Agent Guide

Problems & incidents


Deskpro’s problems & incidents feature is useful in situations where you have multiple tickets resulting from the same underlying cause.

problem is something that goes wrong and affects several of your users - for example, a delivery van breakdown or an email server outage.

An incident is an individual ticket that results from a problem - for example, a customer complaining that their order has not arrived on time as a result of the van breakdown, or a user who calls up to say they can’t access email.

One problem can result in many incidents (tickets). A ticket can only be linked to one problem.

If you can’t see the problems & incidents feature, it may be that your admins have not enabled it on your helpdesk, or your agent account doesn’t have permission to view it. In addition, your permissions may restrict your ability to create or close problems. Contact your admins for more details.

Using problems helps you see at a glance which root causes are generating the most tickets. If there’s a sudden spike in tickets, problems can be helpful to understand what has happened and prioritise what to fix.

You can use Mass actions to message all the users affected by a problem to tell them what’s happening, inform them when the problem is fixed, resolve all their tickets at once, etc.

Viewing problems

In the filter pane at the left of the agent interface, the PROBLEMS & INCIDENTS section displays a list of open problems, with a count of each problem’s incidents (tickets) at the right.

Click on a problem to display all its incidents in the list pane.

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When a ticket has been linked to a problem (ie it’s one of the problem’s incidents), you will see this in the ticket’s Properties area:

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The count after the Incidents link tells you the total number of incidents for this problem (including this one). Click on it to view all the problem’s incidents in the list pane.

Creating or linking a problem

You can create a new problem by editing the properties of a ticket. Click on the Problem drop-down, select Create Problem and enter a name for the problem.

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Alternatively, if the problem already exists you can select it in the list instead of creating a new problem.

Closing a problem

When a problem has been fixed and is no longer generating incidents, you can mark it closed. This removes it from display in the main area of the PROBLEMS & INCIDENTS section of the filter pane at the left of the interface.

To close a problem, go to any ticket that is an incident of that problem. In the Problem field of the ticket properties, you’ll see a [ close ] link.

Closing a problem does not resolve or otherwise change its incidents. It just means you can’t add any more tickets to the problem. If you want to mark all the problem’s tickets resolved, the quickest way is to use a mass action.

You can still see closed problems using the Closed Problems control at the bottom of the PROBLEMS & INCIDENTS section. Selecting a closed problem shows all its incidents in the filter pane as before.

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Re-opening a problem

You may sometimes wish to re-open a problem: for example, because a problem you thought was fixed turned out not to be, or because you’re tracking an intermittent problem and you want other agents to be aware that it’s generating incidents again.

If you go to a ticket that is linked to a closed problem, you will see a [ re-open ] link.

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Remember, you can quickly see all the tickets for a closed problem by using the Closed Problems pull-down in the filter pane at left.

Using mass actions

You will often want to work on all the incidents for a problem at once: for example, to send an update to all users, or resolve all the incidents once the problem has been fixed.

It’s easy to do this using Deskpro Mass actions.

Here’s how to apply a mass action to all the incidents for a problem:

  1. Click on the problem in the filter pane at the left of the agent interface, All its tickets are displayed in the list pane.

  2. Click the check box at the top left of the list of tickets to select all the tickets at once. The mass actions window (entitled Apply actions to selections) opens to the right.

    ../_images/mass-action.png

  3. Select the action or actions you want to apply: e.g. to resolve every incident, click Set resolved.

  4. Click Apply at the bottom of the mass actions window.

You can select more than one action e.g. change the department and select Set awaiting user.

You can apply a mass action to a maximum of 50 tickets at a time.

Replying with a mass action

You can enter a message in the mass action reply box to be sent all users of the selected tickets.

If you want to personalize the message (e.g. address each user by name), you can use the same variables as you can in snippets (see Snippets).

Here’s a simple example of how to send a message to all users affected by a problem, addressing them each by name.

  1. Select all the tickets to open the mass action window as above.

  2. In the reply box, type “Dear ” and then enter the variable to address a user by name: {{ entity.person.display_name }}

  3. Enter the rest of the message.

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  4. Click Apply to reply to each user. In each email sent, the variable is replaced with the user’s name.

The following variables are available.

Ticket variables Value inserted
{{ entity.subject }} subject of ticket
{{ entity.department.title }} current department of ticket
{{ entity.product.title }} current product of ticket
{{ entity.department.parent.title }} parent department of ticket
{{ entity.brand.name }} brand the ticket is associated with
{{ entity.category.title }} current category of ticket
{{ entity.workflow.title }} current workflow stage of ticket
{{ entity.priority.title }} current priority of ticket
{{ entity.id }} ticket ID number
{{ entity.ref }} ticket ref code
{{ ticket.fieldX }} display a custom ticket field; replace X with field ID
{{ ticket.date_created }} time and date ticket was created e.g. 2014-03-14 11:38:17
User variables Value inserted
{{ entity.person.display_name }} the full name of the ticket owner
{{ entity.person.first_name }} the first name of the ticket owner
{{ entity.person.last_name }} the last name of the ticket owner
{{ entity.person.primary_email.email }} the email address of the ticket owner
{{ entity.person.organization.name }} the organization the ticket owner is a member of in the CRM
{{ entity.person.organization_position }} the organization position for the ticket owner, if set in their CRM profile
{{ ticket.person.fieldX }} display a custom user field; replace X with field ID
Agent variables Value inserted
{{ ticket.display_name }} the name of currently assigned agent (or override name if set)
{{ ticket.first_name }} the first name of the currently assigned agent
{{ ticket.last_name }} the last name of the currently assigned agent
{{ ticket.agent.primary_email.email }} the email address of the currently assigned agent

Ask your admins to find custom field IDs for you.

If you want to write a message with a lot of variables, it may be quicker to create a Snippets so you can pick variables from a list, then reply with that. If you have to send the same message repeatedly due to a recurring problem, using a stored snippet saves you having to retype it every time.

  1. Select all the tickets to open the mass action window as above.

  2. Click Snippets in the reply box of the mass action window.

  3. Click + Snippet. The Add Snippet window opens.

  4. Enter a title for the Snippet. Enter “Dear” at the top of the reply box.

  5. Click on the 'Ticket' drop-down menu to view the available variables and select User > First Name.

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  6. The code {{ entity.person.first_name }} is inserted. When the users are emailed, this will be replaced with each user’s first name. Make sure to remove any extra white space outside the {{ }} brackets.

  7. Write the rest of your reply.

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  8. Click Apply.

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