Unassign or reassign tickets when an agent is unavailable

Understanding mechanics

As described above, Round Robin enables you to manage agent availability manually or allowing the app to do this automatically by schedule. You can also set up actions that are performed when an agent becomes unavailable/available. For example, unassign tickets that are assigned to unavailable agents or reassign the tickets to a specific agent, and so on.  

You will need to specify strings that will be added to tickets as tags or a private comments when an assignee becomes available or unavailable. Then you can handle actions via Zendesk triggers.

Important:
1) Tags or private comments are added to New, Open, and Pending tickets, but not to On-hold, Solved, and Closed ones.
2) There are two different scenarios of handling the out-of-office logic (only 1 scenario needs to be selected):
   - 1. Reassigning when an assignee becomes unavailable (1.1 "Using tags (by default)" or 1.2 "Using private comments")
   - 2. Reassigning when a customer replies to a ticket (2.1 "Using tags (by default)" or 2.2 "Using private comments"). The main difference from the first scenario is that the assignee is deleted only when necessary.

1.1 Reassigning when an assignee becomes unavailable (using tags)

1. Click Settings

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2. Choose the "specific tag" and specify a string that will be added to tickets as a tag when an assignee becomes unavailable only.

3. Click Submit.

4. Create a Zendesk trigger to unassign tickets when an assignee becomes unavailable. The tag must match its spelling in the Round Robin settings exactly.

5. Ensure that the tickets which are unassigned by the trigger are available in one of the views that you set up as a ticket source view in Round Robin. If done correctly, the app will assign the tickets again to the assignees which are available at the moment.

1.2 Reassigning when a customer replies to a ticket (using tags)

1. Click Settings

2016-10-06_2211__1_.png

2. Choose the "specific tag" option and specify strings that will be added to tickets as tags when an assignee becomes available and unavailable.

3. Click Submit.

4. Create a Zendesk trigger to unassign tickets with the tag "rr_offline" when a customer replies to a ticket.

5. Create Zendesk trigger to remove the tag "rr_offline" when the assignee is changed or becomes available.

6. Ensure that the tickets which are unassigned by the trigger are available in one of the views that you set up as a ticket source view in Round Robin. If done correctly, the app will assign the tickets again to the assignees which are available at the moment.

2.1 Reassigning when an assignee becomes unavailable (using private comments)

1. Click Settings

2016-10-06_2211.png

2. Choose the "private comment" option and specify a string that will be added to tickets as a private comment when an assignee becomes unavailable only.

3. Click Submit.

4. Create a Zendesk trigger to unassign tickets when an assignee becomes unavailable. The string must match its spelling in the Round Robin settings exactly.

5. Ensure that the tickets which are unassigned by the trigger are available in one of the views that you set up as a ticket source view in Round Robin. If done correctly, the app will assign the tickets again to the assignees which are available at the moment.

2.2 Reassigning when a customer replies to a ticket (using private comments)

1. Click Settings

2016-10-06_2211__1_.png

2. Choose the "private comment" option and specify strings that will be added to tickets as a private comment when an assignee becomes unavailable and available.

3. Click Submit.

4. Create a Zendesk trigger to mark tickets with a tag when an assignee becomes unavailable. The string must match its spelling in the Round Robin settings exactly.

mceclip1.png

5. Create a Zendesk trigger to unassign tickets with the tag "assignee_unavailable" when a customer replies to a ticket.

mceclip2.png

6. Create Zendesk trigger to remove the tag "assignee_unavailable" when the assignee is changed or becomes available.

mceclip5.png

7. Ensure that the tickets which are unassigned by the trigger are available in one of the views that you set up as a ticket source view in Round Robin. If done correctly, the app will assign the tickets again to the assignees which are available at the moment.

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23 Comments

  • 0
    Avatar
    Valerie Trenholm

    Why wouldn't we update Solved tickets? If those tickets reopen, they would stay assigned to a potentially OOO agent.

    Answer:
    It is not needed to put a private note for all solved tickets.
    In that case, you just need to use the configuration set "Reassigning when a customer replies to a ticket". That way you prevent the situation when the ticket is open but the agent is unavailable.

  • 0
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    Paolo Gaioni

    Is the "agent unavailable" triggering also when the "by schedule" option is configured?
    We are using schedules; will agents working 9AM-6PM considered "unavailable" at 6PM and then "available" again the next day at 9AM?

    Answer:
    Yes, it is doesn't matter how the availability has been changed - manually or automatically according to the schedule. A private note would be added in both cases.

  • 1
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    Michael Ciraco

    We have our triggers defined exactly as above for case 2. 
    Problem:  RR is not marking solved ticket when agent is OOO.
    As such, if a ticket is solved, and later a customer replies, the ticket moves to open, but, since there's no "OOO" comment in the ticket and thus no tag, zendesk does not unassign the ticket. 
    How can we design a trigger that when a case updated from solved that instructs RR to check schedule?  It seems RR only makes changes to tickets when an agent actively changes their status, so if a ticket becomes open when an agent is OOO, RR makes no tag so tickets don;t move as expected.
    This seems like a critical gap.  Please assist. 

