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Introducing Zendesk Voice

Steven Yan
posted this on September 08, 2011 15:52

Zendesk Voice, powered by Twilio, turns your Zendesk into a call center within minutes.  Phone support is often the easiest and most effective way of helping your customers, and Zendesk now helps you track and manage your phone conversations alongside customer emails, chats and tweets.

Voicemails and live calls to your Zendesk Voice number are recorded as new Zendesk tickets.  The entire call recording, along with the caller's phone number and other call details, are recorded on the ticket for you, so your agents can focus on what matters most -- listening to and helping your customers.

Features

Zendesk Voice offers the following features:

  • Local phone number provisioning in the United States and Canada.  You can provide this number directly to customers or forward to this number from your existing phone system.
  • Toll-free (freephone) phone numbers in the US, Canada and the UK.
  • Voicemail recording and transcription.  All voicemails are recorded and transcribed on tickets in Zendesk for later review.
  • Answer and record live inbound calls.  Your support agents can answer live phone calls, either directly through the browser or through a local US or Canada number of their choice.  A new support ticket is created automatically when a call starts for convenient note taking, and the call recording is appended to the ticket upon completion.
  • Call queueing and routing.  If you have more callers than available support agents, Zendesk will queue up any waiting callers for you.  You can control the size and maximum wait time of your queue to ensure that customers receive timely support.  While waiting, customers can dial 1 at any time to leave a voicemail.
  • Call activity dashboard.  Gain valuable insight into your daily support call activity with live status of queue activity and agent availability. Key performance metrics such as maximum wait time, maximum queue size and average talk time are calculated for the previous 24 hours.
  • Call history logging.  Review a record of past voicemail and live call activity.

Pricing and Packaging

Zendesk Voice is available to all subscription plans starting at 1.3¢/min, billed monthly.  Your phone number and call recording is included, and voicemail transcription can be optionally added to your subscription.  See full details on pricing in our Setting up Zendesk Voice article.

Getting Started

If you want to try out Zendesk Voice, we give you 20 minutes free to try the service, and the phone number is on us!  Here are some steps to introduce you to the core functionality of Zendesk Voice.

1.  Select a phone number

Visit Settings > Channels > Voice and click Choose a phone number for your Zendesk.  Follow the steps to select and confirm your phone number.

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2.  Leave a voicemail

After selecting your phone number, your Zendesk Voice number is immediately active. Pick up the phone and call your phone number to leave yourself a voicemail. Your voicemail can be up to 2 minutes long. Your Zendesk will receive a new ticket with the voicemail recording and transcription.

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3.  Take a live phone call in Zendesk

Navigate to the phone dropdown in your agent interface and select Available via browser.  

Note:

- This option is not available to Internet Explorer 7 users.  Support agents using IE 7 can route to their phone by following the steps in Using Zendesk Voice.

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As the phone client is built in Flash, you will need to accept the Adobe Flash permissions to allow Zendesk to access your computer's microphone.

Pick up your phone and dial your Zendesk Voice number.  In the Zendesk interface you will be notified via a call console of an incoming phone call:

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Click Accept.  You'll be connected to the caller and a new Zendesk ticket will be created immediately, providing a convenient place for you to take notes about the call.  

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Once the call is complete, a new recording of the call will be appended to the ticket.  You'll be unavailable for new calls until you close the call console.

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Learn More

See our two excellent user guides about setting up Zendesk Voice and using Zendesk Voice.  For a quick overview of how Zendesk Voice works, check out the following video.

 

Comments

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Alan Conroy
Project CS Beta Testers
Looks nice, Any time frame on availability for those of us outside the US or Canada?
September 12, 2011 08:43
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Alan, there's no timeframe that we can publish yet.  The UK is likely going to be next in our rollout plans.  We'll have more concrete details on this soon.

September 12, 2011 08:59
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Jeffrey Davidson
iasta
The pricing seems steep considering what Twilio normally charges - one cent a minute compared to five. Is there any additional benefit to using the Zendesk phonelines beyond ticket integration?
September 12, 2011 10:46
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Jeffrey, while it's true Twilio is charges 1 cent inbound to US and Canada numbers, there's also cost for the outbound leg on live calls (2 cents/minute to a regular phone number, 1/4 cent/minute to Twilio Client) and transcription on voicemails (5 cents/minute).  We think the pricing is quite fair when you factor in these costs.  If you are interested in packaging, our sales team can help you with that.  Contact sales@zendesk.com.

