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Zendesk SMS Updates


Zendesk provides the ability to set triggers and automations which can perform a range of actions when certain changes and updates are made.

Alongside our SMSC Bulk API, these can be used to receive SMS updates when these specific triggers occur. 

In this article we're going to show you how to setup SMS updates using our own example, giving you the ability to create the same automation or one of your own.


The Requirement

In this example we'll say a company has a range of clients, all of which vary in spend and priority. We've created a client priority within Zendesk and we've sorted the clients into priorities A, B and C. We want to receive SMS updates when a priority A or B client creates or updates a ticket.

We do know, however, that within business hours there will be people to deal with the tickets, so we only want to receive these outside of our working hours.

We've set an Organisational Field labelled 'Client Priority' to determine which clients we will receive updates for. This field creates a tag assigned to each clients ticket which we will use for our trigger. We've listed our tags as a_client, b_client and c_client. If you're unsure how to do this, I've added a short explanation here.


The Extension

To begin, we'll need to tell Zendesk what to do when a specific trigger is hit. We do this by creating an extension. The extensions section can be found in Admin>Settings>Extensions>Targets.

We start by selecting Add Target and when given a choice of options, choose URL target.


We're now given a list of options to fill out:

Name: We'll name this something simple so it's not forgotten later. 'Notify Me'

URL: This is the URL Zendesk will send the request to when the trigger is met. This is where we add the call to the txtNation SMSC:<title>&dst=<msisdn>&dr=1&type=0&user=<username>&password=<password>

Notice I've left out the 'msg' parameter. This is because the extension has a separate field for this further down.

Method: The SMSC can handle GET or POST requests - for this example, we're using GET.

Attribute Name: This is the reason we leave the msg parameter out of the call above. Here we enter the message attribute which, as listed above, is msg. By doing this, Zendesk will append the API call with &msg=<your message> each time a trigger is enabled.

Basic Authentication: If you're using an API which has username/password authentication enter them here. As the username and password parameters are included in the URL above, you can leave these blank.


The Trigger

Once Zendesk knows where to send our calls, we'll need to tell it when to send them and what to include.

We now head to Admin>Business Rules>Triggers. And select Add Trigger.

It's best to separate each update as it's own trigger, this makes it easier to change or remove them when needed. We'll name this trigger 'A Client Update'.

We're now faced with the conditions of the trigger. This is what Zendesk will use to determine whether a trigger has been hit and a message should be sent. 


Meet ALL of the following conditions

We need to begin by ensuring it's only our customer's who we receive updates for, we don't want to receive messages every time an agent updates a ticket. To do this, from the drop down boxes, we choose Other: Current user > Is > (end-user).

We can use the Capture.PNG icon to add another condition.

As mentioned above, we've used our client priorities to add tags to their tickets. We can now use these to ensure we're only receiving updates for our higher priority contacts. We do this using the drop down boxes again, selecting Ticket: Tags > Contains at least one of the following > a_client.

Finally, we mentioned earlier we don't want to receive these messages within business hours. To do this we choose Ticket: Within business hours? > No (You can set your business hours in Admin>Settings>Schedule).


Meet ANY of the following conditions

Now we've set which tickets we'd like to activate the trigger, we now need to set when. We want to receive updates when a ticket is created or updated, so we add two simple conditions: Ticket: Is... > Created and Ticket:Is... > Updated


Perform these actions

Now we need to assign the trigger to the extension we created earlier, and choose the message to send. We begin by selecting the action drop-down box and choosing Notifications: Notify target > Notify Me (Or whatever you named your extension).

We can enter anything we want into the Message field which will be sent each time the trigger is notified. Zendesk gives us the ability to add placeholders into our messages, allowing helpful information such as client name, ticket ID and current assignee to be automatically added to the message. A full list of available placeholders can be found here.

Once you've chosen your message and saved your trigger, the setup is complete. Now, when any A priority clients message out of hours, you'll receive an automatic text message notifying you. 

We can also clone this trigger from the triggers list and simply change the ticket tag to b_clients to receive notifications for our B priority clients too.


As always our technical support team are on standby if you have any questions. Also we would love to hear from you if you have any new ways to use SMS in your Zendesk or any other CRM. Don't forget we also offer 2-way SMS so users can reply to your SMS messages and their responses are logged as tickets in your CRM or helpdesk.

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