Note: If you are trialing Freshdesk on the Estate plan and would like to try skill based ticket assignment, you can upgrade your trial account to Forest by going to Admin > Account > Settings > Plans > Billing. You will not be charged until your trial expires


What is Skill based ticket assignment? 


Not all tickets that enter your helpdesk are the same - each ticket might require a different expertise, and so you'd want the agent most experienced in handling such issues working on them. For example, if you’re an e-commerce business, your most experienced agents (Tier 2 agents) should handle complex queries such as reporting banned products or counterfeit items, while your novice agents tackle simpler issues such as tracking packages and modifying account information. You might send tickets from Twitter or Facebook to your social media experts, or tickets from your premium customers to your helpdesk specialists. And, if you’re a global business, you'd obviously prefer that agents with the most proficiency in a language deal with tickets in that language.

 

As a supervisor, manually assigning tickets to the right agents on your group can be time-consuming and tedious - you need to keep track of which agents are best at solving particular issues, while also making sure they're available and don't have a lot on their plate. A workflow like this could mean more reassignments per ticket and longer resolution times.

 

Skill based ticket assignment allows you to easily match tickets to the agent most proficient in dealing with them in your group, while simultaneously maintaining the load that the agent has to work with. You can associate distinct skills to each agent on your team and create rules to make sure that tickets matching those skills are always assigned to them.

 

How does it work?


When tickets are assigned to a group for which skill based ticket assignment has been enabled, they'll be matched with the set of skills that have been created across the helpdesk. Depending on the ticket/contact conditions, a skill is mapped to the ticket and the ticket is subsequently assigned to an online agent in the group who possesses that skill. Once the agent reaches their threshold as defined by the Admin, tickets are assigned as and when the agent resolves a ticket. Tickets are assigned in this manner when they're assigned to the group for the first time, when they're reassigned from another group, or when they're unassigned from a particular agent. 

 

As an Admin, you can create skills, assign them to agents in order of expertise, and define the conditions by which skills are mapped to tickets. If you’re a Supervisor, you will be able to reorder the skills created by the Admin for the agents in your groups. 


Setting up Skill based ticket assignment


Creating skills

  • Login to your support portal as an administrator.

  • Go to Admin > General Settings > Skills > New Skill.
 
                                     
  • Enter an appropriate name and description for the skill.
  • To assign this skill to agents, click Add next to Agents. Click on +, make a selection from the list of agents displayed (you can also start typing to narrow it down) and then click Save.
  • Create conditions that will define which tickets should be mapped to this skill. For example, you can create a condition which will assign every ticket with the requester language Spanish to one of the agents with the skill Spanish Expert.
  • You can add multiple conditions based on ticket/contact/company fields, and choose whether any or all of the rules need to be triggered to map the skill to a ticket.

 


  • Click Save when you’re done (you can create up to 180 skills for your helpdesk).


Reordering skills
When a ticket is assigned to a group with skill based assignment enabled, the skills are checked in the order in which they appear in the Skill List. You can reorder the skills in your Skill List to ensure that every ticket has the most relevant skill mapped to it:

  • Go to Skills > Skill List, and click Reorder

  • Rearrange the skills in your preferred order and click Save


If a ticket does not match any of the skills in the Skill List, it will not be automatically assigned to any agent. These tickets will remain in the unassigned queue until an agent manually picks them up.

 

Assigning skills to agents


Skills are assigned to agents individually and not groups. An agent can have multiple skills mapped to them in order of preference, based on their level of expertise for each skill, which is constant across the helpdesk. There are three ways to assign skills to agents:

  • While creating/editing a skill - You can map a skill to agents while creating a new skill or editing an existing skill. 

    • Under Skills, select either New Skill or Edit next to an existing skill

    • Click Add/Manage next to Agents, then click +, select an agent from the list shown and then Save



  • From the Skill List - You can easily map existing skills to agents directly from the Skill List. 
    • Go to Skills > Skill List
    • Click on the number of agents next to an existing skill and follow the steps as before to add agents to this skill 

                                            


  • From the Agents’ Skills tab - The Agents’ Skills tab shows a list of all the agents in the helpdesk and the skills that are associated with each agent in their preferred order. You can add or manage each agent’s skills from here.