September 12, 2011 10:58
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Vincèn PUJOL
skivr
It's really nice and great :) but you should definitively consider to get ip SIP compatible as I think a lot of us are no more using PSTN phone line but SIP ones, so it would be very nice to be able to route existing SIP lines to Zendesk or get Zendesk SIP compatible to route existing numbers to it ! Thanks, Vincèn
September 12, 2011 11:04
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Patrick Casiano
novatel
This is great and comes at the perfect time as we are looking into a soft phone solution that works with zendesk. So we tried it this morning... We have been trying it out on Chrome and IE8 and noticing the popup on the bottom right to answer the call doesn't appear when someone calls into it. It rings though. Hmmm... We have used up most of our test minutes confirming this. :( Some features that aren't really clear if they are available... - Transferring calls to other agents - Conferencing Other agents on the call. - Outbound calls from a ticket. Can we call a customer from a ticket? - While the call is recorded, is it transcribed too? This would be extremely helpful for searching for something we might have said. - Any feedback provided to the caller on what number in the queue they are? - Any chance that a ticket number is returned to the caller when they leave a message?
September 12, 2011 12:29
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Beau Rogers
Definitely need to be able to place outbound calls. Would be great to call from ticket and have the attempt timestamped and connected calls recorded and included in the same way the inbound calls are. The staff management picture is incomplete without it and the features Patrick has mentioned.
September 12, 2011 12:40
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Patrick and Beau, thanks for your comments and we're glad you're able to see this feature as relevant to your businesses.  

@Patrick, we did have some issues with our notification service this morning, but the call console should be popping up correctly now.  Feel free to continue testing on a separate trial account.  

Patrick, the features that you've mentioned are not things that we support today, but we expected they would be requested features at launch.  Look for more development in this area in the coming months.

September 12, 2011 13:46
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Dane Bendixen
myhourdoc
I may have just skimmed too fast (and the video didn't load in my browser), but I didn't see an option to make a call OUT. Is that available, like if we need to call a customer back?
September 12, 2011 13:57
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Dane, you did not skim too fast.  Currently we support inbound calling only in this release.  Outbound is high on our priority list.

September 12, 2011 13:59
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Fredrik Linnander
onlinepartner
Please add +46 Swedish numbers for dial in.
September 12, 2011 14:27
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Carmine Napolitano
equalis
Nice job ZD. I watched the demo and read the website but couldn't understand the following: * Is there a "click to talk" channel? In other words can customers make a call to our call center from their computer by just clicking a link on our ZD? * Are we able to get multiple numbers (ie one per country) once you roll out new country numbers? * Can we map each number to a support group within ZD for routing? * Can we do "follow the sun" routing (ie. during XYZ hours calls from number ABC go to group 1, then during different hours they go to group 2, etc.)? Keep up the good work. CJ
September 12, 2011 16:22
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

@Carmine, there's no click-to-call feature at this point, right now the ability to take calls in the computer is specific to support agents.  As for country numbers, we don't have any details on whether we'll provide the ability to provision multiple numbers per country.  

The routing capabilities you mention are not yet supported.

September 12, 2011 16:23
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Anders V
Awesome feature! Any plans for multiple numbers, so multi-lingual helpdesk can have different messages depending on who calls? - and different peoople/groups answering the calls? Nice work - smooth.
September 12, 2011 17:00
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Anders, that all makes sense.  There are no concrete plans at this time, but we will continue to try to meet your needs in this area.

September 12, 2011 17:31
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IT SUPPORT DK
IKEA
Gradual rollout to countries sucks (pardon my french). I have been wanting a solution like this, and now its here, but only for US and Canada... According to Twilio's own webpage, they dont support international phonenumbers?!? Will it be available to everybody or? Thx for creating a great product, but please consider making new stuff available to "all" before launching it. Its like showing a kid a candybar and then take it away again saying "Sorry, but the candybar doesnt work in your house"...
September 13, 2011 02:28
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Jake Holman
Product Manager

@IT SUPPORT: Yes, it's US only at the moment. Let's not forget that this is actually pretty new technology. While VoIP has been around for some time it's never really been something you can roll out easily as a software service for your business, especially so tightly tied into a ticketing system. That's our aim with this, make it much easier to build a phone system into your business and disrupt the old guys a little.

