Assignment is about keeping track of which agent is responsible for each ticket.
There are two separate types of assignment: you can assign tickets to an agent or to a Team (a group of agents).
Agent and team assignments are independent - a ticket can be assigned to one or the other, or neither, or both.
This screenshot shows the Agent and Team assignment controls on an individual ticket:
Select the agent or team to assign using the pull-down menus.
You can also click the Assign to Me link as a quicker way to assign the ticket to yourself. Similarly, the Assign to My Team assigns the ticket to your primary team (the primary team is set by your admins).
Assigned tickets have an Unassign link to clear the agent or team assignment.
Assignment is important because it affects the notifications your receive, and interacts with permissions.
There is a set of notification preferences about assignment (for both email and browser notifications).
You can use these to select the notifications you get based on the assignment status of tickets.
For example, you may choose to receive notifications only for tickets that get assigned to you directly.
In the example above, the settings in the My Tickets row mean you would get notifications when a new ticket was created with you as the assigned agent, or when an existing ticket was assigned to you - but you wouldn’t get notifications for Unassigned Tickets, for instance.
Remember that your admins may have disabled your ability to set your own notification preferences.
If a ticket is assigned to Agent A, that doesn’t necessarily stop Agent B acting on it: Agent B may still be able to reply to the ticket, assign it to another agent, etc.
Depending on how your admins have set up the helpdesk, you may not be able to edit, answer or even see tickets that aren’t assigned to you. For example, your admins may decide that some agents can only access tickets that they’ve already been assigned.
Agent assignment also overrides department permissions. If an agent doesn’t have permissions for the department a ticket is in, they can’t even view it. But if the ticket is assigned to the agent, they can view and edit it (subject to their other permissions settings) even if it stays in the same department.
See the section on Departments for more details.
On most helpdesks, newly created tickets will typically be unassigned. Unassigned means not assigned to an agent or a team.
In some helpdesks, agents may just pick which unassigned tickets they want to handle. You’ll notice that there are quick controls for Assign to Me and Assign to My Team.
When you reply to a ticket from within the agent interface, the default is to assign it to yourself.
In other helpdesks, some agents may be responsible for assigning tickets to the right agents/teams.
Note that if another agent is replying to a ticket, you can see a live preview of what they’re typing. This makes it easy to see when someone else is answering a ticket, even if they’re not assigned to it.
If you want to make sure that nobody else works on a ticket, you can lock it. This stops anyone else updating the ticket. See Ticket actions for details.
Instead of assigning a ticket to an individual agent, you can assign it to a team: a group of agents.
Teams are useful because they let you bring a ticket to the attention of multiple agents.
Typically, agents who tend to answer the same type of tickets would all be in the same team: for example, you might use teams for Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 support. An agent can be a member of more than one team.
Agents can set team notification preferences, just as they can for individual assignment.
Note that a ticket can be assigned both to an individual agent and to a team, independently. If a ticket is assigned to you individually, and you assign it to a team, it will still show up in your “My Tickets” filter.
You have the same permissions to modify a ticket that’s assigned to your team as you would if it was assigned to you directly.
You can quickly assign a ticket to your primary team (set by your admins) by clicking Assign To My Team.
Following is a way to keep track of a ticket without it being assigned to you.
You can add yourself as a follower if you want to keep an eye on a ticket. If you follow a ticket:
Agents can also add each other as followers. For example, suppose you are training an agent who’s not ready to answer tickets; you don’t want to assign them tickets, but you could add them as a follower to a ticket that you want them to watch.
The permissions you have as a follower of a ticket are not necessarily the same as the permissions you have if it’s assigned to you. For example, your helpdesk may be let you modify tickets you’re assigned, but not tickets you are following.
Your helpdesk may also be configured to add you as a follower if a user cc:s you in on a ticket email.