    • Go to Skills > Agents’ Skills

    • You can filter the list of agents by group using the dropdown in the upper-right corner

    • Click on Add Skills or Manage Skills next to an agent’s name
    • Choose the skills you’d like to associate with the agent from the dropdown and then click Save


  • From within the agent's profile - You can associate skills when you create a new agent or edit an existing agent in Freshdesk.

    • Go to Admin > General Settings > Agents

    • Click on New Agent or click Edit next to an existing agent

    • Under the Skills section, click on Manage Skills

    • Choose the skills you’d like associated with the agent, reorder them by order of preference, and click Save


  


If an agent is not assigned any skills but is part of a group with skill based ticket assignment enabled, they will not have tickets automatically assigned to them.


Note: Please be sure to map skills to agents impartially to ensure that tickets associated with a lower preference skill do not remain unassigned for an inordinate amount of time.


Deleting skills


You can also delete skills from the Skill List tab. Tickets that were already assigned to agents based on the deleted skill will not be unassigned. However, tickets with the deleted skill that weren’t assigned to any agent will be checked against the remaining skills in the Skill List.

 

Importing skills


You can also import the set of skills associated with each of your agents in bulk from a CSV into your Freshdesk account using the Import Agent Skills option. If you have a large number of agents, this will save you time when it comes to updating or reordering the skill sets of your agents. 


Before you import skills, please make sure that the .CSV file follows these guidelines:

  1. The maximum length for a skill name is 50 characters.

  2. The skill name cannot contain commas. It can, however, contain  +, &, (, ) or /.

  3. The skill name is case-insensitive. That is, you cannot have a skill named ‘social’ if you already have a skill named ‘SOCIAL’ or ‘Social’.

  4. Each skill/group associated with an agent must be separated using commas.

  5. The skills must be ordered for each agent in the order of preference, based on their level of expertise for the skill.

  6. An agent can be associated with a maximum of 35 skills.


A quick guide to importing skills

  • Go to Admin > General Settings > Skills > Import Agent Skills.
  • You will have the option of downloading your current set of agents, along with their groups and associated skills, as a CSV file. You can edit this file and re-upload it to make changes to the current skill settings for your agents.


  

  • If the CSV file contains a new skill name, a new skill with that name will be created in your helpdesk and mapped to your agents accordingly. You will need to create conditions by which the skill is mapped to tickets separately by accessing it in the Skill List.

  • If an existing agent is associated with a set of skills in the file, their existing set of skills will be overwritten by the CSV data. 

    • Note: If an existing agent does not have any skills associated with them in the CSV, their existing set of skills will be erased. To ensure that this does not happen, please remove any agents that you don't want to modify from the file.


 

  • Once your import is complete, you will be notified via email. You can create conditions for any new skills by accessing them in the Skill List.


Enabling skill based ticket assignment for a group

  • Go to Admin > Groups, and click on Edit next to the group for which you want to enable skill based ticket assignment.

  • Toggle on Automatic ticket assignment and select Skill based ticket assignment from the list.

 

 

  • Click on Manage Skills to create or reorder skills for agents in this group. 

  • Select a threshold for the number of tickets that can be assigned to an agent in this group from the dropdown.  When there are two agents with the same level of expertise for a skill, tickets will be assigned to the agent with the lower load.

  • You can choose to allow your agents to change their availability for automatic ticket assignment by clicking on the checkbox.

  • Click Save when you’re done.



What is Skill based ticket assignment? 


All tickets that come into your helpdesk are not the same. Each ticket requires a different expertise to be worked on and you would want the agent most experienced in handling the issue working on it. For example, if you’re an e-commerce business, your most experienced agents (Tier 2 agents) should handle complex queries such as reporting banned products or counterfeit items, while your novice agents work on simpler issues such as tracking packages and modifying account information. You may want tickets from Twitter or Facebook going to your social media experts or tickets from your premium customers being assigned to your helpdesk specialists. And if you’re a global business, you would want agents with the most proficiency in a particular language dealing with tickets in that language.

