Article | 2 min read

Play nicely in the ticket queue using the Play button or Guided mode

Optimizing ticket workflow is top of mind for any customer service manager. Learn how we’ve implemented a Play button-centered workflow for Zendesk Customer Support teams.

By Brian Harris, Senior Director, Customer Advocacy

Published May 6, 2016
Last updated August 19, 2022

Optimizing ticket workflow is top of mind for any customer service manager and becomes especially important as teams expand and share workload across multiple global offices. Here at Zendesk, it’s no different. I’ll share how we’ve implemented a Play button-centered workflow for Zendesk Customer Support teams.

If you’re not familiar with Play mode, it’s a way to guide agents through the available tickets in a view automatically. In Play mode, agents press the Play button to open the first ticket in the view. After submitting the ticket with their updates, the next ticket in the view automatically opens.

Why work in Play mode?
Play mode prevents agents from cherry-picking the easiest tickets or the types of tickets they like handling best. But beyond avoiding cherry-picking, working in Play mode offers some real benefits. Here’s why we chose it:

  • Efficiency: Using the Play button allows agents to spend their mental energy on solving tickets rather than combing through the queue. It also saves time by automatically skipping tickets that others are already viewing.
  • Workflow definition and priority control: Using Play ensures tickets are addressed in order according to the view. We assign tickets a priority level during triage, and this makes sure we use that field appropriately and consistently.
  • Broadens the agent experience: Agents have the opportunity to grow their skills in product areas they would usually bypass, giving them better overall product knowledge and understanding.

In this discussion, I will share more about how our teams are structured and which teams we decided to implement Play mode for. Either Play or Guided mode, a feature that requires agents to use Play when working through tickets, can be great when you need your team to keep moving through tickets that don’t take long to solve and as a way to enforce best practices.

Guided mode will not be addressed in this discussion, but it is available on Enterprise plans. It’s perfect for support teams that want to simplify agent workflows by pulling the most important ticket automatically from each view, as it reduces the need to spend time and resources manually assigning tickets. In addition, agents that bypass a ticket must enter a reason for skipping, which gives admins insight into training and development needs.

In the full post, learn how we piloted our workflow before roll out, and what changes we saw in ticket metrics as a result. We also hope you’ll ask any questions or tell us how you use Play mode with your team in the comments of the full post.

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