Forums/Documentation/Agent Guide

Providing live chat support with Zendesk Chat

Anton de Young
posted this on April 04, 2012 16:12

 

After your Chat channel has been set up and enabled by an administrator, you're ready to accept chat sessions (see Setting up your Chat channel in the Zendesk Administrator Guide)

Customers can initiate chat requests from existing tickets or from a Feedback Tab. From a customer's perspective, the chat functionality is similar to other chat clients, such as MSN Messenger, AIM, Google Talk, or Facebook Chat.

Workflow

If your administrator has enabled chat, end-users can initiate chat from an existing ticket or from the Feedback Tab (if implemented) when an agent is available. A chat request from an existing ticket does not go to the assigned agent, but it goes to all available agents for anyone to accept.

The number of chats that your Zendesk can accept at one time depends on the number of agents who have made themselves and the number of chats that each available agent can accept (according to how the administrator set up chat). So that is:
(number of available agents) X (max number of chats allowed per agent) = total number of active chats that can be accepted at a given time

This is how it works:

  • If agents are available when a customer makes a chat request, the request is sent to all available agents. Any agent can accept or ignore the request. The first agent to accept the request begins the chat and the request disappears for the other agents. Depending on how the administrator set up chat, agents might be able to accept multiple chat sessions at once.
  • If agents are not available when a user tries to make a chat request, the user sees a message saying no agents are available. The user can add a comment to the existing ticket (if one exists) or submit a support request (if there is not an existing ticket).
  • If the request times out or is declined while a user is waiting for an agent to chat, the user sees a message inviting them to add a comment to the ticket (if they came from an existing ticket) or to submit a support request (if they came from the Feedback Tab). Chat requests time out if they are not accepted within one minute.

Making yourself available for chat

If your administrator has enabled chat, you can make yourself available to accept chat requests from users.

Note:

You must belong to a group to use Chat. Belonging to a group is a requirement to be assigned to tickets; Chat has the same requirement.

When you accept a chat request, you remain available for additional chat requests (unless your administrator has limited the number of chats per agent to one, or you have accepted the maximum number of chats allowed per agent). If you do not want to receive chat requests while you are in a chat session, make yourself unavailable for chat during that time.

To make yourself available to accept a chat request

  • Click the Chat icon in the top toolbar, then select Online.

    Zendesk Classic: Click the Chat icon in the menu bar, then select Open chat panel. Notice that the Chat icon () appears in the top toolbar, indicating that you are available for chat.
To make yourself unavailable for chat
  • Click the Chat icon in the top toolbar, then select Offline in the Chat section.
    Zendesk Classic: Close the chat panel.

Monitoring for chat requests

After you make yourself available for chat, you need to monitor for incoming chat requests.

To monitor for chat requests

  • Watch for chat request notifications to appear under the Chat icon in the top toolbar.

    Zendesk Classic: Leave the chat panel open and watch for chat requests. When a user initiates a chat request, the user's name appears in the chat panel.

Accepting a chat session

You can accept one or more chat sessions at a time, depending on how your administrator set up chat. Once you have accepted the maximum number of chats allowed per agent, you will not receive new chat requests until you finish a chat. You cannot transfer a chat session to another agent.

To accept a chat session
  1. Make yourself available for chat by clicking Online.
  2. When you receive a chat request. hover you mouse over the chat request and click Accept.

    Alternatively, you can click Ignore if you do not want to accept the chat.

    When you click Accept, an auto-reply is sent to the user asking "How can I help you today?" If you ignore the chat or don't respond within one minute, the user receives a message inviting them to add a comment to the ticket (if they came from an existing ticket) or to submit a support request form (if they came from the Feedback Tab).

  3. Type a message, then click Send.

    Continue the chat as long as needed.

  4. If you want to view the ticket associated with the chat or the user's profile, click the ticket number or the user name at the top of the ticket.

    New tickets are created at the beginning of a chat so either an existing ticket or a new ticket is available during a chat.

    Zendesk Classic: You can only view an existing ticket during a chat; new tickets are not created until a chat ends. To view an existing ticket associated with the chat, click the ticket number at the top of the chat panel. To view the user's profile, click the user name on the bottom left of the chat panel.
  5. When you are ready to end the chat, click End Chat. The user can also end the chat at any time.

Identifying the user and handling new accounts

End-users who initiate chat from the Feedback Tab are prompted for their name and email address before they send the chat request. They do not have to be registered users to initiate a chat request. End-users who initiate chat from an existing ticket are already signed in, so they are not prompted for their email address.

Chat requests received from new, unknown users generate new user accounts that include the name and email address the user entered. An unrecognized user might actually be an existing users using an email address that is not in their user profile. In this case, you can merge the new user account with their existing user account. For more information, see Merging a user's duplicate account.

Using a macro to update a chat session

You can apply macros to chat sessions. This enables you to update a chat with a pre-built, standard response. Chat macros are available for Regular, Plus, and Enterprise.

For information about applying macros to chat, see Applying macros to tickets and chat sessions.

For information about creating macros for chat, see Creating macros for chat sessions.

Working with chat tickets

Every chat session is associated with a ticket—either a new ticket or an existing ticket, depending on how the user initiated the chat.

When a user initiates chat from the Feedback Tab a new ticket is created at the beginning of the chat. You can work on the ticket during the chat session.

