Forums/Documentation/Users, groups, and organizations

Using custom agent roles (Enterprise)

Anton de Young
posted this on July 25, 2011 14:01

In the Enterprise version of Zendesk, you can define your own agent roles and assign those roles to any agent in your Zendesk. This allows you to define agent roles that suit your own organizational structure and workflow.

Understanding the predefined Enterprise agent roles

Zendesk also offers a number of predefined agent roles that reflect typical enterprise support roles. You can use these agent roles as is or clone them and create variations to suit your needs. Or, you can create your own agent roles.

Agent roleDescription
Legacy Agent This is transitory role that includes all agents who have yet to be assigned to a role. For all these agents, we are maintaining the permissions they previously had on the plan you upgraded from. Also, you cannot assign agents to this transitory role. Lastly, this role will disappear after all its members have been assigned to other roles.
Light Agent

Zendesk Enterprise provides you with unlimited internal usage in the form of light agents. Light agents can be CC'd on and view tickets, add private comments to tickets within their groups, and view reports. They cannot be assigned to or edit tickets. You can add an unlimited number of light agents at no charge.

This role cannot be deleted.

Staff A Staff agent's primary role is to solve tickets. They can edit tickets within their groups, view reports, and add or edit personal views and macros.
Team Leader Team leaders have greater access to your Zendesk than staff agents. They can read and edit all tickets, moderate forums, and create and edit end-users, groups, and organizations.
Advisor Advisors manage the workflow and configure your Zendesk. They create or manage shared automations, macros, triggers, and views. They also set up the service level agreements, channels, and extensions. Advisors don't solve tickets, they can only make private comments.
Administrator Administrators have control over everything within your Zendesk, except for changing billing information or payment plans (that can only be done by the account owner).

Creating custom agent roles

You can create your own agent roles or base a new role on one of the predefined agent roles. You can either edit or clone the Staff, Team Leader, and Advisor roles.

To create a new agent role from a predefined role
  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select People.
    Zendesk Classic: Select the Manage menu, then select People.
  2. Select Roles.

    All of the agent roles (predefined and custom roles, if any) are displayed.

  3. Locate the role you want to edit or clone. Select Edit or Clone (which appears when you move your mouse over the role in the list of roles).
  4. Define and create the agent role as described below in Agent permissions.
  5. When you've finished defining the new role, click Create Role.
To add a new custom agent role
  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select People.
    Zendesk Classic: Select the Manage menu, then select People.
  2. Select Add role.
  3. Enter a role name and description and then select the permissions for the role (described below).
  4. Click Create role.

Agent permissions

When creating custom agent roles, you choose from an extensive list of permissions that define what agents can do.
PermissionsDescription
Tickets You can define an agent's access to tickets, the types of comments they can make, and their editing permissions.

An agent may access tickets in one of the following ways:

  • Assigned to this agent only
  • Requested by users in this agent's organization
  • All within this agent's group(s)
  • All, including suspended tickets

Notwithstanding ticket access restrictions, CC'ing an agent (including a Light Agent) on any ticket lets the agent receive email notifications of all public and private updates to the ticket.

Agents can add ticket comments in one of the following ways:

  • Private only
  • Public and private

In addition, you can grant agents permission to do any of the following:

  • Can edit ticket properties
  • Can delete tickets
  • Can merge tickets
  • Can edit ticket tags
Note: In the Enterprise version, the ability to delete tickets has been moved from the Agents settings page and is now an agent-level permission.
Tools The Tools section includes access and editing permissions for views, reports, customer lists, macros, and dynamic content. One option can be selected for each.

Reports:

  • Cannot view
  • Can view only
  • Can view, add and edit

Views:

  • See views only
  • Add and edit personal views
  • Add and edit personal and group views
  • Add and edit personal, group and global views
Customer lists:
  • See customer lists only
  • Add and edit personal customer lists
  • Add and edit personal and group customer lists
  • Add and edit personal, group, and global customer lists

Macros:

  • Cannot add or edit
  • Can add and edit personal macros
  • Add and edit personal and group macros
  • Add and edit personal, group and global macros

Selecting Can access dynamic content enables the agent to review, add, and edit dynamic content.

