Use Case

Leveraging custom objects to manage assets and provide personalized customer experiences

Using custom objects to manage your business’s unique data, making real-time, data-driven decisions, and providing more personalized customer interactions within Zendesk.


An ever-changing product catalog is challenging to manage, no matter what type of product or inventory your business has. Custom objects provide an easy way to associate your assets with tickets and users, giving your agents a 360-degree view of the customer and your business within Zendesk.

Custom Objects


Go Rentals is a car rental company that rents hundreds of vehicles to customers each week. Go Rentals support agents are responsible for handling critical tickets every day as they manage real-time requests, such as rental reservations or issues with a rental car.

Your agents are tasked with finding all of the relevant details about the rental vehicles to help complete reservations, answer questions, and resolve issues with the vehicles. This data required to address these different types of inquiries is scattered between the company’s bespoke inventory management system, the bookings system, and Zendesk. Switching between these systems results in longer times to resolution and agent inefficiency.


Improve customer satisfaction by ensuring agents have all the information they need within the Zendesk Agent workspace to resolve customer issues as quickly as possible.

Enhance business efficiency and flexibility by integrating your custom data into tickets, triggers, flow builder, and other Zendesk capabilities to create optimum operational efficiency and workflow automation.

Enable data-driven decision making by building a comprehensive view of your most important business data in one place. You can build comprehensive reporting with custom data in Explore.


Go Rentals has decided to use custom objects to store their vehicle inventory and customer reservation data within Zendesk, where they already housed their user data. In addition to leveraging this data within tickets themselves, they’ll also create a sidebar app to enrich the customer profiles.

What you’ll use

To implement a solution like this, you’ll need to use the following capabilities:

  • Custom Objects: Extend the Zendesk data model to capture data that doesn’t fit into standard Zendesk objects, such as asset inventory and customer reservations.

  • Custom Objects API: Define new custom objects and their relationships to other objects in Zendesk, modeling your business data more accurately and effectively.

  • Data Importer: Data Importer enables you to bring in large volumes of data from external sources via a simple CSV import process

  • Zendesk Apps Framework: Develop a custom sidebar app to make more custom data available to agents within the Zendesk Agent Workspace.

  • Zendesk Garden: Use appropriate styling for your custom sidebar app.


Implementing custom objects and creating a sidebar app involves several steps: identifying your data, creating your custom objects, importing your data, using the custom objects in triggers, and scoping and creating the sidebar app for your agents.

Identifying your data

Determine the external systems where relevant data is stored. In this example, your inventory management system and bookings system. Then determine which data within those systems is most important to your agents. See Planning your custom objects workflow.

Creating your custom objects

Create one or more custom objects. For example, a Vehicle object to store your vehicle inventory data and Reservation for your bookings data.

Importing your data

Use the data importer to seed the data from your external systems into Zendesk. This loads the initial data into Zendesk, where agents can manage it going forward. Alternatively, you may wish to preserve and maintain the data in your external system and use webhooks to keep Zendesk custom object records and your external systems in sync.

Setting up a trigger

Create or update triggers to incorporate your custom data into your workflow. For example, you might want to use a trigger to assign tickets to the Manufacturing group if an agent indicates there is a fault with a vehicle associated with the ticket.

Creating a sidebar app for your agents

In addition to using lookup relationship fields to expose custom object data within tickets directly, you can also create a custom sidebar app to expose more custom data that could be relevant to the ticket but isn’t directly associated with it. Use your standard process to scope, design, and develop the app with the Zendesk Apps Framework and the guidance provided here.

Post-Implementation agent experience

After adopting custom objects, importing the inventory and reservation data, and creating a sidebar app for agents, the agent experience has changed:

  • Open and read assigned customer ticket remains the same process agents are used to.

  • Understanding customer context and resolving issues is faster and easier. Agents at Go Rentals don’t have to switch between three systems to solve a ticket. Agents can easily assign replacement vehicles to customers with malfunctions; find information about vehicle history, insurance, warranties, instruction manuals; and understand a customer’s rental history without leaving the Zendesk Agent Workspace.

  • Handling follow up tasks requires little-to-no time because most of the follow-ups can be done within the Zendesk Agent Workspace or are automated based on the custom data the agent puts into Zendesk.

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