Changing a public comment to private and vice-versa

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92 comments

  • Avatar
    Neil Lillemark

    +1 - at least be able to hide the comments submitted by Agents in case they were inadvertantly made public.

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    Matthew Latkiewicz

    Thank you Miguel and Neil - Currently, as you know,there is no way to alter comments, including the ability to switch them from private to public.  The idea here is that your help desk needs to have an audit-able record of what went on in every ticket; so that, for instance, a ticket's contents can't be changed to make it look like a customer received stellar service when, in fact, they didn't.  Now I realize, of course, that in some cases there are simply honest mistakes, especially with the public/private thing, so I understand the need for this.  We will be sure and review the idea with our product team and update this forum with any information.

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    Jim G Smith

    It looks like this public/private option feature request was never acted on. I would like to add my "me too!" to it. I avoided using Help Desk software apps for several years because most are so inflexible and not beneficial to a one or two person shop not needing the "audit trail" mentality. ZenDesk seems to be much more user friendly than most but this is one case where it would be so helpful to be able to check or uncheck public/private comments (I guess you could put a changed entry in the audit trail if desired).

    A secondary nice feature would be the ability to edit those long-winded comments or ones with long sig lines but I can live with that if it would jeapardize the integrity of the program for others.

    That's my 2 cents worth! Thanks.

    Jim

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    Jake Holman

    Hi,

    Must have let this post slip past me. We will not be allowing editing of comments from End-Users; while 'cleaning' comments would be nice, it just blows it wide open to risks. When Zendesk came to market, a design decision was made that comments should not be editable, as it messes with the audit and means you can essentially spoof your end-users - editing something out that they previously asked to be done, and subsequently telling them they didn't ask for it.

    I'm not saying anyone posting in this thread would do it, but that's how audits within private customer interaction software generally should operate. A Customer should be able to have complete faith in their communications with you. If a customer were to question the integrity of their Ticket, or accuse someone of changing what they said, you have the very strong argument of being able to tell them the software does not allow the editing of any comments made by End-User or Agent.

    As for changing the Public/Privateness of a Comment; we're still undecided on this. It still falls into the realm of editing a Ticket. I would love to know the use case of changing the visibility of a Comment?

    _Jake Holman
    _Zendesk

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    Jim G Smith

    I don't think of viewability of a ticket as being the same as an edit. With edits, something is being replaced with something else. With public/private switch, I would think that should be the right of an admin to do so since the comments are not being removed, just out of the sight of the "public user".

    A case for it? I screwed up and made something public that should not have been. Big stink by client. Every time we add comments to that ticket, the client is reminded of what a dunderhead he thought I was. He doesn't like what I said, I corrected it and smoothed the feathers, but every time I add onto that ticket, we are both reminded. As administrator, I would expect to have the right to remove that from public view.

    The only option now is to loose our trail and start a new ticket. Not good for an audit trail nor for being user friendly. At least the Help Desk I tried before on my server I could get in and change/remove notes (comments). Didn't happen often but when it did, it was nice to have that option.

    Now, to clarify, since I'm not a big shop, I conduct all my transmissions via email. The clients can't (and wouldn't want to) go into ZD and look at their tickets. My only concern is that when I send an update to a ticket, the client gets a huge loooong list of every public comment that was ever made on that ticket. After a while, I would like to be able to stop showing every thing from the beginning. I had one client who sent his credit card info. Another sent password info. I'd like to be able to stop displaying those items each time I send an update. Normally when a client does that via email to me, I send their reply and replace sensitive info with ***** but there is no way to handle these.

    I hope that helps.

    Jim Smith

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    Catherine Rodgers

    +1 -- This became an issue at my company when not everyone was clear on how the public vs private comments worked, and an end-user saw some internal discussion by mistake.

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    Jim G Smith

    Wow, I'm a solo shop... I can imagine the confusion with multiple people. I have enough trouble training myself not to say the wrong thing to the wrong person.  I may need to go back to using email to correspond if this feature jeopardizes the integrity of the program. When I'm ready to send an email, I can look at the bottom of it and see what is ready to go out. I can also look at the header and see who it is going to be sent to. Even something that basic as a confirmation would be helpful. Then as an additional plus would be when that confirmation window appeared, a checkbox beside each comment so I could uncheck any comments I didn't need to send. By time I was ready to send that to my client, I would know exactly what was being sent and to whom. That would be a useful (and necessary) feature!

