This interactive “Full circle” session is about ways that you can create a great agent experience in your Zendesk Support account. By placing focus on your agents day-to-day you can create a clear path of expectations and efficiency for agents. Happy agents equal better customer support. In this session, you’ll lean how you can:
- Focusing your agents skills: Will go over the features and tools you can use to give your agents focus
- Manage you agents availability: What can we do to manage agents schedules and react when their is a change
- Controlling Agent Permissions: What are our agents permission and what options do we have for managing them
- Utilize informative agent reporting: Review the reporting options available and discuss the reasoning of why we use these reports
Most of the steps we’ll suggest in this post can only be updated by the administrators in your Zendesk Support account. Not sure if you’re an admin? Just head to your agent profile where you’ll see your role listed right up top. Reach out to an existing administrator if you think your role should be adjusted.
Part 1: Focusing your agents Skills
Our agents receive a lot of tickets each and those tickets can range from what channel they came in from, to topic of the ticket, priority, etc.. If route all of these tickets to our single group of agents we run the risk of causing confusion on what they should be working first and if the agents response is the right one for the situation.
By using what we know about the ticket created, the requester that submitted the ticket and our agents skills, we can take away that confusion of what our agents should be focusing on. Remember, when our agents are confused, the support that is provided can struggle.
So let’s discuss how we can categorize our tickets and make sure we are routing them to the appropriate agents.
How you set up your groups depends on how you want to define your workflow and organize your agents. You might create groups by skill (software vs hardware) or to reflect the organizations they serve (for example, a group might serve only customers in a certain region or time zone or a specific department).
When we create these groups it gives us the ability to route to each of group based off the ticket and user data. To do this type or routing, utilize triggers to identify the specific conditions for each group and take an action of routing to that group.
Remember that this type of routing does not just have to happen when a ticket is created but can be routed automatically as the ticket is updated throughout its lifecycle.
Views to focus your groups
Now that we have created our groups that we are going to route tickets to, let’s focus on how those groups of agents are going to access the tickets that need their attention.
Views are a way to organize your tickets by grouping them into lists based on certain criteria. For our example, let’s think of how we can create views for our our different teams and then limit access to those view to only those agents in the group the view pertains to. Using views in this way can help your agents to determine what tickets need their attention and plan accordingly.
Play and Guided mode
Now that our agents have tickets assigned to the groups they are in and views to help them manage what is in their queue, how should they approach tickets that have not been taking on by another agent.
That is where having agents utilize Play Mode, or setting up Guided mode if your on our Enterprise Support plan, to guide them through the available tickets in a view, automatically. In Play mode, agents press the Play button to open the first ticket in the view. After submitting the ticket with their updates, the next ticket in the view automatically opens.
With additional features added in to give agents the ability to skip tickets if they are uncomfortable with providing a public answer. With Guided mode you can also require that an agent provides a reason for why they are skipping the ticket, giving visibility into what your agents are comfortable with.
Skills Based Routing
For that extra level of organization and cues for agents to know what types of tickets fall into their personal “wheelhouse”, our Enterprise Support plan also offers Skills Based Routing.
With skills-based routing, you can set up "skills" and associate each one with individual agents. For each skill, you also define a set of ticket conditions. Then you configure a view that identifies which tickets match the skills of whomever's looking at it or simply add in a column to the view that will show a checkmark to the agent if the ticket falls under their skill.
Before getting started, you may want to check out Best practices: Setting up skills-based routing for suggestions about how to best approach this process.
Round Robin APP
For organizations that have support agents answering a wide array of tickets but are still looking to evenly distribute those tickets to agents, we recommend taking a look at the Round Robin APP. Round Robin is a service that automatically assigns tickets to the agents in a round robin fashion.
*Please note that this is a paid app that you can find out on the Zendesk Marketplace.
Part 2: Manage your agent’s availability
Like all employees, agents have their work schedules competing with their personal schedules along with possibly having other work related items, outside of their support schedule. Managing the day to day on where agents are supposed to be and then getting those competing schedules to mingle can be the tricky part..