Now couple this with the fact that technology infrastructure is so vastly different dependent on each country, and we'll naturally have a small amount of lead time rolling this new technology out globally. Yes, country roll outs suck - we've all experienced the fun of the music and film industry doing it for decades, but unfortunately it's just a necessary evil sometimes. Sure enough, as soon as we can give more country support, we're not going to sit around on it.

September 13, 2011 02:40
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Vincèn PUJOL
skivr
Jake: why don't you use SIP or DID system ? it would be so much easier to deploy and would allow SMB like me to continue to use our SIP national numbers and just get them routed to Zendesk instead of our SIP phone/computer phone software ! I can't imagine to use a new number once Zendesk will be avalaible in my country (france) just for support instead of using my good old number everyone knows !
September 13, 2011 02:56
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Jake Holman
Product Manager

@Vincen: I'm sure you'll be able to simply redirect calls to a different number from what ever system you're using, which means you'll keep everything transparent to your customers if you don't want to roll out a new number. 

At some point down the road we may even be able to support number porting/migration in order to make a full switch if the redirection of calls isn't optimal for you.

September 13, 2011 03:01
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Vincèn PUJOL
skivr
@Jake: rerouting is not good way as it means I would pay both fee from Zendesk for incoming call, and fee for outgoing call from my SIP provider :( Number porting would be best solution unless it's not possible with all providers but it might be worth to check how it can be done !
September 13, 2011 03:03
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B2b
Hi there, we have a toll-free number hosted at ifbyphone, what would the right step be to move the toll free number to zendesk or does it not work like that? The problem I can see is that if we forward the toll free number to the zendesk number, we would end up paying double, once at ifbyphone, and again at zendesk. Is there any way around this?
September 13, 2011 09:01
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

@IT SUPPORT, I understand your frustration and we are working hard to support additional countries.  Please direct your needs to voice@zendesk.com, as we are collecting requested countries from interested customers.  

B2b, we don't currently support number porting to Zendesk, so you would need to forward from your toll-free number to the Zendesk inbound number.

September 13, 2011 11:27
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Warrick Taylor
fanduel
When will you have NY (212) numbers available? Also, is there some way to specify a preferred number so we ca have it spell our company for example?
September 13, 2011 13:25
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Michael Howell
accolo
Are we able to embed the Twilio client onto our support website anywhere so customers can call us right from their computer?
September 13, 2011 13:39
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Mark Rothfield
revealtools
How many numbers will we be able to have? Once this is rolled out in UK and Australia, will we be able to have numbers for US, Canada, UK and Australia?
September 13, 2011 14:52
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Mark, I can't offer any insight into multiple number support at this time.  You will likely see support for single international numbers before we offer support for multiple numbers in multiple countries.  

September 13, 2011 15:54
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

@Warrick, 212 numbers are very difficult to come by and Twilio has informed us that they currently don't have any in inventory.  There currently isn't a way through our number picking interface to pick a vanity number as you're asking, but that's a good idea to offer that in the interface.

@Michael, click-to-call to Zendesk Voice is currently on the roadmap but not possible through our current offering.

September 13, 2011 15:57
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Bryant Saxon
I am unable to answer calls if I have them routed from Zendesk to another number, like my mobile phone. I have tried... 1) hitting Answer on the computer and then a few seconds later, the caller gets "no one is available..." 2) answering the phone as normal and then the callers get the same result as above. 3) hitting above Answer on the computer and answering the phone as normal and no luck. Answering via browser works fine, but I am unable to answer through another phone .
September 14, 2011 08:17
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Bryant,

You should be able to either:
1) Answer the phone and follow the voice instructions to dial any number to accept
2) Press "Accept" on the call console and then answer your phone.
Basically Zendesk needs some indication that you are human before it decides to route the call to your phone, which is why you need to dial "Accept" or dial a number on your phone.  Your third option should have worked.  Please try 1) above and let me know if that is working for you, if it still fails I'd be happy to debug this further with you.
September 14, 2011 08:23
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Bryant Saxon
When I hit answer, the first thing the recording says (the option to answer) is cut off. So the first thing I hear is "hit # to reject". After a couple guesses, we tried * and that is the option to answer, but we could not hear it tell us that.
September 14, 2011 08:44
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Bryant, thanks for that feedback, we'll increase the delay at the beginning.  