Zendesk Classic: A new ticket is created at the end of the chat. You can work on the ticket after the chat ends.

When a user initiates chat from an existing ticket you can view and edit the ticket during your chat by clicking the ticket number above the chat window.

Zendesk Classic: You can view and edit the ticket during your chat by clicking the ticket number at the top of the chat panel.

During an active chat session the chat is not part of the ticket. When a chat session ends, the full chat session is appended to the new or existing ticket as a comment. You can then make necessary updates to the ticket and submit it.

If a new ticket is created and you find that there is actually an existing ticket for the same issue, you can merge the tickets. For more information, see Merging tickets.

Searching for chat tickets

You can search for tickets that were generated from chat sessions. You can also search for a user's tickets using their email address.

Use theviakeyword in a search to search for chat tickets, as follows:

via:chat

If you want to search for a user's ticket using their email address, you can enter the user's email in your search.

For more information about searching, see Searching the data in your Zendesk.

 

Comments

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Siobhan Hitchmough

Hi there,

Any chance that as you move forward with development we'll be able to:

a) use macros in the chat (or have a separate set for the chat specifically)

b) that chat windows will be closed automatically once the ticket has been created?  Perhaps that notification can be changed to a popup that disappears after the initial notification?

Great service!  Looking forward to seeing the new streamlined modifications!

April 17, 2012 13:50
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N Kunzer

I have a question: Is it possible allowing the Chat for one end-user but NOT for another?

April 25, 2012 21:30
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Anton de Young
Zendesk

N Kunzer, 

Sorry, no. That's not possible. 

May 07, 2012 11:25
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N Kunzer

Ok, thanks for your answer Anton.

Another question: Our agents are not always in front of the computer waiting for a new ticket. When it occurs they receive a notification on their smartphone through the App.

Is it a way having the same behaviour for the Chat?

 

 

May 07, 2012 16:45
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Tyler Smith

Can you chat via your mobile phone with the zendesk app or is this chat feature only for computers?

May 23, 2012 10:14
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Tom Whiting

Chat via IM, or via mobile device, even windows app would be great.

Kind of silly having to keep a browser window open 24x7 just for 'chat'

May 26, 2012 04:37
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Jbrodley
zulily

Have you heard of any instances of any zendesk users using this for communication between different agent groups? For Example, if there is a general agent group and an escalation group and using this chat for general agents to chat with escalation agents?

June 05, 2012 13:39
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Gabe Gomez
policystat

Just started testing the chat function this week and love it. The Zendesk app would be killer if chat functionality were added. Please consider! Thanks.

June 26, 2012 09:01
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Thanks to everyone who's commented about chatting from your mobile device.  We've considered this functionality but have not prioritized it very highly because we feel that the user experience may not be the best -- you would rather chat from your computer where you can type quickly to handle multiple chats.  If anyone has feedback about how they would want to use chat in a mobile support scenario, and what kind of volume you think you would be able to handle, please share!

June 27, 2012 15:25
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Dee Quilliams
parkmobile

Yes!!! I was hoping I would find something on this. Ok, my request isn't for agent-side chat in a mobile situation but for end-user chat in a mobile situation. The majority of our customers are on the go and are using their mobile phone to use our service. It would be awesome for them to have a usable and realistic way of initiating a chat session with us rather than emailing or calling, but currently they can only get a chat session through an open ticket or on the feedback tab. I'd like a way for them to initiate a chat session from a mobile browser from our mobile zendesk site. If they initiate a chat session now through the main website it is just a clunky chat window which isn't designed for mobile use. Once done, we would incorporate into our own mobile apps a dedicated 'Chat' button pointing to the mobile chat browser.

I think we'd get crazy usage volume with this. We have over 500,000 customers and 75% of them using a mobile app to use our service rather than the standard IVR system by phone. Our people are impatient and they want an answer now. Chat is a no fuss and no frills, quick-answer type of solution our users want and need.

We just started using Chat about a month ago and I have been shocked at how few chat requests we've received when it hit me about the chat not really being an option for our mobile customers.

I would love to help beta test this if you guys are willing to put it on the roadmap. Thanks for listening!

June 28, 2012 10:41
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Dee, ok, I can see the end-user case more than the agent case.  Thanks for sharing!

June 28, 2012 13:22
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Tom Whiting

Still nothing via outside client though. This is really, really bad

Operators shouldn't have to keep a browser window open just to respond to chat. It's annoying as anything.

June 28, 2012 13:27
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eshaw

We would like to see multiple queues be setup.  An example we have our CSRs and our Tech Support and would like customers to be able to select either queue. 

Is this something on the roadmap?

July 16, 2012 13:13
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi eshaw, it is something we have considered, yes.

In your use case, it sounds like you would like your customers to be able to choose a queue, what is the intent here?  We've considered supporting multiple chat queues but this would be transparent to the user, and you would route chats into the queue by feedback tab/chat widget.  Agents could become available on the queue of their choice.

July 16, 2012 13:40
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Jimmy Vosika

We had to quit using ZenDesk Chat because you can't transfer chats, is that coming soon? 

July 17, 2012 10:39
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eshaw

Steven,

We currently have it seutp to ask a few basic questions then they select in a dropdown box either Customer Service or Technical Support.  I would also be open to having separate buttons or links for our customers to click based on which group they are wanting to contact.  Also, as Jimmy above stated it would be critical for us to be able to transfer chat sessions.