    Jim Smith

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    Bill Sapp

    +1.  I see the point from ZenDesk about ensuring that the integrety of the system is not compromised by such a powerful feature.  A few alternatives to pose...

    *1) Public/Private View Switching:  *Rather than delete the post entirely, what if there was a hide checkbox that could be set by administrators only.  That way, it isn't truly deleted or modified.  You could even indicate "Comment hidden by administrator" in the End User's view, just so they are aware that something was posted and can always be retrieved by the administrator if need be.  Of course, the agent would see the same message, but would have the option to view the comment.

    2) Clean up comments after posting:  I do like this idea, but it should be limited to administrators only.  To avoid the concern of keeping an auditable trail, why not have an indication of "comment modified by administrator" and provide a link to display what was modified that is viewable by the agent and end user.

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    Jim G Smith

    That sounds good although I'd change the "Comment hidden by administrator" to "Admin comment" which sounds less like keeping secrets.

    My concerns are more for email since my clients never see the support desk itself but for those using the support desk itself, that sounds like it should work.

    </end 2cents>

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    Bill Sapp

    Good point.  Regarding the email, when the administrator does use his controls to make changes 1 or 2, the same should apply in email updates sent out from that point forward; of course nothing you can do with those already sent out.

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    Moez Tharani

    Complete agreement on this.  That said, it should be limited to an admin account, and not every agent.  We have had a few issues crop up like this, where one of our agents has provided an update to a ticket that was not appropriate (as in, not in line with the company vision).  As we move towards having customers submit and update tickets entirely within the website, the ability to correct these kind of mistakes becomes that much more important.  Right now, all of our customer updates come through email, and they no visibility to the website.  This is done specifically because of the inability to make edits, or at the very least, mark a public update private.  It's not an issue of hiding things from our customers, or trying to pretend it didn't happen (useless, since they have an email copy).  It's simply to keep our board happy, and ensure them we have some degree of control over stored data.

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    Andrew Smith

    +1.  I think the best way to provide an audit trail is to track edits, not prevent them.  The risk of exposing comments to the customer is that internal users may accidentally write something in an impolitic way; supervisors should have a way of correcting this.  I agree that switching a public comment to private would be a good compromise. 

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    Damian Green

    +1 for me. Certainly should be an admin function. Admins have the ability to completely remove/delete a ticket and there is no audit trail at all once the ticket is gone. Mistakes can easily be made and very sensitive data can be published. In our use of the system we could correct that before the customer even had the opportunity to view the ticket...if we were able to private a public comment or remove/edit it.

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    Wyatt Shaw

    @Jim and @Bill got it exactly right - accessibility of a comment is separate from the ability to edit/delete comments.  Public/Private is a binary value - it can't be that hard to allow..

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    Jake Holman

    Alrighty,

    We'll be re-thinking this over the coming weeks. We think we might have a solution that still maintains audit & doesn't give the ability to edit a comment but simply allows it to be removed from view if a mistake has been made. I've no further details at this time though.

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    SIPhon Networks

    +1.

     

    I just posted a comment on the wrong ticket.  Guess this means I can't rectify the mistake?

     

    Steve P

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    Tara Geear-Clark

    +1

    One of our customers emailed to us saying she wanted her comments with her contact info (phone & email) removed from the thread. Ideally we'd like to change her comments to private. Or have an option where comments can be seen by ticketer and admin without being searchable by the public.

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    Alex Bligh

    Yet another +1. Here's our use case. We have service announcements on our website composed via a translation to HTML of the XML retrieved from a Zendesk view. So far so good.

    However, in the middle of the night, when the network melts, the stressed Ops guy puts in an update which is less than grammatically perfect, and has the odd spelling error. I don't mind this being mailed to customers and so forth (as any timely communication is better than none) but I do object to this information sitting around full of bad spelling and grammar on my website for weeks. Fixing spelling and grammar in the clear light of day on a website does not threaten 'customer authenticity'. They've already got the email if they want to establish the vital customer service point that engineers under stress occasionally spell things wrong. However, not having a way to fix this after the event just makes us look sloppy and illiterate, which only tempts people not to make this stuff public on web sites at all. People are human, and thus make mistakes; hence occasionally we need to edit comments.