People You can define an agent's access to users and user profiles. One option can be selected for each.

Viewing and editing end-user profiles:

  • Read only
  • Add and edit within their organization
  • Add, edit, and delete all

End-user editing rights enables the agent to verify end-users. Only administrators can change a user's role.

Browsing and searching for users:
  • Cannot browse or search for users
  • Can view all users in your account

Selecting Can add or modify groups and organizations enables an agent to create and edit groups and organizations for users. This option is only available when Add, edit, and delete all is selected for viewin and editing end-user profiles.

Forums

Viewing and editing of forums can be set to one of the following:

  • Add topics in unrestricted forums only
  • Add and edit topics in all forums (moderator)
  • Add, edit and reorder all forums content

All forums content includes comments, topics, forums, and categories.

Selecting Can access organization-restricted forums allows the agent to access and edit forums restricted to an organization.

Channels Depending on the channels that have been enabled for your account, agents may also be allowed to do any of the following:
  • Can answer chat requests
  • Can access Twitter functionality
  • Can answer phone calls
System

The following two options allow the agent to create and edit triggers, automations, and SLA targets and to manage channels and extensions.

  • Can manage business rules
  • Can manage channels and extensions

Channels are modes of communication such as chat, email, and twitter. Extensions includes integrations and widgets.

Assigning custom roles to agents

You can assign a role to an agent by editing their profile, or you can assign a role to multiple agents at the same time.

To change the role of a single agent

  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, select People, and then click the link to browse agents.
    Zendesk Classic: Select the Manage menu, select People and then click the link to browse agents.
  2. Click Edit next to the agent's name.
  3. In the agent's profile, click the Role field and select a role.

    In the following example, the agent is assigned a custom role called Forum Moderator.

The change is saved immediately.

To change the role of more than one agent

  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, select People, and then click the link to browse agents.
    Zendesk Classic: Select the Manage menu, select People and then click the link to browse agents.
  2. Select the checkbox next to the names of the agents you want to update and click the Change Role link at the top of the list.

  3. Select the role, then click Submit.

 

Comments

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TJ Baker

What permissions should 'light agents' have in the forums?  I'm not seeing any ability to do anything with a light agent in the forum when I assume one of our assigned users that that role.

August 09, 2011 14:00
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Pierre Grenier
Product Manager

@TJ,  Light agents cannot create topics in forums which are public (open to end-users) unless end-users can also create topics in there.  However, they can access forums which are private (only open to agent and not to end-users).  On each private forum, you can enable any agent to create topics.

August 09, 2011 14:57
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TJ Baker

Thanks for explaining Pierre.

Any chance that a light agent might someday be able to do things like the 'moderator' actions in the forums?

August 09, 2011 16:37
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Pierre Grenier
Product Manager

Ah, that is a good one.  We currently do not have any plans to enable moderation permissions for light agents.  However, we have been asked this question more and more since launching the Enterprise plan.  Hope this helps.

August 09, 2011 17:01
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TJ Baker

Thanks again Pierre.

Would be great to see such an ability for light agents :)

Cheers

August 09, 2011 17:31
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Pierre Grenier
Product Manager

Guys, the fix for the #1 issue above (Light agents will appear in the "Assignee" drop-down on a ticket page) is currently in QA and will go out on Aug. 18 (instead of Aug. 11).

August 12, 2011 12:09
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Johnny Yeip
Besides being able to view reports, I don't see "Light Agents" as being any different than an end-user who is simply CC'ed on a ticket. Am I missing something?
August 16, 2011 12:43
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Pierre Grenier
Product Manager

@Johnny...  there are other differences that are more subtle.  For instance, light agents are able to make private comments on tickets within their group.  Also, they can see all ticket properties such as status, custom fields, comment thread, events/notification log.  Furthermore, light agents can access internal content on the forums.  Actually, besides the fact that they cannot be assigned to a ticket, a light agent's permission is similar to a group-restricted agent on any of Plus/Regular/Stater.