July 17, 2012 10:47
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Greg
thoughtworks

I am not sure where to log a Chat feature request, but I did find this thread so I will add it here.  Let me know if I should post these somewhere else.  

1) The reps that are using chat complain that there is no notification up front to customers that lets customers know if an agent is available.  The customer has to click on the tab, then the chat box, and then they are told that there are no agents available.  It would be nice to have some type of "We're Open" sign/badge capability on the tab (an Online/Offline indicator) that would show if agents are logged in to chat.

Thanks,

Greg

July 18, 2012 08:01
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Dirk

Greg - if it helps they actually have a hidden api that lets you get the status of logged in agents (just look at the network traffic in chrome when you click on the button and you'll see the request). I use it to selectively show a  "Live Chat" button if there is someone logged in. So far it works great.

 

July 20, 2012 11:54
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Dirk

Is it possible to style the chat box that spawns - I don't see any place wehere I can include a custom css link.

July 20, 2012 11:54
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Adam Monago
thoughtworks

I don't think mobile chat support makes much sense. Texting in feedback on a ticket is one thing, but customers using chat expect a reply in a conversation's pace. 

July 21, 2012 11:12
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Stephen

We would really love to see both end-user and agent mobile chat ability.  ipad and iphone integration would be so helpful.  Many of us run mobile business, and don't have office.  I do 70% of my company's business over mobile browser, including handling A LOT of client questions.  Mobiel Chat is important on both end of this transaction. I'd pay an additional fee for this service.

July 25, 2012 09:12
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Stephen

The option to do mobile chat is already available on much lower end, lower cost systems: http://portal.smartertools.com/KB/a1588/access-smartertrack-on-a-mo...

 

July 25, 2012 09:15
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Stephen

This is exactly the kind of option that Zendesk needs!:

http://blog.livehelpnow.net/livehelpnow-iphone-app-for-the-live-cha...

July 25, 2012 12:59
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Calvin

Two questions:

1. Has being able to set start and end times for the availability/display of the chat tab been considered? I.e. Our support is during business hours only, so we'd prefer to only display the chat tab during business hours. I understand that users will see the 'no agents available; submit a ticket' prompt, but the expectation of chat availability when it isn't available isn't desirable.

2. We'd like to invite users to chat, rather than waiting for them to initiate the chat; is this feature being considered?

August 22, 2012 22:00
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Dee Quilliams
parkmobile

Oooh that's nice!  +1 to Calvin's two comments. Though truthfully we probably wouldn't iniate chat with someone very often, it would come in handy at times and I'd love for us to at least have that option. But the part about setting chat availability hours is really cool.

August 23, 2012 06:12
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Edward Perry
tbin

If you have a feedback button, but no agent remembers to open the chat panel, whats the point? Having a setting in the admin to force open the chat option for an agent would be helpful.

September 19, 2012 15:05
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Thanks for your feedback, Edward. The chat panel can be opened once, making the agent available to take incoming chat requests throughout the day. Shifts and duties change, so we want to have the flexibility to toggle that window at will. 

September 20, 2012 06:10
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Edward Perry
tbin

@Justin I understand your comment, but you are forgetting one essential item of human nature - people forget. What do you do when no agent has the chat panel open? There is no default or setting that would force an agent logged in or assign a specific agent to have to use the chat panel. 

September 20, 2012 07:05
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Edward, thanks for your feedback.  We'll be adding some settings to address this.  I understand that the agent experience can be improved here.

September 20, 2012 21:15
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Judah Anthony

Is it possible that you open up the API a bit?  I would love to be able to do:

setTimeout(function() {
Zenbox.Chat.available(function(check) {
if(check) {
var overlay = Drupal.theme.chatOverlay();
overlay.click(function() { Zendbox.Chat.show(); });
$('body').append(overlay);
}
});
}, 10000); 

October 18, 2012 11:08
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Judah, we do have plans to eventually release a chat widget library that would let you customize chat behavior and have awareness of agent availability.  We want to do this right, so we will open up the API at that time.

October 19, 2012 10:44
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Ron Vichar

When I click on my profile icon (top right) I don't see the Chat section (Available for Chat).  I have enabled Chat functionality in ZenDesk and I am an admin.  Please advise.  Thanks.

October 24, 2012 14:42
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Ron, I assume you are using the new Zendesk interface. Did you try refreshing your browser? The setting to display the chat functionality will require a browser refresh if you have changed the setting without refreshing your browser.

October 30, 2012 16:25
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Ron Vichar

Got it working!  Thanks for the help!  Great feature.

October 30, 2012 16:38
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Swapnil Joshi

hey, one quick question:

Our agents are not always in front of the computer waiting for new chat request. They open up the chat window & then they take care of some other stuff!

Is it possible to have some notification or pop-up to come on the screen like any other chat client (e.g gtalk)when any new chat request comes up.

 

November 21, 2012 21:30
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Swapnil, we are looking into desktop notifications for Chrome and the like. I cannot offer an ETA at this time, however.

November 21, 2012 23:09
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Jeroen

I love the chat facility.....in theory, but it is proving to be very unreliable. The new Zendesk interface shows the agent to be 'available for chat' (2 balloons), but although it works initially, several times a day customers cannot connect to chat. To solve this the agent has to refresh the Zendesk browser tab and re-enable chat. We experienced similar problems in the old style Zendesk interface.