  • 2
    Avatar
    Ulises Soto

    The OOO feature works great however I ran into a very annoying problem.

    The OOO features adds a private comment every time the agent marks themselves available or not available for breaks, meetings, lunch etc. The problem here is that I have "Followers" active in Zendesk and every time a ticket is updated, whether it's a private comment or not, it sends an email notification to all the people listed as followers. Unfortunately, I was not able to find an option to prevent Followers from receiving certain notifications.

    Maybe a possible solution would be to use tags instead of comments?

  • 0
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    Oliver Tietze

    I second the question/suggestion of 'adding a tag instead of a private notice'. We wouldn't reassign tickets immediately but after a certain duration of "unavailable". Flooding the ticket with comments on any status change sounds a bit unpleasant and would be done by tags like a charm (also remove the 'unavailable' tag if the 'available' tag is added).

    @Ulises Soto, I guess the 'unavailable' status is mostly meant to mark "agent leaves the workplace and won't return too quickly". Like 'end of shift' and not 'lunch break'. With SLA goals higher than 1 hour it should not be a problem as the assigned tickets could be processed after the break easily.

    For that reason we would set up the 'unavailable' trigger paired with 'Hours since assignment', but this way, multiple 'unavailable' notes could sum up too easily as mentioned above.

  • 1
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    Chris Stewart

    Hi @mike - What's changed in this article? (I see last edit Aug 13)

    Getting some reports of issues with this from my teams, so want to make sure I've got the latest/correct set up

  • 0
    Avatar
    Mike

    Hi, Chris! My last change dates on Jul 5, 2022. I updated the pictures due to Zendesk updated its interface. The mechanism of the OOO feature hasn't been changed in the past. Feel free to send me the message to support@roundrobin.zendesk.com regarding the issue.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Ulises Soto

    Adding to @Chris' comment, I am getting some reports of tickets being assigned to agents whose status is "Unavailable".

    Edited by Ulises Soto
  • 0
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    Mike

    Hi, Ulises. That case requires the investigation. I recommend you creating a new ticket on support@roundrobin.zendesk.com for further investigation.

  • 0
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    Mohammed Noman Umeruddeen

    We use schedules. I only want the tickets to be reassigned when an agent is on a long leave (more than 2 days). How do I go about it?

  • 0
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    Mike

    Hi, Mohammed. There is no way to do that. The app is adding OOO private comment each time when the agent changes its own status.

  • 0
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    Ben Rosenberg

    Just wanted to confirm I am understanding the functionality of this approach. Does this mean that every ticket assigned to an agent (not in hold/solved/closed) is going to get hit with a private comment every time the agent ends then starts their schedule each day if we are using schedules?

  • 0
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    Mike

    Hi, Ben! Yes, you are correct.

  • 0
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    Alan Pugh

    Hi Mike! I wanted to echo the request to use tags instead of private comments for the Out of Office feature.

    We're loving the app, but this one specific thing feels like it doesn't follow Zendesk standards and causes a lot of noise:

  • 0
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    Gael Thiroux

    Hello Mike
    Is it possible not to show the private note in the ZD ticket?
    This pollutes the mailboxes each time the ticket is modified, I simply want to avoid repeated emails

    Thanks you

  • 0
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    Mike

    Hi, Gael!

    I understand, but as I know - No. But we will think what we can proceed with that. 

    Edited by Mike
  • 0
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    Bryan S

    @mike Question, currently whenever an agent's status goes to unavailable, it definitely leaves a note stating that they are and that ticket gets reassigned, however, if the customer replies to a previously solved ticket after the agent was made unavailable, it opens the ticket back up but it doesn't re-assigns it since the label/comment is not added to solved tickets.

    How could we get around that?

  • 0
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    Alan Pugh

    Bryan, I believe that the best path in that case is to:

    • Create a trigger to add a tag when a ticket goes from Solved to Open
    • Create a view based on that tag
    • Add that view as a new Queue in Round Robin
    • Have Round Robin handle assigning tickets in that Queue
  • 0
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    Mike

    Yes, I agree with Alan. The detailed instruction is described in the "Reassigning when a customer replies to a ticket" section.

  • 0
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    Bryan S

    Thanks, Alan and Mike

    If within the queue creation, I select to assign the tickets to any available agent does the system detect the original assignee is someone available? would automation just leave it to them or actually reassign it to any other available agent?

     

     

  • 0
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    Alan Pugh

    The idea I shared would reassign to the next available agent.

    There's likely a (fairly complex) way of setting up triggers, tags, and multiple views to reassign the reopened ticket to the original agent if they're available -- and reassign to next available if they aren't -- but that's not something that can be done in Round Robin today, and would likely be pretty hacky. 

  • 0
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    Jon Campbell

    is the request to use tags instead of private comments being considered by chance?

  • 2
    Avatar
    Sergei Makarov

    Hi Jon,

    The ability to use tags instead of private comments is implemented and will be introduced this week. 

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