How to use the Approvals app

Firstly, here's a quick video showing you a use case of the Approvals App for Zendesk:

Be sure to check out our June 2017 release of the app and all of the improvements here.

 

 


 

Creating Approvers

To setup approvals, the first step is to define a list of approvers. While this can be done automatically using manager functionality, you can also add them up manually. To do this click on the approvals icon on the left of the screen and then at the top click on "Approvers". Then, to create an approver click on "Add approver" at the bottom. 

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Fill in the name and email. For the first approver, you won't be able to choose anything from the 'escalate' options because there's no one else to escalate too just yet. When you've finished, click on "Create User" at the bottom. 

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Continue to add all of the people you'd like to add as approvers. Where appropriate, use the "Escalate to" drop-down field to specify superiors and the "Escalate after" drop-down field to nominate how much time an approval can be waiting for a response before it automatically gets reassigned up the chain of command.

 


 

Creating Approval templates

An approval template is used to define what needs to be approved, who it will be sent to and when it should be sent. Based on the use case, there are many different ways approval templates can be setup, so we've created this article that with different videos to show the setup and process for each:

Approvals use cases + serial & parallel processes with video walkthroughs.

 

To create an approval template first click the approvals app on the left, and then click on the "Approval Templates" tab and next on "Add approval template" at the bottom.

SweetHawk__-_Agent.png

Once you've got the template open, you'll need to give your approval a name and description like this: 

SweetHawk__-_Agent_3.png

Next up you'll need to decide who the primary approver will be...

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The "Primary approver" is the person the approval will be sent to if it gets sent automatically via a trigger. If on the other hand, the agent is manually sending the approval, the primary approver will simply be listed at the top of the list of possible approvers.

Another possibility for the primary approver is to set this to "Manager". If selected, instead of the approval being sent to any particular person, the app will dynamically lookup who the requester's manager is and send it to them. Check out this article & video for more information on how the manager functionality works.  

Now that you've defined who the approval will be sent to, next you'll need to define the conditions for when you want the approval visible in the apps pane in the agent interface.

If you're on the Zendesk Enterprise plan, then we'll give you an easy way to set this condition by simply asking what form the approval will be applied to like this:

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If you're on the Zendesk Professional plan or below then instead of setting a form, you'll be able to specify a tag like this:

SweetHawk_-_Agent.png

If you're needing to get more specific with your conditions, in both cases you have the option to switch to the advanced condition editor like this:

Untitled_2.png

For more information on writing the JSON conditions in advanced mode see this article

Next up, you'll need to define what information the approver needs to approve. You can do this nice and quickly by selecting a set of ticket fields like this:

SweetHawk__-_Agent_5.png

The app will then be able to use the contents of those fields and send them to the approver. 

If you need to get more creative with what the approver receives you can do this by switching to the advanced mode like this:

Untitled_2_2.png

On a side note, you can see that in advanced mode, the ticket fields that were selected in the drop-down menu are now simply listed as Zendesk placeholders referring to the ticket fields. 

 

The next thing to decide when setting up a workflow is whether you want your agents to be able to manually send an approval, or if you want to automatically send it using Zendesk triggers. In many cases, you may actually want to do both. For example. You could have a trigger send off an approval for all tickets submitted via the Travel Request form. However, if the ticket was sent in using a different form or another channel entirely, you may want to give your agents the ability to send the approval once the required information has been gathered.

Here are some checkpoints that help define the differences:

 

Manual Automatic
  • Your agents have control over who the approval is sent to.
  • Admins have control over when the agent can see the option to send an approval. (For example, if the agent changes the form to "Travel request", then the app could show a selection of approvers that can grant travel requests)
  • The approver is predefined based on the conditions of the ticket.
  • The approval needs to be automatically sent at a specific point of a ticket's lifecycle. (For example, when the ticket is created, or when a ticket is updated with a specific selection from a dropdown or checkbox.) 
 How to setup manual approvals How to setup automatic approvals (Videos) 


If you have any questions about how to build the correct workflow for your use case email us at support@sweethawk.co

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2 Comments

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    I'm assuming this to be the case, but does the approver have to be a zendesk agent?

  • 0
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    Hi Nathaniel, thanks for your question. No, an approver does not need to be an agent in Zendesk. We've made it so that approvers can get all the information they need, and can grant, reject or escalate approvals all outside of Zendesk :-) 

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