Set up On Hold Status Reminders

33 Comments

  • Arnaud de Theux
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    I do like this! :-) Thanks for sharing Andrew.

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  • Jim Nestell
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    This is a great way to set reminders for actions needed on tickets.  Thanks for sharing!

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  • Andrew J
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    @ Zendesk - It would be good to clarify - what happens when a user responds to an 'on hold' ticket? 

    I had thought of these as a pseudo 'pending' status, but I have a concern that if a user responds, they stay as 'on hold'?  I see in the release info, that they are closer to an 'Open' Status, as this is what the customer sees.

    I can see reasons for this too - if we can just clarify that please.

    On a whole, this is a great feature.

     

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  • Joy Carletti
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    @Andrew: If a user responds to a ticket which is in On-Hold status, the ticket will be pushed back into Open status. 

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  • Andrew J
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    Thankyou for that confirmation.  I had hoped was the case.  You may want to make that clear on the release info, I may have missed it though.

    I am more comfortable knowing that a user update will trigger a move back to open.

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  • Jennifer Rowe
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    Thanks for the good question, Andrew. I'll let Anton know so he can update our documentation.

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  • Andrew J
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    Just an addition to this, to be added in to the tute shortly.


    It would be just as possible to use this for Start dates for projects.  Eg, 'Start in 21 days'.  

    Start in 1 - 7 days, Start in 10, 14, 21,28,45 days, Start in 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,12 months.  (19 tags and macros total is not unmanageable)

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  • Andrew J
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    I HAVE MADE A CHANGE TO OUR AUTOMATION FOR THIS - I now use Hours Since Update, as using 'Hours since assignee update' caused problems with part of our workflow when tickets are not assigned.

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  • Sean Morrissey
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    Great tip, thank you 

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  • Colin Piper
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    I achieved similar results by simply having one automation and one trigger. In the automation test for status as on hold and hours since on-hold as x hours then as part of the automation which also sends an email to the agent, add a tag to put_back_on_hold. The triggers simply detects the tag and puts the ticket back on hold and therefore after the next x hours it all happens again. 

    It seems like a similar approach.

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  • Jennifer Rowe
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    @Colin--thanks for sharing your approach!

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  • Wouter van Gessel
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    @Colin/Jennifer

    This article from Andrew is super! Perhaps this is something for Zendesk to consider as a standard function.

    My question is: Colin's comment seems to add value, however I don't fully understand what it does. Perhaps a short 'why' and a screenshot of the automations/trigger of Colin would benefit us and others

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  • Colin Piper
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    Right, first a confession, my solution did not actually work! I believed it did at the time but was fooled by other triggers and automations I had in place. This was partially down to a problem in Zendesk where  causing a trigger to fire as part of a automation was not resetting the timers. 

    What I do now is set a tag via a trigger when a ticket is placed on hold then I have two automations that detect that 2 days have passed since the last update and send a reminder. I need two automations because I you must update the ticket to reset the timer. I am still not 100% sure this is working as I intended but I will test and see. One of the problems I know about is that I do not remove the tags if a ticket is no longer on hold so i will go fix that now. 


    Trigger

    Status: Set trigger on update (On Hold)

    Meet all of the following conditions

    Ticket: Is....     Updated

    Ticket: Status              Changed to                 On-hold

    Perform these actions

    Ticket: Add tags            ONHOLD_REMIND


    Automation

    [Update + 2 days] Remind agent about ticket (ONHOLD_REMIND)

    Meet all of the following conditions

    Ticket: Status       Is     On-hold

    Ticket: Hours since update        (business) Is          18                    <--- I have 9 hour business days

    Ticket: Tags             Contains at least one of the following                ONHOLD_REMIND

    Perform these actions

    Notifications: Email user           (assignee)

    Ticket: Add tags            ONHOLD_REMIND_AGAIN

    Ticket: Remove tags              ONHOLD_REMIND


    Automation

    [Update + 2 days] Remind agent about ticket (ONHOLD_REMIND_AGAIN)

    Meet all of the following conditions

    Ticket: Status       Is     On-hold

    Ticket: Hours since update        (business) Is          18                    <--- I have 9 hour business days

    Ticket: Tags             Contains at least one of the following                ONHOLD_REMIND_AGAIN

    Perform these actions

    Notifications: Email user           (assignee)

    Ticket: Add tags            ONHOLD_REMIND

    Ticket: Remove tags              ONHOLD_ONHOLD_REMIND


     

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  • Wouter van Gessel
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    Both Andrew and Colin's explanations together gets us a suitable solution!

    I also think is is indeed important to have the xhour-tag removed once the automation sets the ticket back to open.

    Thanks guys!

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  • Wouter van Gessel
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    Hi,

    Below is the automation that I set up, following the comments above. (I of course also have Macro's setup to add tags).

    We will also add an automation that 'if no hold tag is present' will open up any ticket that is On Hold, to prevent our agents of using the On Hold status without properly using the Macro, adding a tag/reminder.

    OnHoldAutomation.png

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  • Jennifer Rowe
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    Colin and Wouter--thanks for sharing!

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  • Wouter van Gessel
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    We have been using the on hold status for about two weeks now and I must say; our agents love it!

    We have agreed that all agents have 0 tickets on Open before going home, meaning all tickets are either Pending awaiting our end-user, Closed or On Hold.

