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Category : Zoho Desk

ZBrains Zoho Desk Help

Zoho Desk Help: How to Automate and Customize Support Tickets for Best Customer Satisfaction

Zoho Desk helps you streamline customer service operations, increasing productivity and providing exceptional customer service.

What is Zoho Desk?

Zoho Desk is a cloud-based customer service and help desk automation solution designed to streamline the way businesses handle their customer support operations and provide a top-notch customer experience.

By integrating your help desk into your Zoho CRM using Zoho Desk, you’ll enjoy:

  • An abundant feature set
  • A strong out-of-the-box integration with Zoho CRM
  • The ability to create and view tickets within Zoho CRM (without needing to leave it)
  • Cost savings over purchasing a standalone help desk software

However, you’ll want to explore Zoho’s customization and automation features to get the most out of your Zoho Desk integration. Here, we’ll look at some of the best practices and features ZBrains has identified to help you set up your support ticket system within Zoho Desk. By leveraging these helpful tips and features, businesses can optimize their customer support operations and enhance the customer experience.

Customizing Tickets in Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk makes it easy for users to create and manage their tickets, customize them with custom fields to capture the right data needed for each situation, and initiate automation workflows that allow end users to track ticket progress better.

Using the custom fields, users can also track and report on the tickets handled within Zoho Desk, enabling them to generate insights into customer service trends and make data-driven decisions on improving the overall customer support experience. 

Zoho Desk comes with plenty of user-friendly features, such as Blueprints, though most users will want to customize their help desks according to their own unique systems and processes. 

What are Blueprints in Zoho?

Blueprints in Zoho are pre-built applications that enable users to easily take advantage of a wide variety of preconfigured business processes. With drag-and-drop design patterns, users don’t need technical or coding knowledge to create efficient, customized workflows that suit their needs.

Configuring Blueprints is a powerful way to automate ticketing operations, as they allow users to assign priority levels and approval mechanisms based on the type of issue being handled. But in terms of customizability and scope, Blueprints have their limitations.

Due to the pre-built nature of Blueprints, many of the underlying components that make up each application are hard-coded and can’t be changed without replacing them entirely. This means that while you can customize many elements, reaching a level suitable for maximum efficiency might not always be possible with a blueprint-based solution.

For the same reason, some of the features that Zoho’s standard applications offer might not be available on a Blueprint. For maximum impact, custom-built operations are best—and the good news is that they’re easy to set up.

Implementing and Automating Ticket Statuses

Ticket statuses are paramount to the operations of a help desk, but we’ve found that the stock statuses in Zoho aren’t sufficient for most users’ needs. Instead, we prefer using the following statuses:

  1. New (default status): This is the starting point of an open ticket. Any time a new ticket comes in, it defaults to this.
  2. In Progress: This is probably the most important status, as it indicates that a ticket has been assigned to an agent and is currently being worked on.
  3. Scheduled: If you need to schedule a ticket for a later date, this is the status that should be used to indicate that the ticket has been scheduled and will be worked on at a specific time.
  4. Awaiting Approval: This is a great way to keep track of tickets that need approval from team members or supervisors before they can be closed.
  5. Awaiting Client: This is used when a ticket requires further input from the client before it can be closed. After a week without a client response, automatic approval will occur.
  6. Awaiting Employee: This status is similar to the “Awaiting Client” status but is used when a ticket requires further input from an employee. Clients don’t see employee communications, so employees can use this status to comment internally and reply externally.
  7. Awaiting Vendor: This is used when a ticket requires input from Zoho, and it can be set to send automated reminders every couple of days.
  8. Completed: This closed status allows the customer to reopen a ticket if they are not satisfied with the outcome.
  9. Closed: This is the final status; unlike “Completed,” this one can’t be reopened.
  10. Closed/Deal Created: This status is used when a ticket results in an upsell, cross-sell, or other deal.
  11. No Support Plan/Out of Scope: This status can be used for tickets that don’t fit into any other statuses, such as classifying tickets as needing no support, being out-of-scope, or requiring no further action.
  12. Approved: Zoho has its own approval system, so this status is not used much.
  13. Rejected: Again, Zoho has its own rejection system, so this status is also not used much.

Comparing Service Performance to SLAs

Service level agreements (SLAs) in Zoho are extremely important for setting and monitoring customer service expectations. They assure customers that certain services or tasks will be completed within a predetermined time frame, and they provide a basis for tracking and measuring customer service performance.

Since they commonly include requirements for resolution, response, and resolution times, they also serve as a way to compare actual customer service performance to the desired level of customer service.

The best way to compare service performance against SLAs is to use reports based on your ticketing system. Reports can give you an overview of how well your team is meeting customer expectations in terms of response time, resolution time, and first-contact resolution. You can also use reports to analyze customer satisfaction scores, agent performance levels, and resource utilization statistics.

