What is the problem?
I have custom drop-down fields, like product and root cause, that contain values that have become outdated. If a field option becomes outdated and I want to remove it from the drop-down list, I don't have an option to disable the field value other than deleting the field value.
Why is it a problem?
Since I use a third-party reporting tool that allows us to store data from Zendesk and our other systems in a central location, It's important that I don't delete these legacy drop-down field values. I've found that when a field value is deleted, our reporting tool is no longer able to associate the values tag with the drop-down field where it previously existed. This means reporting against legacy values becomes very difficult.
Deleting old values from a drop-down field also makes it difficult to have a full understanding of what values were previously configured under that drop-down field. I would have to maintain a list outside of Zendesk.
How I solve the problem today.
In order to maintain these legacy values without deleting them, I had to get creative.
For example, we now have two product drop-down lists: (1) a product list that's visible on the help center ticket submission form which contains a list of currently supported products; (2) a product list that contains all products, legacy and supported products. The second product field is only visible to agents.
For reports that reference the product field, we report against the second product field which contains all products.
To make sure a ticket has the appropriate product selected on the second product field (the field used for reporting) I created a series of triggers that updates the second product field when a value is selected on the first product field.
This method has worked fine for the product field because the list of values is relatively small. But now I've received requests from management to update drop-down fields that contain a much larger list of values (ie root cause). Using triggers to sync two root cause fields would be very cumbersome and time-consuming.
How I would ideally solve the problem.
Each value in a drop-down field has an option to be flagged as inactive. The value would still exist under that field but only visible from the admin menu and API queries. Flagging the value as inactive would hide the value when viewing the drop-down field from a ticket form for both agents and end users.
How big is the problem?
Maintaining data and building accurate reports is a high priority for our organization. Adding/removing values from ticket fields is already an issue that requires careful consideration. Making it more complicated by having to dance around field configuration limitations makes it that much more difficult. It is an issue that's very high on our list of things that we think should be improved in Zendesk.
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