Thankfully there are some great tools that you can use to manage agent’s availability and schedules, right from within Zendesk.
Out of Office APP
This Out of Office app tracks the availability of all agents in the account. It updates all pending, on-hold, and solved tickets with a tag when an agent is unavailable.
Optionally this can be extended to open tickets as well. This allows business rules to be created which act on ticket updates when an agent is unavailable. The app will install a default rule which unassigns tickets which have unavailable assignees when they are set to status "open". The app can also prevent manual assignment of tickets to an unavailable agent.
The Tymeshift APP allows you to automatically track all of the time your agents spend in Zendesk along with the time spent on other activities such as Lunch, Breaks, and Meetings.
This app is going to be a more robust Workforce Management tool that is has a paid subscription for it and based on the subscription you use, would determine the features you have in the tool.
Part 3: Controlling Agent Permissions
Ensuring that agents have access to the things that they need is extremely important. In some instances though, we need to make sure there are certain areas of our instance that agents should not access.
Support User Roles
The agent's role and privileges are defined by admins and may include the following:
- May be added to more than one group (must be added to at least one)
- Add and edit end-user profiles. Agents cannot create or edit other agent or administrator profiles.
- Add public or private comments or both to tickets
- Create and edit their own macros
- Create and edit their own views
- Can view reports
- Note: Only agents with access to all tickets in your Zendesk account will be able to view reports and use Insights reporting.
- Moderate and manage articles in the Help Center
- Access tickets in one of the following ways:
- All tickets in your Zendesk account
- Only tickets assigned to the group or groups to which they belong
- Only tickets received from the organization to which they belong
- Only tickets that they are assigned to
For Enterprise support user there are some additional options to create custom roles that they can use to define agent roles that suit your own organizational structure and workflow.
Zendesk Support also offers a number of predefined agent roles that reflect typical Zendesk Support Enterprise roles.You can use these agent roles as is or clone them and create variations to suit your needs. Or, you can create your own agent roles.
Light agents have limited permissions but can stay informed about tickets and, when needed, provide subject matter expertise and advice by adding private comments. All comments by light agents are private, including the first comment of any tickets they create.
You can't clone or modify the light agent role, except for the two settings for tickets and reporting. Light agents cannot be enabled as Talk agents. Light agents are available as a feature of the Collaboration add-on (see About add-ons).
Part 4: Utilize informative agent reporting
Now that we have created a great agent experience let’s focus on how we can improve our agents by using our Insights tool to analyze and even use in 1 on 1’s with agents, to discuss where improvements can be made.
Let start with some common KPI’s that admins like to view when looking at agent performance
A lot of these metrics are going to be found as part of Zendesk’s out of the box reporting tool. A common dashboard that admin’s can use is found under Insights>Insights View Only Dashboard>Agent Efficiency tab.
See this article on getting Insights setup and running, as we need to enable the Insights tool to start viewing and building reports. See below for the out of box agent reports that start running as soon as you enable Insights.
There are plenty of pre built reports that you can use right out of the box with Zendesk but what happens when we want to build more custom analytics. That is where you can start building custom reports to reflect the data in a way that makes sense for you business.
Like this report that was built by one of customers so they could track the activity of their agents in one report.
Utilize our Insight Resources to guide you in your report building. For those of you looking to boost your reporting knowledge and start to create custom metrics, head to our Zendesk Training portal and go through our Insights Basics and Advanced Analytics courses to really boost your knowledge of the tool.
Bringing it “full circle”...
Focusing your agents skills gives a clear cut path on expectation and creating an easy to use experience for agent can directly relate to the quality of service they provide.
When we create an open environment with scheduling we create visibility for agents and admins to manage their day-to-day and by curating what your agent’s permission are, we then give that extra layer of focus, creating efficiency.
By being open and talking about agent efficiency, we create the opportunity for improvement, creating better agents and support.
We hope that you found this post and our corresponding workshop to be helpful as you get started with designing a more efficient ticket lifecycle but the learning doesn’t have to stop here. Be sure to check out the courses available at training.zendesk.com for instructor-led classes that’ll help you become a true Zendesk expert.