Technically, a 100% rate is ideal for SLAs as this would indicate that the team is meeting all of the customer service criteria within its SLA. However, depending on the size and complexity of your operations, it may not be feasible to reach a 100% rate, as certain tasks or services are more difficult to complete than others.

Particularly during the holiday season or times of high traffic, it can be difficult for agents to keep up with the influx of tickets. As such, 90% is generally a good target for SLAs. Pay attention to your reports if you aren’t meeting this expectation—reviewing progress through different ticket stages can help you identify where delays are occurring. 

Customizing Supervisor Rules

Supervisor rules are time-based actions (i.e., automatically executing on or after a certain time) that enable supervisors to take control of tickets quickly and effectively. These rules are customizable, so you can set conditions that best suit your organization’s needs.

For example, a supervisor may decide to set a rule that automatically assigns a Zoho Desk ticket to the team leader if it has been open for more than two hours without any action. Alternatively, they may want to set a rule that sends a reminder to team members if they haven’t updated a ticket in a certain period of time.

When it comes to supervisor rules, keep the following best practices in mind:

  • Always keep these support tickets moving. The longer a ticket stays in one state, the less likely it is to be resolved.
  • Prioritize tickets based on customer need and urgency. This will help prioritize support efforts and reduce resolution time.
  • Make sure rules are well-defined so that your team members understand when they should take action.
  • Use custom supervisor rules to ensure that tickets are managed AND resolved promptly.

With the right supervisor rules in place, users can perform better against their SLAs. They can also ensure that customer service best practices are adhered to, resulting in a higher level of customer satisfaction.

If you need further help—or if you’d like an expert perspective on support ticket system best practices—reach out to ZBrains’ team of Zoho specialists

A Business Department Using Zoho Desk Teams and Zoho Desk Departments

Using Zoho Desk Teams and Departments Effectively

Running a help desk system provides tremendous business value by keeping customer requests from falling through the cracks, helping to improve the customer experience and lower churn. Working with a platform like Zoho Desk also benefits managers and executives, who can use support desk performance data to improve customer outcomes and overall productivity.

Generally speaking, Zoho Desk works like any other help desk or customer service desk–think Zendesk or Freshdesk. It issues tickets, assigns them to individuals, and then tracks their progress as each ticket gets resolved. 

That said, there is still a lot of confusion that exists about the platform. One question in particular that we often get at ZBrains when our users are setting up Zoho Desk is the difference between Zoho Desk Teams and Zoho Desk Departments–as well as how you use them appropriately.

Because there is a major difference between the two, let us take a closer look at each of them, including the various scenarios in which you would use each. 

Zoho Desk Teams and Ticket Management

In Zoho Desk, a Team is a group of “agents” all sitting in the same department. When you upload a new profile to Zoho Desk, they appear as individual “agents.” You can then create “Teams” into which you can add multiple agents. A Team might represent a subdepartment, a project, or any kind of subdivision within a department. 

When a customer submits a new ticket, you can assign it to an agent, a Team, or an agent within a Team. That agent or Team will then get to work on the ticket by following the ticket blueprints, which you will have already set up. 

Zoho Desk will then track that ticket via various metrics, such as response times, customer satisfaction ratings, and product-specific issues. These metrics can be agent-specific or department-wide. 

What are Departments in Zoho Desk?

“Departments” are how you fully segment Zoho Desk to represent the departments or segments within your company. You can, for example, use it to differentiate between different brands, knowledge bases, locations, and other entities within your organization. 

When Should You Use Zoho Desk Departments? 

In short, we would advise you to only set up a new Zoho Desk Department if you need to. For example, if your organization deals with separate brands or knowledge bases, it stands to reason that you would want to keep these brands apart. 

In fact, you may already have separate domains–and, therefore, email addresses–linked to those separate brands. In this case, you would benefit from setting up entirely separate Zoho Desk interfaces to keep them distinguishable from one another. 

Another scenario where using different Zoho Desk Departments is appropriate is when you want to keep two departments within your organization separate. 

Take, for example, your HR and Customer Service departments. It is highly unlikely that you would want to reassign tasks between these two departments–and you are likely to have different sets of users working in those areas, anyways. In this case, it makes sense to keep them separate and to set up entirely distinct departments. 

When Should You Not Use Zoho Desk Departments? 

While there are advantages to using separate Zoho Desk Departments, there are cases where the extra effort is not appropriate. Since setting up separate Departments is a big task, it is worth avoiding it, if possible. 

Further, remember that there is a hard cut between Departments. As a result, you cannot assign tickets to another department within your organization. If you have multiple teams that collaborate closely, working within a single Department allows them to retain this functionality.