September 14, 2011 08:49
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Will Dobbins
1) Answer the phone and follow the voice instructions to dial any number to accept This doesn't work for me consistently. Out of 4 calls I was only able to get it to work once, and only then by spamming 1234567890*... Other questions I submitted to support yesterday but still haven't gotten an answer on: Is it possible to simulring technicians instead of Round Robin the calls? Is it possible for an agent to have more than 1 phone number to "log in" at? We have 7 workstations in 3 geographic locations and floating technicians between them, so at any point in time a technician could be in at any one of those workstations, or even working from home and needing the calls directed to their Cell #. If not is this a planned feature? Are there any plans to have more robust business hours? Our hours do not fit into a standard M-F fixed hours schedule. (Monday and Tuesday we are open from 6am-12pm, Wednesdays from 7:30am-12pm, Thursdays 6am-12pm, Friday from 6am-5pm, Closed Saturdays and open Sundays from 4pm-12pm.) Is there any facility to transfer a call to an "Urgent Support" queue which would allow a special tag to be added to a voicemail ticket and allow a trigger to be utilized to kick off a Pagerduty page? If not is this a planned feature? Are there plans to allow Customers/Users to have more than 1 phone number? Our users have no less than 3 phone numbers they may call us from (Home, Office, Cell) and it would greatly assist in associating user/ticket if that could be locked in on all three instead of only one. Are there any limits to how much audio is recorded on a call? For example if a user has a 2 hour call will the entire call be recorded and appended to the ticket?
September 14, 2011 10:00
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Will Dobbins
Holy lack of enter key batman! 1) Answer the phone and follow the voice instructions to dial any number to accept This doesn't work for me consistently. Out of 4 calls I was only able to get it to work once, and only then by spamming 1234567890*... Other questions I submitted to support yesterday but still haven't gotten an answer on: Is it possible to simulring technicians instead of Round Robin the calls? Is it possible for an agent to have more than 1 phone number to "log in" at? We have 7 workstations in 3 geographic locations and floating technicians between them, so at any point in time a technician could be in at any one of those workstations, or even working from home and needing the calls directed to their Cell #. If not is this a planned feature? Are there any plans to have more robust business hours? Our hours do not fit into a standard M-F fixed hours schedule. (Monday and Tuesday we are open from 6am-12pm, Wednesdays from 7:30am-12pm, Thursdays 6am-12pm, Friday from 6am-5pm, Closed Saturdays and open Sundays from 4pm-12pm.) Is there any facility to transfer a call to an "Urgent Support" queue which would allow a special tag to be added to a voicemail ticket and allow a trigger to be utilized to kick off a Pagerduty page? If not is this a planned feature? Are there plans to allow Customers/Users to have more than 1 phone number? Our users have no less than 3 phone numbers they may call us from (Home, Office, Cell) and it would greatly assist in associating user/ticket if that could be locked in on all three instead of only one. Are there any limits to how much audio is recorded on a call? For example if a user has a 2 hour call will the entire call be recorded and appended to the ticket? (Attempting repost for clarity.)
September 14, 2011 10:03
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Will Dobbins
ok, I format the comment normally and it strips CR out..
September 14, 2011 10:04
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Patrick Casiano
novatel
I know this comment should probably be in the feature request forum but makes sense here since it was sort of implied that you might be working on the call transfer and call conferencing feature. You have this in chat where a customer can initiate a chat concerning a particular ticket with an available agent. Can you implement the same for this Voice integration too? For example "If you are calling about a particular Ticket, and know the Ticket number please enter it now or wait to connect to the next available agent". If they enter the ticket number it shows up in the pop up. When you Click accept it brings up the ticket. When done, there is a link / button to get back to what you were doing / the ticket that was interrupted, This makes a very good use of the auto save comment feature. Even better is that if the enter the ticket number and end up leaving a message, it gets placed in the right ticket from the beginning instead of the agents having to close and merge the voicemail ticket with an existing ticket.
September 14, 2011 10:19
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Clint Wilson
cazoomi

Great start here Zendesk team and looking forward to our teams trying it out.

~Clint

@cazoomi

September 14, 2011 19:46
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B2b

Hi Zendesk, if I wanted to track agent performance every month, say in how many minutes they answered, can I see that?

