Before I get into explaining the often-confusing aspects of using and editing time zones in Zendesk, let me give you a real-world example of a ticket I received a few days ago which sparked my interest to create this post.
Have you ever noticed a time difference on Zendesk tickets when compared to another agent?
For example, when you view ticket #12345 and it shows it came in at 3:57 pm, but on that same ticket, another agent sees that it came in at 4:57 pm. Odd, right?
If this issue is occurring, the solution is quite simple, as your time zone is probably wrong in your Zendesk User Profile. Go to your Zendesk User Profile by searching your name in the search box on the right side of your Zendesk Support screen, selecting the Users tab, then selecting your profile. From here, scroll down the left-hand side until you see Time Zone, and select (GMT-5:00) Central Time (US & Canada) or whatever the correct time is where you are.
You can also access your Zendesk User Profile by selecting the gear icon on the left-hand side of the screen and then clicking on People under the MANAGE tab. You can now search your name or select the Agents tab at the top of the screen (under the search bar), and finally scroll down until you see your profile.
Time zones in Zendesk can be somewhat confusing as each User Profile has its own time zone setting; this allows companies with employees all over the world to communicate better. Additionally, each Zendesk Schedule you create can have their own time zone. So, if you had a help desk in New York and California, you can edit their schedules to reflect the actual store hours concerning their time zones.
The timestamps shown in Zendesk tickets are based on your user profile, as mentioned above. However, by default, all Zendesk user profiles are set to your primary account time zone.
Triggers can be activated by specific time zones as well; to do this, select ‘Add Condition’ under ‘Meet ALL/ANY of the following conditions,’ and then from the drop-down menu, select ‘Time Zone’. You will notice you have several options for how you want to use the specified time zone, including ‘Includes,’ ‘Does Not Include’, ‘Present’, and ‘Not Present.’ After picking the modifier (as I like to call it), you will then be shown an extensive list of available time zones.
Let’s say you wish to create a trigger that automatically adds a ‘China’ tag to a ticket, sends it to the group ‘China Returns’, sets the priority level to ‘Urgent’ and then finally informs an employee of the new ticket.
First, I would name the ticket ‘China Returns’, then create my first Condition, ‘Ticket is Created’. Next, I would add the condition, ‘Time Zone Includes CTT China Taiwan Time GMT+8:00’. Since I only want this trigger to fire on Return tickets, I would finally add the condition, ‘Group is Returns’.
Now that I have created the firing mechanism s of the trigger, adding the actions of the trigger is next. First, I would include the Action, ‘Add Tags- China Returns’, followed with the action, ‘Priority Urgent’. Finally, I would add the Action, ‘Email User (Enter User’s Name)’, to inform an employee of the new ticket.
Once this has all been completed, you have now successfully created a trigger that will automatically group, tag, and prioritize any new ‘Returns’ ticket that originated in China, as well as inform a user of the new request.
Service Level Agreements (SLA)
When creating SLAs, you can have them apply to or fire on tickets with a specific time zone; to do this, simply go to ‘Apply this policy to tickets that meet ALL/ANY of these conditions,’ and in the drop-down menu, select ‘Time Zone’. You will notice you have several options for how you want to use the specified time zone, including ‘Includes’, ‘Does Not Include’, ‘Present’, and ‘Not Present.’ After picking the modifier (as I like to call it), you will then be shown an extensive list of available time zones.
Let’s say you wish to create an automation that automatically closes the abovementioned ‘China Returns’ tickets 4 days after they have been solved.
First, I would name the automation ‘Solved China Returns Auto-Close’, then create my first Condition, ‘Ticket: Status is Solved,’ followed by, ‘Group is Returns.’ Next, I would add the condition, ‘Time Zone Includes CTT China Taiwan Time GMT+8:00’ and since I only want this trigger to fire on Solved tickets after 4 days, I would finally add the condition, ‘Ticket: Hours Since Solved (Calendar) Greater Than 96’.
Now that I have created the firing mechanisms for the automation, adding its action is next. For this specific automation, I would only need to add ‘Ticket: Status Closed’ under ‘Perform These Actions’.
Once this has all been completed, you have now successfully created an automation that will automatically close solved ‘China Returns’ tickets after 4 days, based upon the requester’s time zone.
Explore, Zendesk’s analytics and data tool, has two time zones that apply in different situations. The user profile time zone is used by dashboards, query builders, query exports, the dashboard email delivery trigger time, and the drill-through. Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on the other hand, is utilized by dashboard email delivery content. So, when you view a query in the query builder or dashboard, the time zone is set by your user profile, but the content of the deliveries is in UTC.
What is UTC?
UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), for those who do not know, is the standard by which all time zones are based. UTC’s 24-hour time standard is maintained using highly-precise atomic clocks combined with the Earth’s rotation. UTC can also be described as GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) depending on the country.
Time Zone Converter App
To help manage companies with locations/agents in multiple time zones, the Time Zone Converter App automatically converts user and ticket time zones to match other time zones. For those who must count on their fingers to do simple math *raises hand*, the Time Zone Converter app can be of great use.