Effectively, as long as your teams operate within the same knowledge base, brand, and department, using “Teams” as your ticketing differentiator should make the most sense. 

Of course, we also recognize that every company’s structure and needs are different. If you have any other questions about Zoho Desk Teams and Zoho Desk Departments, reach out to the team at ZBrains. Our team of Zoho experts can help you clarify the specific solution that is best for your requirements.

Getting Buy-in When You’re Just Starting on Zoho

Making the Most of Your Zoho Investment: Tips for Getting Buy-In from Your Team

On a time crunch?  This is a 7-minute read about Zoho for beginners.

If there’s one thing we’ve said before but really can’t stress enough, it’s the importance of proper adoption when deploying Zoho apps for the first time.  Don’t worry, I can already see your eyes glazing over with that barrage of buzzwords. Because I understand your pain, I’ll try to make this “Zoho for beginners” article as painless as possible while also being informative.  The truth is there are several solid suggestions to ensure you have the strength of your whole team behind you when getting started on Zoho – and you can avoid spitting instructions at a bored or disgruntled room.

We may be salespeople here at ZBrains, but we aren’t psychologists, so there won’t be any Jedi mind tricks here, aside from those already built into Zoho’s software (they are the clever ones).  Without further ado, let’s get started!

zoho for beginners canary in coalmine

Zoho Cliq: Your Canary in the Coalmine

Before you buy a new car, you’ll probably want to test-drive it.  When considering Zoho for beginners, you’ll definitely want to make sure everyone test-drives their apps, too.  In this case, I want you to think of Zoho Cliq as a precursor to more involved Zoho apps like Zoho CRM, Zoho Books, Inventory, Desk, Projects, and others.  Cliq, as you may already know, is Zoho’s answer to Slack, a popular intra-office chat software.  

Cliq is nice because it does basically the same thing as Slack, but it comes pre-integrated into Zoho CRM, Zoho Desk, and Zoho People – the idea being that your staff who use primarily one app the whole day don’t have to log into another app just to chat with other folks in the office.

The other nice thing about Cliq is it’s really darn easy to use, at least for most people.  You could add a safeguard against low adoption to your Zoho rollout by choosing to deploy Cliq for your whole team first, then letting the questions roll in.  And, if there aren’t any stragglers, you can safely assume you can roll out more difficult and important apps like CRM with only the usual training-related questions.  (And, fortunately for you, we provide Zoho training, so that’s even less on your plate.)

zoho for beginners training

Zoho Desk: like a Miniature CRM

Ready for yet another driving analogy?  Good, I’m not either. But, the fact is there’s another way to prepare for something as complex as Zoho CRM.  Rolling out Zoho Cliq first is great at letting you know who your “problem children” might be, but it’s not the same as sticking them into the fire, so to speak, and watching them try to survive.  And, I don’t want you to think about doing that. Instead, consider deploying a slightly more complex app, something that has a lot of the same features as the CRM without being the CRM itself.  That app is Zoho Desk.  

Desk has ways to sort through customers, prioritize emails in the form of tickets, and progress tickets through a series of possible actions with Blueprint, a feature that was first introduced in Zoho CRM.  From an administrative standpoint, it even includes workflow automation, so your CRM admin-to-be can get their feet wet with that, too. That way, they can be better prepared  for working with it more heavily in the CRM.

Even if Zoho Desk isn’t quite as easy as Cliq for year team to get their collective head around, it’s what our Chief Solutions Architect James Converse calls a “soft landing” point.  Essentially, if you’re gonna crash-land, make it on a nice comfy mattress instead of the hard asphalt.  That’s the essence of Zoho for beginners, and ensures you get some early buy-in.

All Done Testing? Time to Implement in Earnest

If you’ve already gone through these motions and it looks like your staff is ready to roll with you on Zoho, then that’s great!  Staff buy-in is one of the most important pieces of a successful Zoho deployment, especially if it involves using more than one Zoho app.

When it comes to Zoho implementation, you have the option to do it yourself or hire a consultant to help you.  There are advantages and pitfalls to both ways of doing it, so we’ll analyze those here:

zoho adoption consulting

Ensuring Zoho Adoption When You Implement Yourself

We usually tell people the most important part of any Zoho implementation isn’t the deployment of their specific custom fields, modules, and screens.  Nor is it the programming of workflow automation and blueprint (when necessary), or the writing of custom functions to ensure their system adheres to very specific business logic.  It’s not any of that.  Actually, it’s a lot more basic.

It’s the training.

Training in this case is almost like buy-in, and sometimes the two are interchangeable!  Some of your staff will give you their buy-in from being trained, and others will need to buy into an idea before opening themselves to the idea of learning a new system – but, it all looks the same in the end.