    To avoid that agents set tickets On Hold, without reason, I have enhanced our macro a bit: - The macro adds of course the appropriate tag, such as hold3d - The macro auto-assigns the agent, changes the status to On Hold and fills other custom fields - The macro adds an internal comment stating the time it will be on hold and prompting the agent to provide a reason (IT bug number or external ticket number)

    Sometimes the end-user replies to an on-hold ticket which forces an agent to re-use a macro, however with a shorter time frame. To avoid double hold-tags: - The macro also removes all other hold-tags other than the one added (remove hold4h, hold12h, hold2d etc)

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  • Colin Piper
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    @Wouter, thanks for coming back and telling us how you got on. Great to see you made it work for you.

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  • Chris McGrath
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    Personally, I'd prefer a way to say "On hold til"

    I'm more often to organise something for "Next Thursday" and it's easier to look at the calendar and get the date than figure out how many days in the future that is. And this solution doesn't scale, What if I want to schedule something in two months time?

    But this is still useful. I've implemented it a bit different than most solutions here. If I tell someone at 2pm that I'll call them back in 4 days, I don't mean in 96 hours, I want it to be open in the morning on the forth day. So I've calculated the hours as 24 * days - 12

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  • Jessie Schutz
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    Hi Chris! Thanks for sharing your variation - that's a great tip!

    As far as scaling to set reminders for further in the future, have you thought about using the Task ticket type? When you set the ticket type to Task, you can set a due date. Combining that with the On-Hold status might get you where you want to go.

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  • DJ Jimenez
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    Any to incorporate a custom date field for on-hold? I'm trying to make an automation that will change the status from On-Hold to Open based on a "On-Hold Until" custom ticket date field. I see "Is within the next" and "is within the previous" as automation options. I'm assuming:

     - setting either to "0 days" effectively nulls it out? 

     - setting "Is within the next" to 1 day would change the status if the date is equal tomorrow.

     - setting "Is within the previous" to 1 day would change the status if the date is  equal to yesterday.

    Any way to do an = today?

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  • DJ Jimenez
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    ^ without using ticket type. We only use ticketing for incidents.

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  • Wouter van Gessel
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    @Zendesk: It would be great if somehow "reminders" for on hold statuses would be part of the core functionalities of Zendesk (instead of users having to sweat over creating automations and macro's).

     

    We have been using automations and macro's for a while to have on hold tickets reopen automatically after x amount of days and it works great. 

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  • Jessie Schutz
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    Hi DJ!

    Using a custom date field is going to require you to be specific in terms of what date you enter in your automation, so I think that's not going to get your where you want to go. 

    If I'm understanding you correctly, you want to be able to set a due date and have the ticket automatically change status from On-Hold based on that due date.

    If using a specific date for each ticket is absolutely essential, the only way to accomplish that is going to be by using the Ticket Type of Task, which you mentioned isn't really the route you want to go.

    Otherwise, you can use Wouter's method, and set up your automation to change the status of the ticket after the ticket has been in On-Hold status for X number of hours.

    Do you think you'll be able to get either of these methods to work for you?

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  • DJ Jimenez
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    We are already using a pending status + pending macro + pending time tag as an automation. When an agent uses a "Pending - 1 Day" macro, it sets the status to Pending, adds a "pending-1day" tag, which gets removed by an automation after 24 hours and re-opens the ticket. We have a 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, 7-day, and 14-day.

    Since we deal with B2B and go-live dates, I wanted to implement something where my agents don't need to count days until the go-live date but instead just enter it in a field. We can continue to make more automations, tags, and macros, for each amount of time, but having a date field would be more elegant.

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  • Jessie Schutz
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    Hi DJ,

    Thanks for the additional information on your workflow! I definitely understand the desire to be able to use a due date. As of right now, the only way you'll be able to achieve what you're looking to do with a due date is to use the Task ticket type, as the due date field that's associated with that ticket type is the only one that you can use in Automations the way you want.

    Hopefully that can work for you! Please let me know if you have any other questions.

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  • Linda Larsson
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    I'm using a macro to set the timer.

    Most of the tickets set as On hold are tickets waiting for hardware to be returned to us and we don't want reminder of them as they get handled when the hardware arrive whether if it's in three days or three weeks.

    But for the customers who want us to contact them in x days we need better options. I don't want to set up macros and automations for to many different time spans.

    Is there any way of letting the conditions in the automation pull the number of hours from a custom field in the ticket instead of a hard coded value in the automation.

    Say I have a drop-down with different timer values, a great solution would be if I cad use Ticket: Hours since on hold > Ticket: Timer 

    Is this possible?

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  • Andrew J
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    Hello Linda,  I haven't found a way to do that, though it would be a good option.  You cannot use a placeholder in the hours field of an automation condition.

    I've created several macros and automations, creating them all is a pain, but using them is fine.  If you are thinking that drop down options would be ok, then I suspect that your option list won't be terrible.

    We use 2hr, 4hr, 8hr, 1day, 2 day, 5 day, 7 day, 10 day, 14 day... wouldn't be hard to add several more.

    Your thoughts?

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  • Linda Larsson
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    Hello Andrew,

    I'm just now trying out how it would work using a date field on the ticket. I have created a couple of test ticket and set them to fire on different days. If if works, that might be our solution or I will have to bite the bullet and create all the macros and automations.

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  • Andrew J
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    Hello Linda, let us know how you get on and how your solution works.  A date field might work - if not a custom one, try a task with a date setting.

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