This Fine Tuning session is about providing you with best practices to help capture the right data and reporting recipes so that your customers have a more personalized experience on your site. The topics we will focus on are:
- Custom ticket fields
- Custom user and organization fields
- Insights reporting recipes
Sylviana Ho is a Customer Success Consultant and was one of the early Customer Success team members at Zendesk. She comes with a ton of tech and customer support experience from one of the fastest growing companies in the tech industry and enjoys helping customers optimize their Zendesk.
See all the Fine Tuning series discussions.
Part 1, 8 am: Custom Ticket Fields
An obvious yet difficult concept for any company to achieve is getting to know their customers. No matter what approach you take to improve the customer experience on your site, you won’t be able to do this successfully without capturing the right customer data. By doing so, you can more easily provide a personalized interaction. But that’s just half the benefit - you can also turn that information into meaningful and actionable data with reports.
This Fine Tuning session will help you optimize your Zendesk, with the goal of building a better relationship with your customers. We’ll show you how to take advantage of various features, including custom ticket fields, Insights, and more.
Custom Ticket Fields
Custom ticket fields are commonly used to collect additional information related to the support issue that the customer is writing in about. For example, your customer is experiencing problems with a camera lens they recently purchased and you need them to provide the model name and number. The model name and number can be a required custom ticket field on your support request form.
Or, on the agent side, you can create an “About” custom ticket field that agents are required to fill out upon solving a ticket to understand why customers are contacting your support team. Then you can create an Insights report to track trends and volume by the issue type.
Think about what you would like to learn from your customers’ issues and then turn them into customer facing or agent facing custom ticket fields. This will vary for every customer and it can range from issue type to time spent on tickets to the product type/model, just to name a few.
Custom ticket fields can be optional or required and you can also make them only required just for agents or both agents and customers. You can create custom fields in the form of:
- Drop-down list
- Multi-line text
- Regular expression
As a best practice try to utilize the drop-down list and checkbox custom fields because they will add tags on the ticket that can be used in triggers, automations, macros, reports and views. This will enable you to take more action on that information by creating custom workflows for your customers, which we’ll touch on later in this post.
Part 2, 10 am: Custom User and Org Fields
Custom User and Organization Fields enable you to create separate fields on the user and org level so that you can store richer information in Zendesk and build workflows off of that data. These fields will allow you to capture data about a specific customer (on the individual’s profile) or a group of customers (individuals in the same organization). We try to make capturing and maintaining this information as beautifully simple as possible by enabling you to take advantage of our API to manage users and organization field configurations, in addition to updating information on the user and organization profiles. If you feel more comfortable importing this data manually you can utilize our bulk import functionality, which allows you to add many users and organizations at once. You can use this functionality to add new users or replace existing user and/or organization data.
Let's use some of these features in an example to give you a better idea of how you can leverage custom user and org fields. For instance, if you’re a retail company with a wide demographic of customers, collecting and/or importing user data on their average spend and assigning them support levels (VIP, Gold, Silver, Bronze) or knowing your customer’s recent purchases can help provide context for the support agent to tailor their response to the customer.
Or maybe you’re a B2B company and it’s important for you to know the industry that your organizations are in. You can create an “Industry” drop down field on the organization and either bulk import that information or have your agents fill it in as they work on the ticket.
Now that you have all of this granular information, you can create custom workflows for a more personalized experience. For example, for a VIP customer you can create a trigger that automatically sets the priority of the ticket to urgent, CC’s a manager, and assigns it to a special queue that has a one hour service level agreement (SLA) so that these tickets don't get lost in the queue.
Or maybe you want to take certain actions whenever a VIP customer or one who spends over $2500/year contacts your Support team. You can create a trigger that will CC the manager and set the ticket priority to High so that it gets the attention it needs.
You can leverage these fields in existing business rules and build new ones so don’t be afraid to get creative. Remember, if you already have this data and would like to associate it to the user and/or organization profiles - you can bulk import to add new users, replace existing user information, add organizations, or replace existing organization data.
You can also apply user and organization fields to Views to give your manager or team more transparency into who is contacting you. For example, it might be important for your manager to monitor tickets that are being opened by certain types of customers - this can be by average spend, product, issue type, etc. Continuing the theme of our VIP customers, let’s create a view to collect all tickets that are opened by VIP customers in a single view so that your manager knows when high priority customers are contacting the Support team.
Note here that we are using the tag that the user field drop down automatically adds to a ticket to build the view and not the actual user field.
For more best practice recipes to leverage User and Organization fields, please take a look at these examples created by the Product Manager of this feature.
Software Support Example
Internal IT Example
Retail Business Example
I encourage you to share your own experiences and pro tips on how you’ve used custom fields. I’m sure others are experiencing similar business challenges and would benefit from hearing your recommendations.
Part 3, 12 pm: Insights Reporting Recipes
Now that you have all of this data, you don’t want it to just sit in GoodData and go to waste. You’ll want to create a report to make this data meaningful and provide insights into your organization. Keep in mind that it’s important to understand how custom fields import into Insights so that you know how to properly build your reports.
Custom fields are imported into GoodData differently depending on the type of field you are using:
Note: As you can see above, Multi-line text does not import over so I would recommend avoiding that particular custom field if you need to report on that information.
There are countless reports you can build based on your organization’s goals, vision, and short term and long term projects, but below I will outline a basic report to give you an idea of how custom fields work from a reporting standpoint.
- Make sure you have created a custom field for the data you want to track. For my example, I’ve created an “Industry” dropdown organization field so that I can keep track of the industry of my customers’ submitting tickets.
- You can access your GoodData instance by navigating to the Insights tab of your Reporting page.
- Click “Create a new report” and select the “# Solved Tickets” as your What metric (or whatever it is that you would like to measure).
- Here you can see how the “Industry” organization field I created will now appear as an attribute under the How field. Keep in mind the screenshot at the beginning of this section about how custom fields import into GoodData because they won’t always be attributes depending on which form of custom field you are using.
What this report will produce is insights into the number of solved tickets by industry. This will allow you to determine if one industry submits more questions than others and then you can dig into why and come up with a game plan. Maybe you’ll want to create more knowledge base articles in the Help Center for those customers, or maybe you need to have a conversation with the Sales associates responsible for those industries to provide more informational demos. Creating reports off of data you are capturing from your customers is essential to understand them and help to improve their experience.
Below are links to additional best practice Insights recipes created by my fellow colleagues that I believe you will find useful. Feel free to use these as a guide, and make sure to customize the data to make it fit your specific use case.
I hope you feel empowered to get to know your customers now, knowing that there is a way to capture that data in Zendesk. Understanding your customers will help build a better relationship with them and will lead to customer retention and loyalty!