In any case, properly training your staff ensures everyone uses your system the way it was meant to be used.  You’ll probably need to train administrators at your business and have those admins train your other staff members.  Maybe you’re the only admin – and, that’s fine too. But, you’ll need to confirm that each person using a specific app knows exactly what to do in that app and when to do it.  

For example: in Zoho CRM, you might want to impart to a salesperson how to enter leads into your database, how and when to convert them to contacts, accounts, and deals, and how to use the Activities module and tasks to structure their day.  And that’s just a small portion!

Obviously, administering a Zoho for beginners training yourself is a big deal.  It isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re already trying to run a business.  You just don’t have time!

Zoho adoption training

Ensuring Adoption When Using a Zoho Consultant

Fortunately, you don’t have to work terribly hard to ensure proper Zoho adoption if you hire a Zoho consultant to help with system deployment.  That’s our job! We’ve done Zoho implementations many, many times, and while no business is exactly the same as the next, basic training on Zoho CRM and other apps tend to be pretty regimented.  We almost always give training sessions in advance of the actual app deployments.  And, we allot some time at the end of our training sessions for a Q&A session.  The answers to those questions usually get everyone’s noggins joggin’, and this makes the following Zoho consulting sessions to configure custom fields and screens that much more fruitful.

Now, you’re probably wondering how we find out about your business enough to recommend a Zoho plan that includes training on it, right?

The Truth About Our Zoho Consulting

It’s true that (nearly) everyone needs proper Zoho training, but after the training sessions our consulting sessions become much more tailored towards your business.  Zoho can be both a blessing and a curse in that it gives you multiple ways to do almost anything in business.  The question is always:

“What’s the best way to do all these things in the context of my own business?”  

We figure out exactly which way to go with you by sitting down for a consulting session called a Business Process Analysis.  In a BPA, we spend time with you and your team in order to get our heads around your whole business – then we make our formal recommendations to you, kind of like a doctor.  Only, this isn’t just a five-minute wham-bam appointment. And, there’s no smelly waiting room either.

You may be starting to see just how much goes into deploying Zoho.  It’s not something we take lightly, and you shouldn’t either. We’re here to help you every step of the way, from planning, to training, to deployment – and beyond.

zoho for beginners getting buy-in

To Recap

We covered a fair bit in this article, so to recap, we:

  1. Suggested implementing Zoho Cliq or Zoho Desk as a way to prepare your staff for a more complete “Zoho for beginners” deployment
  2. Demonstrated training as a way to get ultimate staff buy-in
  3. Discussed the value of a  business consulting session to get a plan in place to ensure you do everything the right way.

This isn’t a call to carry all these out yourself, of course. In the grand scheme of things, you may be working with much more than Zoho CRM, Cliq, and Desk.  (There’s Zoho Books for your finances…and 40+ other apps in the whole Zoho One suite.)  And, as Zoho consultants, we’d probably do it in a reverse order (point 3, then 2, then 1).  But, that may not be your style, so if you don’t want to engage with a Zoho consultant like us, you could really do any of these to help ensure buy-in from your staff.  Regardless, as mentioned before, hopefully these points on Zoho for beginners get the old noggin joggin’.

Let us know if you need any help with Zoho by contacting us right here.

people working at a desk

Effortlessly Manage and Track Time with Zoho Desk Time Tracking

What exactly is Zoho Desk Timer?

When working on tasks or tickets in Zoho Desk, a web-based help desk software, think of the Zoho Desk Timer as your personal stopwatch or timer.

1. Tracking Time Automatically:

Consider having a timekeeper who starts the timer when you open a ticket in Zoho Desk and stops it when you finish an activity, such as writing a reply or posting a comment. It keeps track of the time spent on each task without requiring you to start or stop the timer manually.

2. Manual Time Recording:

Consider having complete control over the timing, much like an actual stopwatch. Manual time tracking requires you to start and stop the timer while you work on tickets or tasks in Zoho Desk. It allows you to track time based on your preferences and pause/resume when necessary.

3. Efficiency and simplicity:

The Zoho Desk Timer tries to make time tracking easier. It has a simple interface that allows you to effortlessly start, pause, resume, or reset the timer. It makes it easier to track your productivity by correctly quantifying the time spent on each ticket or job.

4. Billing Time Tracking:

Zoho Desk Timer, like a professional service provider that charges by the hour, allows you to add billable time entries to tickets. You can establish predetermined fees to make it easier to calculate and bill clients based on time spent.

Understanding these sub-components allows you to grasp how the Zoho Desk Timer functions as a time management tool, whether it’s automatically tracking time as you execute actions or allowing you to manually control and record your work hours. It streamlines the process and keeps you organized, whether you’re tracking time for personal productivity or billing.