August 16, 2011 13:01
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Johnny Yeip
Thanks for the information Pierre. What was the intended purpose of a Light Agent? They seem more like collaborators than agents per se. Right now I'm on a Plus+ account and successfully using Zendesk as an internal ticketing system for jobs assigned to my design department. I would love to have our other departments use Zendesk as my department does, but if I have to add everyone as an Agent (about 20 employees total), it's going to cost us an additional $24K per year! Could Light Agents help me in this situation so we're not breaking the bank?
August 16, 2011 13:22
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Pierre Grenier
Product Manager

@Johnny, yes they are like collaborators.  As you know, light agents are free of charge and only available on Enterprise.  Not sure about your use case but since you are in the design business, which tends to be more interactive, then I think light agents might be a good match.  I will have someone follow-up with you to answer your questions.

August 16, 2011 14:15
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Sam Finding
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I have just been able to assign a ticket to a light agent where I couldn't before. Will this now be possible going forward. If so - great new feature :-)
August 17, 2011 15:28
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Pierre Grenier
Product Manager

@Sam, unfortunately, this is a bug.  Thank you for reporting it; this is very honest of you to do so :)

August 17, 2011 16:37
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Summer Reeves
So my company is currently on the Plus plan and uses Zendesk for our IT department. We would like to add Maintenance, Purchasing, etc. to the helpdesk but do not want Maintenance/Purchasing to see IT tickets. It sounds like roles would allow me to limit each group to only have access to their tickets. Is that correct? So I could just add new groups/agents to the Zendesk and they would each only have visibility to the tickets they are assigned to?
August 19, 2011 09:48
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Joy Carletti
Zendesk

@Summer, Yes, you could do this with roles *or* with restricted agents on the Plus+ plan.  In either case, you would create groups and then restrict the agents such that they could only see tickets within their own groups.  (You will need either someone with access to all tickets to assign, or a series of triggers & automations to move tickets to their correct places!) 

August 19, 2011 09:59
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Pierre Grenier
Product Manager

Guys, the fix for the #1 issue above (Light agents will appear in the "Assignee" drop-down on a ticket page) has not been deployed as planned on Aug. 18.  We decided to pull it out of the release after it was causing other issues on the ticket page.  I will post more information as soon as possible.

August 21, 2011 13:39
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Devenie Corliss
aspera
I had expected to be able to notify light agents via a trigger/automation. Unfortunately the light agents don't appear in the list. Any chance that might be changed or can you share thoughts on why you Zendesk isn't allowing the functionality of the "email user" for that class of agent.
August 26, 2011 19:42
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Jake Holman
Product Manager

@Devenie: Please refer back to the ticket you submitted, that is indeed a bug. 

August 29, 2011 09:50
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Molly

What is the difference between a light agent and an administrator, staff, etc. with regards to the search function?  If I search as administrator for a client name, I see many more results than when I do the same search assuming the identity of a light agent (113:42, 69:19, etc). I thought light agent access would help other departments prep for client calls, but I need to understand what they are and aren't seeing. Thanks!

September 28, 2011 12:15
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Pierre Grenier
Product Manager

Molly, the search results are dependent on the agent's permissions.  Light agents are restricted so that they will see the following information in the search results:

- Relevant forums topics

- Organization names

- Any tickets which belongs to a group where the light agent is a member of.

So this implies that a light agent will not see group information or tickets which are unaccessible by him/her.

Looking at your use case, it seems you have 2 options:

1) Make the light agent a member of all groups

2) Map an Organization to a Group, and make the appropriate agent part of that group.

Hope this helps,

Pierre

October 04, 2011 01:01
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Michael Hixson
Full Sail University

If I am reading this article correctly, there is no exact equivalent for the Plus plan "Agent" in Enterprise? It reads like "Staff" is a step below (not able to access all groups' tickets) and "Team Leader" is a step above.

