Recording timer information in Zendesk ticket fields

This article for the Zendesk Timers app covers how to go about recording timer information in ticket fields.

This allows you to measure things like SLAs and OLAs; In other words,  how long does it take for a ticket to get a first response? or how long does it take an internal department to perform their task on a ticket before moving it to the next team?

Once you have setup the flow shown in this article to record the timer information, you will then be able to move over to Explore to build reports using the new data.

Recording the timer information can be done in 4 steps:

1. Create the custom number field(s) that will be used to store the timer data on each ticket.

2. Set the timer's definition to send the data to the new field(s).

3. Test that the data is being recorded. 

4. Hide the custom number fields. 


Step 1: Create the custom number field. 

This custom number field will be used to store the time amount that gets fed through from the app.

To create a custom field head over to your Admin Center and under Objects and rules click on Fields and then at the top right click on Add field like this:


Now give your field a name. In this example, we'll be recording the first response time so we've called ours "First response time (mins)". Now select the Number type and click on Save at the bottom. 


If you're on a Zendesk plan that allows for multiple forms, you will then need to add the new field to the form you want to record the data on. To do this click on Forms on the right and then click into the form you want like this: 


Now do a search for the field on the left and drag it into the form fields on the right like this: 


Now click Save at the bottom right. 


Step 2: Sending timer data to the new field.  

Now that you've setup a field to send data to, over in the admin part of the timers app, you can now set one of the definitions to do this. 

First, in Zendesk Support, click on the Timers app icon on the left and then under Timer definitions click on the one you want to record data from like this: 


Now in the section you want to store data from click the + on the right, search for your new field and select to add it like this:


In the case above, we are storing the data at the point the timer is stopped. 

Now, hover over the new field and on the right click the blue plus sign. Then scroll down and select Minutes elapsed like this:



Note that storing the Minutes elapsed is just one of many different types of data you can store from the timers app. There are many other options to store all types of timer information. It really comes down to what data you want to measure. 

Finally at the bottom of the definition, click Save. 


Step 3. Test that the data is being recorded. 

To do this, create a test ticket and start and stop the timer. Then check that the new ticket field has the elapsed time being recorded in it. 

Note: Depending on the permissions settings of your timer definition, you may be able to start and stop the timer manually like this: 


However, if you've set the permissions of the timer to Nobody, the timer can only be started/stopped using Zendesk triggers. 


Step 4. Hiding the new field(s). 

Now that you've tested that the correct data is being recorded and stored on the desired ticket field, you can hide the field so that it doesn't get in the way of your regular ticket fields and agents are not able to update this field manually. 

There are several ways to hide a ticket field for agents. The first is to use our Field conditions app. This is a paid app, but it is also part of the SweetHawk Super Suite so you may be able to install and use this app as part of your existing plan. 

Alternatively you can hide the field using the Hide ticket fields app. This app is free for everyone and can be installed here

In both apps, you'll simply need to check the field you want to hide like this:


Now refresh your browser and make sure the change has taken effect.


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