Track Time Automatically or Manually with the Zoho Desk Timer

A recent upgrade to Zoho Desk has made this web-based help desk software even more valuable. Zoho Desk Time Tracking is the newest feature, allowing you to track time spent on tickets and add billable time entries based on predefined costs. The ease and efficiency of this new component is instantly identifiable — it’s such a no-brainer that you may wonder how Zoho Desk ever existed without it! We’ve spelled out the details of this streamlined process below:

The timer is a stopwatch on the top of the page that tracks the amount of time spent working on a ticket or task. Press pause and start to pause and resume the timer as needed. When you click pause, the accumulated time is held for you. You can restart the timer to pick up where you left off, or you can apply the accumulated time to your timesheet. There is also a refresh button to reset the timer, allowing you to start the timer over.

zoho desk time tracking

  • Timer displays accumulated time in the HH:MM:SS format, starting at the one-second mark
  • Timers can be run on multiple tickets simultaneously

Zoho Desk Time Tracking for Tasks

Simplicity is the name of the game, which is why tracking time for tasks is very similar to tickets. The chief difference? An administrator could restrict you from running the timer on multiple tasks at once. When this happens, a pop-up on the upper right area of the screen prompts you to submit the time spent on the current task before beginning the timer on the new one.

Zoho Desk Time Tracking for Tasks

Clicking “Yes” in the above box will submit the timer for the accumulated time for the current task and start the timer on the new task.

How to Track Active Timers

Although you could run the timer on multiple tickets and tasks, it’s useless if you don’t remember to stop and submit their time. When you have lots of work on your plate, paying extra attention to a timer is the last thing you want to do. That’s why Zoho Desk includes My Active Timers, a view that lists all of your active timers in the department. (Because let’s face it, multitasking is no longer just a mark of efficiency, it’s a way of life.)

zoho desk time tracking

To view your active timers:

1. Log into Zoho Desk
2. Check the Pending Activities icon zoho desk time tracking

3. A new window slides open on the right hand side of the screen

4. Click the My Active Timers iconzoho desk time tracking at the top of the window.

Your active timers along and their accumulated time are listed here. You can pause, stop or reset the timer corresponding to a ticket or a task from here.

Automatic Time Tracking for Tickets

In automatic tracking, the timer starts every time a ticket is opened in your browser and stops when an action is completed. The actions to be tracked are set up at the department level by your administrator. For example, sending a reply, drafting a response, leaving a comment, etc. If no action is completed the timer does not record an entry. Also, while you can pause, resume, and reset time on an automatic timer, you cannot stop or submit your time since it gets added once you complete an action on a ticket.

*The timer is visible only if your administrator has enabled your ability to view the timer under settings. Otherwise your time will be submitted in the background.*

Reviewing Time in Zoho Desk

If you started the timer one hour ago, but at some point you took a 15 minute break, you must discard this time before submitting it. That’s why Zoho Desk allows you to review and edit your time spent on a ticket. A pop-up window appears with the choice to submit or ignore the spent time. You have 10 seconds to review the time before it gets auto-submitted.

Reviewing Time in Zoho Desk

For example in the image above, you have 10 seconds from when the window appears to submit the accumulated time. Failure to do so will automatically submit the displayed time. However, if you need more than 10 seconds for review, click on the tracked time to remove the countdown and remain on the window.

*This review window is visible only if your administrator has enabled your ability to edit your time spent on tickets.*

**You cannot review or edit the time spent in manual Zoho Desk time tracking mode.**

The Significance of Time Tracking

Time management is fundamental to achieving business success in the modern world. Whether you’re a burgeoning startup or a well-established enterprise, understanding how time is allocated to tasks, projects, and customer interactions is imperative. Time tracking furnishes insightful data that informs decision-making, resource allocation, and process enhancement. With Zoho Desk Time Tracking, real-time visibility is at your fingertips, enabling the identification of bottlenecks and optimization of workflows.

Streamlined Task Management

Zoho Desk Time Tracking integrates seamlessly with your existing task management system, offering a holistic view of tasks, their statuses, and time allocation. This integration obviates the need for manual data entry, minimizing errors and saving valuable time. Whether tasks are assigned to your team, or you’re working on individual projects, Zoho Desk’s intuitive interface simplifies time logging against specific tasks. This ensures an accurate record of time distribution across diverse activities.

Boosting Productivity

A productive workforce is the bedrock of any successful business. Zoho Desk Time Tracking empowers your team to remain focused and efficient through real-time tracking and insights. As team members log their time, supervisors can monitor progress, identify roadblocks, and provide timely assistance. Furthermore, Zoho Desk’s reporting and analytics capabilities offer actionable individual and team performance insights. This data-driven approach allows you to celebrate accomplishments, address challenges, and implement strategies for enhanced productivity.

