We have been struggling with issues surrounding primary and secondary email addresses for our end-users. There is a ZD Support thread here that looks like the issue has been going on for over 4 years now and I haven’t seen a workaround or fix published.
Here’s our backstory…
In our configuration, we do an export out of our HR system each night and upload that to Zendesk to populate email addresses for our employees. Each employee should have a company-issued email address and a home email address listed on their profile. The API sets the company email address is set as primary and the home email as secondary.
The problem we have been running into s has been that our employees will email us from their home email stating that they are unable to access their company email. When we go to respond, Zendesk sends the notifications to the primary address on file, which is the email they do not have access to.
We realized the issue after we got several upset employees complaining that we never responded to their request. Their words were, “If I email you from my Gmail account, you should respond to my Gmail account”. I couldn’t agree more.
So then my agents started adding the employee’s Gmail address into the CC field thinking that it would send the notification to both addresses. Unfortunately, Zendesk is too smart. It knows the Gmail address is assigned to an existing user and only emails the primary CRSI address.
We then discovered that we can switch the primary email address on the fly however our agents do not have access to modify customers. We do this because all customer data should be coming through the API. We further secure our instance by allowing only those customers created through the API to submit a request.
We always want a notification to go to their company address for tracking and communication purposes. Our dream would be for Zendesk to message all email addresses on file every single time. We would settle for being able to message both the primary and secondary on a ticket by ticket basis.
After raising the issue to Zendesk support, they recommended two workarounds...
- To treat the secondary email address as email Targets and then notify those Targets through Triggers (not the most convenient assuming the high number of users we are talking about here).
- The other thing would be creating a new user profile using that secondary email address.
Option 1 isn't an option when we maintain thousands of customer records. Option 2 is technically possible but creates another issue. Here is why...
When we receive a ticket, it is auto-assigned to that single person record. Our agents then look at that person's record to get a history of their previous requests. They look for things like:
- Have they requested the same thing before?
- What did we do last time?
- Was that issue resolved or did it bump-bump-solve?
If we were to create a different person record for every single email address on file, the agent lookup functionality would become much more difficult. We would need to search across multiple people records instead of it being housed within one record.
It would also detract from our reporting capabilities since management looks at things like top requesters and an individual’s request history. Since we have several departments inside of Zendesk, it helps us get a better picture of how often someone is reaching out for help which, in turn, shows us where we need to do more training of our employees. Splitting our employees out into individual records for each email address would skew things like top requester and would require extra effort to view a person’s history.
If we were able to send mail to all addresses, or even to CC the secondary address, this would resolve a pain point for our agents and a major communication breakdown for our employees.
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