This is easy to reproduce by sleeping the agent's computer or disabling and re-enabling your network adapter. I have a ticket open with your support desk (#295300), but they told me to leave a note here as well.

Basically my suggestion is to add some kind of 'heartbeat' to test if chat can still communicate with the server. If somehow the connection is severed then change the icon to 'not available' or even better, rebuild the connection.

I am really keen to see this fixed. We currently cannot rely on chat and constantly seeing the 'agent unavailable' message on our website looks amateurish.

November 28, 2012 06:53
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Jennifer Rowe
Zendesk

Hi Jeroen, Yes, thanks for posting your issue and your feature improvement suggestion here. We appreciate that you took the time to do so. The PM will get the feedback for consideration this way. Good luck with your ticket. I hope it's resolved soon!

November 28, 2012 09:49
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Julie Heinrich

We have Chat About A Ticket enabled. I was wondering if there was a way to enable document sharing in chat.  Maybe have whatever document is shared show up in the ticket as an attachment.  I wasn't sure if this was possible.

Thanks!!

December 05, 2012 12:19
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Hey Julie: 

We don't have any document sharing features built-in to the chat service. I think it would be pretty useful, though! Thanks for the feedback! 

December 06, 2012 04:55
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Justin Lingenfelter

Is it possible to transfer chats to another agent?

January 08, 2013 06:53
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Not yet, Justin! This is something we're hoping to implement in the future. 

January 08, 2013 06:56
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Idan Mashaal
plus500

Hi Guys,

 

Just a quick follow-up of one of the things that were raised here regarding Mobile Devices (iPhone/iPad, Android phones and tablets).

When an END-USER initiates a chat request (agents are using desktops) if the end-user comes from a mobile device he is redirected to a Zendesk page saying it's not from a supported device. (see attachement)

If clicking on "Go to full site" the chat apparetnly opens but the END-USER can't click on "Send" when trying to chat.

What are the capabilities Zendesk currently offer for chat when END-USER's are on Mobile devices ?

Thanks,

Idan.

January 10, 2013 04:53
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Hey Idan: 

Mobile chat isn't in place at the moment. The chat system works best when both parties are on a computer and have full access to a keyboard. I can see how mobile chat would be useful, especially on an iPad or similar tablet. 

January 14, 2013 07:02
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Eric Hoffman
foodshield

Mobile chat support is important for us as well.   We recognize the limitations in response, but it is better than no response to our customers.   

January 14, 2013 19:29
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Eric Hoffman
foodshield

To clarify, our agents are on iPads at times as our chat support can be mobile.   We'd like to see it in the app.

January 14, 2013 19:30
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Kim

Any update on a chat widget library/API tool? We really need louder, more persistent notifications when a customer is waiting in the chat queue. Our agents have other projects and cannot be staring at the screen waiting for the chat notification to pop up. The chime sound is low in volume and only chimes ONE time, it isn't audible at all on one of our agents machines as well (the volume is up high on the machines). Is there another setting that would resolve our notification trouble? I'm afraid we risk bad reviews if we use it this way - Please let me know! :)

January 18, 2013 07:55
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Jeroen

Kim, we have noticed that when Flash is not installed, or Flash Blocker is enabled, then the Chime will not sound.

Not sure if this has changed since we last looked at it, but it appears that Flash is required.

Zendesk is a high quality product, but for some reason they can't get chat right. We have loads of problems.

January 18, 2013 07:59
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Eric Hoffman
foodshield

We have terrible times with it just shutting off randomly.   No notice and agents can't stare at the icon all day.  (if you do multi-brand chat its even worse)

January 18, 2013 08:03
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Kim

Thanks for your help everyone - the Flash issue seemed to be the cause :)

I also see issues with agents "falling offline" after being idle for awhile. Right now I have agents reloading screens every so often to be safe - not ideal. 

January 21, 2013 07:37
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Jeroen

Kim,

 

I have raised the 'falling offline' issue some time ago, see https://support.zendesk.com/entries/22334697-chat-mode-not-always-w.... Although I have not received a reply, things have improved for us somewhat in the last few weeks. 

January 21, 2013 08:03
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Your ticket is still open and being worked on, Jeroen! Apologies about the lack of updates! 

January 22, 2013 06:52
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Victoria Sylvestre

Hi there,

I recently upgraded my zendesk, and one of the reasons was to have chat.

I'm curious as how to implement. I would like to NOT have it associated with my support tab. Is there another way to set it up? I just want a place on my website that says "CHAT" that people can click on. Perhaps it would even show if the person is available or not. You know, like all the other websites have :)

February 03, 2013 09:19
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Hi Victoria: 

Chat can be initiated right from the ticket or directly from your Feedback, or support tab. You don't necessarily have to display the tab, you could always link directly to it. However, in either case, the tab will appear and the end-user will need to initiate chat from the tab. There are no status indicators that show an agent is available. If no agent is available, they'll be prompted to send in a ticket. If an option to initiate the chat appears for the end-user at the ticket level, this indicates an available agent. 

February 04, 2013 04:50
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Mike

Is there a way to limit the number of simultaneous chats one agent or group can have and increase or decrease that number for other groups of agents?

