When working with tickets you want to work smarter not harder. Using macros can reduce what would normally be a tedious task taking several minutes to respond to a customer into seconds. This interactive "Full circle" session will walk through how easy it is to use and set up macros in your Zendesk account. You can watch the 30-minute webinar about the same topic here!
Throughout this post, you’ll see:
- What are macros and how to use them
- Best practices to consider when creating macros
- Examples of macros used in the real world
- Ways to monitor and report on the impact of macro usage
Answering your questions in the comments below are members of our Customer Success team.
Part 1: What are macros?
Macros - are applied manually by agents. They consist of one or more actions that modify the value of a tickets field.
When you created your Zendesk account, there are four macros that were built in your account to show you how macros work. Feel free to modify them, deactivate or delete them if they don’t fit in your workflows.
Let’s say you have lots of customers submitting tickets about the same issue. In this example, I have lots of customers asking about a refund. For each of these requests, we require the same answer for this type of question.
Instead of having the team manually write out the same response for each ticket. I’ve created a macro that will add a public reply to the customer, change ticket fields, and prompt the agent to submit the ticket in a solved status by simply selecting the particular macro. The changes won’t be saved until you click Submit as Solved and submit button.
Pro Tip: When looking through your macros you can preview what each macro does by clicking on the eye icon.
When responding to a ticket you have the ability to use more than one macro. Let’s say a customer sent a ticket with two questions/issues. If you have macros that are built that address these issues you can apply each macro to the ticket, which adds two comments and address both issues in a single response. Keep in mind that you’ll still want to edit the comments to make sure the two answers make sense with one another.
Part 2: Let’s build
Navigating to macros:
- Click on Admin gear icon
- Scroll down to Manage
- Click on Macros
- Click on Add macro button
Actions you can create:
The main purpose of macros is to act on a ticket. There are all kinds of actions you can create. A lot of these actions will look similar to the actions you can create with triggers and automations.
Here are some actions that you can create:
- Add a templated canned response to your most commonly asked questions.
- Change the subject of the ticket and update custom fields.
- Assign the ticket to a group and cc other agents to the ticket.
If you enable rich text formatting in your account you can apply it to your macros. Remember that you can add images into comments and hyperlinks. Lastly, one that people sometimes forget is the ability to add attachments. If your organization needs to send a pdf document or form, you can add attachments with your response in a macro.
You can also personalize your macros by adding the first name in the comment or custom fields to fill in information using placeholders.
Creating macros from tickets
Another feature that I like to point out is the ability to create a macro from an existing ticket, which enables you to copy any ticket fields and comment from the ticket into a macro.
Let’s say you’re working on a ticket and the issue is a common question that is coming up often. In my example, I have a customer that is asking about a large order. This is the third time I had a ticket like this today. You can replicate that experience and process again for the next customer by creating a macro.
In my example, not only did the macro copy over the comment, but it also brought along the status, priority, assignee, and tags. Now I can use this again whenever this situation comes up.
Use a simple naming convention for your macros. The key here is to make sure the name reflects what the macro is doing.
It’s also a good rule to add a description. This isn’t difficult, but filling it out clearly and comprehensively is vital when you have multiple macros. This also makes it easy for admins and agents to recognize what the macro is about.
Think about who needs to use the macro. Agents have a lot to look at and as an Admin you want to make sure that you reduce that noise. You can adjust who the macro is available for: all agents, agents in a specific group or to you only.
Most support teams create and use lots of macros. As your list of macros grows, you may find it difficult to quickly locate macros when you’re trying to apply one to a ticket. You can categorize macros to make it easy to locate.
You can categorize macros by including the categories in your macro titles and separating them with two colons.
Part 3: Macros in the wild
Internal escalation paths
Whenever you’re escalating a ticket it’s important for the next team to get all the information and context in order to resolve the ticket. During the transition, it's easy to forget to transfer valuable information.
Let’s take an example that one of our Zendesk community members shared. You get a ticket about a bug or a defect in your product and need to send this over to your development team to work on.
You can also use placeholders so the next team can easily see all the ticket information that is relevant to them.
Making sure the right people get the right information will decrease support time and help create happy customers and teams.
Train with ease
If your training process requires agents to work with a mentor to review their response and provide feedback before they send it out to the customer, macros can make this process a breeze.
- First, have your agents create a subset of training macros for themselves.
- When agents take their first tickets they can use the training macro to submit their response to the customer as an internal note and guide them on next steps.
- Have the macro assign the ticket to the mentor to review and cc the new agent on the ticket so they get a notification when the mentor is reviewing it.
- After the mentor has offered their feedback, they can reassign it back to the new agent and have them send their response to the customer.
In addition to this workflow, use macros in your agent training so they can learn about your procedures and best practices and see them in action.
Use macros to collaborate with other teams and third party vendors
If you have the Zendesk collaboration add-on, you can use macros with side conversations.
Side conversations is a new feature that enables agents to collaborate with people on any team inside or outside your company directly from a ticket. It makes it easy for agents to send a note to people outside of the main conversation so that agents can get the context they need and reply back to customers with the right details.
In my example, I have a ticket with a delivery issue and need to send this comment to the delivery team for more information. I can use the delivery macro to bring up a side conversation to email the delivery manager to collaborate on the ticket.
Just another way to simplify your process and ensure that the right information is being passed to your team or outside vendor.
Part 4: Managing macros
Once you’ve created all of your macros, don’t just forget about them. Evolve and improve your macros over time, as your product and services change so will your macros.
Quality control tools
In Zendesk, we have some simple and helpful quality control tools to monitor how your macros are doing.
When you go to your macro page you can sort the list to see which are most used. This will give you insight to any macros that aren’t firing and ones that are not being used and can decide if you want to deactivate or delete them.
A good rule of thumb is to review your macros at least on a quarterly basis to either update or deactivate ones that you aren’t using. Again, think about the agent experience and make sure they have tools that are relevant.
If you need to make a change to your macro, you can use the Rules Analysis feature provided on the Enterprise Support plans.
Reporting on macros
As with any workflow you want to be able to report on it. This reporting tip is shared by one of our Zendesk community members.
While you can’t run a direct report on a macro, you can still easily get all the information you need. Within the macro, add a tag to the ticket and run a report on that tag within Insights. U
Pro Tip: Compare Macro usage with customer satisfaction responses to see how your customers are responding to macros to gauge if you need to make updates to the information.
Bringing it full circle
“10x results don’t always require 10x effort” - Timothy Ferris
Increase agent efficiency and save time by eliminating repetitive tasks. Seconds lead into minutes and that can translate into dollars saved over time.
We’d love to hear how your team uses macros, share your favorite macros in the comments below.