How to create a follow-up timer & workflow

Using the Timers app, you can set timer definitions to perform various actions & workflows on tickets to cater for many use cases. One of those use cases is when you need to follow-up with a customer in X time. 

For example, you may be discussing a new feature with a customer and you believe it will become available in a week or two. So, rather than leaving your ticket Open for that amount of time, you can set your ticket to a status of On-hold, and then using the Timers app, place a 2 week timer with a note. When your timer ends, the ticket is automatically reopened and your note is automatically posted into the conversation of the ticket so you can remember what you needed to do.  



You can set this up using the following steps: 

1. Create a follow-up timer definition.

2. Create a trigger that will stop the timer the instant the duration ends. 

3. Test it out. 


1. Create a follow-up timer definition.

To create a follow-up timer, click into the Zendesk Timers app and under the Timer definitions tab at the top right hand side click on Add definition like this: 



Now give the timer a Name, set a default Duration, leave schedule blank and set permissions to Agents (allowing agents to access this timer manually) like this:



Next under Timer Ended ticket update add the rules:



(This will bring the ticket back into the list of tickets you need to look at)

Comment (private):

Follow-up time reached: "{{}}"

(This will post a private comment to the ticket of whatever note you add to the timer when you apply it to the ticket)

Add tags:


(This allows you to create a trigger that will stop the timer)


Finally click Save.


The rules should look like this: 



2. Create a trigger to stop the timer when the duration ends.

To create a trigger that will stop the timer when the duration ends, back in your list of Timer definitions, adjacent to your new timer, under the Stop column,  click on Create trigger like this:


Now click to edit the trigger like this: 



Initially there will be a couple of rules that check for, and remove, test tags. You can remove these rules. 


Now under Meet all of the following conditions set the rule to: 

Tags - contains at least one of the following - stop_timer


Next under Actions add the rule to:

Remove tags - stop_timer


Your trigger should now look like this:



Finally, click Save



Why do I need to stop the timer?

There is a difference between stopping a timer and when the duration of a timer ends. For this workflow, stopping is superfluous as we only need something to happen when the duration ends. As such, we stop the timer at the point the duration ends, to combine the two actions which makes it easier to understand what is happening with your timers when glancing at a ticket. For more information on stopping, starting and ending timers see this article


3. Test it out.

Open a test ticket in Zendesk and on the right in the Timers app, add your new Follow-up timer to the ticket like this: 



Then set the the description for the thing you want to remember, set the timer to run for 1 minute and then submit the ticket in an On-hold status like this: 


Now when the timer ends, the ticket should automatically be moved to an open status, and the description of the timer should appear in the ticket conversation as a private comment.


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