September 15, 2011 22:29
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi B2b, we'll soon release an ability to export the Call History to CSV.

September 15, 2011 22:32
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B2b

We are compensating our phone staff per minute, so I need to know when "soon" is, will it be ready for sure by the end of this month? In 2 weeks? If not, we can switch over once this is in place.

September 15, 2011 22:35
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

It's planned for next Thursday's release.

September 15, 2011 22:49
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Aamir
dropcam

toll-free numbers are must - please think about adding this - it's supported on twilio's end

September 16, 2011 12:31
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community engine

Great to see Zendesk have offices in Australia now. Does this mean we're one step closer to getting Zendesk Voice?

September 18, 2011 23:49
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Community Engine, we're working hard to bring the feature to Australia/New Zealand, but cannot offer any concrete timeline at the moment.

September 19, 2011 08:55
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Thomas Andersen
tv2net

Will Zendesk Vocie feature a phone menu? 

In our current IVR system we have taped a lot of message that is being played to callers. We need to be able to re-do these menues on the fly.

September 21, 2011 01:34
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Alexis Comrack
GoodData for Zendesk Beta

We have a team of four who answer phones but one person's primary role is to answer phones. We'd like her phone to ring always and only if she is unavailable should other peoples' phones ring. Is there a way to make one person the primary phone answerer?  Is there a way to order the agents?

September 22, 2011 06:39
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Jon Dale
moolala

So we've been using Zendesk Voice since the day after launch and love it.

One thing we'd like to change is we don't want the call recording to be a public comment.  It's a little strange for a caller to receive an email with a link to the recording of the comment.  We'd like to have that just be for our internal use.

Is there a way to change that?

September 22, 2011 13:32
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Will Dobbins

@ Jon Dale: Unless I'm mistaken it's a tickbox in the Channel Admin page.

September 22, 2011 13:48
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

@Thomas IVR is something we're looking into for a future release.  There are powerful use cases we can enable with the data available in your Zendesk that makes this a very relevant feature.

@Alexis, currently it's always "most idle agent first" in ordering the calls to agents, so there is no way to prioritize the order of agent calling.

@Jon, Will is correct, we made that optional.  We think it's awesome to be able to be completely transparent with your customers, but also understand that's not for everyone.  Go to Settings > Channels > Voice > General Settings and disable "New live call recordings are public?" For recordings which are already public, you can use the "Make this comment private" option available under "All Events and Notifications".

Glad to hear you're liking the feature!

September 22, 2011 14:02
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Alexis Comrack
GoodData for Zendesk Beta

Is agent weighting on your product road map? Sending calls to the "most idle agent first" doesn't quite meet our needs.  We're going to have to trick the system to use it as is.  We need primary agents and back ups.

September 22, 2011 14:08
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Alexis, yes, it is something we'll want to support in the future.

September 22, 2011 14:10
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Will Dobbins

As a Help Desk Supervisor an easy-to-access dashboard / widget would be nice that told me who was currently available, and who would be getting the next call.

October 03, 2011 10:48
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Will Dobbins

Need some facility to transfer calls.  As it sits if a user call in about an issue and is transferred (via our internal phone system) to another agent, this takes 2 agents out of our calling pool.  As the agent that answered the call cannot make themselves available until the call is over, or we have to call the client back.

October 03, 2011 10:50
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Will Dobbins

Calls that never make it to voicemail are categorized as Answered by "Voicemail" in the call history list.  Ideally I would only want to see this if the user was routed to Voicemail and a ticket was created.  Being able to identify which calls are hanging up would be ideal.  Currently our Call History shows 61 voicemails, but we only have 7 that actually generated tickets!  This tells me that we've had 54 calls drop before reaching an agent for one reason or another... (Some were likely test calls, but every one that wasn't I'd like to identify and address)

October 05, 2011 14:34
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Aaron Pewtherer
Zendesk

Thanks for the feedback. These are all great ideas that we would like to implement in the future. Keep 'em coming! :)

@Will: 
- Help Desk Supervisor: An easy-to-access dashboard / widget
- Facility to transfer calls
- Abandoned calls appearing differently in Call History. 

@Alexis
-  Ability to assign certain agents as primary/backup

@CommunityEngine
- International Voice support (UK is next up...)

@Patrick
- Enter a ticket number while on hold, pops up on call window.