Am I understanding that correctly?

October 07, 2011 11:53
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Pierre Grenier
Product Manager

@Michael... you can recreate any Plus+ agents on Enterprise by creating a custom role.  "Staff" and "Team Leader" are only pre-defined roles for your convenience.

October 10, 2011 07:43
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Michael Hixson
Full Sail University

@Pierre - thanks for pointing that out! Obviously, I completely missed it.

October 13, 2011 07:26
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Molly

@Pierre, thanks for the info.  I still confused though, because right now, we have only one group, so all light agents should see all tickets in that group, right?  I want to understand why their search results are different before I add more groups and confuse the issue even further. Thanks for your help.

October 14, 2011 12:21
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Max McCal
Product Manager

Hi, Molly - If you have just one group your light agents should see all tickets, since there won't be any tickets that aren't assigned to this group. I just set up a ticket so we can take a look and see what might be going wrong in this case. Thanks!

October 24, 2011 17:01
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Adam Goolie Gould
lytro

We just moved from ZD+ to Enterprise, and yesterday I switched all our legacy agent rolls to "staff", and one "team lead".

Here are some roll-based problems we had:

  1. Staff lost the ability to see all tickets. I got contacted by our team lead that some agents could no longer see some tickets. Now, I understand that 'staff' get defaulted to "Can see all tickets within this agent's group" and I can fix it if I want, but I recommend that you alert your customers converting "agents" to "staff" that this is going to happen.
  2. Loss of "assume identity" functionality - all my staff (inc'l team lead) lost the ability to assume identity. I consider this to be a pretty fundamental troubleshooting tool, but you limit access to it to Admins only. I now have to make our team lead back into an admin, just so he can get this feature. You should make this a configurable feature in the "People" section of roll editing and configuration, and the 'team lead' roll should default to it. I've make a mockup of that here: https://skitch.com/lytroolie/gcw51/lytro-edit-role
Thanks for listening
November 30, 2011 12:41
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Eric Dahl
groupon

Is there any way to read an Agent's "custom-role" from the API?  I know we can set this, as documented here: http://www.zendesk.com/support/api/users/ - but I am not sure how to read the role assigned to the agent.

December 05, 2011 08:12
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Anton de Young
Zendesk

Adam, 

On item 1... noted. I'll see if we can make that clearer. 

On item 2... If you select any of the three edit options for the People permission, your agents can assume end-users. "End-user editing rights enable the agent to verify and assume end-users." Is that not working for you? 

December 06, 2011 16:06
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Anton de Young
Zendesk

Eric, 

You'll be able to do that via the API very soon. I'll post here as soon as it's been deployed. 

December 06, 2011 16:10
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Mark Heath
lovestockleaf

By default Light Agents have the ability to update their own account password via the Profile/Actions/Change Password function.  As we are using Remote Authentication/SSO we have switched off the ability for users to update their own passwords.  I have attempted to update the light agent role to restrict this agent type from updating their own password with no success.  Is there a way to switch the ability off for agents to edit their passwords when using SSO?

February 06, 2012 21:52
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Mark Heath
lovestockleaf

Our client is on the Enterprise Plan by the way...

February 06, 2012 21:53
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Mathias Nahmanovici
Groupon EMEA

Hi Anton - I have the same issue as described by Adam at Lytro in Item 2. The  "End-user editing rights enable the agent to verify and assume end-users." only works for end-users - we would like for Team Leaders to be able to assume Agents without having to make them Admins. Will this be fixed?

March 18, 2012 08:42
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Michael Hixson
Full Sail University

Same point as Mathias above - giving non-admins the ability to assume agents would be great!

April 30, 2012 08:10
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Cordelia Blythe

We really need the ability to allow light agents to post articles in restricted forums.   There are lots of staff that should be able to write for the knowledge base but don`t really need access to tickets.