Effortless Customer Support

Exemplary customer support necessitates swift responses and efficient issue resolution. Zoho Desk Time Tracking revolutionizes this aspect. With its integrated time tracking features, your customer support agents can log the time spent on each customer interaction – from responding to inquiries to resolving intricate problems. This data aids in measuring the efficiency of your support team and also assists in setting realistic customer expectations. Analyzing time spent on different types of tickets allows you to optimize support processes, ensuring every customer receives stellar assistance.

Precise Billing and Invoicing

Precise time tracking is non-negotiable for businesses billing clients based on worked hours. Zoho Desk Time Tracking simplifies the billing process by providing accurate records of billable hours. This reduces disputes and enhances transparency with clients. Integrating time-tracking data with your invoicing system expedites invoice generation with precision. This streamlined approach saves time and cultivates a professional and trustworthy image of your business in the eyes of clients.

Flexibility in Remote Work

The modern work landscape is evolving, with remote work becoming increasingly prevalent. Zoho Desk Time Tracking accommodates this shift by offering remote access to the platform. Whether your team works from the office, home, or anywhere worldwide, they can effortlessly log their time and remain connected. This flexibility supports a remote workforce and ensures accurate time tracking, irrespective of geographical location.

Informed Decision Making

Informed decisions serve as the cornerstone of successful business operations. Zoho Desk Time Tracking equips you with the data needed for strategic choices. The platform’s reporting features offer insights into time allocation trends, team performance, and project timelines. By analyzing this data, you can make informed decisions regarding resource allocation, project prioritization, and process refinement. With Zoho Desk’s analytics, you can continually enhance your strategies for superior outcomes.


Effective time management is a critical asset in achieving business excellence. Zoho Desk Time Tracking presents a comprehensive solution for effortlessly managing and tracking time, enabling you to optimize productivity, enhance customer support, and make informed decisions. As businesses strive to maintain competitiveness and provide exceptional services, Zoho Desk’s time-tracking features emerge as a dependable ally on this journey. Embrace the capabilities of Zoho Desk Time Tracking and propel your business toward enhanced efficiency and success.

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Zoho Apps That We Are Grateful For!

It’s Thanksgiving! It’s the perfect time to chow down, visit family and friends, and be happy and thankful for everyone in your life. In the spirit of the holiday, we would like to share some of the Zoho Apps that we are most grateful for with you! They can help you to optimize your potential and can keep you on-track and ready to close more, win more, and earn more.

Here are 4 Zoho Apps that we are grateful for!

Zoho appsZoho CRM

Zoho CRM is a powerful cloud-based customer and prospect management solution for your business. It is your most basic database where you can reach out to your customers and reference past work or projects, as well as forecast future sales – which you can use to make key decisions about your business. With Zoho CRM, you can set tasks and reminders to reach out to your customers in a timely and convenient manner, all for the purpose of giving your customers a smoother journey through your sales funnel. With a multitude of integrations, add-ons, and applications you can customize this CRM to fit your specific, unique business needs. Check out just how easy it is to migrate to Zoho!

Zoho appsZoho Sprints

Simplify project management for your business! This agile project management app designed to manage software sprints and help everyone get over their respective hurdles. A simpler project management solution than Zoho Projects, you can manage and track your team’s time and see where everyone stands using the Scrum Board. Use analytics which update in real time to help you make predictions, make adjustments, and identify bottlenecks. All of these features will make sure that your team is operating efficiently. Learn more here!

ZohoZoho apps Campaigns

Being able to keep in touch with your customers and prospects is important: it can convert uninterested leads into warmer prospects, and it can turn one-time customers into lifetime family members. Instead of toggling between various different apps for email marketing, you can use Zoho Campaigns. It integrates with your CRM to ensure that your data is always up to date. Campaigns also gives you massive insights into your email marketing campaigns so you can know how they performed and automate follow-up campaigns. Best of all, the integration with Zoho CRM offers unparalleled visibility into those engaged with your content and pipeline. Learn more about the power of Zoho Campaigns!

Zoho appsZoho Desk

Good customer service is important! Happy customers make life so much easier. Zoho Desk is that all-encompassing solution for your business in need of a ticketing system. Desk is context-aware and designed so your service never misses a beat. With in-depth reporting for management, detailed tickets and time tracking for agents, and a knowledge base for customers – this Zoho app help cover every level of customer service.

Love all of these Zoho Apps? Well, they are all included with Zoho One! If you are interested in learning more feel free to reach out to our team. Give us a call at (888) 207-4111 and schedule a consultation at a time that works best for you. You can also sign up for a free trial of Zoho by clicking the button below!

We here at ZBrains wish you a safe, happy, and delicious holiday!

