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  • Writer's pictureDevon Harris

9 Common Mistakes I Often See as a Zendesk Consultant

I’ve done quite a few Zendesk optimizations and implementations. Of the two, I definitely prefer the implementation process. Optimizing an existing Zendesk account often means untangling years of operational inefficiencies and disrupting agents entrenched in bad workflows. Here’s my unofficial list of key areas to focus on when reviewing your Zendesk account, whether you are new to Zendesk or have been using it for a while.

1. Ticket Views

Look this is a big topic for debate in the Zendesk admin community, but I'm standing firm on this: YOU DON'T NEED MORE THAN 12 VIEWS! Support agents actively working within Zendesk should only be working out of 2 (maybe 3) views. Managers should leverage views to provide a concise, comprehensive snapshot of inbox health. For in-depth data analysis and insights, turn to Zendesk Explore. I can’t tell you how many Zendesk consultation calls I’ve hopped on where a client has pulled up their Zendesk account and I see views labeled after specific individuals like "Laurens tickets" or "John Tickets."

No one’s backlog should be a view.

2. Build your triggers in the right order

In order to pass the Zendesk Admin exam you have to know the correct order of which triggers should fire: Set, Assign, Notify.

Out of the box, Zendesk is going to provide you with one category of triggers “Notifications”. As you build more triggers this category should be last.

i. Triggers that set the conditions of your ticket.

ii. Triggers that set the assignee of your tickets.

iii. Triggers that notify the requestor, or assignee.

Lance Conzett once offered me a valuable tip: Ensure that your triggers have a single, clear purpose, and that purpose is explicitly stated in their titles. Since I’ve started adhering to this practice, the process of diagnosing trigger issues in the ticket audit log has been a breeze.

3. Assess the right plan for you and don’t increase seat count unnecessarily

Unless you have more than 5 brands to manage, I highly doubt you need an Enterprise account.

Furthermore, I can’t tell you how often I come across clients who are paying for Zendesk Guide and Support a la carte and overpaying for their seat counts.

For most use-case Suite Professional is more than enough - use light agents for your engineering teams.

If you’re onboarding someone new into your Zendesk instance and you’re out of available seats review your current seats. Review the last time people logged in. If they haven’t accessed Zendesk in several months, Slack them and ask them if they still need a full seat.

Never increase your seat count without reviewing the current seats and usage on your account.

4. Send your CSAT out 1 hour after you solve a ticket

If you want more responses on CSAT and you want to be able to actually measure the user experience you need to get more responses. If CSAT feels like “luck of the draw” for agents you’re probably not utilizing ticket statuses correctly and your CSAT survey is likely going out way too late after the support interaction. I recommend sending the CSAT survey 1 hour after you’ve marked a ticket as resolved.

This of course means, you need to utilize ticket statuses properly.

5. Use ticket statuses properly

Define what ticket statuses mean, if you don’t each support agent will find their own use case for Open, On-Hold and Pending.

Furthermore “Pending” should automate tasks for you and your agents should be able to ignore their pending tickets. Pending tickets should automatically send email follow-ups or be associated with the Task ticket type. Agents can set follow-up dates with the Task ticket type and have a ticket reopen from pending at a later date to follow-up.

6. Hide the noise of ticket fields

Employ conditional ticket fields to streamline the agent interface, showing only relevant fields for specific ticket types. For fields agents don't need to see, consider using the Sweethawk app "Hide Ticket Fields." 

7. When a ticket is updated through an automation or trigger, leave an internal note on the ticket through a URL target

Examples: When you send a customer a CSAT, leave an internal note When you create an automation to remind users about their pending support ticket, leave an internal note When you have a ticket move from pending to open because a due date has expired on a ticket, leave an internal note If the priority is raised on a ticket because of trigger, leave an internal note.

This will help your support agents follow the lifecycle of the ticket, and also makes QAing tickets much, much easier.

8. Utilize the ticket type drop-down field correctly

Task: gives you the option to set a due date for a ticket. This is the only date field you can build an automation on. This due-date field can be extremely helpful if you’re B2B and often have customers telling you to reach back out at a certain date. Set the due date under the Task field and create an automation for that ticket to reopen when the due date expires.

Incident: is used to indicate that the requester is experiencing a single occurrence of a larger problem that is affecting multiple users. Link Incidents tickets to Problem tickets for proper tracking and the ability to easily update all of the associated Incident tickets at one time.

Problem: is used to indicate that the requester is having an issue with your product or service that needs to be resolved and that is affecting multiple users. For example, if a popular feature stops working this outage will probably generate several support requests. Instead of handling each ticket separately, create one ticket describing the problem and set the type to Problem.

Question: Not as helpful as the others but you can use the field if you want to indicate when users have questions and not necessarily a support problem.

9. Avoid manually assigning tickets.

It's kind of rude to just throw tickets in someone's backlog with all of their other "Open" work.

For single-person teams in Zendesk, they should still have a designated group for tickets to be assigned to. If they rarely receive Zendesk tickets, it might be okay to assign them tickets directly but go ahead and setup Slack or email notifications so they're notified about assignments or updates.


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