July 26, 2012 17:16
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Defesa do Consumidor (Dev Team)

My agents have to be able to create/edit light agents. I see only admins can do this and there's no specific permission for this in the custom role creation form. Am I missing something?

September 05, 2012 20:31
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Hey Alexandre: 

Only administrators can create new agent/light-agent accounts. Your agents can only create and edit end-users if given permission. 

September 06, 2012 04:43
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Pierre Grenier
Product Manager

@Mathias... about assuming other agents.  Could be something we add.  However, how do you see this working if an agent can assume another agent who has more rights?

@Cordelia, regarding light agents to post articles in restricted forums... this is going to be fixed in the next generation of our forums.  If you are interested in the beta for that, please register here: https://zendesk.wufoo.com/forms/help-create-nextgen-zendesks-web-po...

October 17, 2012 20:32
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Nina Lampela
rovio

I have just upgraded from ZD+ to Enterprise and so far I'm pretty happy with what I got. One question though: Can only admins see unassigned and suspended tickets? If so, that's a huge issue for us. I have created custom roles and can't see any other way to allow people to see those unassigned and suspended tickets but to allow them to see all and that is not where I want to go. Any advice?

January 10, 2013 05:56
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Hey Nina: 

In the role settings, What kind of tickets can this agent access? needs to be set to All to view suspended tickets. 

January 14, 2013 06:56
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Allen Hancock
watchmanmonitoring

With the release of Help Center, what consideration has been given to Light Agents & their ability to edit, or create support articles?

August 25, 2013 08:45
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Allen Hancock
watchmanmonitoring

(I've asked my question again in the more appropriate forum: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/20430386-What-is-a-Light-Agent-...  )  

August 25, 2013 08:56
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Emily
Zendesk

Hi Allen, 

 

I see your questions were answered in the other forum. While a Light Agent can make private ticket comments and view public/private comments, they're more like an End-user when it comes to forum permission: If End-users can post articles, so can Light Agents. Forum Moderation permission is something you'd need to buy a traditional Agent license for.

October 07, 2013 13:44
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Nattapong Phomphon
October 16, 2013 18:49
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Luke McCarthy
spidertracks

Is it possible for agents (not admins) in Zendesk Plus to edit the organisation fields (name + domain etc) in any way? For such a low level task it seems to be given only to the higher level permissions.

Thanks,

Luke

December 15, 2013 17:00
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Emily
Zendesk

Hi Luke, 

Only admins on the plus plan can create/edit custom organization fields. Admins manage the entire help desk, from automating the workflow with business rules to monitoring the results with reporting. Because Organization Fields aren't customer-facing, they're considered part of the workflow your admins are building. While the Enterprise Plan will allow you to create custom roles, the other three subscription plans offer pre-defined roles. To prevent a too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen scenario, we don't give agents permission to edit the workflow.

December 16, 2013 14:09
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Deanthony Taylor

Thanks for the information Pierre. What was the intended purpose of a Light Agent? They seem more like collaborators than agents per se. Right now I'm on a Plus+ account and successfully using Zendesk as an internal ticketing system for jobs assigned to my design department. I would love to have our other departments use Zendesk as my department does, but if I have to add everyone as an Agent (about 20 employees total), it's going to cost us an additional $24K per year! Could Light Agents help me in this situation so we're not breaking the bank?

February 20, 2014 21:22
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Emily
Zendesk

Hi Deanthony, 

A Light Agent is only permitted to view tickets and add private comments. The role is intended for people who weigh in on tickets so infrequently that paying for a regular Agent license wouldn't make financial sense. 

If, for example, you run a tech support team where 99% of tickets are about bugs in your product and 1% is about the customer's billing information on file, you may want to give a Light Agent role to a member of your company's Finance Team. This Light Agent could then leave a private ticket comment to confirm to that an end-user's billing info is up to date. The Agent who is assigned to the ticket could subsequently relay the Light Agent's private comment to the end-user via a public comment. 

Since the cost effectiveness of this solution is something you'd like to consider, be sure to check out our pricing page!