@Thomas
- Ability for Voice to have a phone tree menu (or IVR) 

@Aamir
- Toll-free numbers (or number porting). 

October 05, 2011 14:44
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Jon Dale
moolala

Our Zendesk Voice is down this morning.  Is anyone else having issues?  None of our calls are coming through...they're not notifying any agents, just going to voicemail.

October 12, 2011 08:28
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Jon, I'm looking at your issue right now.

October 12, 2011 08:46
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi everyone, I wanted to let you know that there is an emergent problem in the latest version of Chrome (version 14+) that causes the call console to popup unreliably.  If you are making heavy use of this feature for live calls I would recommend you use Safari or Firefox for the time being.

October 12, 2011 09:08
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Richard China
parenta

Any news when it will be rolled out to the UK?

October 20, 2011 08:24
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Martin Seibert

Please give us Zendesk Voice in Germany. That would rock! :-)

October 22, 2011 04:52
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

@Richard, you will see this available in beta very soon in the UK.

@Martin, purchasing phone numbers in Germany and a few other countries have specific legal requirements, such as providing a business address in Germany that's linked to your phone number.  We are working hard to bring this to Germany and are working to find a way to incorporate this requirement into our provisioning process.

October 22, 2011 07:55
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Amy Hsueh

Hello,  does Zendesk voice support all versions of IE? 

 

November 11, 2011 10:03
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Amy, we support IE 7 and above.  The one exception is if you are using the embedded phone client to answer calls -- this is IE 8+.

November 13, 2011 22:56
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Виктор Киселев
Project C Beta Testers

Hi! Do you have any plans about SIP telephony?

November 21, 2011 05:43
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Aaron Pewtherer
Zendesk

@Виктор Киселев We don't plan on hosting any Voice calls at this time using SIP. For the moment, we are continuing to expand our Integration with Twilio for international phone numbers.

November 21, 2011 11:06
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Dustin Struckman

I  may have missed it, but I didn't see anyone asking for extensions:

* pressing 3 forwards calls to 555-1234 (or agent 1)
* pressing 4 forwards calls to 555-5678 (or agent 2)

And then set the number of rings before returning to voice mail, etc

Any chance of this coming any time soon?

December 13, 2011 21:31
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Dustin, we are planning some functionality around this but cannot offer an ETA at this time.

December 14, 2011 10:00
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Will Dobbins

Allow routing calls via prompt, IE: 1 for Voicemail, 2 for GROUP1, 3 for GROUP2...

This would be particularly awesome from my point of view since we do run an "Urgent issue" service which pages a technician after hours, and currently are relying on users calling a 2nd number to do this... being able to assign the ticket to the "On Call" group by a phone prompt would allow me to get rid of that 2nd number!

December 14, 2011 10:22
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Aaron Pewtherer
Zendesk

@Everyone Changes to Voice "Pricing and Packaging" here: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/20739853-a-change-to-zendesk-vo...

December 19, 2011 10:58
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Nick

FYI, just got Zendesk voice working.  This is just how I have it configured to show you whats possible.

We have about 5 different phone numbers (website, corporate line, you get the idea).

Inbound calls come into a IVR (press-1 for sales, 2 for support, etc).

If agents are available, we answer the customers call.  YTEL has a built in lite CRM if you want to use it.  I personally use SugarCRM which YTEL has a integration with. 

If we need to open a ticket, we have one button that opens a new ticket in Zendesk.

This is all pretty normal.  The magic in my eyes is,

  • When a customer hangs up before hitting an agent, they are added to a call back queue in YTEL.  Our agents normally get back to these people within seconds (the longest it takes us is minutes).  Additionally you can open tickets for these customer hang ups but I prefer to just call them back and use YTEL's crm.
  • At 90 seconds I have the YTEL system setup to offer the customers a call back option or leave a message.  I push them to leave a message.  Note:  Be sure to configure your phone system to pass the customer's CallerID (you'll see why below). 

I then simply transfer the call to zendesk voice, set the maximum queue to 0, set only route calls during business hours to no.   Zendesk then takes the message, looks up the customers CallerID, sets the requestor, transcribes the message, and all our normal triggers apply from there. 

I can't begin to explain how much of an improvement this has made in our Customer Satisfaction Scores and decreased work load for our support team.

