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Improve Search

Currently Zendesk search only returns results on exact keyword and phrase matches in the Subject/Title of Forum posts. This creates issues where users do not get the best or even relevant articles surfaced to them  through the Forums search bar and through the Dropbox search bar. For example if my Forum post was titled "Loading" but the user searched "load" it wouldn't return the forum post since it isn't an exact match. It would be nice if search included partial matches to individual words as well as being able to parse search phrases. This should extend into the body of Forums as well since a title won't always be able to contain all the keywords and phrases. Additionally, the only recommendation I would have for improving search through Tags is to allow for phrases rather then just individual terms. This would allow us to tag forums with common search phrases that may not exist in the title or body.

34 comments

  • 0

    Searching "loading" works...

  • 1

    but searching "game isn't loading" doesn't. Seems like it should....

  • 1

    Agree completely - more inclusive searches would serve clients better.  Bobby, you might want to vote for this suggestion as well: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/233175-search-for-partial-strings

  • 1

    Hi, improving the Zendesk search algorithm is critical to agents managing and following up with a large number of tickets. It's also critical to users; without broadening match requirements (not requiring exact matches) and other improvements, Dropbox is essentially useless, as matches are nearly impossible to make.

    If an FAQ or Topic Suggestion contains "Can you add Fidelity?", the search "Can you add Fidelity now?" would not generate a match, because of the ridiculous "exact match" requirement. Please invest some dev energy into improving this service for your clients; it's critical for a complete customer support package.

  • 0

    Yes, this is a very needed improvement.

  • 0

    The dropbox-to-forum search is particularly a problem here.  The dropbox says "What is your question?", however, if you search with a question you a very, very unlikely to find what you're looking for.  This search only works if you search with keywords (and exact keywords at that) so the text is really misleading when using the "Enable Topic Suggestions & Knowledge Base Search" option.

    Better labeling of this experience would be a nice short-term fix, and in the long-term, a much better search option is needed.  Maybe a lucene-based option?

  • 0

    Just an FYI- While it apparently fluctuates based on the search algorithm tweaks, based on a response from Zendesk support today it appears 2/3rd of words in my article titles have to appear in the search term in order to return the desired entries. I completely agree the dropbox question should be immediately changed to something like "enter a key word or two" which produces much better results right now. (Actually I think that should be editable and let anyone change it to what works best for them)  Of course a "live search" based on any platform would be very useful, but for now I wanted to post the 2/3rds estimate so everyone could alter questions if they needed to adjust for an immediate workaround. In my initial tests, that estimate they gave me seems to be pretty accurate. (I understand it was 75% before the latest tweaks)

    Todd

  • 0

    We're also need a 100% full-text search functionality. Like discribed by Bobby in topic.

    It's sad and necessitates us to use google search with "site:mydomain.zendesk.com" operator =(

  • 0

    Hi guys, we have something planned that should resolve some of the issues outlined on this thread.  At this point, we are looking for folks who want to test the features which will be available first week of July.  Please register here: https://zendesk.wufoo.com/forms/z7p8x7/

  • 0

    What is the latest update on this feature? I see it is planned and it looks like you had a pilot in July of last year.  Where is it on the roadmap at this point?  Thanks.

  • 0

    I'd also love to have an update on this feature. The zendesk search is currently pretty dumb and if I use a lot of tags to compensate my related articles section will be messed up. 

  • 1

    PLEASE fix search

    Zendesk is a wonderful product but the search is 1997 standard!

    It's unbelievably bad

    And a massive source of frustration & time-wasting for us.

    please fix it

    pretty please!

  • 1

    I agree completely! The Knowledge Base is cumbersome for my users because they have to search with exact keywords not always knowing what the exact title of the article is that they are searching for. Partial word searches would make our forums so much more user friendly. Please advise on what the timeline for adding this feature is (since it is flagged as planned) I would like to be able to give my users some good news! Thanks!

  • 0

    I agree that the search functionality is not up to par. The search function does not allow users to search in forum attachments. It becomes tedious as they would need to search in instruction manuals, related documentations, etc.

  • 0

    What's the status on this? I'm having trouble with the fact that I need to effectively include every keyword from the article manually as tags to make sure that the post actually comes up in search because searching (even for exact) keywords that are in the body of the article or question/answer/feature request don't actually show in search. This is resulting in a number of duplicate posts and topics that could easily be avoided otherwise. It's very hard to keep up with the moderation of the forums with a very large audience and limited staff members with the current limited functionality for forum mod workflows.

  • 0

    Can Zendesk please comment on this?
    We're having issues with Searches as well...

  • 0

    Adding to the chorus - our customers go to the search bar first before browsing, and the search functionality almost never helps them find what they need, even with all the tags I use.

  • 0

    same issue on our site, plz advise

  • 0

    I would like to be able to do a negative search.