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Zoho desk keeps you connected with customers

All You Need to Know About Zoho Desk: The Ultimate Customer Support Solution

As any good service company knows, happy customers make life so much easier and make your business run much more smoothly.  Your success relies on keeping customers happy. And it can be a daunting task if you’re faced with handfuls of customer help requests daily, or if you don’t have a way of properly funneling those requests to the right people in your company.

And then, even if you can assign requests well enough, how can you make sure the same problems don’t come up again? How will you know which agents are best at handling issues so you can be sure to utilize them more often?

Zoho Desk is your solution.

Zoho Desk is that all-encompassing solution for your business in need of a ticketing system. Desk is context-aware and designed so your service teams never miss a beat.

Zoho Desk Customer Context Tickets

Here are 6 ways Zoho Desk helps you cover every level of customer service.

Zoho Desk customer connections email social ticketing1. Keep your customers covered.

First and foremost, Zoho Desk keeps allows your customers to contact you easily through various methods, such as:

      • phone, live chat, email, and social media!
      • You can also create custom web forms for your customers to quickly submit tickets which they can track.
      • The option to create a searchable Knowledge Base so that your customer can find answers to common questions without having to contact support is also available. The knowledge base is customizable to fit your brand (or brands).
      • Desk also allows you to build a community forum, in which your customers can have discussions with your team or even with each other in order to solve problems, making it possible for some problems to simply solve themselves, using none of your valuable resources.

2. Improve the productivity of your agents.

As an agent, having all possible details is vital when responding to your tickets and being able to provide a quick solution. Zoho Desk provides you with the customer ticket but also gives customer details within your ticket so you know who you are talking to. Want to know if they have reached out before? No problem! Zoho Desk allows you to see past tickets and interactions on the contact details page. If a customer has submitted a ticket for a common question, Desk will auto-suggest solutions from your knowledge base.

3. Save time managing your team with automation.Zoho Desk reporting dashboard

As a manager, your day can be hectic, so Zoho Desk is made to help you save time. Desk can help ensure that customer service is running smoothly with automation and reporting.

Wasting too much time assigning tickets or tracking your team’s metrics? With Desk you can automate tickets assignments with criteria that you can specify, automatically escalate tickets based on rules you set, and automate workflow processes, all saving you tons of time. Both your customers and your agents will receive notifications when a ticket is updated, increasing your team’s productivity.

4. Key metrics and reports to optimize customer service.

With an easy-to-read dashboard, you can track customer happiness and your team’s key metrics in one window. You can see individual reports and monitor agents’ performance, response time, and even current availability. Or, you can view your team’s overall performance to monitor bandwidth, identify bottlenecks, and find patterns. All of these things will help you to optimize and organize your customer service.

5. Collaborate across departments.

When it comes to customer support, no one person will have all of the answers. Sometimes an agent will be stumped by a question, or not have access to the answer, and will have to reach out to another department for a solution to a problem.

Let’s say a customer asks about the status of a certain product, but you need to reach out to the shipping department for an answer. In Zoho Desk, you can simply tag or @ a colleague from the shipping department and they will be notified! With Desk you don’t need to be worried about unknowingly working on the same ticket as another agent. It will notify you who is working on the ticket in real time, whether it is another agent or the customer. Work efficiently across departments without ever colliding.

6. The option to go mobile with Zoho Desk app!

The Zoho Desk mobile app allows agents to receive instant notifications about the tickets they’re following. this includes details about accounts and contacts. Conversation responses and internal comments are available here, too.

The app automatically organizes Desk tickets, prioritizing the urgency for you. CRM customer information is available within, as well, so agents can quickly reference those contact details and past interaction details. Another level of functionality available from Zoho Desk!

Zoho Desk Consulting is available from ZBrains

Aside from its standalone functionality, Zoho Desk packs a number of different integrations to really take your customer service to the next level, and with paid plans starting at $20* per user per month for the Standard Edition, it’s a hard deal to pass up! (*prices updated June 2021)

Interested in learning more? Reach out to a member of the ZBrains team today! Give us a call at (888)207-4111 or click the button below to connect with our consultants!


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Zoho CRM Blueprint – The Blueprint to Sales Success

Zoho CRM Blueprint – The Blueprint to Sales Success

Hello, everyone!  This is the second post in a series on the latest new offerings in the realm of Zoho CRM.  Zoho has chosen to focus heavily on sales automation for this round of upgrades, and with good reason: as CRM is the most expensive and arguably most important Zoho offering, Zoho wants to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.  These new offerings are only available with Zoho CRM Enterprise (and now Zoho One), so the powers that be really want to entice you to use that version of the software.  And, for good reason – it’s already the best version of the system.  So, without further ado, let’s talk Zoho CRM Blueprint.

