Common use cases for custom Zendesk notifications

Written by
Craig Stoss
Director of CX Services at PartnerHero
May 28, 2023
min read

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Taking a more proactive approach to customer support can pay off big time.  

One of the easiest ways to shift your support team to a more proactive stance is through setting up custom notifications within Zendesk. In the first post of this series, we looked at the many different kinds of notifications Zendesk allows for.

In this second post, we’ll explore some of the most common use cases for Zendesk notifications, including the recommended notification type for each use case. 

These are situations that customer support teams experience all day, every day. By leveraging custom notifications in these familiar scenarios, you’ll make it easier for your support team to assist customers and deliver a consistently high level of service.

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Everyday scenarios for using custom Zendesk notifications 

Like it or not, customer support can be a repetitive job. If one customer asks a question about your product, chances are hundreds or thousands of customers will some day ask that same question.

Six common use cases for Zendesk custom notification include:

  • Ticket assignment notifications
  • Ticket escalation notifications
  • Notifications of tickets approaching SLA breach
  • Stale ticket notifications
  • High-priority customer ticket notifications
  • Survey response notifications

Keeping the right people informed—or getting the right people involved quickly—can transform each of these scenarios into a far better customer experience.

Ticket assignment 

When using skills-based routing or automatic assignment of tickets, making sure the assigned agent knows they've been assigned a new ticket in real time is vital. Without these real-time notifications, you’re unable to deliver a fast response time and you risk keeping customers waiting needlessly. These types of notifications are especially important when escalating support tickets to another tier or to management.

The most important condition for this type of notification is the meet ALL condition "Assignee is Changed.” The Actions section should include "Email User {assignee}." The combination of this Condition and this Action ensures that the new assignee gets alerted each time a ticket is sent their way. 

If your workflow requires it, you can also add other Conditions and Actions—just make sure you don’t lose sight of this critical one!

Recommended Notification Method: Assignee Email Trigger

Ticket escalation

Support tickets get escalated for a variety of reasons, such as: 

  • Angry customers
  • Insufficient technical knowledge
  • Suspected system outages
  • Security issues

When this happens, you’ll likely want to make one (or more) teams aware of the escalation—a perfect use case for a custom notification.

The type of escalation will dictate exactly what you need to do in this scenario, from alerting a team lead to the ticket, to keeping people updated, to having a group of experts weigh in on the ticket and provide assistance.

There are a few things to keep in mind for escalation notifications:

  • Consider if you only want to notify people once when a ticket becomes escalated, or if you want to provide ongoing updates on each edit for a ticket in an escalated status. Your preferred choice will influence the conditions you select.
  • There are many ways to determine if a ticket is in an escalated status. You might set the Priority to Critical, add a special tag, or set a custom field to a certain value. Using these types of indicators can help you send notifications only to the people you want and only for the types of escalations they need to know about.

Recommended Notification Method
: Group Email Trigger

Approaching SLA breach

It’s often necessary to focus your team's attention on specific tickets. 

One common scenario support agents encounter frequently is when open tickets are about to breach an SLA. Quick action is vital in the scenarios, which means a custom Zendesk notification might just save the day.

This type of warning functions as a spotlight, drawing your team’s attention towards responding to tickets that otherwise might miss a customer expectation and cause frustration. It’s a complex use case, but Zendesk has created a step-by-step guide to walk you through it. While it can take a bit of time to set up, it’s well worth it if it helps you meet contractual obligations and maintain the agreements you’ve made with your customers.

Recommended Notification Method: Slack Webhook Notification through Zendesk Automation

Stale tickets

Stale tickets tend to clog up an agent's backlog, frustrating both customers and support managers. When a ticket hasn't had a response in several days, it tends to get lost or forgotten. Support agents are dealing with a constant influx of new customer issues, and a notification can function as a reminder that additional action is necessary. 

The exact details of these notifications can vary widely, but you’ll likely want to use a condition like Hours since assignee update or Hours since category on-hold. 

Recommended Notification Method: Email Automation

High-priority customers

When a customer is a VIP or a known churn risk, it's a smart idea to keep certain people in the loop when they’re reaching out for customer support. 

By using Zendesk Organizations or other User Field data, you can set up notifications which let stakeholders know that something is happening with their account. A common example of this would be notifying a CSM that a struggling customer reached out for assistance. 

Recommended Notification Method: Email Trigger or CSM Tool Integration

Survey responses

Voice of the Customer (VoC) feedback is recognized as one of the most important ways to learn what your customers want. Responding to feedback is a critical part of any VoC program. When you receive a Satisfaction Survey response in Zendesk, making sure the response is seen, acted upon, and responded to is incredibly valuable.

Zendesk makes this easy. 

Simply use the Satisfaction has Changed condition and an email trigger, and your team will know every single time a survey is completed. Consistently getting eyes on these responses will surface meaningful customer insights to your leadership team, as well as give you the opportunity to respond to your customer directly and address their feedback or concerns.

Recommended Notification Method: Email Trigger

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Custom notifications for a better customer experience

In the customer support world, timeliness and meeting expectations is of utmost importance. 

Custom notifications in Zendesk are one low-effort way to prevent oversights, mistakes, and consistently share knowledge to important stakeholders.  Each of the use cases above highlights a valuable way to improve your customer experience by surfacing tickets to the right person or people.

  • Ticket Assignment and escalation notifications focus on making sure responsibility parties know what action they need to take
  • Stale tickets and SLA Breach notifications highlight tickets that need prioritized responses to avoid frustration and further delays
  • High-priority customer and survey response notifications ensure that appropriate users have eyes on the customer’s account and are informed on your broader customer sentiment and desires

Taken together, custom notifications in Zendesk are a great step forward in consistently improving the experience you provide for your customers.

Written by
Craig Stoss

Craig has spent time in more than 30 countries working with support, development, and professional services teams. He’s administered Zendesk himself, and he’s currently building out a team of Zendesk consultants in his role as Director of CX Services at PartnerHero. In his spare time, Craig leads a local Support Thought Leadership group and writes for Supported Content.

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