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Configure Business Rules

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Summarize the different types of automation rules in
  • Use rules to execute events.
  • Summarize best practices around configuring time rules.

Introduction to Using Rules in

In the previous unit, we reviewed how rules can be used to send emails to your customers or send internal email alerts to agents. We also discussed how to modify the look and feel of outgoing emails by creating custom reply themes that include signatures, logos, and more.

In this unit, we discuss how rules can be used to create workflows that perform certain actions without involving your agents. We learn how to set up various rules to help Andrej and his team make the most of their support process in

Rule Types

Desk offers 11 rule types that you can configure based on the type of action they automate:

Rule Type When Rule Runs
Inbound Interaction When an interaction comes into
Outbound Interaction When an interaction is outgoing from
Case Created When a new case is created
Case Opened When a case status changes from New to Open
Case Reopened When a case status changes from Pending/Resolved to Open
Case Updated When there is any update to a case
Case Pending When the case status changes to Pending
Case Closed When a case status changes to Resolved
Time Rule Every 15 minutes, based on configured time intervals
CSat Submitted When a customer satisfaction score (CSat) is applied to a case

Let’s look at some scenarios and see how applying rules can help us do some great things to help your agents.

Inbound Interaction Rule Scenario

Andrej’s team gets a huge number of cases daily with users reporting login or password troubles. To avoid flooding the main inbox filter with these cases, Andrej needs help setting up a rule that automatically scans through incoming cases. The rule moves any password-related case into a separate filter that is assigned to John.

To achieve this, Andrej creates a label, then sets up an inbound interaction rule that scans the incoming case to append the label and route the case further.

There are three steps to this process:

  1. Create a label.
  2. Create a filter.
  3. Create an inbound interaction rule.

Let’s set this up.

Create a label:

  1. Go to Admin > Cases > Label > click Add Label.
    1. Name: Password
    2. Color: Choose any color
    3. Enable For: Select cases and Macro Folders
    4. Active: Toggle to On

    add label

Now that we have our label in place, let’s move on to the filter.

Create a filter:

  1. Go to Admin > Cases > Filters > click Add Filter.
  2. Setup your filter as the following:
    1. Labels contains Password
    2. Permission to this filter: John
      set up filter

Now that we have our label and filter prepared. Our final step is the workflow to tie all things together.

Create an inbound interaction rule:

  1. Go to Admin > Cases > Rules > Inbound interaction > click Add Rule.
    1. Name: Password cases
    2. Interaction Types: Email

      inbound interaction rule
    3. Add the conditions and rule actions as shown below:
      1. Interaction Subject contains password
      2. Interaction Subject contains reset
      3. Interaction Body contains password
      4. Interaction Body contains login
      5. Interaction Body contains reset
      6. Append case labels Password

        conditions and rule actions


We are adding the conditions as Any conditions, to enable the rule to run if at least one of the conditions are true, but not necessarily all.

We’re done setting up our workflow, let’s test it. Andrej sends in a case, with the subject “I forgot my password” and another case with the subject “Please reset.” This is what it looks like:

workflow tested


You can, in addition to this setup, exclude cases with the password label from the inbox filter by adding an All condition to the inbox filter for Labels does not contain Password.

Hurray! Alis is excited to see cases for login issues automatically labeled and routed.

Case Updated Rule Scenario

Andrej runs into a new situation. He set up two groups, Tier 1 support and Tier 2 support (you can read more on groups in the Toolkit module). Andrej must create a workflow that automatically sets case priority, based on which group is handling the case. He also wants to receive a notification whenever a case is assigned to Tier 2.

To achieve this, Andrej first needs to create a notification theme. Then set up a case updated rule that changes the priority field, depending on which group is assigned.

There are two steps to this process:

  1. Create a notification.
  2. Create a case updated rule.

Let’s set this up.

Create a notification:

  1. Go to Admin > Cases > Notifications > click Add theme.
    1. Name: Notify Andrej of Tier 2
  2. In the Edit Notification theme editor, remove all code from the To field. Now hard code any email address that should receive the Tier 2 Notification emails.
  3. Change the Subject field to the following: Tier 2 Notification - case #{{}}
  4. Click Update to save.
    edit notification theme

That was a breeze; let’s create our rule.

Create a case updated rule:

  1. Go to Admin > Cases > Rules > case updated > click Add Rule.
    1. Name: Priority - Tier 2
    2. All condition: Case Assigned Group has changed
    3. All condition: Case assigned group is Tier 2 Support
    4. Rule action: Set case Priority 7
    5. Rule action: Send Notification Email Notify Andrej - Tier 2
  2. Enable the Rule and click Update.
    enable the rule


To create a rule for Tier 1, simply duplicate this rule and modify it to trigger against Tier 1. Then set your chosen Priority value and remove the notification action.

Due to the first condition we set, this rule triggers when the group assignment is changed. Without that first condition, the rule would run every time a Tier 2 case was updated, which is not what we’re going for. We only want the priority to set once and the notification sent out when the group assignment was modified. Well done!

Time Rules

Time rules are great for workflows that run based on a time interval. Common use cases for time rules include cleaning up old cases that have been untouched for a certain period of time, or incrementing priority and escalating cases after a specified time. Time rules are not event triggered, and they run in intervals of 15 minutes.

Preventing Infinite Loops

There are a few things to consider when using this rule type. A caveat to this rule type is that it cannot trigger against the same case more than three intervals in a row. This creates an infinite loop. If a rule gets stuck in a loop, will disable it to avoid repeated actions from triggering every 15 minutes. What’s the best way to avoid loops? Use labels! Create labels for every time rule you create. Add that label in your rule actions, and check for that label in your rule conditions to have the case ignored at the next 15-minute interval, and all subsequent intervals. This forces the rule to run on your cases one time. Let’s review an example.

Andrej has been asked to archive old cases that have been resolved for 2 weeks. With the volume of cases his team receives, they need to clear their queues from old cases that they’re no longer working on. They also want to use a filter to easily find archived cases.

To achieve this, Andrej needs to create a label, then set up a filter to hold archived cases. He also needs to create a time rule to perform these actions.

There are three steps to this process:

  1. Create a label.
  2. Create a filter.
  3. Create a time rule.

Let’s get started.

Create a label

  1. Go to Admin > Cases > Labels > click Add Label.
    1. Archived
    2. Choose any color
    3. Select Cases and Macro Folders
    4. Toggle to On

    add label

Done with the label; let’s get the filter ready as well.

Create a filter

  1. Go to Admin > Cases > Filter > click Add Filter.
  2. Set up your Filter as the following:

    set up filter

Our final step: put together the time rule to do some cleanup for us.

Create a time rule

  1. Go to Admin > Cases > Rules > Time Rule > click Add Rule
  2. Name it Archiving Cases after 2 weeks
  3. Set up the rule as follows:
    1. Case status is Resolved
    2. Hours since Resolved is greater than or equal to 336
    3. Case labels does not contain Archived
    4. Set Case status Closed
    5. Append Case labels Archived

      set up rule


This rule triggers against all Cases that have been resolved for at least 2 weeks (336 hours = 2 weeks). It only executes if the label archived has not already been appended to the Case. This means that the rule can only run once for the same Case, avoiding a loop, since the label will be added within the first 15-minute interval of running.

Congratulations! You’ve helped Andrej create some efficient and neat workflows to drive automation for his team.