Can I use the Timers app with chat or messaging conversations?

This article is intended to provide clarity regarding what is possible with chat or messaging conversations with the help of SweetHawk's Timers and Notify apps for Zendesk.


This article contains the following sections: 


Can I track and enforce a first response time?

While it's possible to track and enforce first acceptance for chat and messaging conversations, unfortunately, it's not possible for first response. For many users, this is still an acceptable solution given these two often mean the same thing.

The reason why a true first response cannot be tracked is due to the limited actionable events within the ticket. These can be narrowed down to 3 events.

  1. When the ticket is created.
  2. When the ticket is assigned to the agent after they accept the conversation.
  3. When the ticket is solved or the conversation ends.

Using this information, we can create a basic workflow using the timers app:

  1. Start a timer when a ticket is created. 
  2. Stop the timer when the ticket is assigned.
  3. If the timer ends, notify your agents.

You should now have a workflow that tracks first acceptance, while also alerting agents with a pop-up notification when a conversation has gone unanswered for too long.


Can I start a timer based on the last reply from a customer?

There are many reasons why you might want to start a timer based on the last reply from a customer for chat and messaging conversations. For example, if the customer responds after a long delay, how can we ensure they aren't waiting if the agent has moved to another conversation or gone offline? Ideally, we want to notify the agent or re-assign the conversation to another agent if this happens.

Unfortunately, we're limited by the actionable events within the ticket (see the above section). While not perfect, you could consider notifying the group or re-assigning the conversation if it hasn't been solved within a certain time frame to prevent things from falling through the cracks.

Communicating with the customer that you're stepping away and/or re-assigning the conversation to another agent should always be your first line of defense to avoid unhappy customers.


How do I get started?

If you would like to create the workflow described in this article, we recommend learning how to create a basic timer

Once you've created the basic flow, you can then learn how to create a notification in order to notify your agents when the timer ends.

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