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Using Zendesk Custom Objects as a Field Service Tool

Updated: Feb 12

Are you looking for a way to manage your field service technicians using your Zendesk ticketing system?


Field Service Technician

Zendesk has many features and channels to help you provide omnichannel support to your customers but it does not have a native Field Service solution. This post will show you how the Zendesk Custom Objects feature can be used to create jobs as objects and link them to tickets. Zendesk Custom Objects extend the Zendesk data model and will enable you to integrate your custom data with tickets, triggers, and Explore analytics.

You will need the Custom Objects module within Zendesk which is available on all Zendesk Suite plans.

You can register for a free Zendesk trial here if you don't have Zendesk.


Zendesk Field Service Overview


With this solution agents will be able to view field service job related information in tickets and view jobs by type, assignees, customers, and locations.

The ticket will include a custom object lookup field that is linked to a Jobs object containing all the job information including job type, status, teams, technicians, and locations.

Custom Object Screen

Custom Objects


A custom object is a user-defined object with unique fields.

Read more here about Zendesk Custom Objects:

There are a few requirements for using custom objects and some limitations you should consider before turning on the feature. In this functional example of setting up a Field Service tool, we need 6 objects. To configure this functionality you will need at least a Zendesk Suite Professional plan which allows up to 3o custom objects. You could remove one of the objects from this example if you have the Suite Growth plan which allows 5 custom objects.

Requirements

Your account must meet the following requirements to use custom objects:

  • You must have a Zendesk Suite or Support Enterprise plan.

  • The Agent Workspace must be activated for your account.

Limitations

Custom object and field limitations

  • Your maximum number of custom objects depends on your plan:

  • Suite Team: 3 custom objects

  • Suite Growth: 5 custom objects

  • Suite Professional, Support Enterprise: 30 custom objects

  • Suite Enterprise and Enterprise Plus: 50 custom objects


You must have a Zendesk Suite or Support Enterprise plan, and the Agent Workspace must be activated for your account :


Create Custom Objects and Ticket Field


  • Create the following objects and associated fields (Name and External ID fields are default fields that are included automatically when you create an object)

  • Go to the Zendesk menu: Admin Center > Object and rules > Objects to create objects.​

  • Create a Job Status object with the key: job_status - (no additional fields needed)

Custom Objects
  • Create a Location object with the key: location

Location Object

  • Add the following fields

  • Address (Field type: Text; Field Key: address)​

  • City (Field type: Text; Field Key: city )

  • State (Field type: Text; Field Key: state)

  • Zip (Field type: Text; Field Key: zip)

  • Contact Name (Field type: Text; Field Key: contact_name)

  • Contact Email (Field type: Text; Field Key: contact_email)

  • Contact Mobile (Field type: Text; Field Key: contact_mobile)

  • Organization (Field type: Lookup > Organizations; Field Key: organization)

  • Create a Team object with the key: team

Custom Objects

  • Add the following fields

  • Contact Person (Field type: Text; Field Key: contact_person)​

  • Contact Email (Field type: Text; Field Key: contact_email)

  • Contact Phone (Field type: Text; Field Key: contact_phone)

  • Create a Technician object with the key: technician

Technician Custom Object

  • Add the following fields

  • Email​ (Field type: Text; Field Key: email)

  • Mobile (Field type: Text; Field Key: mobile)

  • Team (Field type: Lookup > choose the Team object created earlier; Field Key: team)

  • Create a Type object with the key: type - (no additional fields needed)

Type Custom Object
  • Create a Jobs object last with the key: jobs

Jobs Custom Object

  • Add the following fields

  • Description​ ​ (Field type: Multi-line; Field Key: description)

  • Scheduled Date ​ (Field type: Date; Field Key: scheduled_date)

  • Completed Date ​ (Field type: Date; Field Key: completed_date)

  • Team ​ (Field type: Lookup > choose the Team object created earlier; Field Key: team)

  • Technician ​ (Field type: Lookup > choose the Technician object created earlier; Field Key: technician)

  • Type ​ (Field type: Lookup > choose the Type object created earlier; Field Key: type)

  • Location ​ (Field type: Lookup > choose the Location object created earlier; Field Key: location)

  • Job Status ​ (Field type: Lookup > choose the Job Status object created earlier; Field Key: job_status)

  • Create a Job Lookup Relationship custom ticket field and choose the Jobs object created earlier as the related object.

  • Add the field to the ticket form

Form Field
Ticket Form


Add Records to Objects


  • Use the Custom Objects icon in the Agent Workspace to create records for each of the objects created earlier (Support Agent Workspace > Custom Objects).

  • Add the desired records to all objects except Jobs.

  • The image shows an example of the Job Status records

  • Add your first job record to the Jobs object last.

Job Records


Link your first Job


  • Open a new ticket and use the Related Job field dropdown to link the job you created

Linking Job

View Linked Job


  • Use the Preview record icon to the right of the related job lookup field in the ticket to display the job information in the preview panel to the right of the ticket.

Linked Job
  • Use the View More Details icon in the top-right of the job preview to see more details.

  • Use the hyperlinks for Team, Technician, Type, and Location to view more detail for each object.

Job Details




Adding related job details to ticket comments

Currently, the native Zendesk functionality does not have a way to transpose the Object data to ticket comments. This functionality would enable agents to add the job details to an internal or public comment which can then be shared with customers or technicians via notification emails or side conversations.

 

We have developed an Object Commentator sidebar app that is available in the Zendesk Marketplace that allows Custom Object data to be copied to ticket comments. The first beta version of this app is limited to only work with a single related lookup custom ticket field. Click here to view the app in the Zendesk marketplace

Object Commentator App

Feedback

We would love to hear your feedback or any other requirements you might have to help you make your Zendesk solution more efficient. Please feel free to comment on this article or contact us using the contact form.


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