    For example being able to search for all orgs that do not have a particular tag

  • 0

    Please add partial word search.

    We use Zendesk in Russian with lots of different word endings in our language -- partial word search is a must!

    Give us something. We can live with something like 'soft%' or 'soft*' for software.

  • 0

    "suggested this on May 11, 2011" and no comment, feeling that the work of implementing the Helpcenter has been a complete waste of time so far.. 

  • 0

    Fuzzy search please!

  • 0

    Searching for the title of a support category does not find it. So if user types in FAQ (one of our categories). No results are returned. This is not good at all.

    As an example it is easier to search for zendesk topics by using google than by using the zendesk forum search. I don't want our customers to think this about our company!

    Please make searching better.

  • 0

    Also vote for making side-loading available on the search endpoint!

    For reporting purposes, we need some data that is only available via side-loading, not on the ticket endpoint directly. For example, the reply time, full resolution time, status updated at, etc, which are available on the side-load METRIC SETS, for example. The same applies for data on the side-loads ORGANIZATIONS, USERS, GROUPS.

    Until now, we were using side-loading with views in order to retrieve the tickets, but also those side-loads in one single request, which makes it faster. For example ...api/v2/views/32035333/tickets.json?include=metric_sets,users,groups,organizations would return tickets on that view, along with the users, organizations, metric sets, groups associated with those tickets, ON THE SAME REQUEST.

    The problem is that we can't do the same if we use the SEARCH endpoint, since it does not support side-loading. With this end point, we need first to get the tickets given certain search criteria on one request: ...api/v2/search.json?query=type:ticket status>=closed 
    And then get the side-loads using another endpoint/method -e.g using the show_many option-, ...api/v2/tickets/show_many.json?ids=1236,1228,...&include=metric_sets,users,groups,organizations

    Basically, to retrieve the same information I can get with a view (+ side-loading) in ONE REQUEST, I need to use TWO REQUESTS or more if I use search (1 for the search query and 1+ for the side-loads).
    So the use case is simply about making it easier and faster for us to search, if we are able to get the side-loads while using the search endpoint.

    Something like this: 
    ....api/v2/search.json?query=type:ticket status>=closed&include=metric_sets,users,groups,organizations

    Hope it's clear enough.

    Regards

  • 0

    +1

  • 1

    The missing partial word search from HC articles is a real mistake guys. If you're not going to have this at all, at least let regular plan users have the tag functionality - to use these as partial word searches we add manually please.

  • 2

    We're also finding that searches don't query the Community Forum comments in the Help Center.  As a result our agent's answers are lost on searches.  

  • 0

    There seems to be little response from Zendesk here and it's a critical requirement. Zendesk please update us on your plans to improve search

  • 0

    Yep, officially leaving Zendesk because of this issue. You guys should check out HelpGizmo if you have more of a knowledge base than a forum, their search is awesome.

  • 0

    Hi guys,

    First I would like to apologize for us not participating in this discussion earlier. We take search very seriously, because we know how central it is for end-users to find the solution to their problem.

    Second, the feedback you have provided here is very valuable to us, so I would like to thank you all for participating and I hope that you want to help us in making our search much much better.

    We are now starting up an increased focus on search. We are starting out by investigating what the current problems are and our focus is firstly on how results are ranked. We will also be investigating other parts of search like scoping and autocomplete, but we do believe they come second to providing the right results in the right order. We believe it to be important that we think holistically about search, as we have seen that changing a small thing might improve some searches, but make others worse. We definitely don't want to do that.

    I believe most of the feedback you guys have provided mainly falls into two buckets: Search ranking and indexing more content.

    Search ranking

    As mentioned above, this is what we want to attack first. We are doing a lot of research into this, but to move it even further we would love your help. Some of you have noted searches that either didn't return the results you were expecting or where it showed the results too far down the list. It would be great if any of you have some concrete examples.

    What we are looking for is a link to a specific search on your Help Center and what article(s) you would expect to appear at the top. We will use this to analyze how results are ranked in that specific case and what we can do to improve it. You are welcome to comment with your feedback on this thread, so we can keep it in one place.

    From there we will later reach out to you guys for talks on your experiences with search, but having concrete examples of failed searches helps us to understand which questions to ask.

    I hope you all feel like jumping in.

    Search more content

    Another thing that is mentioned is indexing more content like community comments, categories/sections/topics and attachments. We will be conducting research into how indexing these will affect ranking and we will spend time figuring out how and if we can include these items into the search. I will update you here as we progress.

    As a final note, I wanted to mentioned that I have allowed myself to remove the Planned label from this discussion. The reason is that improving search is something we will continuously do, so it would remain in a Planned state forever. I want to make it clear that we are planning updates, so removing the Planned state does not make any improvements less likely to be implemented.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your search experience, so we can truly move it forward.

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