February 21, 2014 13:11
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Jacqui Haines
tweed

Hi Support,

1) I can't find how to set my AGENTS up with Click to Chat other than to change their role to ADMIN. I have tried all the steps to setup custom status but the option (e.g. forum moderator) is not available in their profiles. Can you help us figure this out.

2) How can tickets best be handled when a customer does not have an email. We have been adding a false email so that we can at least create then into Zendesk, however before we took this step there were some we added our own email address to in REQUESTER. They are now closed and the information locked. Is there a way to change the email address in the user profile if a) they give us an email at a later date or b) we want to add a false email for a useful user profile.

Thanks for your help. Jacqui

March 03, 2014 12:52
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Emily
Zendesk

Hi Jacqui, 

1) By 'Click to Chat,' it sounds like you're asking about Zendesk Chat. There are three main components to operating Zendesk Chat. You need to enabled it in Channels > Chat, which I see you've done. You also need to add a Feedback Tab that offers end-users the option to chat, which can be done at Settings > Feedback tab. I didn't see a Feedback tab on your Help Center, so I'm not sure that you've taken that step. Finally, when everything is set up, your Agents will need to click the chat icon from the agent interface and set themselves to 'online.'

2) An email address is required to establish an end-user profile in Zendesk, given that email notifications are how we alert end-users to ticket updates. If you've used a dummy email address and later receive an accurate email address for the end-user, you can change what's on file by pulling up the end-user profile, clicking 'add contact' and adding the second email address, then using the pulldown menu to the right of that second email address to make it primary. Once it's the primary address, you can use the same pulldown menu corresponding to the dummy email address to 'remove' it.

March 04, 2014 13:50
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Sean O'Hara
shoutlet

Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe Light Agents who ARE requesters can make public comments. Is that true?

March 27, 2014 09:21
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Graeme Carmichael
nhsggc

@Sean O'Hara, You are correct. Light Agent comments are private, even on tickets where they are the requester.

March 27, 2014 10:25
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Sean O'Hara
shoutlet

Anyone know of a feature request on this board for that? because it seems silly that my light agents cannot ask a question (file ticket) and others CC'd on the ticket cannot see their conversations.


Use case: my company's President files a ticket, it's his ticket, where he is asking a question/reporting an issue. But it's private. We CC a group of team members who need to be able to hold discourse and provide feedback/input but they aren't agents.

 

So when he comments originally, the ticket shows up for the other users as essentially a title with no content, and subsequent comments he makes have to be parroted by my team just to keep the ball rolling. Super inefficient.

March 27, 2014 10:57
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Adam Goolie Gould
lytro

I've long been respectful of ZD's need to limit functionality on the light agent roll for obvious (to me at least if not others) business reasons.  However, Sean's request here is reasonable and logical, and I believe is just asking ZD to treat a light agent as an enduser if/when that light agent is the ticket requestor.

 

 

 

March 27, 2014 11:25
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Sean O'Hara
shoutlet

Yeah I mean it just makes sense to allow a requester of any ticket to be able to or default to, public comments.

I totally understand the need to limit light agent functions!

 

Honestly if it were "any requester can only make public comments" that would make sense to me. Obviously there are probably other use cases where a company would want them to be able to make both if requester, but for us at least, that isn't necessary.

Cheers Adam for making me feel less crazy ;-)

March 27, 2014 11:42
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Colin Piper
Telappliant

I do agree with Sean that if the recipient is also the submitter that perhaps they should be able to post a public comment. I could not think of a scenario where I would not want this to happen but that does not mean that there isn't one. I think the key is to remember that an Agent can be an end-user but a light agent cannot be.

However I think there is a workaround -- use liquid markup.

Take a look at these two links:

You could tag the original ticket when created in this scenario and use that tag to send a notification email when one is not normally due. You can use liquid markup to show all comments (or just the last one) no matter whether it is public or not.

Hope this helps.

 

March 27, 2014 13:42