Using custom metrics in Zendesk Explore

Written by
Jude Kriwald
Zendesk Consultant
July 17, 2023
min read

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In Part 1, we covered how to create your very own custom metric in Zendesk Explore. If you haven’t checked that out yet, do so now as we’ll pick up right where we left off. In this article, we’ll cover how you can use your new metric, either on its own, with simple rows to create tables and graphs, or as a building block in subsequent new metrics.

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Using your new metric

Having just clicked save on your new metric, you can now use this metric just like any other. In the report builder, header over to the Metric box on the left and click Add >. Your new metric will be nested under the top drop-down, Standard calculated metrics.

Once you find your metric (I’ve renamed mine to something simpler: Long abandoned calls), click the arrow next to it to see all the functions that Zendesk can perform on it.

As we saw earlier, the end of our formula outputs every Call ID that matches our conditions. We now have the chance to tell Zendesk to count all of these Call IDs. Specifically, I recommend you select D_COUNT rather than COUNT as D_COUNT will only count the distinct Call IDs. This means that, should any Call IDs be output twice by your formula, each will only be counted once.

Go ahead and click on D_COUNT, and you’ll see that your report will now show the total count of all calls that match your conditions

Yes, that 162,759 - but with poor formatting applied!

From here, the possibilities are endless. You can try adding days of weeks as rows, to see which days of the week give you the most abandoned calls, for example.

Even more uses for your new metric

Believe it or not, you can go one step further and use your new metric as a constituent part of yet another new metric.

Let’s say, for example, you want to know what percentage of all inbound calls are abandoned in the queue (after the caller has waited at least ten seconds). To do this, we can use your new metric along with one of Zendesk’s native metrics.

Click the calculator icon once more, on the right of the screen, to head back to the Standard calculated metric creation page.

From there, search for the metric you just made from the Select a field button.

Once you’ve found it, select the one prefixed by D_COUNT and it and it’ll be added to your formula.

Now, simply add a forward slash (/) which tells Zendesk to divide this metric by whatever comes next.

Now, find the metric for inbound calls, again using the D_COUNT version.

You now have a very simple formula:

Total number of inbound calls abandoned in the queue after 10 seconds or more

Divided by

Total number of inbound calls

This gives you the percentage of inbound calls that were legitimately abandoned because the wait time was too long.

Go ahead and name and save this metric. Then, let’s add it to a report on its own.

Under Metrics, click Add > then find your metric. Once you’ve found it, we’re going to use the SUM operator. This is because we don’t actually want any more operations to be applied to this metric as we’ve already done the calculations in the formula of our metric. Using SUM, however, has no impact. It’s the equivalent of writing “4” as “+4”. Simply speaking, they have the same value.

Once you click Apply, you might notice that your report is telling you that 0% of your inbound calls were long abandoned. Whilst this would be great, it’s hard to believe.

What’s happening here is a formatting error. To fix this, we just need to tell Zendesk to format the metric as a percentage. Head over to the paint brush icon, click on Standard next to your metric, and update the format to %.

Now, you’ll see something much more useful and believable!

That’s more like it! To make this look really swish, let’s change the formatting from Table to KPI.

Click the visualisation button, then find and select KPI.

Et voila! You now have an instantly readable, fully custom-built Standard calculated metric that you and your team can look at to monitor your performance and keep an eye on customer satisfaction.

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From formulas to conditions to operators - we’ve covered a lot in this Zendesk Explore guide. Try the steps out for yourself and see how easy it can be to create your own metrics for your dashboards. Or go one better and ask your team/client what metrics they wish they could monitor and see if you can build themself with your newfound skills.

Written by
Jude Kriwald

Jude Kriwald first learned to administer Zendesk in 2015 and has been helping businesses improve their customer operations as a freelance consultant since 2018. Offline, he can be found making maps, paragliding or exploring remote places.

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