Round Robin assignment

Planned

52 Comments

  • Official comment
    Leah
    Zendesk Voice of Customer Team

    Hi everyone, 

    We realize this is a big issue for our customers and we have plans to solve for this need. We'll update this thread again once we have more info we can share!

  • Graham Robson

    I've seen this used in workflow solutions where workload balancing needs to be managed. Typically, a count of how many active 'items' each member has is used to determine who to allocate next.

    I'd imagine that the rules engine could be readily used as a component to implement such functionality and provide further sophistication to target the most suitable agents based on skill sets. 

    Here's a link to an interesting method to manually help decide on allocation from Chris Busse (as spotted by Justin Flitter Zendesk Evangelists

    on http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=113452)

    http://www.chrisbusse.com/blog/tabid/55/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/39/How-to-create-a-custom-Backlog-by-Person-report-for-Zendesk.aspx

    Chris is able to use trend reporting to get a visual sense of loading between agents. This includes uneven loading that reflects real world business scenarios.

    David's point about the issues around push or pull allocation show that despite technology, the human phycology side plays a significant part.

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  • David Jacobson

    Thanks for the advice and links Graham!  You're right, ticket assigment is often done in more sophisticated ways in many help desk environmnets.  And Chris' article is very interesting and shows a nice approach to a "fair" assignment algorithm, especially for a larger or back-logged help desk.  But, I would actually be satisfied with something a little simpler (at least in version1) with my key interest, as you know, being that the *assignment* task take place automatically in some way (no human involved).

    Thanks for the tips!

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  • Jake Holman

    Hey Guys,

    This sounds like a great idea. There's potentially a few problems we would need to figure out solutions to (some upcoming feature and underlying processes not visible to yourselves, as well as general workflow) but ultimately it's a good idea.

    No promises on whether I can get back to you, but I'll be passing this to Development for further discussion.

    Jake Holman
    Zendesk Support

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  • Ron Hornbaker

    Totally agree that some sort of auto-distribution to support agents is a very important feature - otherwise our 10 or so support agents can easily cross-post each other when new issues come in. We're currently using TenderApp, but considering switching to Zendesk. Was hoping to find that feature, may not make the switch until you have it.

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  • Antonio Ortiz

    We're currently using a program that automatically assigns approximately 10 emails from the queue to individual agents. This works really well for us, a team of 15+ agents.

    We are in a Zendesk trial period right now and this is a bit of a problem. I'd rather not have someone spend time assigning out emails to different agents. Any other suggestions or workarounds for this issue? 

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  • Nakkiran Sunassee

    @jake is there any update on the round robin functionality? Currently evaluating Zendesk but the lack of round robin and SMS notification is really working against it.

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  • Jonathan Garcia

    Hi Guys, came across the need for this feature too. I'm glad I'm not the only one that needed it! Hope it can be in place soon

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  • Hatim Shafique

    Even if we can get the capability of updating triggers and automation through the rest API we can implement our own solution. Right now the REST API is very primitive and does not allow updating anything other than the tickets.

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  • Jake Holman

    @Hatim: Primitive? Not sure I can agree when you're able to also action on Users, Organizations, Groups, Attachments, Users, Tags, Forums (and their Topics) and now even Ticket Fields and Macros now.

    @Nakkiran (and others!): There's no update on the functionality at the moment. There's a few other key things that need implementing before this, otherwise it would make everything far more complex than it needs to be. Those are close to completion, so we'll review again soon.

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  • Hatim Shafique

    Though the list of items you currently cover seems long without automation, trigger and report update capability in the Rest api it seems quite incomplete there is no way to implement the missing scenario like routing of tickets, changing escalation paths etc.. 

     

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  • Jason Paterson

    I've been looking into a way to auto-assign tickets to agents as well. Preferably in a round-robin type method. Seeing as the last update here was in January, can we get a status update on auto-assigning tickets as they are created to a the next person in a custom list of technicians?

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  • John Rupp

    The ability to have a round robin or auto assign would be very useful in our situation where we have a small group working in our support department.  The ability to have a button that would auto assign either 3 or 5 tickets to a support member when their queue is empty would help keep agents from 'Cherry Picking' the easy emails out of the queue.  If everyone is pulling the same numbers, the reports can be more useful, as well.

