In this blog post I want to go over OneDesk’s Workflow Automation tool. I’ll start by describing what it is, what it does, and how it works. Then I will give some examples of some of the things you can accomplish with it.

What is the “Workflow Automation” feature?

The workflow automation tool is a feature built into OneDesk. You can think of it as a rules engine that will automatically perform specific actions for you when some conditions are met. You can use it to make your life easier by automating actions in OneDesk that you would have to do manually otherwise. You can also use it as the “logic engine” part of your workflow to move items between statuses, assignments and more.

At this time, this feature is available for “items” only. This means that you can automate based on tasks, tickets, features, or any of their sub-types. You can find this feature under
Administration > Tasks/Tickets > Workflow Automations

How does it work?

The feature consists of a set of automation rules. You can create, pause, delete and edit these rules. New accounts will have a standard set of rules already created for them.

Each rule consists of the following 3 parts:

  • Some filters: These filters define which items the rule will impact. You can have very general filters (like “all tickets”) or very specific filters (like tickets from customerA, that are in “open” status, and have a 5-star priority)
  • A trigger event: This is the event that occurs in OneDesk (on the filtered item) that causes the actions to be performed. Often this is the item being created, but can be a property change, or even every hour.
  • One or more actions: These are the actions you want OneDesk to take when the trigger event occurs on the filtered items. These actions will update the same item.

What can I do with it?

There are hundreds of cases you could think up that would be useful applications of the workflow automation engine. In fact new OneDesk accounts ship with a bunch of automation rules that you may want to review, disable, modify or delete. However here are a couple of useful examples, to get your imagination going:

Remind assignees of upcoming tasks.

This automation reminds assignees of unfnished tasks that are supposed to be completed earlier than 24h from now.

  • BLUE TAGS: The filters are for tasks, that are in the “not finished” state, have the custom field “reminder sent” to no, and that have a planned finish date earlier (less than) the next 24h.
  • ORANGE TAG: The trigger is “every hour” which means this rule will run every hour to check if any new items now match these filters.
  • GREEN TAGS: The actions send an email reminder to the assignees on the task and set the “reminder sent” custom field to yes

Note: We use the custom field “reminder sent” to make sure that the assignee is not send a new reminder every hour. We therefore had to first create this custom field on tickets. We used a choice custom field and we made this field invisible so as to not clutter our ticket details panel.

Close inactive customer tickets.

This automation rule closes tickets where you have been waiting for a response from the customer for 7 days, and notifies the customer.

  • BLUE TAGS: The filters are for tickets where teh status is “pending customer” and that hasn’t been modified since before than 7 days ago.
  • ORANGE TAG: The trigger is “every hour” which means this rule will run every hour.
  • GREEN TAGS: The actions change the status to “closed” and post a discussion from the bot saying that it has been closed.

Note: This automation works because we have a different automation (on by default) that changes the status to “pending customer” when you respond to them. If the customer responds afterwards this this will put the ticket back into the “pending agent” status.

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