Zendesk integration: External applications that allow us to optimise

Zendesk allows you to integrate with various external applications. These applications help our business work more effectively by pulling through support tickets and allowing members not dedicated to dealing with clients to also assist with support queries. There are many applications that are used with Zendesk but at LightSpeed we use Trello, Bugherd and Harvest.
This blog post is about how we use these integrations at LightSpeed.

What is Harvest and how do we use it with Zendesk integration?

Harvest is time tracking software that allows companies to create daily, monthly and weekly time sheets. These time sheets can be exported to create invoices for clients. It also allows a company to go back and see how much time a certain task took in the past. By doing this a company can create accurate cost estimates for the future.
Zendesk integration with Harvest at LightSpeed allows us to track the time that we spent tending support requests. The harvest application can be accessed through the Zendesk support software. Our support team can log their Zendesk time against a ticket by starting the Harvest timer or enter the time duration. A quick link to the Zendesk ticket is provided on the Harvest timesheet if ever they need to continue logging time on that ticket.

What is BugHerd and how do we use it with Zendesk integration?


BugHerd is a bug reporting system that allows users to click on the part of the website with the bug on it and then type a bug report. Bugs can also be assigned to a person and you can set the urgency of the bug. This application helps save time by having clients report the bug directly to us, instead of trying to explain the issue. It is also easier for developers and designers to use this tool to communicate bugs to one another.
Zendesk integration with Bugherd allows our clients to alert our team members of bugs that they found via email. Team members involved with a certain project are alerted via email of any requests logged by the client on Bugherd. The team member then logs into Bugherd and deals with the request, moving it along the status rungs (backlog, doing, done) until it is archived. If a bug has to be handled by one of our support team members, then they do the logging of any support requests directly from Bugherd to Zendesk. This means that they send the bug logged by the client through to Zendesk manually.

What is Trello and how do we use it with Zendesk integration?

Trello organises projects into boards and you can look at all your projects at once. It is a very helpful tool when tracking the progress of a project. Team members get assigned to cards and details of the task is inserted into a detailed version of the card (see Trello image 2 below). A Trello board is in essence a digital Kanban board. Kanban boards use a visual element called a swim lane. “A swim lane (or swimlane) is a visual element used in process flow diagrams, or flowcharts, that visually distinguishes responsibilities for sub-processes of a business process. Swim lanes may be arranged either horizontally or vertically [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swim_lane].” On Trello image 1 below you can see that a Trello board’s swimlane is arranged horizontally. Tasks on the boards are organised by their progress from “to do”, “doing” and lastly “done”.

Zendesk integration with Trello enables us to outline support requests into tasks that can be assigned to different members of the team. A clear advantage that LightSpeed procures from Zendesk integration is, for example, that more complex requests can be tackled by more than one person at a time. This improves turnaround time. Another example of how we benefit from Zendesk integration with Trello is that it affords the support manager a bird’s-eye view on the progress of one request or all requests. We know exactly what still needs to be done, what has been done, and where any delays that may arise stem from.

At LightSpeed, Zendesk integration with Trello has a certain process. First, a support ticket is created by a client when they submit a support request through Zendesk. Then, a card is automatically created and placed on a Trello board by Zendesk based on the ticket that was just created. Thereafter, the support manager moves the request into specific, time-framed tasks. He then assigns them accordingly.
This process improves our efficiency because a lot of redundant information is absent by the time that the person assigned to the task receives the request. Their Trello card is framed as a “task” with a clear, concise description of what is required and it also includes a deadline.

The conclusion

Zendesk integration through Trello, Harvest and Bugherd aids LightSpeed in getting the job done faster. It provides us with tools to handle support requests as a team, instead of just shedding the load on the support members. Zendesk integrations also helps us to get developer input more effectively since their tasks can directly be assigned to them almost as soon as a ticket is created. This in turn gives our clients fast and quality responses.