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  • Jason Paterson

    Jake, It's been one year (less a week) since you last mentioned the round-robin functionality, and that we could review it again after some other things were implemented. I'm wondering where this one stands. 

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  • J.R. Miller

    We are currently in the evaluation phase of Zendesk.

    We are blown away by all of the forethought and functionality built-in, how easy it is to set up & use, and its overall intuitiveness.

    That being said, the lack of automated ticket distribution is, by far, the largest hurdle we're trying to get through, in order to switch to this product - It is shocking how much advanced functionality is present with Zendesk, and yet, this basic functionality is absent.

    We have used ticket handling as Zendesk currently uses, in the past, through our email channel, where agents were simply instructed to pull oldest messages when they had availability. As you can guess, only the "easy" tickets were being handled quickly, and the ticket queue only tended to only grow larger, rather than shrink.

    Even with round-robin style ticketing distribution, there is some room for disproportional workload. There are different ticket complexities, each agent may have varying workloads with other channels, and agents who are out of the office could be getting work piled on them, and find a mountain of cases to handle upon their return. (Meanwhile, customers would be forced to wait until they return for any kind of response.)

    But it would at least be a step in the right direction for automated distribution.

     

    I would like to mention another possible distribution method, based on agent utilization:

    • Our current workflow for incoming cases is set up with an algorithm in our ticketing system, and is based on agent utilization. 
    • If “Agent A” is showing active task minutes as 120 and “Agent B” is showing task minutes as 110, Agent B will receive the next incoming case. (Even if Agent A is showing fewer cases, a longer “available” time in the queue, etc.) 
    • This system allows for even distribution of actual time spent working, rather than even distribution of tickets.

    Initially we had some complaints from our agents, but after explaining how the system worked, (and how it is much harder to manipulate to dodge undesirable tasks) it has drastically reduced dishonesty and improved overall productivity and morale. It is nice to no longer have to "babysit" staff, and we have eliminated a lot of temptation to be lazy.

     

    Whether you decide to implement a system that uses agent utilization to automate ticket distribution or not, please consider any kind of automated ticketing system - it is vital to larger support teams who handle all the same products.

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  • Rob Pezely

    I would be very interested to hear a status update on this feature request.

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  • Graham Pearce

    Round robin assignment and only assigning to available (logged in as "simple" option or even better the ability for agents to mark themselves available for their business day to provide global coverage) is very high on our requirement list as we build out our support organization.

     

    Regards

    Graham

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  • Michael Hixson

    We would love this functionality for our incoming tickets via email and dropbox, as well as incoming chats via the integrated Zendesk chat client. 

    Even distribution = happy support agents = happy supervisors :)

    Thanks for your attention on this Jake!

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  • Michael Hixson

    I should say, per David's original comment:

    automated even distribution = happy support agents = happy supervisors :)

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  • Jason Cunningham

    +1 for this functionality - automated distribution to specific group would be awesome

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  • Paul Reeves

    +1 for this functionality

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  • Seth Johnson

    +1 from me, too.

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  • Mark Stubbins

    +1 from me

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  • Henrik Midtgaard
    • 1 from me.
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  • Darryll Holmes

    After reading this thread, looks like Zendesk has not responded or provided any insight since 2011? 2 Years ago?

    I'm curious...will the Q1 Zendesk enhancements happen to include the ability to create a round robin distribution list for groups within Zendesk?

     

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  • Chris Wilson

    +1 for me

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  • Taylorw

    This would be a very nice feature +1 for me as well

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  • Mike Marshall

    Things have gone very quiet on this front. For me (and it seems many others) auto-assignment is the part of case management where Zendesk falls down, after a few months of using the system it's still manual allocation throughout every day to ensure a fair split - on this front we might as well be using Outlook.

    This 'round robin' methodology is a good way to fix; if you could assign working hours for each team member (which can vary day by day, i.e. 9-6 Monday, 10-7 Tuesday, 8-1 Wednesday, etc) and evenly distribute tickets coming in outside of working hours between the support agents who will be in the following day this would put you in a great starting position for the next day.

    Tickets coming in within working hours can simply be distributed to the agent who is in working hours and with the fewest outstanding tickets, or evenly split between any who are currently in working hours.

    Come on guys at Zendesk, make this happen!

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  • Michael Stone

    +1!!

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  • Angela Sibley

    +1

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