Overview of the Case Lifecycle

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This article describes the lifecycle of a default Desk.com case. “Lifecycle" refers to the various statuses (New, Open, Pending, Resolved, Closed), or stages, a case can be in from when it is first created to when it is closed. Since this article refers to the default Desk.com lifecycle, keep in mind some of this information may not apply to your existing configuration due to customizations or changes you may have made to your Rules.

Case Lifecycle

  1. Case is first created: When a case is first created, it automatically gets a status of New. Once the status changes from New, it can never revert back to that status.
  2. Agent opens the case: When an agent opens a case for the first time, the status of the case changes to Open. Note that when an Agent opens a case it will be locked for other Agents - meaning they can still view the case but won't be able to edit it, since the Agent that opened the case is already active on it.
  3. Agent replies to case: After an agent sends a reply to a customer, the status should be changed to Pending or Resolved. Set the case to Pending if it requires further information from the customer or a follow-up from the agent. Set the case to Resolved if it is believed that the customer does not require further assistance. This can be done manually by Agents or automatically by Rules.
  4. Customer replies to Pending or Resolved case: If a customer replies to a case that is set to Pending or Resolved, the case will revert back to Open, due to a default Inbound Interaction rule - Re-open Pending or Resolved Cases. Setting the case back to Open causes the case to be routed to an agent and/or appear in the appropriate case filters.
  5. Case is closed by a Rule: A case can only be set to Closed by a Rule.
    • Once a case is Closed, it becomes read-only and the status cannot be changed. So if there is any chance that the case may need to be updated again at some point, you should not allow it to be set to Closed.
    • If a customer replies to a case that is set to Closed, a new case will be created.
    • If you do want to set cases to Closed, the recommended practice is to use a Time Rule to automatically close cases that are set to Resolved but have not been updated for some time. Desk.com comes with a default Time Rule - Close Case, that does this but it is disabled by default.

It is easy to work out what the rule is configured to accomplish by viewing its plain English version as displayed here. If a case is Resolved and has been in that status for two weeks, then set its status to Closed. To reiterate, once a case is Closed it cannot be changed. So this rule assumes that a Resolved case that has not been changed for two weeks is a good candidate for being set to Closed.

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