This Fine Tuning session is about Maintenance for your Zendesk account, including:
- In-product tools and reviewing your customer support experience
- Harnessing “Insights for Reporting” to maintain your account
- Best Practices for continued Zendesk success
Zendesk Senior Customer Success Consultant, Jill Kaselitz has been with Zendesk since January of 2010. In this Fine Tuning discussion, Jill highlights her learnings from working with you, our customers, over the past years.
See all the Fine Tuning series discussions.
Part 1, 8 am: In-product tools and reviewing your customer support experience
Most all investments that we make in life require ongoing attention and maintenance. Whether it’s taking your car in for that needed oil change, cleaning your at home espresso machine or taking your beloved pet to the veterinarian. All of these mentioned need some tender, loving care at some point in time. Your Zendesk account is no different. A well tended to Zendesk, will help ensure your long term business success. Throughout this discussion, we’ll be exploring three series of suggestions on how you can avoid falling into the pitfalls of a neglected Zendesk account.
Most importantly, please keep this discussion interactive. We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below on how you keep your Zendesk running smoothly.
Sort drop-down tool
Within your admin pages for macros, triggers and automations, you’ll see a “sort by position” option as seen in the below screenshot.
Zendesk customers often find it very helpful to look over how frequently their business rules are being used. By selecting “usage over the last 7 days,” you’ll see how many times your triggers (or macros or automations) have been applied to your tickets. The following screenshot shows you that the “Notify requester of received request” trigger ran the most over the past 7 days.
When clicking the above link for “Notify requester of received request (53)”, you’ll be taken to the list of 53 tickets where the trigger was applied. The following screenshot shows 4 of the 53 example tickets. Selecting the subject line will take you directly to the ticket in question. The same process can be applied to both automations and macros.
It’s helpful to review the above list as it allows you to see where and when your business rules are applied in your actual support process. You’ll want to look for tickets that maybe shouldn’t be under this business rule. This could lend to you to make changes to the rule in question or perhaps even updating an internal process. While more difficult to do, it’s also worthwhile to note any tickets not in the list that you would expect to be included.
By analyzing your account in this way, you’ll be able to see both your top performing AND underperforming business rules. For example, perhaps you’ve recently implemented a macro for your team to use and you’d like to see if it has been fully adopted by your team. Using this tool, you’ll see how often the particular macro has been used over the selected time frame AND you can click the macro title to see the tickets where it was employed.
We recommend that you use this tool on a monthly to quarterly basis to evaluate how your business rules are being used by your team. By analyzing both the under and over achieving rules, you’ll be able to make educated decisions.
Using this tool, our customers have been able to delete stale rules that no longer apply to their business process. We’ve also seen customers use this as an additional resource to try to change overall business processes at their company. For example, if you see a macro being used more than expected, it could allow you to explore ways to avoid the customer’s question ever being sent in as a ticket. It could be as simple as creating a Help Center article to deflect the question or involve more internal resources to hone in on the root cause of your customer’s angst.
Reviewing your customer’s Zendesk experience
In addition to using the above tool, it’s also extremely important to review your customer’s Zendesk journey on a monthly to quarterly time frame. We suggest walking through every point in your customer’s interaction with your Zendesk account. Here are some possible ways to explore your Zendesk account from your customer’s perspective:
- Write down your customer’s Zendesk experience so that you can easily walk through this process.
- If you have a Help Center, search the top 5-10 frequently asked questions and read through what’s presented to your customer. Is the content up to date? Note: You can find your top “search strings” from under the “Reporting icon” > Search > and scroll down the page.
- Contact your Zendesk account as a customer through every channel of support you offer and see what notifications are sent to you. What’s the process like for you as the customer? Do you see any outdated information or anything that you’d like to change in terms of look and feel?
- Review a number of closed tickets in your account from a customer’s perspective and make notes on areas for improvement. By clicking on the “all events” link in tickets, you’ll be able to see all actions taken on tickets. You’ll want to keep your eyes open for anything that appears odd or unexpected. Perhaps you’ll see tickets frequently being merged or tickets being assigned too frequently between agents/groups.
You may also want to consider recruiting colleagues at your company to obtain a different perspective. Hint: bribing them with a working lunch for their time may go over very well.
Part 2, 10 am: Harnessing "Insights for Reporting" to maintain your account
While all of the reports included in the “Insights - View only” dashboard will be helpful to review for the overall health of your account, once again, on a monthly to quarterly basis, we recommend doing an audit of your out-of-the-box reports. Listed below, you’ll find two reports that provide you with an excellent indication of your account’s health. For a more detailed list of all reports included in your pre-built dashboard, you can reference our Help Center article here.
