A dependent field lets you add a hierarchical dropdown to your ticket form. It gives you an easy way to create deeper ticket categories and identify the most prominent types of issues that come into your helpdesk. You will see dependent fields in action on many e-commerce websites. Here is an example of a dependent field, as seen in a website's help section:

In Freshdesk, dependent fields use a three-level hierarchy: Category → Subcategory → Item. A drop-down box for your customers represents each level. When a customer chooses a category at the first level, a new drop-down appears with a corresponding set of subcategories. And when they want a subcategory, they are shown a list of items in the third level based on their choice. 

With the right kind of dependent fields, you can nest each ticket into a specific Category, Sub-category, and Item without making your customers fill out a lot of information. This way, at the end of the month, you can see which categories bring up a majority of tickets, and what specific items within are causing them. 

For example, in the usual e-commerce support scenario, dependent Fields let you organize support queries into first-level categories like Electronics, Groceries, and Home Appliances. You could then have Subcategories under Electronics like Desktops, Laptops, and Printers, and finally, have the individual brand names as items under Desktops, laptops, and printers. Or you can have Country, State, City fields where the category is 'Country,' the subcategory is 'State' and the item is 'city.' 

A quick guide to adding dependent fields in your ticket form:

  • Login to Freshdesk as an administrator.

  • Go to Admin > Workflows > Ticket Fields to start customizing the Ticket Form.

  • From the menu above the form, click on the Dependent Fields/Nested field button (list icon).

  • In the Field Properties box, choose the visibility and editing permissions for agents and for customers.

  • Create the Label names for the 3 levels of hierarchy in your dependent field. For example, you could call it Category → Sub Category → Item or Problem → Asset → Type, etc.

  • Click Edit under the Dropdown items to start editing the field values.

  • Type the values for each level of the hierarchy. Start the value with one tabbed space for the second level hierarchy, and with two tabbed spaces for the third level.

  • Click on Done when you have finished editing. You can also drag and drop the field to reorder and place it as per your requirement.

  • Click Save to save the new field.

Bulk update fields: If you have a large list of dependent fields, you can organize them with the tabbed hierarchies in any text editor, copy them and then paste them into the dependent fields editor and they'll be converted into drop-down boxes automatically. 

If you want to bulk update a single category, you can click on the ‘Add choices in bulk’ button and paste the list of items under the respective category. 

The final output of the dependent fields in an Agent ticket form will look like this:

Customer view of the dependent fields in the ticket form: