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Automating common replies and updates using macros

NOTE: If you're not sure what plan you're on, sign into the admin area and check the 'Plan' page.

Whenever you find your support team repeating the same action or sending the same reply to one conversation after another, that's a usually a good sign that you could use a macro. Macros can save your team a ton of time by automating common replies or notes or even making common updates to conversation fields — all of which saves you valuable clicks. Macros can also help keep your tone consistent across replies from multiple members of your support team.

In this article we'll run through all the different actions that macros can perform, and then go step-by-step through creating and using them.

Understanding what you can do with macros

Unlike typical 'canned reply'-style macros, Kayako macros can do much more than save reusable replies. In all, there are eight actions a macro can perform:

  • Add reply text - Adds text to the reply box. The text can be edited before you send the reply to your customer.
  • Set reply type - Sets the reply type to either a public message or a private note. If you do not set this, it defaults to a public message.
  • Set Assignee - Assigns the conversation to a team, specific agent, or the current user. You can also unassign a conversation using this action.
  • Change status - Updates the conversation status.
  • Set type - Updates the conversation type.
  • Add tags - Adds the tags you specify to the conversation. You can add as many tags as you like.
  • Remove tags - Removes the tags you specify from the conversation. You can remove as many tags as you like.
  • Update priority - Updates the conversation priority. You can either select a specific priority, or have the macro increase or decrease the conversations priority by one level, for example, 'High' to 'Critical'.

Now that you have a sense for what you can do with macros, let's look at actually building one.

Creating or updating a macro

Let's look at an example from fictional coffee equipment supplier, Brewfictus. Every time they add a new model to their inventory, their support team has a lot of similar conversations about how to use the new machines. Each time a customer asks, the Brewfictus agent has to write up instructions, assign it to themselves, tag the conversation, and update its status. That's a lot of effort. Instead, Brewfictus set up a macro that their support team can use every time the question comes up.

NOTE: To edit macros in Kayako, you will need an administrator account with the 'Manage macros' permission.

To create a new macro:

  1. Sign in to Kayako and go to the admin area.
  2. Choose Macros from the left sidebar. You'll see a list of any macros that have been created.
  3. Click Add new macro to create our new brewing instructions macro.
  4. In the Macro Title field add a descriptive title so it's clear to your support team what the macro does. Let's go with 'Instructions for new brewing method'.
    NOTE: If you’ll be using lots of macros, it’s useful to nest them into separate categories by adding a '\' to the beginning of your title. e.g. ‘How To \ Instructions for new brewing method’.
  5. Since we want our whole team to be able to use it, from the Make this macro available to list, select 'Every agent'.
    NOTE: You can also limit the visibility of a macro to just yourself or to a specific team.
  6. Next we're going to add the actions our macro is going to execute. From the Please select an action dropdown, select Add reply text.
  7. In the box that appears, write up your standardized reply, in this case, the instructions for your new brewing method.
    NOTE: You can personalize your macro replies using placeholders like {{case.requester.first_name}}. You can read more about placeholders in this article.
  8. Go back to the Please select an action dropdown and select Set assignee.
  9. You'll see a set of dropdowns appear. In the furthest right, select '(current agent)', which will assign the conversation to the agent using the macro.
  10. Back in the Please select an action dropdown, select Add tags.
  11. Add a few descriptive tags, to make it clear what these conversations are related to. In our example, let's use 'instructions' and 'new-equipment'.
    NOTE: You can add as many tags as you like.
  12. One last time up to the Please select an action dropdown, to select Change status.
  13. Another set of dropdowns will appear. In the furthest right, select 'Pending', to set the conversations to 'Pending' when the macro runs.
  14. And that should do it! Click the Save button to create your new macro.

Your team will now be able to use the macro when replying to conversations.

Using macros in conversation replies

Once you've defined one or more macros in Kayako, they'll be available to use when viewing a conversation.

To apply a macro to the conversation:

  1. When looking at a conversation, click the Macro dropdown on the top right.
  2. Search or scroll to the macro you want and click to select it.
  3. Review the changes to the conversation, which will be highlighted.
  4. If you're happy with the changes, click Submit to update the conversation.
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  1. Kelly O'Brien

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