 

As a supervisor, manually assigning tickets to the right agents on your group can be time-consuming and tedious. You need to keep track of which agents are best at solving particular issues and also making sure they are available and do not have a lot on their plate. A workflow like this could mean more reassignments per ticket and longer resolution times.

 

Skill based ticket assignment allows you to easily match tickets to the agent most proficient in dealing with them in your group, while simultaneously maintaining the load that the agent has to work with. You can associate distinct skills to each agent on your team and create rules to make sure that tickets matching those skills are always assigned to them. This will help your agents save time in picking up the right kind of tickets to work on. 

 

How does the feature work?


When tickets are assigned to a group for which skill based ticket assignment has been enabled, these tickets are matched with the set of skills that have been created across the helpdesk. Depending on the ticket/contact conditions, a skill is mapped to the ticket and the ticket is subsequently assigned to an online agent in the group who possesses that skill. Once the agent reaches their threshold as defined by the Admin, tickets are assigned as and when the agent resolves a ticket. Tickets are assigned in this manner when they are assigned to the group for the first time, when they are re-assigned from another group or when they are unassigned from a particular agent. 

 

As an Admin, you can create skills, assign them to agents in order of expertise and define the conditions by which skills are mapped to tickets. If you’re a Supervisor, you will be able to reorder the skills created by the Admin for the agents in your groups. 


SETTING UP SKILL BASED TICKET ASSIGNMENT


Creating skills

  • Log in to your support portal as an administrator.

  • Go to Admin > General Settings > Skills.

  • Click on the New Skill button at the top right of the Skills page.



  • Enter an appropriate name and description for the skill.

  • To assign this skill to agents, click on Add next to Agents. Click on the plus sign, enter a couple of characters to select from the list of agents displayed and then select Save.

  • Create conditions that will define which tickets should be mapped to this skill. For e.g., you can create a condition which says that every ticket with the requester language ‘Spanish’ is to be assigned to one of the agents with the skill named ‘Spanish Expert’.

  • You can add multiple conditions based on ticket/contact/company fields and choose whether any or all of the rules have to be triggered to map the skill to the ticket.


  • Hit Save when you’re done to save the skill.

  • You can create up to 180 skills for your helpdesk. 


Reordering skills


When a ticket is assigned to a group with skill based assignment enabled, the skills are checked in the order in which they appear in the Skill List. You can reorder the skills in your Skill List to ensure that every ticket has the most relevant skill mapped to it.

  • Select the Skill List tab in the Skills section.

  • Click on Reorder at the top right.

  • Rearrange the skills in the preferred order and hit Save to save the specified order.


If a ticket does not match any of the skills in the Skill list, it will not be automatically assigned to any agent. These tickets will remain in the unassigned queue until an agent manually picks them up.


Assigning skills to agents


Skills are assigned to agents individually and not groups. An agent can have multiple skills mapped to them in order of preference, based on their level of expertise for each skill, which is constant across the helpdesk. There are three ways to assign skills to agents:

  1. While creating/editing a skill - You can map a skill to agents while creating a new skill or editing an existing skill. 

    • Click on New Skill at the top right or Edit next to an existing skill under Skills.

    • Select Add/Manage next to Agents, click on the plus sign, enter a couple of characters to select from the list of agents displayed and then hit Save.

  2. From the Skill List - You can easily map existing skills to agents directly from the Skill List.

    • Select the Skill List tab under Skills.

    • Click on the number of agents next to an existing skill and follow the steps as before to add agents to this skill.

  3. From the Agents’ Skills tab - The Agents’ Skills tab shows a list of all the agents in the helpdesk and the skills that are associated with each agent in the preferred order. You can add or manage each agent’s skills from here.

    • Select the Agents’ Skills tab under Skills.

    • You can filter the list of agents by Group using the dropdown at the top right corner.

    • Click on Add Skills or Manage Skills at the right end of an agent’s name.
    • Choose the skills you’d like to associate with the agent from the drop down and hit Save.
  4. From within the agent's profile - You can associate skills with an agent, when you create a new agent or edit an existing agent in Freshdesk.

