Tags are a very useful part of Zendesk.
Obviously, you will need the correct Zendesk package to use them. Speak to your Zendesk Rep if you want to try them and do not have the correct package.
High Level Approach
- Think about the bigger picture with Tags.
- Think about how you want to use them.
- Think about how they will affect the things you can do.
- How will they tie together?
- How can you use them to get information from the system?
- Can I use them to check and balance events?
I am just a 2-year Admin user that runs a desk. I am not tied to Zendesk in any way. But I was asked to add something to the community so here it is.
This is obviously my ramblings about how I use tags in my system it may not apply to your system or the way you have your system setup in any way.
If you decide to adjust anything in your system, it is at your own risk.
I do not deal with retail customers in any way and my system is quite specialized to fit our work. Some of this may not scale to huge layouts as I run a fairly small desk.
This is not how you must do things. This is what I do and if something in this piece seems useful then use it.
Tags in General
I view tags as an essential piece of my system.
I try to push the use of them as far as I am able. I have a tag set for pretty much every event that happens.
Above all keep it simple, complicated does not necessarily mean better.
I have tags for Triggers, Orgs, Macros, Users, SLA. And everything in between.
If I have a tag to do with Org’s, then my tag starts with
If I have a tag to do with User’s, then my tag starts with
If I have a Macro tag to send a ticket to an advisor, then my tag starts with
You see the pattern emerging here?
The reason I do things this way is it saves me time. When I am searching through a ticket to find why it did not work correctly, I can see immediately that it fired the org, user, macro. oh, wait where is the trigger tag?
Also, it works the other way, if I am on the ticket itself and I look at the tags. I can often tell if something is amiss or anything is weird by looking.
How do I choose the title?
When you look at the left-hand Admin bar the macro-?-? Comes from that bar, keep it simple. Whatever section I am making them from becomes the first part of the title, this then leads me to the right section if a trigger etc misfires.
Also think about naming of tags in relation to readability
Think about naming conventions when you add names you “should” be writing names that make sense.
tag = hr-234 < What the hell does it mean?
If you were to come back to your system after a year away would you still know what it means? Or what event it represented? Would anyone else?
tag = trigger-support-creation < A trigger fired because a support ticket has been created.
This is much easier and readable.
Small capture of some of my tags below.
Generally, I extend the same principles into most of the desk
Small capture of my trigger categories
Yes I use fake triggers to make dividers (still waiting for Zendesk to add them properly. here’s looking at you Zen..)
Also, I add my tag to the end of the title again making it easier to find a trigger, if I type “support-creation” into the search it shows 4 triggers not dozens.
Check and Balance
Another way to use tags is check and balance
You provide a tag on an event (the check) then you balance it with a tag designed to cancel it and/or the two combined fire a trigger.
For example, I add a tag at org level to make sure the SLA fires but if the second level user tag for SLA is missing because I haven’t set the user correctly because they were created automatically then I receive an email if that user creates a ticket. Because the balance is missing.
Then I restore the balance by going to the user’s profile and finishing the setup correctly.
I have an automation that shows me on a user’s ticket how many days since that user has replied to us.
It replaces the day before tag each day until either the ticket auto closes or the customer replies which removes the timer, and we start again from zero.
Each day checks the previous number then assigns the new one and when a customer replies it balances by removing all tags relating to the days that existed.
Explore and Tags
Also think about reporting, if you tag everything then in your reports it gives you greater access to sub divide the information you want to achieve in a report.
It can make good reports having the right tags to break the data down into manageable chunks.
Do you care if they are Male or Female? Then tagging might be a way to achieve that in a report.
Example based on Macro usage below you can see the tags on the left.
Make the system work for you.
Always try to make the system do the heavy lifting. If it saves me work, then it always better.
Think about the longer term.
How the desk starts is not how it will end up... Mine is a world away from all the “good” ideas I had at the beginning when I first set it up. Over time you will change most of what you started with to make the desk more efficient.
Planning complex moves
If you have access to Lucidchart or a similar program plan what you are going to do in that. This way you can change things around to find the best solution before you apply it to the desk. Small example of my abstract thoughts when planning below.
This is just a rough idea of how I plan a move or change within Lucidchart to try to avoid pitfalls later.
You can always use Pen + Paper if you don't have access :)
Efficiency is also important, look through your desk and see where cumbersome triggers are or Macros that could be made to do more. etc etc. Always try to find ways to improve the system.
If you find something, do not dash in and change things. Mull it over for a couple of days and you will think of several ways to do something if you take the time to think about it properly.
There is an old saying from woodworkers “measure twice cut once”
And the same applies here “review twice (or more) and change once”
If you take that time to look at all angles it will save loads of chaos when you change things.
Also think about the people who come after you.
As an admin your responsibility is to write and layout and document the desk in a manner that the next person who takes over can understand what went on and why you have done what you did.
Do not keep things to your self it just creates problems, my second in command could just take over and carry on with little or no interruption.
Like I say these are just my thoughts, probably more aimed at newer users as they start to mold the system.
If you have other thoughts, then by all means add to the thread.
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