Daily historical backlog for the last 30 days
The above report will allow you to see the number of tickets that are currently in each ticket status used within your account. When hovering over each status in the bar graph, you’ll see the number of tickets in that particular status on the day in question.
You’ll want to pay attention to whether or not the number of new tickets corresponds to the tickets not yet being addressed in your account. If you see a jump in your number of new tickets that doesn’t correspond to what is being displayed in your Zendesk views, you’ll want to dig into where the unaccounted tickets are residing within an all encompassing view. You’ll ideally want to see steady numbers across your 30 days, and dive deeper into where you see spikes and valleys that deviate from your expected ticket volume by status. This report will offer you the ability to quickly see areas of concern that you may need to address within your account.
While a very simple report, the headline report “Tickets reopened” is a great touchstone for how effectively your team is answering your customer’s questions. While a simple reply of “thank you” will cause a solved ticket to be reopened and be reflected in this report, if you see an unexpected increase in the number of reopens, it could signal that something has gone awry in your support process.
When you click on the number in your “Tickets reopened” report, “28” in the example below, you’ll be presented with an overlay report that will allow you to look into the tickets that have recently been reopened. Many Zendesk customers create dynamic, custom reports that achieve their complex reporting needs. This straightforward report highlights that in addition to custom reports, even the simplest of reports can highlight areas of maintenance within your account.
Part 3, 12 pm: Best practices for continued Zendesk success
The following is a list of best practices that we’ve seen Zendesk customers employ with great success.
Best Practice #1: Specific labeling of business rules
How often do you create a document with what seems to be the most logical name, only to not be able to find the file a week later? So often in Zendesk, we create business rules and views that perform a very specific function. We found customers that employ a consistent, specific naming convention are more effective at troubleshooting and maintaining their business rules over time. We’ve even seen customers add in the admin owner’s name in the title of the business rule when there are multiple Zendesk admins in an account. An additional benefit to accurately labeling business rules is that any of your Zendesk admins will be able to easily tell what actions business rules take when reading through your list of rules. This can be especially helpful when onboarding a new Zendesk admin at your company.
Best Practice #2: Minimum number of full admins
From a security perspective, you’ll always want to make sure that you have the smallest number of full admins accessing your Zendesk account. If you’re on the Enterprise plan, you have the ability to create a custom “Lite Admin” role where you remove the option to access sensitive information such as “can manage business rules.” An added benefit to this, is that from an ongoing maintenance perspective, you’ll have only given permission to a handful of admins to be able to create and modify the settings within your account. For more information on Enterprise custom roles, you can read more here.
Best Practice #3: Implement automations to catch tickets from falling through the cracks
As you evolve your Zendesk account, it will ideally stay beautifully simple through the ongoing maintenance you’ll be performing. As with any growing business, your needs will evolve and you’ll have a series of actions taking place on tickets as they’re created within your account.
Sometimes, our customers voice a concern that their views may not be catching all of the tickets that need to be addressed. Through the above backlog report, you’ll be able to see if your number of new tickets is not aligning with your number of new tickets in your views. Instead of waiting to catch this issue in a report, you could consider designing an automation that would isolate tickets that haven’t been assigned to an agent in a certain period of time. Listed below is just one example of how you could use an automation to escalate these types of tickets.
Best Practice #4: Ongoing Zendesk education
If you’re already performing a maintenance check on your Zendesk account every month or quarter, why not start catching up on your Zendesk education at the same time? Listed below are a number of resources available to you as a Zendesk customer. While you can count on us to keep you posted on the most helpful releases and updates, just spending 30 minutes every quarter could go a long way in staying up to date on everything Zendesk.
Subscribe via email to our Announcements section:
Sign into our Help Center and select “follow” within this section. This is where we immediately post new releases, fixes as well as important announcements.
Sign up for a live webinar and consult our extensive list of recorded webinars.
Consult our list of live, instructor led courses. You can view a detailed list of all available courses at here. This is a great resource for onboarding new agents as well as filling in the gaps on any needed Zendesk knowledge.
Explore our “Fine Tuning: and “Zendesk on Zendesk” series:
Here are additional articles on Zendesk best practices:
If you’ve made it to this point, thank you for taking the time to read what it takes to keep your account optimized for growth and success. Since this is not an exhaustive list of possible approaches, please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks for making all of this happen by being a Zendesk customer.
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