    • Go to Admin > General Settings > Agents.

    • Click on New Agent or click the Edit button next to an existing agent.

    • Under the Skills section at the bottom of the page, click on Manage Skills.

    • Choose the skills you’d like to associate with the agent from the drop down, reorder them by order of preference and hit Save


If an agent is not assigned any skills but is part of a group with skill based ticket assignment enabled, no tickets from the group will be automatically assigned to them.


Note: Please be sure to map skills to agents impartially to ensure that tickets associated with a lower preference skill do not remain unassigned for an inordinate amount of time.



Deleting skills


You can also delete skills from the Skill List tab. Tickets that were already assigned to agents based on the deleted skill will not be unassigned. However, tickets with the deleted skill that weren’t assigned to any agent will be checked against the remaining skills in the Skill List.


Importing skills


You can also import the set of skills associated with each of your agents in bulk from a CSV into your Freshdesk account using the Import Agent Skills option. If you have a large number of agents, this will save you time in updating or reordering the skill sets for your agents. 


Before you import the skills, please make sure that the .CSV file follows these guidelines:

  1. The maximum length for a skill name is 50 characters.

  2. The skill name cannot contain commas. It can, however, contain  +, &, (, ) or /.

  3. The skill name is case insensitive. That is, you cannot have a skill named ‘social’ if you already have a skill named ‘SOCIAL’ or ‘Social’.

  4. Each skill/group associated with an agent must be separated using commas.

  5. The skills must be ordered for each agent in the order of preference, based on their level of expertise for the skill.

  6. An agent can be associated with a maximum of 35 skills.


A quick guide to importing skills

  • Go to Admin > General Settings > Skills.
  • Click on the Import Agent Skills option at the top right.

  • You will have the option of downloading your current set of agents along with the groups and skills associated with them as a CSV file. You can edit this file and upload it to make changes to the current skill settings for your agents.


  • If the CSV file contains a new skill name, a new skill with that name will be created in your helpdesk and mapped to your agents accordingly. You will need to create conditions by which the skill is mapped to tickets separately by accessing it in the Skill List.

  • If an existing agent is associated with a set of skills in the file, their existing set of skills will be overwritten by the CSV data. 

    • Note: If an existing agent does not have any skills associated with them in the CSV, their existing set of skills will be erased. To ensure that this does not happen, please remove any agents that you don't want to modify from the file.


  • Once your import is complete, you will be notified via email. You can create conditions for any new skills by accessing them in the Skill List.


Enabling skill based ticket assignment for a group

  • Go to Admin > Groups.

  • The list of groups in your helpdesk will be displayed. Click on Edit next to the group for which you want to enable skill based ticket assignment.

  • Toggle on Automatic ticket assignment and select Skill based ticket assignment from the list.


  • Click on Manage Skills to create or reorder skills for agents in this group. 

  • Select a threshold for the number of tickets that can be assigned to an agent in this group from the dropdown.  When there are two agents with the same level of expertise for a skill, tickets will be assigned to the agent handling with the lower load.

  • You can choose to allow your agents to change their availability for automatic ticket assignment by clicking on the checkbox.

  • Hit Save when you’re done to save the changes made.


Editing the skill associated with a ticket


As a Supervisor or Admin, you may need to edit the skill associated with a ticket, if you think a more appropriate skill needs to be assigned to it. You need to have the Edit skill required permission to be able to edit the skill on a ticket. This is available by default for Supervisors and Admins.

  • You can edit the skill on a ticket directly under the Ticket Properties section in each ticket or by using the bulk actions in the Ticket List page. 


On the Ticket details page:



Using bulk actions:



  • If you update only the Skill required field for a particular ticket, no other changes will be made to the ticket. 

  • If you modify any other ticket properties for the ticket either on the Ticket details page or using bulk actions, the skill assigned to that ticket will be recalculated. 

Note: Please be sure to modify your skill rules as well to reflect these manual changes so as to ensure more accurate skill assignment to tickets in the future.