Overall I'm impressed with what Zendesk has done so far, I use voice, but I still like having a full blown phone system for talking to customers.

January 19, 2012 13:57
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Very creative Nick!  I assume you are setting direct line on all profiles with phone numbers to set the requester.  Are you in need of a way to more easily set these direct lines in bulk?

January 19, 2012 14:25
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Nick

Steven, totally!  API or you got another magic trick for me?  I also have a widget set to remind reps to confirm the customer's phone number when wrapping up a call.

January 19, 2012 14:28
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Nick, we are adding API support for setting direct lines.  We're also looking at making this possible via the bulk user importer.  I'll let you know when I have more details.

January 20, 2012 06:50
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Will Dobbins

Steven,


Any word on when we will be able to have multiple numbers per customer?  The majority of my users have 3 lines they call from, home, office, cell...

Thanks!

Will

January 20, 2012 06:52
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Will, I do see the need for that.  No hard ETA on that yet...but it's something I am planning to get prioritized.

January 20, 2012 07:00
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Mike Cousins
shuttr

I'm not seeing any area code 403 or 587 numbers available right now.  Is that correct?  We're headquartered in Calgary and that means I can't get a local number.  780 are available but that's for Edmonton, Alberta.

March 21, 2012 14:29
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Mike Cousins
shuttr

Anybody?

March 26, 2012 11:54
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Mike, sorry for missing this.  It does appear that our provider (Twilio) does not provide local numbers for Calgary.  We will be releasing toll-free numbers in Canada shortly, would that work for you?

March 26, 2012 11:57
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Mike Cousins
shuttr

Yup, that will work for us.

March 26, 2012 12:08
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Roy Platje

We started using Voice today, it works great. One issue we are facing, the notification of a call. My agents are also working on other things and don't wear the headsets all the time. Therefore we do miss calls because notification is only shown in the zendesk web page. Is is possible to show call notifications via Grawl (on mac) or Chrome extentions? Or any other workaround.

April 05, 2012 05:44
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Roy, thanks for raising that issue with us.  Let me see what we can do with respect to notifications.  Unfortunately we can't control the browser window (one thought was to give focus to the window receiving a call).  I'll let you know what we find.

April 05, 2012 07:56
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B2b

Steven, we are trying to do some basic analytics, such as agent-specific abandonment rates. There are actually 2 values we are looking for. 1) Abandonment due to agent being busy with another call. 2) Agent abandonment while un-occupied with a call.

Right now we have one fixed agent for a fixed time period (IE 9AM to 2PM) and we want to collect both abandonment rates 1) and 2) for each time period.

On the "Call Activity" panel on the Voice Channel, I can see there are "calls denied" and "calls missed", however, this is not adequate due to not being able to see the times when the agent is not online when they should be.

How do you suggest we collect this data? Do we need to do this manually from exporting the CSV file or is there a better way. We are using Good Data with zendesk so maybe that would be able to do it?

Thanks in advance for the help.

April 13, 2012 20:52
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B2b

One more thing, in Type 2 abandonment, this should also include times when the agent is not online when they "should be"

April 13, 2012 21:09
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Aaron Pewtherer
Zendesk

@B2b Thank you for illustrating your workflow. Reporting in Voice is limited to call details in the "Call History" tab of your Voice channel. This information is not sent to GoodData.

You may be able to track the workflow of the agent with the completed/abandoned and Agent:voicemail. However, that report will not specify how long the agent was available, when they logged off, etc. You can use the Manage > Reporting > Voice [tab] to get the past 24 hours of Voice activity.

April 16, 2012 10:35
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Rvlawrence

Is there a way to record OUTGOING calls on Zendesk voice?  What happens when I call a customer back about their ticket?  How can I record it so that a record is maintained in Zendesk and added back to the original ticket.  Please explain.  Right now, it seems we can record ONLY half the conversation, not giving us the FULL picture.  

April 19, 2012 20:30
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Sulka Haro
makielab

Rvlawrence I asked about the same thing, and Zendesk doesn't currently support outgoing calls. The feature is supposedly coming soon.  Twilio (which ZD uses for Voice) does support outgoing calls and their API is pretty easy to integrate, so I wonder why this wasn't done in the first place.

April 20, 2012 00:49
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Aaron Pewtherer
Zendesk

@Outgoing calls are on our roadmap and still being tested for the next release. Some customers have successfully tested phone services that call you (e.g. Google Voice), and have answered the call inside Zendesk Voice.