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    Mathias Bucht

    So, what happens on this. Any plans for implementation?

    I have sma cases where internal dialogue between our consultants and also sales people har posted as Public. And I don't want the customer to read those!

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    Mathias Bucht

    should be "some cases"
    But as you all know I can't change a comment :-)

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    Patrick Casiano

    Here is my case as to why I support this for Agents as well as admins.  If you can't trust your agents to interact professionally with the customers that keep your businees going, you might want to rethink the position.

    Our support group gets a request sent to our support box from an internal group to deliver an activation code to the customer.  The best practice policy is to never expose this internal request to the customer as it may contain pricing information and timestamps of when the request to deliver activation codes was put in our queue.  Timestamps are bad for public viewing because of those customers that ask "Why was it in your area so long when I told you it was urgent?" 

     

    The workflow should ideally then be for the agent to change the requestor to the customer, the internal original requestor into a CC and make the internal request private.  The agent can then paste the activation code in a public ticket comment and happily send the ticket to a customer

    This way we hide the internal correspondence from the customer including the timestamps, the finance rejections, the price that the customer should not have seen etc.

    Toggling public or private comments is great.  I want to at least see the toggling of the first comment in the ticket if the requestor changes to somebody not in my organization.

    I hope you can implement this soon.  I am working towards going live soon and the workaround of not storing our activation code deliveries in zendesk for the customer to see by using outlook to deliver these activation codes is too cumbersome in our case.  It would be nice for the customer to be able to login an see the activation codes that were delivered to them and for our agents to deliver them.

     

    Or add a Merge and Clone ticket option so that the initial internal request can be made private (current funtionality) when we merge it to the new ticket with all ticket fields carried over and the customer only sees the activation code they purchased.

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    ClarkManuel

    Agree that the PRIVATE/PUBLIC switch should be editable by Admin.  I understand the issue fully altering comments, but it would be nice (at a VERY high level).

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    Jason Wood

    Agree, this is very valuable. A situation for me would be when I forget to make the comment public before updating the ticket. If I could change this then have the update emailed out (manually or automatically - what ever works best) - currently I am copying and pasting the text again, looking weird to the end user and the email then comes with the last message twice.

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    Amanda Uy

    +1.  No need to edit comment, just the ability to switch private to public and vice-versa.

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    Nathan Pearson

    I can see that allowing edits to comments would open all kinds of issues (especially Breaking the linear flow of time)  but for me personally, About twice a week I forget to mark, a comment public before I click the submit button. I'd love to be able to mark it public and have it emailed to the client. (triggers still function)  whats the latest on this request??

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    Bruce Cody

    Decisions such as these, in this case the ability to edit comments or the ability to make them public/private, should be configurable in the administrative setup of each Zendesk instance.  One company may see comment editing as an important feature in order to remove or improve on improper or inaccurate comments while another company may need to lock this feature down for audit purposes. 

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    SIPhon Networks

    Hi,

     

    Any news on this, we still have public tickets on wrong cases and there's nothing we can do to rectify the mistakes.

     

    Steve

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    Alex J. Cook

    With all due respect that is pretty flawed logic. If you are concerned about the integrity of the records than when you allow your users to delete such false-records it should email notification to affected users, simple as that. When I review case notes later why would I want to have accidental notes in the way of my review, forever. Please forward my email to a supervisor or manager I am not trying to be rude but this sort of feature is unacceptable especially with a company that prides itself on customization and ease of use.

    Nothing personal obviously but this policy needs to go. I noticed a lot of other users calling for this change while I was trying to find the answer to my question.

    Thanks,

    Alex

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    ClarkManuel

    How is theere logic flawed?  If they don't allow the changes, the comments are then unquestionalbe.  This is a perfectly VALID policy for them to take.  I am not stating it is reasonable or even the best fit for all users, but it is VALID.

    Now if you are stating that the REASON they give for not changing the policy it is flawed...that's another argument.

    Again, I support the ability for a comment status (PUBLIC / PRIVATE) be changed by an Admin with details recording this change, but I think wholesale editing of the comments themselves diminishes the integrity of the comments themselves. I'm not saying I wouldn't use the feature if it was offered, but I understand Zendesk's stance on this policy and respect it.

     

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    Alex J. Cook

    No comment

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