February 05, 2013 13:24
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Hey Mike: 

An option to limit chat requests per group currently doesn't exist. The chat options apply globally for all agents who are available and accepting chat requests. 

February 06, 2013 05:42
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Lucina Stricko

Is there a way to show my Chat Agents as "Online" and available for chats upon login? 

February 13, 2013 09:11
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Lucina, there's currently no option to automatically enable an agent for chat.

February 13, 2013 09:48
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Arber Pllana

I might just be missing it, but is there a way to show a agents name in a chat, people like knowing which agent they are talking to.

February 18, 2013 07:50
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Timothy Bones

Is there a way to have a "Chat" button on our support home page or in our forums for  End Users?

We are having issues with people not being able to find a link to chat because they do not want to click the feedback tab?

Dirk mentioned briefly that he had a link of some sort mid last year in this thread, any more details on that?

Thanks

February 18, 2013 18:37
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Arber: Agent names are usually shown in the chat window. If the agent is using a public display name, end-users will see that name instead of the full agent name. The public display name can be modified on the profile page. I just initiated a quick chat session on my account to test, and I'm able to see the name of the chatting agent without issue. 

Timothy: Other than the Feedback tab, we don't have a default chat button you can place on the portal. However, you can use the tab URL to open the window. You can place this in a widget for your end-users, or in the welcome text area on the home page. See: Using a hyperlink instead of a tab in this article. 

Edit: You could create a custom chat button using the tab link and drop it in one of those areas mentioned. This would give your end-users a better visual key for starting a chat. 

February 19, 2013 06:54
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Arber Pllana

Thanks very much Justin! 

February 19, 2013 07:44
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Timothy Bones

Thanks Justin!

February 19, 2013 13:35
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Eddy Hood

ZenDesk:

 

Love the software, struggling with the chat.  Please give all of us asking some advice on how to make the following work: 

How to get notifications loud and clear when someone wants to chat versus having to keep a browser open and refreshing it constantly in order not to miss out on possible chats. 

I know you guys have a priority list for coding needs, but I need to know where this is on your radar.  Please give us a definitive answer as to how we can make this work, and when I say us, I mean your entire user base.  It seems like a lot of us are asking and nothing is being addressed.  

 

Please address.

February 25, 2013 22:12
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Eddy: You shouldn't have to reload the page at all! You're more likely to miss chat requests when you refresh the page. The chat panel includes a visual indicator for new chat requests. The agent can either accept or decline from there. There's also an audible notification tone for new requests. It's not the best tone, nor is it very loud or ear-catching, but it's there. 

February 26, 2013 06:10
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A Kampf

Hi All,

is it possible to use macros in the live chat module? And is there a chance to let the chat window automaticly pop up after a predetermined time (like a chat invitation)?

I look forward to hearing from you :-)

March 08, 2013 00:55
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Brandon K.
Zendesk

@A Kampf: If you are using the new Zendesk interface you can apply macros to your chat. You cannot, however, add text from the macro into your chat window, so only the actions that relate to ticket fields and tags will be applied. As for having the chat window pop up for your end users after a predetermined amount of time, the Zendesk chat feature does not support this but you might want to check out some of our chat integrations that would have this functionality: http://www.zendesk.com/apps#chat

March 08, 2013 13:55
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Wagner Narde

I'm using Zendesk for internal IT support so anonymous tickets are disabled. Is there any way I can enable chat just for logged users?

 

Right now my clients can open chats based on existing tickets, but not start a new chat/ticket.

March 22, 2013 14:34
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Brandon K.
Zendesk

Hey Wagner,

I'd recommend doing this with a feedback tab. You can choose to allow end users to request a new chat with your agents when creating the Feedback tab. Once you have the js code for the tab and are creating the widget you can choose to have the widget only appear for logged in users. This would allow you to restrict new chat requests to only existing users who have log in credentials.

March 22, 2013 15:16
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Wagner Narde

Brandon,

Yes I can do that, but I would have to set my account type to "open" (accept tickets from anyone, which is not recommended for SSO enabled accounts), and even if I set the widget visibility to "logged users only" the user would have to input his e-mail manually, thus leading to typos.

Thanks for your patience!

March 22, 2013 17:09
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Timothy Bones

Hi, i was just wondering if you had some browser requirements to use chat?
Some of our customers are using mobile devices and IE7 and earlier and  having trouble, just wondering if you already knew what works best and what doesn't work?

April 01, 2013 16:31
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Brandon K.
Zendesk

@Wagner: Yeah, having a closed helpdesk will prevent our Feedback tab from working so my idea doesn't work. I'd recommend that you use one of our chat integrations as it appears that what you want won't work with Zendesk natively. You can find a list of our chat integrations here: http://www.zendesk.com/apps#chat

@Timothy: Yes, the following article tells you our system requirements and also applies to chat: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/21515578-zendesk-system-require... IE 7 should work for your end users even though we do not recommend that browser.