(You can find the first post of the series on Zia, the AI-powered sales tool, right here.)

I say Blueprint, you say…

When someone mentions a blueprint to you, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Probably a plan to build a house or other structure, but it isn’t a full rendering.  Really more like a cross section showing all the walls, windows, and beyond… The guts of the edifice, where the wires and pipes go, the lighting fixtures – everything.

And so it is with your sales cycle, in a manner of speaking.  Even if you don’t see everything at once.

See, sometimes your salespeople need a blueprint to get from A to B.  Obviously they know how to sell, but, especially in today’s technology-driven work environment, outside stimuli are everywhere.  And, it can be easy to get distracted and lose focus.

So, wouldn’t it be nice if your salespeople had a blueprint, a sort of road map to get where they need to go, in terms of sales?

Obviously this is all a little abstract, but I’m hoping you’re with me so far!  This is Zoho CRM Blueprint:

zoho crm blueprint

What we essentially have here is a literal blueprint to success for your sales team.  This document has a few different color-coded blocks: White rectangles correspond to stages in the Deals module, while the gold parallelograms correspond to potential actions your salespeople can take in relation to those stages.

Now, ordinarily, your sales staff might have deal stages in front of them and just be expected to follow up with clients on a schedule, moving the deals stages accordingly when appropriate.  But, that isn’t always enough to ensure success, as general instructions aren’t always clear.  Even if you or your Zoho consultant of choice have set up workflow rules for your sales staff to let them know what tasks they need to carry out in relation to a deal, salespeople still have to access the task and click “complete.”  Zoho CRM Blueprint takes this routine a step further, making it possible to complete tasks directly from the Deal screen and giving those tasks a wider context from which salespeople can view them and understand exactly where they are in the sales cycle.

Zoho CRM blueprint allows for setting simple instructions, as the illustration above shows: Start.  Schedule Appointment.  Qualify.  And so on.  Like a Zoho training session, but better.

Drawing up your Zoho CRM Blueprint

Unlike conventional blueprints, using Zoho CRM blueprint doesn’t require the use of drafting programs to really nail down – in fact, you don’t even really need a steady hand.  It really is as easy as creating deal stages, creating per-deal tasks for salespeople (called “transitions”), connecting the dots, and doing a little drag-and-drop.  Observe:

zoho crm blueprint

You can give conditions to Zoho CRM Blueprint transitions, too.

Part of drawing up your sales process involves setting parameters, and of course you’ll want to make sure everyone is on the same page.  You can use these parameters to ensure that, for example, contracts are closed within a certain window of time, or that your sales staff doesn’t go crazy with giving out discounts.  When your sales team goes to complete a transition, they’ll see an additional dialog box if you choose to add one asking for some details:

zoho crm blueprint

Not only does this keep your sales team in line with your company vision, but it gives you even more data with which to build reports and gauge the health of your company.  For example, with the data collected from this dialog box to the right, you’ll be able to determine the average discount rate given by all sales team members, the average discount given by salesperson, and of course the amount of time taken to close a deal by salesperson and on the whole, if you aren’t already collecting that data elsewhere.

Thankfully, Zoho CRM anticipates this is just what you’ll be doing and created a screen just for drilling down into this data.  Kinda makes me want to go in and start playing with it right now… Either that or make some sales; I haven’t quite decided yet.

zoho crm blueprint

How do these Blueprints fit into Zoho’s ultimate vision for the CRM?

Again, Zoho’s game as of late seems to be taking the sales process and automating as much of it as humanly possible, so after implementation you hardly have to touch it at all.  After all, why spend any time thinking of what to do to improve sales processes if a machine can analyze your behavior and tell you exactly what works and what doesn’t?  Why fret over which tasks to complete in what order if you can have the Zoho CRM blueprint right in front of you?  Of course, Zoho recognizes that less time spent thinking means more time spent doing actual work, and since, barring your deftly-worded phone conversations, sales procedures themselves don’t tend to be all that individualized – that is, they tend to fit right onto a blueprint.

Look!  Blueprint is now a component of Zoho Desk, too

zoho desk blueprint

Zoho has added blueprint functionality to Zoho Desk, which means you can give your support agents the same daily structure you give to your sales team.  It also means you get all the same reports for your help desk that you do for your sales team, from time spent per transition to time spent on each blueprint itself.  And that, in turn, lets you analyze your weak points and work to eliminate bottlenecks in your process.

Hungry for more?

Well, that makes at least two of us.  I can’t wait to see what else Zoho has in store in terms of sales automation.  The very prospect is a little mind-boggling: someone had to design the sales process itself, but once it’s committed to the blueprint and you have a dedicated staff to carry it out, it arguably runs itself.

Stay tuned for more updates like these, and let me know if you have any questions by clicking the link below this post!