April 20, 2012 08:30
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Chris Welford

Without going through the process of setting the whole thing up, I'm struggling to figure out whether I can set up FindMe/FollowMe rules, and in particular, whether I can have these kick in according to a pre-defined schedule.

I would like to use standard call handling in office hours, but out of office hours I'd like to automatically have a rule kick in where it will call different mobiles in turn until someone picks up. I also need to automatically (that is, according to my pre-defined schedule) have different FindMe rules applying at different times/ on different days.

Is this possible?

Thanks,

Chris

May 04, 2012 02:04
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Aaron Pewtherer
Zendesk

@Chris. Cool workflow. Voice does not have an built-in FindMe rules. You could set your agent forwarding number to a "Google Voice-type" phone system with multiple destination numbers. You will still need to web interface to make the agent available for the next call.

May 04, 2012 10:06
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Luisa Taylor

This is probably a dumb question but: if you choose to use agent browser, does the call come through your computer speaker or? And is there outbound calling and transfer options available? Thanks!

May 14, 2012 14:20
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Aaron Pewtherer
Zendesk

@Luisa: When the agent accepts the call through the browser, Voice uses the system settings of your computer for speakers or headset. Outbound calling and transferring are on the roadmap; no timetable yet.

May 14, 2012 15:01
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Sergei Shablovsky

Dear Zendesk stuff!

We have several Skype-IN and SIP numbers in four countries worldwide for support, marketing, PR and representative needs.

And of coarse, we use Skype ability to redirect (if employee are on-road) and voicemail. And very important for us are ability to access to voicemail by their iPhone and iPad Skype client. 

We make some PR companies and our existed Skype-IN numbers are shared more then one time. Since we start using Zendesk as main user support platform in conjunction with MailChimp, ability to access to voice mails in Zendesk iPad app are very important.

May be, in a future we cancel our Skype-IN numbers, after 6 or 8 month their stay in "redirect to Zendesk voice numbers" mode.

Your opinion about adding ability to EASY access to voicemail in iPad client ?

May 14, 2012 15:14
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Cong Dinh

Hi Zendesk

 

Just a quick question. How would zendesk voice know which individual is calling on the phone if there could be more than one individual operating from the same outgoing number?

 

May 25, 2012 00:23
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Aaron Pewtherer
Zendesk

@Cong: If different customers are calling from the same incoming (company) number, then Voice could not identify an individual. As a workaround, you can make the enduser profile, created from that number, as a "Direct Line" and rename the profile to that organization name. Leave email address blank (or put in a fake address) on this profile. When the call arrives, the company name will appear. When the ticket is created, change the requester to the individual.

May 25, 2012 09:22
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Will Dobbins

I recommend against 'fake' e-mail addresses unless you LOVE suspended tickets.  Without fail someone will forget to change the requester, and notifications will bounce.

May 29, 2012 10:15
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Aaron Pewtherer
Zendesk

@Will: The fake email address can have a tag added to the enduser profile, or added as an organization (with optional automatic domain mapping). In your triggers, you would modify all of the "Notify requester" triggers to skip tickets created by that tag or organization.

May 29, 2012 10:22
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Will Dobbins

This works until someone merges the ticket with the open/active ticket from a previous call then the fake e-mail gets added as a CC. 

If you have some way to fix that I'd LOVE to hear it!

May 29, 2012 11:12
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Aaron Pewtherer
Zendesk

@Will: Good point. You could stop the email addresses from being added as a CC under Settings > Tickets > CCs > CC blacklist

May 29, 2012 11:17
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Will Dobbins

Aaron, that is not correct.  Blacklist is ignored on ticket merge.  I'd LOVE if blacklist was really a blacklist, it's a graylist, much like the whitelist doesn't allow postmaster@domain.com to go through.

May 29, 2012 11:27
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Aaron Pewtherer
Zendesk

@Will: You have humbled me again. You are correct, the CC blacklist only blocks CCs on incoming emails. That would be a feature request to block CCs from all tickets. Looks like the workaround is to manually remove the email address CC after merge, or change the requester to the correct requester before merging.

May 29, 2012 11:35
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Kate
clarkbetty

Not sure if I missed this - can we get a toll free number or is that not possible?

June 21, 2012 14:39
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