April 01, 2013 16:51
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Timothy Bones

Thanks very much Brandon :)

April 01, 2013 16:52
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Paul Bashford
sonian

I see people asking, but I see no commit to provide, be good if you could confirm yeah or neigh

  • Ability for agents to automatically be logged into chat when they sign in. This I see as a real important feature, and I am sure your own Zendesk Customer Service Managers would love to know that all their help staff are signed into this fab tool!
  • Ability for the Zendesk Admins to determine who is currently logged on for chat - standard admin feature in the portal.
  • Audit trails for who has used chat, providing links to those tickets with chat entries - part of reporting as default
Also seems like there are lots of other requests, of which I am sure they will be repeated, enquired upon in the future. It would be good if you are able to display a basic roadmap plan with the customer requested features & your own (PM & Engineering) wanted/suggested features with maybe an indication of whether it will be considered or not - saves people keep asking 'whats the progress'.
look forward to hearing from you
April 19, 2013 05:03
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Sean Serrels
Paloalto

Hi all, we're just starting to experiment with ZD Chat to see if we want to replace our bold chat with it so we can automatically integrate chat content into tickets in ZD. We've got chat enabled and it works well so far, we'd like to be able to transfer chats but we might be able to live without that.

The one thing we did notice though is when using the Feedback Tab > Chat feature. If an agent is "online" but doesn't pick up the chat within the "time out" period, the end user is asked to submit a question. What we'd like to know is if there's a way to display a message saying something like "An agent is not currently available" so the end user knows why they're having to submit a question at that point. Have I missed something in the setup?

April 23, 2013 11:13
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Brandon K.
Zendesk

Hey Paul,

I'll do my best to answer your questions directly.

  • There is no way to automatically log your agents in to chat when they log in to Zendesk, they will have to manually set themselves as available to take chats.
  • There is currently no management pannel for Chat like we have with Voice. I have checked our product roadmap and it doesn't look like this feature is planned for the near future but I will try to connect with a product manager to see if this is eventually planned.
  • You can use the condition 'Ticket channel Is Chat' to create a view or business rule for tickets created from a chat conversation. This condition can also be added to a data series with Zendesk's native reporting for a more graphical tracking of your chat tickets.

The Idea of having a publicly viewable roadmap has been brought up with the development team but they are concerned that the items on there change constantly and would not be entirely reliable as a reference for our users. I will bring up your point that it will reduce the number of inquires from our customers, hopefully we can make some more headway in getting something for our customers to refer to.

April 23, 2013 13:34
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Chris Rees
nutrigold

Hi all,

I'm a Web Developer who's been working with the Zendesk system with a number of custom integrations for a few of our clients.

For those of you who have mentioned it, I've come up with a "fix" to display a Zendesk Live Chat tab (Zenbox) on the Zendesk Support forums.

Simply copy the code I've created in a Gist [link](https://gist.github.com/chrisyellostudio/5459871) into a custom Javascript widget. These are found under Zendesk Dashboard > Settings > Extensions and set to display how you wish.

It's worth noting that this script will run on any Zendesk page instance, just be wary of that.

 

p.s. Improvements on the Gist welcome, I only knocked it up in 2 minutes :)

April 25, 2013 07:01
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Nicole
weswap

Hi,

An end-user is seeing a message if there aren't agent available to chat.

In case an end-user is requesting to chat in out of business hour, is there a possibility to advise that the chat it's unavailable because out of business hour, rather then have a message saying unavailable agent?

Maybe creating a trigger? although I didn't see any action available for this.

Thank you

May 01, 2013 07:34
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Brandon K.
Zendesk

Hello Nicole,

Unfortunately there isn't really a way in Zendesk to change this functionality. You would be unable to create a Trigger to respond to the end user, because they haven't created a ticket at the time that they are shown the message, just taken to the create a ticket screen. If you know how to code it might be possible to add something to the javascript snippet we give you when you create the Feedback Tab, but that would be above my level of ability to assist. You could also try one of our prebuilt chat integrations. They are a bit more diverse and may allow you to set a message when no users are available: http://www.zendesk.com/apps#chat

May 01, 2013 17:40
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Dominic Eldred-Earl

A couple of questions.

When a chat comes up, it appears for all agents, when one takes it, is there any way that rather than just disappearing, it could say something like chat taken by agent X?

 

If you accidentally click the ignore button, is there any way to get the chat back?

 

Thanks

June 14, 2013 08:51
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Dominic, we don't have these capabilities today but I will pass this on to our product team for review.

June 14, 2013 10:32
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Service

Hello,

the Zendesk google analytics tracking, does it include the live chat funtion?

we need a livechat tool which integrates with analytics. we will upgrade our zendesk account, if the chat windows is integrated with analytics, so we can see which adwords convert into a chat request.

cheers tobias

July 04, 2013 05:58
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Dr. J
Zendesk

Hi there Tobias!

Great question- we don’t natively have in depth analytics for chat, as we’re primarily focused on helping you connect with your customer and integrating it into the Zendesk ticketing system- but, we do have a variety of chat alternatives for you that integrate into Zendesk.

Here is a list of services that have pre-built apps the integrate with Zendesk.

I think that this app in particular should help out with your analytic needs in chat.

Have an outstanding day!

July 05, 2013 13:59
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Chris Ellerby

I'm curious why so many of these important feature requests have gone un-implemented for over a year.  Some of these features are so basic it's frankly quite shocking that they were not included to begin with, let alone ignored for so long. 

