Article

What is an agent touch?

By Cindy Riquier

Published March 4, 2022
Last updated March 4, 2022

Whether it's to inform your sales or marketing teams, it’s likely that you’ve done lots of analysis on your customers to help determine exactly what they need and want. But have you ever analysed how your teams are interacting with your customers to inform service improvements? Learn more about how understanding your agent touches can benefit your business.

How do you define agent touches?

Agent touches are any time a member of your team performs an operation on a ticket within the Zendesk system.

Each business will define agent touches slightly differently and may include ticket replies, comments or changes to their status. However, the general definition of an agent touch is when an employee actively makes a change on a ticket, whether this is internally amongst the team or externally towards the customer.
What are the types of agent touches?

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Within Zendesk, there are several different types of agent touches that can be performed. For organisations with Professional and Enterprise packages, these agent touches can also be analysed.

Tickets can arrive into the Zendesk system in a variety of ways, including via email, text, phone call or social media. They can also be assigned, reassigned and replied to by yourself, other agents or teams. This means there are a huge variety of agent touches, including:

  • Comments: when agents are trying to solve a query, they may communicate via comments on a ticket. Agents may also reply to customers publicly via comments on social media, which will also be noted as touches on a ticket.
  • Updates: these include changes to the ticket itself. This can include changes in priority levels, added or removed tags and when tickets are reassigned to other agents. These updates can be manual or automatic and are based on internal actions only.

  • Statuses: as well as seeing how many tickets have been closed by agents, statuses can show businesses when agents have submitted, reopened, reassigned or reported as incidents and problems.

With a huge range of agent touches, there’s a significant dataset to explore within Zendesk, particularly within large organisations. This gives plenty of opportunities for businesses to gain a greater insight into how their agents are performing and where there are areas for improvement.

Why is analysing agent touches important?

Through the Explore tool (available with Professional and Enterprise packages) in Zendesk, businesses can review and analyse a range of agent touches to see where there are potential areas of improvement in their customer service.

With plenty of datasets and metrics available to view, the Explore tool makes it easier to get complete transparency over your customer service agents’ performance. Depending on your businesses’ specific KPIs and objectives, you may want to review different agent touches to conduct analysis such as:

  • How many tickets are reassigned: this can help you to see whether tickets are being sent to the right agents directly, or if you need to adjust automatic and manual workflow to speed up this process and bring this metric down.
  • Which agents and teams tickets are assigned to: this can help you to monitor individual and team workloads and help you to determine the types of employees and skillsets you need within your business.
  • How many tickets have low agent touches: within Zendesk, you can view how many tickets have been resolved within one, two or multiple replies. Alongside metrics like incidents, unsolved tickets and other tags can help you to understand where challenges in your customer service process may lie.

This data and level of analysis are invaluable to businesses looking to actively improve their customer service and agent performance. By having this level of visibility and insight, you can quickly get to the bottom of any challenges and optimise your workflows in response.
For more information about how to use the Explore tool effectively for your business, take a look at Zendesk support pages and FAQs.