Why you need urgent FreshDesk notifications

Here at MemberFix we try to provide the fastest possible turnaround time for our customers’ ticket requests.

But sometimes, our customers require immediate, urgent assistance for various emergencies. E.g. a hacked website, downed server, unable to accept payment, etc.

For this purpose, we have a special Urgent priority status for tickets in FreshDesk

 

The problem with FreshDesk—which we generally like—is that in this case we would have to refresh the Recent Activities feed to see new tickets as our customers submit them. 

Since our team can’t monitor the FreshDesk feed 24/7 we needed a reliable way for FreshDesk to notify our entire team of urgent tickets as soon as they appear.

Fortunately, FreshDesk allows you to integrate Slack—which we use for our team chat—to push notifications directly to a Slack channel once an urgent ticket pops up. 

Unfortunately, however, that feature is only available on the higher paid plans. D’oh!

So what if, like us, you have a relatively small team and only use the basic package of FreshDesk—we’re on the “Sprout” plan—but still want to be able to send urgent notifications to Slack?

No problem, we’ve got a nice little workaround that will allow you to do exactly that!

The Kung-Fu of FreshDesk Dispatch’r rules!

1 – Login as the owner of your FreshDesk account (NOTE: Only the owner can setup the required rules in Freshdesk. This won’t work if you are using a standard admin user).

2 – Go to Admin, scroll to Helpdesk Productivity and go to Dispatch’r, you will see something close to that:

3 – Hit ‘New Rule’, name your rule and give it a description if you would like to, after that you will need to pre-define conditions that will activate a trigger:

4 – Select the ticket field(s) from the dropdown that you want FreshDesk to check for every time a new ticket comes through your system. In our case, we’re looking at the ‘Priority’ status.

5 – Select a condition to check, you can select ‘IS’ or ‘IS NOT’ which are logical TRUE or FALSE respectively. We will use ‘IS’.

6 – Select a ticket field option that will activate the trigger. In this case we’re using ‘Urgent’ as the status that will trigger a notification.

7 – Choose the action(s) you want to occur when a ticket meets the conditions you set up. For our setup, we will need a ‘Trigger Webhook’ action.

8 – Request type POST because we will be sending data to an external source

*Note that using the POST request type is a best practice, as opposed to GET requests which have security vulnerabilities. Whenever possible, stick with POST requests.

Once the above steps completed you will see the following:

9 – Callback URL is something you will leave blank for now, we will be returning to that a little bit later.

10 – Now set Encoding to ‘JSON’ and Content to ‘Simple’.

11 – Now let’s select the ticket fields whose values you want to send to Slack when FreshDesk sends the notification. We like to keep things simple so we only use the fields that are absolutely essential for us:

  • Subject (In order to quickly understand what the ticket is about)
  • Ticket URL (For instant access to the ticket since we’re already logged in to FreshDesk)
  • Requester name (To know who has sent the request in)
  • Requester email (That was not really necessary but some of our customers have team members who send tickets on the customer’s behalf, so this is just a bit of useful meta data)

While this first stage is done, please keep that tab open in your browser because you will need to return to it with Callback URL you’ll get from Zapier! Let’s go grab that now.

Creating your Zap in Zapier

1 – Log in to your Zapier account in a new tab and hit the ‘Make a Zap!’

2 – You will be asked to choose a trigger app, scroll down a bit to built-in apps and select ‘Webhooks’

You will see 2 options: Retrieve Poll and Catch Hook:

3 – Select ‘Catch Hook’ and hit ‘Continue’

At this point, you have everything you need to complete the setup on the FreshDesk page we left open in the other tab.

4 – The URL that you see after this step is your ‘Callback URL’. Copy and paste this URL into the respective field in FreshDesk.

5 – Once you’ve pasted the URL, hit save.

Creating a sample hook

One more little thing you will need to do is to go and create an urgent ticket in your FreshDesk.

This will send an example post with sample data that you will use to configure a layout for your notification.

Here are the steps to do this:

1 – After you created a ticket in FreshDesk and hit “OK, I did this”, you will see that Zapier has pulled some data from the ticket you just created:

2 – You should see the data you entered into your test ticket. If everything is in there then hit the ‘Continue’ button to proceed.

3 – Now you will need to add an Action to your Zap.

To do so hit ‘Your Zap currently lacks an Action step. Add one now!’

4 – From the list of application select ‘Slack’ (Tip: use the search field on this page to quickly find Slack in the listings).

5 – Select ‘Send Channel Message’ from the available options and hit ‘Save+Continue’.

6 – Now select Slack workspace:

7 – We have already connected our Slack account. But if you haven’t connected your Slack account yet, do so by following the on-screen instructions.

8 – Once you’ve selected the Slack account you will go to the last step – creating the notification that we’ll send to Slack.

  • Channel – select the channel from the drop-down list where you will send a message
  • Message text – is what you will send to the channel, note that you may use Slack’s formatting rules here, we use an exclamation mark with keyword ‘channel’ to send a push notification to all users within the channel; *Urgent* for Slack means that it should use bold text for the word ‘Urgent’. Use the plus button marked with red arrow to add to your message fields that you send to Webhook from FreshDesk
  • Send as a bot? – choose ‘yes’
  • Bot Name – make a name for your bot
  • Bot Icon – you may attach any icon to your bot, it is similar to avatars for Slack users, it could be an external file or the one built-in to Slack, like in our case.

9 – Leave the other fields as they are.

10 – Hit ‘Continue’ and send a test message to your Slack on the next page.

Something like that should appear there:

 

Congratulations! You have set up a Slack notification for your Urgent tickets in FreshDesk using Webhooks and Zapier…Boom!

R

Now let’s hear from you!

What are you using Zapier for to automate important actions in your business?

Tell us in the comments section below.

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