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Requesters vs. Followers: Differences and Uses

In OneDesk, you can add followers and requesters to your tickets, tasks, projects, and timesheets. Those who are added as followers or requesters will, by default, receive updates on changes, such as the lifecycle status changing, and newly posted messages. Individual customers or users, or entire customers organizations and teams can be set as followers and requesters.

Differences Between Followers and Requesters

  • Followers are those who want to be updated about the item, but are not the parties actually requesting the completion of the submitted item. Internal users/teams are automatically set as followers when added onto an item, and must be specifically changed into a requester if required.
  • Requesters are those who are submitting the item via email, the Customer Portal, Webforms, etc., which is then worked on by your organization inside OneDesk. Customers/customer organizations are automatically designated as requesters when added onto an item, and must be specifically changed into a follower if required.

Filter options and groupings can differentiate between followers and requesters. You can also create custom views, reports, and automations based on who is marked as requesting or following the item of interest.

Adding Followers and Requesters to an Item

Upon Creation

You can add followers and requesters to your tickets, tasks, and projects directly when creating the item inside OneDesk.

When creating a ticket, add in the users and customers who you want to mark as followers and requesters in the creation form:

If you do not have this section enabled by default (such as for tasks), navigate inside More Applications -> Administration -> Forms, you can expand the required creation form and add in the “Requesters & Followers” field.

Now when creating a task you can add followers and requesters in the same way as tickets. More on editing detail panels and creation forms.

Projects have followers and requesters added in their creation menu:

Sharing a project with an entire customer organization will cause all customers in that organization to be invited to the project, and receive updates about changes made directly to the project. If you only want to invite specific customers, expand the “Other Settings” dropdown and add in the individual customers from the “Share with Additional Customers” menu:

Similarly, in the “Share With Other Users” dropdown, you can either invite all teams and users inside your organization, or specify which users to invite, and their roles in the project. More on project roles.

After the Item is Already Created

You can manually change the followers and requesters of your tickets, tasks, projects, and timesheets after they have already been created inside OneDesk. To do this, navigate to the application of the item you want to change (Tickets, Tasks, Projects, or Timesheets), and access the item’s detail panel (ticket pictured):

In the “Requesters & Followers” section, you can add in additional followers or requesters with the “Add” plus, or change details about existing followers and requesters by hovering over the icon of the individual you want to change and selecting the dropdown arrow:

You can change requesters to followers, which will keep them on the ticket but no longer considered as a requester, or remove the customer as a requester - removing them from the ticket entirely.

You can perform similar actions on followers. Removing a user as a follower will remove them from the ticket:

Why You Might Change a Customer From Requester to Follower 

The primary example where this change is reasonable is if multiple customers are added onto a single item, and certain customers should not be able to access and/or edit the item on the Customer Portal for security reasons.

In this case, depending on your portal visibility settings, designating a customer as only a follower will prevent them from accessing the ticket on the portal. The customer will still receive email updates about the ticket, but cannot access or edit the ticket on the Customer Portal.

Why You Might Change a User From Follower to Requester

There are fewer reasons why you may want to designate an internal user as a requester, rather than a follower. Choosing to make a user an item’s requester is an organizational decision, where you want to keep track of anyone who is requesting the ticket, regardless of if they are an internal user or external customer. This change is applicable in creating filters, automations, and when running reports on requesters.

Creating Filtered Views for Followers and Requesters

To create custom views for your followers and requesters, hover over “My Views” on the left-hand side of the screen in a supported application, and select the “+. You can add filters to only see followers and requesters, as well as group by followers and requesters in certain layouts.

As an example of a custom view for requesters, navigate to the Tickets application and select the “By Requester” custom view. This is a custom view in the Tree layout, grouping all submitted tickets by their requesting organization:

Creating Automations for Followers and Requesters

Workflow automations are a powerful tool in OneDesk where you specify what items the automation runs on, what triggers the automation, and an action the automation will take when the trigger is met. You can run automations on tickets, tasks, projects, and timesheets.

Workflow automations can be filtered by specific followers and requesters, triggered by the addition of a follower, and automatically add in or remove followers and requesters for the automation’s actions. 

As an example of a workflow automation for followers and requesters, let’s make an automation for tickets that automatically adds a specific customer organization’s manager as a requester whenever a ticket is submitted by that organization. First navigate to More Applications -> Administration -> Tickets, and create a new workflow automation:

For “Runs on”, select tickets, and add a filter for the required customer organization. The trigger will be when the item is created, and select “add requester” for the action, setting the added requester to be that organization’s manager. The final automation will look like this:

Select save, and now whenever a new ticket is created by this customer organization, the organization’s manager is added as a requester so they receive notifications about all tickets that are being worked on for their organization.

Creating Reports for Followers and Requesters

In addition to custom views and automation, you can create custom report templates to report on your item’s followers and requesters. Additionally, you can send emails about the report being run to the requesters or followers if necessary. To access the reporting functionality in OneDesk, navigate to More Applications -> Analytics -> Scheduled Reports:

You can create a new template with the “New Template” button. Followers and requesters can be added as columns in the report, filters, etc. For more on creating reports in OneDesk, check out our article on report creation.

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