communication, and inadequate service due to a lack of visibility into these tools.  Asking for login credentials for each of my agents breaks our tech/IT policies.  ZD pleeeeease let account owners access these macros somehow - maybe adding a "login as user" (we call it "ghosting into" accounts) functionality available only to owners or admins? This would be an invaluable tool for squashing data integrity and QA-related issues!

    4
  • Jonathan March
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    This is a duplicate (maybe triplicate) request, might be worthwhile consolidating with previous instances of it. Seems like a clear, unarguable use-case.

    2
  • Gwenda Ellwood
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    We would very much like to give our agents access to personal macros, but our IT management team will not allow it precisely because there is no way we can access the macros agents are making, and as Ramon say, monitor their quality.

    2
  • Adam Drumm
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    +1

    2
  • Richard Patterson
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    I'd just like to voice complete agreement with the other Zendesk Admins in this thread.

    The lack of visibility for an Admin into personal macros is inexcusable for a platform as ubiquitous as Zendesk. This is something that should be immediately developed; even if it is restricted to being an API-only endpoint.

    2
  • Darren Hua
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    It would be useful for us too because our team is quite international.For some that use personal macros, English is not their first language when they use their own personal macros in English. But mainly look at the post below. :) 

    2
  • Heather R
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    I want Zendesk to know that we, too, would like to have visibility into personal macros because our Agents are held to very high standards in terms of how they represent the company with the company's customers.... Also, when a macro "misfires" aka the Agent set it up incorrectly, Admins need a way to enter into that as a teachable moment.

    So many reasons to allow Admins AND any special roles (like team managers and such) to be able to see their employees' personal macros as a permissions thing.

     

    2
  • Matt Savage
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    One idea worth considering here is providing a pathway for personal macros to become shared macros.  A shared macro submission process, where admins could work through a queue of agent-proposed changes and approve, deny, or request changes to the submissions.

    This would allow agents to have independence in creating content (removing most admin overhead), while also giving admins oversight in the process.  Just like direct software code changes require a code review, this gives individuals agency while also balancing that with process consistency & visibility.

    This functionality can probably be ported over from Guide author/publisher data models.

    2
  • Kim Lake
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    Hey all

    Maybe it was removed from this thread or we added it to another post but we found that there is also a way to assume the agent's identity through the old interface - open the agent's group (https://SUBDOMAIN.zendesk.com/groups/GROUPID, or by right-clicking the group name from the People>Groups page), find the agent and "Assume" - you can then go into their views and macros and edit them directly in the interface, without needing to ask the agents for their passwords.

    Kevin's suggestion of token above is best if you need to export though, although hopefully Zendesk will allow the functionality to extract through Admin permissions sooner rather than later, and help us avoid all these complicated and time-consuming workarounds.

    2
  • Joe Adkison
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    +1 here as well.  I'll chime in that we are also going through efforts to getting all our support messaging on the same page.  Extracting these personal macros as we work towards centralized messaging has become quite a chore.  I'd love a way to see all this at an administrators level to ensure that everyone is on the same page.  

     

    1
  • Erin Slovitt
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    +1 here as well. This functionality is critical for the purposes of quality assurance. It would be great if a product manager could provide a response to this post as it was created over a year ago. 

    1
  • Kristen Mirenda
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    @Stephen -- while I haven't validated your statement I do agree it's probably correct. And the personal macros feature was probably under-designed when it was originally built. However, many agents do currently feel they have a presumption of privacy (according to our agent experience SME). So that's one example of an impact we would just need to understand and deal with. That takes time that would otherwise be spent on another customer problem. So we have to prioritize.

    I completely understand this is a pain point, and we are well aware of the underlying problem. Unfortunately, we're not able to solve all the problems at once. I really wish we were! Posting here does help us prioritize, we do look at the product feedback even if we don't always have the time to respond (because we're also balancing this time we spend in the forums against time spent designing and delivering solutions). 

    1
  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Hi all - 

    We really appreciate the feedback and conversation here. I checked in with the product team, and made sure that they're aware of this request. 

    Currently there are some longer-term projects in the early planning stages around the Support interface and workflows (business rules, triggers, macros, etc.) Until those plans are set, we do not expect to see any work being done on these areas, as it doesn't make sense to duplicate efforts or do work that would then be unnecessary just a little while later. 

    This is not to say we don't hear you or see the value of this ask. But I want to set expectations and let you know that it's not an issue we can tackle this year; it doesn't make sense with where we are at in relation to other projects. I'll be sure to update you as we have news to share, and encourage you to continue to share your feedback. Thanks as always for your participation! 

    1
  • Justin
    Comment actions Permalink

    In the interim as a smaller project could we open up the visibility to see all macros as an admin? Assuming there are no huge structural differences in the database I imagine its possible to return all results for an admin rather than filtering out user macros. 

    1
  • Keith Johnson
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    For anyone reading, I've found a decent workaround for this limitation that suits my use case that should be applicable to other use cases. We have a process for agents to submit group macro change requests and have always handled it manually. Now, we ask the agent to clone the macro they'd like to edit to a personal macro, make their suggested edits, and then we programmatically copy the clone to a group macro (after validating the changes). Here's how:

    You can't view personal macros as an admin, but you can use a token to log in as the agent and copy the macro.

    1. Agent submits a change request (via, of course, a change request macro). 

    2. We respond with an admin macro with specific instructions with screenshots on how to clone and edit the macro they'd like edited.

    3. Agent responds with another macro noting the ID of their cloned macro.

    4. We briefly review their changes, and then run a script that A) Logs in as the agent and uses the macro ID to save the macro. B) Logs in as the admin, pulls the saved macro info, and automatically generates a new one for the entire group. C) Deletes the agent's personal macro.

    Yes, it's 3 macros used to copy a macro. The irony is not lost on me, but the process is simple when you experience it. The real value is that suggested edits are not lost in translation and do not require back-and-forth clarification.

    For other use cases, you can easily script logging in as each user, pull their personal macros, and export to csv. This would make a monthly personal macro review orders of magnitude easier.

    The scripting is as simple as it gets but I'm happy to share the code.

    1
  • Matt Savage
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    @Ayal - what you can do from there as an admin is temporarily upgrade the user's role (you can create a separate role that has permissions to edit all macros, optionally), then assume their account, update the macro from personal --> shared, and finally downgrade them back to their current role.  This should allow you to share the macro without interrupting any other agent workflows, assigned tickets, etc. as long as you give the upgraded role similar permissions (you may want to clone the existing basic agent role & add the macro permissions for the new role you create to avoid any issues).

    So it can be done, it's just not very efficient.

    1
  • Justin
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    Can we at least get an api endpoint for this?

    0

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