  1. Better, more-visible notification of incoming chat requests.  Some support agents are working in other windows, often with other sounds (like phone calls) going on, and this means chat requests that will never be answered.
  2. Availability detection.  Monitoring keyboard/mouse activity and flagging an agent as not available for chat if they have not been active at their computer for X minutes, and flagging them as available once activity is detected.  People go to the bathroom, take lunch, and no one is going to remember to log in and out every time they step away.
  3. Mobile chat support for both sides of the equation.  It's 2013 and mobile is quickly surpassing desktop.  Over 55% of my company's e-commerce customers are mobile/tablet.  Give up on the out-dated "mobile vs desktop" concept and utilize proper responsive design so everyone has a consistent experience and functional parity between devices.  There is no reason both customers and support agents should not be able to utilize support chat with a mobile device.  I've seen your answers to previous posts, and keyboards have nothing to do with it.  (Especially if you properly implement macros, which really should be its own item on this list)
  4. Proper detection and display of chat availability.  When a user opens the feedback tab it makes a request to the server and loads content providing users with 2 options;  A: Chat,  B: Open a Ticket.  If they click chat there is a good chance they will be met with a disappointing "no available agents" message.   Why even show the chat option when no agents are available?  That gets user expectation up and then lets them down.  You are already making a request to the server when the UI first loads and displays the "Chat" or "Ticket" options.  Agent availability should be pinged prior to that UI state, not later in the flow.  That's just bad UX.
  5. Ability to display the feedback tab on your support portal without jumping through hoops or crazy hacks.  How was this ever overlooked?  The fact that you have developers writing hacks to inject your own functionality (feedback tab) into your own product (portal) should be rather embarrassing over a year into this.

I'm a fan of zendesk, and I apologize for the negative tone of this post, but you have left paying customers hanging in the wind for over a year waiting for basic functionality that really should have been accounted for out of the box day-one.

July 19, 2013 12:46
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Allen Hancock
watchmanmonitoring

Hi Zendesk!

Are there plans to allow agents to sign in via a third party jabber application, like trillian or Messages.app ?

Thanks!

August 02, 2013 23:05
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Richard Cross

Hello Mr. Yan:

Regarding chat via mobile. Some smart phones are using the voice recognition with texting. If this is could used it would make chat on the mobile phone very plausible. Mobile is the future. What is your expert opinion?

Richard Cross

August 03, 2013 13:24
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Richard Cross

I am a trial user with Zen Desk and came across the post below by Chris Ellerby. It sounds like it is on target with the ideas and concepts. Has any of this been implemented or upcoming. I have used chat as an end user before and he is right about Item#4 on the list below. I click the chat tab only to be asked to submit a request. Disappointing, and I would have used the "Contact Us" tab on the web site if before that looking for a phone number or form.

So far Zen Desk looks very good, and we are probably going ahead with a plan.

------------------ Chris Ellerby

I'm curious why so many of these important feature requests have gone un-implemented for over a year.  Some of these features are so basic it's frankly quite shocking that they were not included to begin with, let alone ignored for so long. 

  1. Better, more-visible notification of incoming chat requests.  Some support agents are working in other windows, often with other sounds (like phone calls) going on, and this means chat requests that will never be answered.
  2. Availability detection.  Monitoring keyboard/mouse activity and flagging an agent as not available for chat if they have not been active at their computer for X minutes, and flagging them as available once activity is detected.  People go to the bathroom, take lunch, and no one is going to remember to log in and out every time they step away.
  3. Mobile chat support for both sides of the equation.  It's 2013 and mobile is quickly surpassing desktop.  Over 55% of my company's e-commerce customers are mobile/tablet.  Give up on the out-dated "mobile vs desktop" concept and utilize proper responsive design so everyone has a consistent experience and functional parity between devices.  There is no reason both customers and support agents should not be able to utilize support chat with a mobile device.  I've seen your answers to previous posts, and keyboards have nothing to do with it.  (Especially if you properly implement macros, which really should be its own item on this list)
  4. Proper detection and display of chat availability.  When a user opens the feedback tab it makes a request to the server and loads content providing users with 2 options;  A: Chat,  B: Open a Ticket.  If they click chat there is a good chance they will be met with a disappointing "no available agents" message.   Why even show the chat option when no agents are available?  That gets user expectation up and then lets them down.  You are already making a request to the server when the UI first loads and displays the "Chat" or "Ticket" options.  Agent availability should be pinged prior to that UI state, not later in the flow.  That's just bad UX.
  5. Ability to display the feedback tab on your support portal without jumping through hoops or crazy hacks.  How was this ever overlooked?  The fact that you have developers writing hacks to inject your own functionality (feedback tab) into your own product (portal) should be rather embarrassing over a year into this.

I'm a fan of zendesk, and I apologize for the negative tone of this post, but you have left paying customers hanging in the wind for over a year waiting for basic functionality that really should have been accounted for out of the box day-one.

-------------------- end Chris Ellerby post.

Thank You,

Richard Cross

July 19, 2013 12:46
August 03, 2013 13:34
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Hi Chris and Richard, thanks for sharing your feedback on chat. We do realize there are usability improvements that can be had in our chat solution and we will begin to address some of these towards the end of this year. They will begin to take advantage of some of the infrastructure we've built to power agent collision in the new Zendesk interface as well as our voice product.

August 03, 2013 15:34
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Petran
Groupon EMEA

Hi Steven,

Could you please elaborate a bit more on what is, and what is not on the short term development road map for chat? I fully agree with earlier post by Chris Ellerby. Additional reporting functionality (average response/handling time etc) are a definite must as well. Thanks in advance!

