Solutions author updating is really awful.

Related products: Freshdesk Support Desk

The person who originally created a solution is the author. But any agent can create a solution, and agents have turnover.

Removing the agent when they leave or are reassigned leads to the article having a "Deleted Agent" for the author.

The first problem is, it's impossible to edit and save the article unless you are a system administrator.

Users come and go, but just because a user is gone does not mean the articles they created should no longer be editable by other agents. This is a weird restriction that should not exist.

Either users should be allowed to update the authors of articles themselves, or else the Deleted Agent status should not prevent an agent from saving changes to articles. Under the current environment, deleting an agent leads to a bunch of articles which can no longer be edited or updated, causing them to have incorrect, outdated information.

The only way to fix this is to assign the article a new author. But the author can only be assigned by an administrator, and support have been unable to tell me which specific administrator permissions are required.

To make matters worse, each article must be updated one at a time. There is no bulk update. Since there could be hundreds or even thousands of articles, this is clearly an undesirable state of affairs.

Ideally, deleting a user should prompt the administrator to assign their solutions articles to another user at the time of deletion. Failing that, there should be a way for the administrator to bulk update authors.

The underlying cause of this is that the author of an article cannot be a contact. Allowing the author of an article to be a Contact would resolve the entire problem seamlessly.

Leaving the user in place as an occasional user is not an acceptable solution, it's a low quality workaround kludge.


The second problem is that each article must have the author manually changed.



Hey Bill,


Thanks for sharing your valuable feedback and detailing upon the concerns along with great suggestions, appreciate it. I will try to answer every part of the concern:


1. Every article in Freshdesk should be mapped to an agent (author) and it is mandatory. Else, we are talking about breaking the way articles are stored and the way ownerships are assigned. The same reason why users (without change author permission) are not able to edit and save the article because an article cannot be updated without the author information.


2. Author of an article are considered as the owner of the content and it is critical because they will be informed about any feedback received from users. 


3. When an agent is removed from Freshdesk, they are converted as a contact and an article cannot have a contact as the author because of Point #1 and #2. 


4. Changing ownership of an article cannot be a privilege given to all the default roles. It is available to any users with account management permission. It is definitely our fault for not communicating the required details in support. 


5. Identifying the articles with deleted agents and fixing them one by one is definitely tedious and not a great experience, totally agree with it. 


I am thinking of two solutions here, long-term and short-term: 

Long term - We will definitely look at a way for managers to filter and identify articles with deleted agents as author and provide a way to change the author in bulk. 


Short term - We can help you in updating these information from the backend. I can create a support ticket and take it up as a custom request to update the author information for such articles.


Let me know your thoughts and looking forward to hear from you. 


Hi Bill,


Hope you are doing good and staying safe. Based on our earlier discussion, I thought I will update about some of the improvements we had made over time that addresses the long-term plan. 


1. Filter by deleted agents - You can filter and get the list of articles that has 'Deleted agents' as author. You just need to choose 'Deleted Agent' from the Author dropdown (shown below).



2. Change author (in bulk) - Once you have the list of articles that needs to be updated, you can choose to select the required articles from the list and click on 'Change author' to transfer the ownership to existing agents. 




Let me know if it works. 


Thanks,

Sajesh


Thanks for the interim solution. This does reduce the pain of updating authors, but it doesn't really address the confusion that your architecture creates.

You require that every article must have a CURRENT agent as an author in order for the article to be editable, but you also require that agents be completely removed and converted to contacts when they are no longer employeed.

Requiring an author for the article makes sense if you want to ensure that the history of who manages an article is maintained, but it doesn't work with the transient nature of support workers. Agents come and go, and the fact that an agent has left should not cause their articles to be non-editable. In fact, this can create a situation where a disgruntled agent could sabotage the system by defacing their articles right before leaving, and nobody would even know until a customer reported it.


I understand that your architecture may require this, but it's still a flaw.


The permanent solution needs to address the fact that removing an agent automatically renders their articles uneditable.


From my perspective as a customer, the best solution would be to present me with a prompt when I convert an agent to  a contact, and ask me to assign another agent to take ownership of all articles created by the agent being removed. This will ensure that articles are never left in this limbo state, and also alert your customer to the fact that removing agents has this impact on article ownership.


Ideally your system would provide a way to retain authorship information for former agents. One possibility would be to have a third licensing state, a "Previous Agent" status which preserves all agent information but does not consume any licenses or day passes and cannot log into the system.


Thanks for taking action on my previous suggestion.

Thanks for the quick response Bill, appreciate it. Glad to know that the current solution helps in updating the author information. 


I think you have already captured the essence of our plan and the way we wanted to tackle the use-case. You were right by saying that agents would come and go and we definitely want the business and its operations to continue without any disruption.  


We already thought about showing a confirmation while removing an agent and the option to change the ownership right then and there. However, it would require a lot more changes across the product and we will look into it in the future based on the feasibility. Alternatively, we are thinking of allowing the option to edit articles with the author as 'Deleted agent' and automatically change the ownership to the agent who is editing it. In that case, we don't have to worry about blocking agents from making changes to the articles. We will keep the thread updated when we progress on those lines.


Once again, thanks for sharing your amazing suggestions and feedback.


Did you remove the 'Change Author' bulk operation? I can see the filtered list of solutions but can only take action on them individually.




Just run into this problem - and it an is utterly shoddy functionality. Updating and editing existing articles absolutely cannot be dependent on there not being changes in personnel - change is an everyday reality in any organization.

We have plenty of varied solutions where the label of a previous editor who created a transaction in whichever solution can be traced without a user being inactivated creating this kind of dysfunctionality.