Understanding the On hold State

Understanding the On hold ticket state

Ticket statuses help customers and agents to track progress and manage the lifecycle of a ticket. For example, it tells you whether it's the customer or an agent that needs to act next. All tickets in Zoho Desk can be in one of the following three states (also known as status groups):
  • Open
  • On Hold
  • Closed
Open and Closed are self-explanatory - they mark the beginning and the end of the support interaction. But what about On Hold state?

Why On Hold State?
By default, an SLA policy gets applied to each ticket to indicate how quickly you must respond to or resolve it. The tickets will have their SLA timers run down irrespective of your support process. Although, this is the default behavior what if you wanted to pause time (read, SLA escalations) while you are waiting for an event to happen. For example, when you require additional input from a customer or a resolution from a third party.

You can overcome this situation by selecting the On Hold status (pre-mapped to the On Hold state) that is provided as a part of your default status list in Zoho Desk. So when your agents select the status, they could pause the SLA timers running on their ticket. You can also create a custom status and map it to the On Hold state. Here are some of the statuses you may consider adding to your Zoho Desk:
  • Awaiting Customer Response: Status to indicate that you are expecting a response from the customer.
  • Waiting on Third Party: Status to indicate that there are third-party constraints that cannot be controlled by you.

What happens on selecting On Hold State
Here are the implications of assigning a ticket with On Hold state:
  • The SLA timers will freeze, and the ticket will not display the response and the resolution times determined previously.
  • Since the timers aren't running, escalations for both response and resolution will cease to trigger.
  • Since the escalations aren't triggered, the actions supposed to be executed alongside escalation will not happen. E.g., agent reassignment, etc.

What happens on resuming to the Open State
Here are the implications of resuming an On Hold ticket:
  • The SLA timers will return, and the ticket will display the recalculated response and the resolution times. Typically, your new 'due time' is calculated by measuring the actual SLA time, less the hold time.
  • Since the timers have resumed, escalations for both response and resolution will continue to trigger, and so will their related actions.

Sample Scenario - On Hold
A typical scenario of an On Hold ticket and its due period calculation will look like this:
  1. A new ticket is received with a 12hr resolution time.
  2. After 4hrs into the ticket, an agent replies the requestor to collect more information.
  3. The ticket's status is set to On Hold at the 4hr point (SLA timer is paused).
  4. The requestor replies with additional information after two days.
  5. The ticket falls back to the default Open state (SLA timer resumes).
  6. The ticket is set with a new resolution time of 8hrs from here.
  7. Escalations are triggered at the end of the residual resolution time.
As you may have noticed, in the above scenario, the On Hold status saved the ticket from getting escalated prematurely, while you were waiting to hear back from the customer.


  • By default every time a customer responds to a ticket with "On Hold" mapped status, its status will automatically be moved back to the default status.
  • The due time is recalculated based on either business or calendar hours as specified in the SLA target.

On Hold State as Filter Criterion
You can add the On Hold state as a filter criterion when you generate a report, set up an automation function, or create a custom Ticket View. This is accomplished by specifying "Status" in the criteria field and then selecting "is ON HOLD" in the filters menu.

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