August 19, 2013 09:43
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Jon

I want to add my vote to what Chris and Richard suggested.  Also, I personally do not like the idea of an agent receiving a chat request for a ticket to which they are not assigned.  Our environment is as such that one agent handles a different area of our product than 10 others.  So if you could implement a setting to control chatting via ticket with only the agent assigned that would be great.

 

Thank you.

August 27, 2013 15:30
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Joshua Lewis

"Lucina, there's currently no option to automatically enable an agent for chat."

Seriously, this had to be an easy feature to enable, very frustrating

August 28, 2013 07:46
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Addison Marchese

Please support my feature request for "Improving Chat Notifications": https://support.zendesk.com/entries/25838036-Improved-Chat-Notifica...

September 03, 2013 19:35
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Jessica Johnson
roblox

I would like to add my support for the following:

  • Better notifications - a repeat chime after delay of x minutes in agent response or window flash would help
  • Availability detection - I have noticed that my chat will disable if I am not currently active in ZD for a period of time.  As our agents will occasionally have to work in other windows or on other projects, the chat should not turn off.  We are looking to rely more on the live chat feature for support but do not want to leave customers frustrated with not being able to contact us
  • Macros - These really need to be implemented.  It's extremely inefficient to have to re-type or copy/paste from another source common greeting/closing/waiting for response messages as well as common solutions to typical inquiries
  • Ability for admins to see what agents are currently available for chat and/or in a chat.  It is especially important/helpful for our Lead/Mgmt team to be able to see who is online/available or currently in a chat, much like we do with our phone system.
September 18, 2013 16:00
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João Barbosa
Sage

It would be nice the integration with http://www.providesupport.com/.

We use this chat, because we can establish contact to the clients that are navigating in our site.

October 10, 2013 08:06
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Steven Yan
Product Manager

Everyone, thanks for your feedback about chat. All of your requests make sense, and we are now investing dedicated resources to improving our chat product.

I can share that we will first tackle enhancements that will improve the agent experience, namely macros and desktop notifications. Work on macros will begin soon. You can look forward to more regular updates from us as we develop ongoing features.

October 22, 2013 13:55
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Carolina Speroni
leapfactor

Is it possible to set chat support if we are working with a main hub account and several spoke accounts using ticket sharing?

It would not be useful to our agents if they would need to have each portal for every spoke account open at the same time to use the chat feature.

November 08, 2013 06:49
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Emily
Zendesk

Hi Carolina,

Your Agents can absolutely take chats in the hub account. You can still provide Chat to your users in the spoke accounts, you just have to generate the Feedback Tab code in the hub Zendesk and add it to each of the spokes. This article explains how to set that up.

November 08, 2013 09:51
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Eric Hoffman
foodshield

What they won't tell you, Carolina, is the RIDICULOUS requirement that the agent must keep a browser tab open per spoke and be watchful for a chat to come in by checking the tabs, or figuring out where a sound comes from, depending on your requirements.  For example, if you forward chats to the hub, that's the presets and customizations it will use.  So if your spokes, like ours, are different domains with different requirements/branding, you are sunk.

It is a terrible hack and they sucked us in to using it only to realize how terrible it was; and don't expect Zendesk to back you once they recommend something and fail.   Honesty is not a part of their corporate culture.   Being very upfront, demand in writing the solution, and then ask them to honor it doesn't even work, so proceed at your own risk.

We integrated SnapEngage instead that does the proper ticket forwarding, tagging, etc and haven't looked back.  

November 08, 2013 09:59
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Carolina Speroni
leapfactor

So let's see if I got this straight Eric, let's say we have Brand A which is the main Hub and Brand B which is the spokes account, so we set up the feedback tab as Emily said from Brand A and just copy the code and add it to the portal from Brand B when setting the feedback tab.

So my questions remains:

1) After this is set up agents will still need to log in to the web portal for Brand B and keep that tab open? (if so this is really the most ridiculous thing I ever heard and beats the point of having a Hub account)

2) What kind of branding will the customer from Brand B see? The Branding from the web portal on Brand A then? What exactly does a Branded chat window look like so I can assess how much of an issue is this? Does anyone have any screenshots of the chat and point out which are the customizable things on it?

Thanks! 

November 08, 2013 10:08
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Eric Hoffman
foodshield

They told me after I did as one would expect (and promised would work) the following:

"Go ahead and put feedback widget from Hub account (Client A) into Client B website so your chat staff can get all the chats in one spot. "

Giant fail, considering we don't want the content and knowledgebase info in feedback tabs in each spoke account portal be the content from our hub.

Or, "yes its not optimal" but if you create a feedback widget from each spoke account and put it in its respective web portal, you will need to keep each spoke account open to receive/see live chats.

 

"But you have live chat ticket forwarding to your hub" ...again Zendesk, not helpful.   The ticket forwarding is great, but we still need to respond to the actual live chat.

 

Mind you, this was last winter I went through this, and then promised by national account managers they would resolve this or do something to make it right.  As of today, not a single promise kept.  I'm not kidding, a promise on November 6 to follow up, and November 8 me asking once again where the followup is.  

Enterprise users beware:  walk away if you need any semblance of a idea of supporting multiple actual clients and thinking of single hub account/multiple spokes.  

November 08, 2013 10:47