Thanks to everyone who provided feedback!
Since this conversation, we've built and shipped the Collaboration add-on, which includes both Light Agents and the new Side Conversations feature that is designed to let agents efficiently communicate with other teams they need to get involved in solving customer questions – all within Zendesk Support. Read more in the announcement post.
For this exploration, we’re looking for teams who regularly have ticketing workflows that require reaching out to other folks in order to solve them.
After talking with lots of customers about their workflows, we’ve seen a recurring theme where teams are jumping through hoops when trying to get multiple conversation threads going with different people in order to solve a ticket, especially if those conversations involve people who aren’t Zendesk Support agents. For example, if a ticket requires the agent to reach out to a different team to ask for a specialized expert opinion on a topic, and another conversation with an external provider to get the status of a project, things can become messy.
We are currently building a set of features that enables agents to create and manage as many email conversations on the side as they need from within tickets. These conversation threads can have their own subjects, recipients, and content, allowing agents to reach out to people with the appropriate context instead of pulling them directly into a ticket. To start, the recipients of these threads will be internal Agents and Light Agents, and we will be adding support for delivery to external email addresses soon after. These features should go a long way toward supporting the use cases around needing to coordinate with external people to solve tickets. The current plan is to open an early access program at the end of March.
Available Workarounds and Options
Current workarounds and options mostly involve using Zendesk Support apps to help manage multiple tickets in order to have the necessary separate conversations these workflows require. Some of the features and apps that can help are:
- Project App – Create Children tickets that all link back to a parent ticket.
- Linked ticket App – Enables you to create a child ticket from an existing parent ticket and link the two tickets together.
- Problem/Incident tickets – Makes it possible to associate multiple tickets with the main problem ticket.
- Tasks App (3rd party) – Checklists for tickets. Convert tasks to subtickets.
- Myndbend Process Manager App (3rd party) – Create child tickets and get approvals from your agents or end-users.
- JIRA App – Easily escalate and link Zendesk Support tickets to a JIRA issue so critical info is shared and collaboration is effortless.
- Approvals App (3rd party) – Make it easy for users to request approvals and approvers to grant them.
Zendesk has also provided LIght Agents functionality to make it easy to enable people who aren’t full agents to view and leave private comments on tickets, as well as built apps like the Linked Ticket and Project apps to make it possible to associate multiple conversations happening in separate tickets in one parent ticket.
Beyond this, we are working on the aforementioned new features that will be included alongside the current Light Agents functionality to help make it easier to have multiple standalone conversations within tickets with whoever is required to move things forward.
Questions for the Exploration
For this exploration, we’re looking for teams who regularly have workflows that require reaching out to other folks. Some questions:
- What are some scenarios that require your agents to work with other agents on tickets?
- What are some scenarios that require your agents to reach out to people in your company from other departments/divisions who aren’t agents within Zendesk Support?
- What are some scenarios that require agents to reach out to people outside of the company while working on a ticket? What are the roles of those people? (Partners? Vendors? Contractors? End-users?)
- In any of these scenarios, how are you currently handling them?
- What are the problems you’ve run into while trying to implement these workflows?
- How many different non-agent people are usually needed in these scenarios?
- How many separate conversations do these scenarios usually spawn within a ticket?
- What types of metrics and reporting would help in these scenarios?
Please let us know what you think!
Please comment on this post with any thoughts or reactions to what we’ve discussed above. In particular, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the questions in the previous section. Thanks!