Kayako was designed to help you empower your team and streamline your support processes, and few features do as much to make that happen as the automation engine. If you've taken a look at our introduction to automation article, you'll have some idea about what you can build with automations. With automations you can set up notification and reminder emails. You can escalate conversations that have breached their SLAs. You can manage when your satisfaction surveys go out, which agents are assigned to which conversations, how your conversations move through your support workflow.
For all that variety, Kayako handles all of those different tasks with just two automation structures: monitors and triggers. In this article we'll lay out the differences between the two, and then walk you the basic steps of creating them.
NOTE: For help with creating automations for specific purposes, have a look at the other articles in this section.
Understanding the difference between triggers and monitors
Both triggers and monitors are put together in roughly the same way. First, you'll define a set of criteria, by selecting one or more conditions. These tell Kayako to check your conversations for any that match those criteria. Next you'll specify what action Kayako should take for matching conversations. Each action specifies a particular conversation update, notification, etc.
Depending on your needs, triggers and monitors can be super-simple or incredibly complex. You can use multiple groups of conditions to narrow their influence to a narrow subset of conversations. You can build an automation to perform a single action, or set a whole laundry list of updates and notifications to execute on any matching conversation. You can learn more about the different conditions and actions available when building automations in our reference article on the subject.
While triggers and monitors are assembled in much the same way, they differ in when and how they are actually executed.
Triggers are event-based. They perform actions on any conversations that match their criteria, the minute those conversations are created or updated. Based on the conditions you select, you can specify the types of updates that should cause the trigger to run.
By contrast, monitors are time-based. When building monitors, you can select a time-based condition — like how long the conversation has before it breaches an SLA target — plus any additional conditions to narrow your subset of conversations. The monitors then sweep your support queue in hourly intervals. Then Kayako will perform whatever actions you define on any conversations that match.
Now that you've got a clear idea of how the different structures work, let's take a look at how to build them.
Adding a new trigger
The particular steps of building a trigger will depend on what you want that trigger to do, but we're going to look at an example of a good starter trigger. Let's say you want to set up a trigger to escalate any conversations as soon as they breach their SLA targets. We want the escalated conversations bumped up to 'Urgent' priority and we'll tag them with 'breached', so we can set up a view to display all our breached conversations.
NOTE: To add or edit triggers in Kayako, you will need an administrator account with the 'Manage automations' permission.
To create a new trigger:
- Sign in to your Kayako and go to the admin area.
- In the sidebar, click on Triggers.
- You'll see a list of any triggers that have been created in your Kayako. Click the Add new button.
- In the Rule Title field, add a descriptive title. In this conversation, let's say 'SLA escalation'. NOTE: It's important to use a good naming convention so you can keep track as you add more and more automations.
- From the Trigger this rule... dropdown, we're going to leave 'Any' selected, since we want it to apply to conversation updates from any source.
- From the Select a condition dropdown, choose 'SLA breached'.
- From the Select an action dropdown, select 'Conversation: Priority'.
- From the next dropdown, choose 'Change'.
- From the last dropdown, choose 'Urgent'.
- Click the +Add a new action link.
- From the Select an action dropdown, choose 'Conversation: Tags'.
- From the next dropdown, choose 'Add'.
- In the last field, type 'breached' and add a space to add it as a new tag.
- Click the Save button to create your new trigger.
And that's it — your trigger is active! If you need inspiration for or help with building triggers to serve a particular purpose, have a look at the other articles in this section.
Adding a new monitor
Monitors can serve many different purposes, but a common place to start is to build monitors to keep an eye on your SLA targets. Let's look at an example monitor that will send your agents an email whenever a conversation they're assigned to is within 2 hours of breaching its next SLA target.
NOTE: To add or edit monitors in Kayako, you will need an administrator account with the 'Manage automations' permission.
To create a new monitor:
- Sign in to your Kayako and go to the admin area.
- In the sidebar, click on Monitors.
- You'll see a list of any monitors that have been created in your Kayako. Click the Add new button.
- In the Rule Title field, add a descriptive title. In this conversation, let's say '2-hour SLA warning email'. NOTE: It's important to use a good naming convention so you can keep track as you add more and more automations.
- From the Select a condition dropdown, choose 'SLA: Time to next breach'.
- From the next dropdown, select 'less than or equal to'.
- In the Hours field, enter '2'.
- From the Select an action dropdown, choose 'Email a user'.
- From the Select receiver dropdown, choose '(Assignee)'.
- In the Subject and Message fields, add the content for your reminder email.
- Click the Save button to create your new monitor.
You're all set! Your monitor will run once and hour and check all of your non-completed conversations for matches. If you need inspiration for or help with building a particularly type of monitor, have a look at the other articles in this section.