Get out your gardening tools—how to clean up your users, groups, and organizations

By Irene Poltronieri

Published March 24, 2016
Last modified March 24, 2016

Here in San Francisco, we’ve been getting some much-needed rain and now have an extra hour of daylight. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Spring, and so it’s time to do some spring cleaning—err, gardening. Whether you’re starting fresh with a new instance of Zendesk, or are a longtime customer whose users, groups, and organizations may have grown a bit wild, today’s Fine Tuning discussion on maintaining your “zen garden” is for you.

Getting your hands dirty, in the weeds, isn’t always fun, but is an important maintenance task to help ensure workflows are optimized for agents spending their day in Zendesk. Typically, groups and organizations are used to segment end-users and agents, and to automatically route customers to the best person or group to handle a particular task. You can take things a step further by incorporating views, tags, and custom fields for each segment, making the agent-customer relationship even more seamless and to generate more granular reports.

How to join the conversation
Wondering what time this discussion begins? Good news: It’s already underway. We’ve broken our content into three digestible parts, which will be posted at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2 p.m. Pacific time. All you have to do is read through the best practices and leave a comment to ask a question or share your own tips or experience.

Getting started: Learn the elements of your zen garden
I recently read an article about how to create a zen garden. The first few lines read, “It's not difficult to create a constantly changing work of art that is visually pleasing with clean, flowing lines and carefully placed objects.”

I immediately saw a parallel with Zendesk. I would love for our customers to view their Zendesk as a constantly changing work of art that is not only visually pleasing, but is made up of elements with harmonious relationships to one another. So how do we build this space in a way that is simple and ensures peace of mind when we spend time in it?

A zen garden normally consists of an enclosed sandbox which features predominantly sand with some stones, plants, and candles. I would suggest seeing this space as the landscape where interactions between your agents and customers unfold. Your users are your stones, the most important part of your garden. Your organizations are primarily collections of end-users. These organizations are the plants, which usually represent a long life in a zen garden, and we all want our customers to be loyal to us for a long time. Finally, your groups are made of agents only and they are the candles of your garden because they enlighten your customers by providing support to them.

I began earlier this morning by providing an introduction to users, groups and organizations. It’s important to consider these elements early in your process because they are crucial components of every workflow. If you’re new to Zendesk, you might be wondering how groups and organizations differ from one another:

  • Organizations can contain both end-users and agents. It’s a good idea to segment your customers into organizations because you’ll be able to support them based on their company’s unique needs. For example, you can support them based on their location and track requests from different markets. This will also allow you to build custom reports to see trends within these companies.
  • Only agents can be added to groups. Agents must belong to at least one group, but they can be assigned to more than one. Groups can be assigned to an organization’s tickets, allowing agents to better support escalations, provide support in a specific language or time zone, and provide support based on topical expertise.

Feeling more zen already? Join me in the forums to read the rest of part 1, and to learn more.