Zendesk glossary

This glossary describes the key concepts and terminology used throughout Zendesk and is a good place to get started learning how to set up and use your Zendesk.

@ - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z



@mentions allow agents to "mention" any other agent (not end-users) within a ticket comment by typing @, followed by the beginning of an agent's name. @mentions are available by default in any Zendesk account that has enabled the rich text editor and has CC's enabled on tickets. See Adding other agents to tickets using @mentions.


Add tab

Permanent tab in the top toolbar of the Agent Dashboard. Click to quickly create a new ticket, or hover and click to create a new ticket, user, organization, or search, and view your five most recently viewed tickets. Sometimes referred to as the +add tab. See Introduction to the Zendesk agent interface.


Administrators are agents with additional privileges to manage and customize your Zendesk. Administrators can be assigned tickets like agents but they may also do the following:
  • Access all tickets (not just the tickets assigned to them)
  • Create new business rules (automations, macros, SLA service targets, triggers, views)
  • Access and edit all business rules (automations, macros, SLA service targets, triggers, views)
  • Access and edit all extensions (widgets, targets, etc.)
  • Create reports
  • Edit all reports
  • Access settings pages (account, security, channels, etc.)
  • Access all forums with moderator privileges
  • Add and manage end-users, agents, and administrators
  • Promote agents to the administrator role
  • Create groups and organizations
  • Assume another user's identity
  • Create custom agent roles

For more information about user roles, see Understanding Zendesk user roles.


This is a Zendesk Enterprise agent role. Advisors manage the workflow and configure your Zendesk. They create or manage shared automations, macros, triggers, and views. They also set up the service level agreements, channels, and extensions. Advisors don't solve tickets, they can only make private comments. See Creating custom agent roles and assigning agents.


Agents are the bulk of your support staff. They are assigned tickets and interact with customers as needed to resolve support issues. The agent's role and privileges are defined by administrators and may include the following:
  • May be added to more than one group (must be added to at least one)
  • Add end-users
  • Add public or private comments or both to tickets
  • Create and edit their own macros
  • Moderate and manage articles in the forums
  • Access tickets in one of the following ways:
    • All tickets in your Zendesk
    • Only tickets assigned to the group or groups to which they belong
    • Only tickets received from the organization to which they belong
    • Only tickets that they are assigned to

For more information about user roles, see Understanding Zendesk user roles.

Agent alias

On Professional and Enterprise, agents can keep their real names private by set up an alias that will be used on all communications with ticket requesters. See Adding an agent alias (Professional and Enterprise).

Agent collision

Agent collision is a feature that alerts your agents when another agent is viewing and possibly updating the same ticket. When this happens, an alert is displayed at the top of the ticket (this alert is also displayed in views that are formatted as tables). This helps prevent agents from trying to make updates to the same ticket at the same time. See Avoiding agent collision.

Agent interface

The agent interface is what agents and administrators see when they log into Zendesk. From the agent interface, you can access Zendesk settings and manage tickets. See Introduction to the Zendesk agent interface.

Agent signature

An agent signature is a standard text signature that can be appended to all public comments made by agents. Agents can customize their signature on their profile page. See Adding an agent signature to ticket email notifications.


Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. A combination of programming tools used to build interactive Web applications. Used in Zendesk app development and API requests. See Adding KB search to your website with AJAX and Building your first Zendesk app.


Moving data into a less-frequently-used storage area. Zendesk automatically archives closed tickets after 120 days, and Zendesk customers can enable automatic email archiving. See Ticket archiving and Archiving ticket email notifications.


Assignee is the agent assigned to a ticket. Assignee is used in macros, views, automations, triggers, and reports to refer to or set the assigned agent. See Understanding Zendesk user roles.

Assignee stations

This is the number of agents who have successively been assigned to a ticket. This is used as a condition in triggers. See Creating and managing triggers.

Assuming a user

Administrators can sign in to your Zendesk as an end user. This is referred to as assuming a user. This allows administrators to see another end user's view of your Zendesk. See Assuming end-users.

Audit log

In the Enterprise version of Zendesk, you can track the account and user changes that have been made by you and members of your support staff.

Specifically, the Audit log shows events related to the following:

  • account changes
  • user changes
  • app changes
  • business rules
  • tickets
  • settings

For more details, see Viewing the Audit log for changes.


Automations are similar to triggers (see Trigger below) because both define conditions and actions that modify ticket properties and optionally send email notifications to customers and the support staff. Where they differ is that automations execute when a time event occurs after a ticket property was set or updated, rather than immediately after a ticket is created or updated. On Essential, you can use default automations, but you cannot create custom automations. See About the Zendesk default automations and Streamlining workflow with time-based events and automations.


Base agent

Base agents are agent seats billed as part of your regular billing cycle, as opposed to temporary agents. See also: Temporary agent.


The blacklist is used to suspend email received from domains and addresses that you specify. It can be used along with the whitelist to, for example, suspend an email domain while also allowing one or more specific email addresses from the same domain to be accepted into your Zendesk. For more information, see Using the whitelist and blacklist to control access to your Zendesk.


See Multibrand.

Bulk import

Rather than add users manually one at a time, you can add many users in a bulk import. To do this, you create a CSV (comma separated values) file that contains the user's data. You can also import organization data. See Bulk importing users and organizations.

Business hours

In the Professional and Enterprise versions of Zendesk, you can set a schedule with business hours for the days of the week and times of day that your Zendesk is available to respond to requests. Professional accounts can set only one schedule, while Enterprise accounts can set multiple schedules. You can use business hours in views, SLA policies, triggers, automations, and Liquid markup. See Setting your schedule with business hours and holidays.

Business rules

Business rules is used to refer to the Zendesk features that enable you to customize and manage the ticket workflow: automations, macros, SLA service targets. triggers, and views. See Streamlining your support workflow.

Business rules analysis

In the Enterprise version of Zendesk, you can view and analyze all of your business rules to see how they are being used. See Analyzing your business rules.



Channels are the ways that you can engage with your customers (how they create support requests and how you communicate with them). All channel communication is recorded on tickets. You choose and configure the channels you want your Zendesk to support. Channels include:
  • Email
  • Help Center or Web portal
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Zopim Chat
  • Voice
  • Web Widget
  • Zendesk API
  • Zendesk Mobile SDK API

See About Zendesk channels.


Note: Zendesk Chat has been replaced with Zopim Chat. The removal of Zendesk Chat from Zendesk is planned to start on November 1st, 2016.

Zopim Chat enables your customers to live chat with your agents. It also offers expanded chat capabilities, like multiple conversations and inter-agent chat, while integrating with your existing Zendesk ticketing workflow. See Setting up Zopim Chat in Zendesk.

Chat-only Agent

Chat-only Agent is a custom role for agents who provide live chat support with Zopim but don't have regular agent permissions in your Zendesk account.

Closed Zendesk

In a closed Zendesk, only users you choose can submit tickets. This means users must be added to your Zendesk in order to submit support requests. See Setting up a closed Zendesk.


When a ticket request is submitted it contains a subject and a description. All follow-up communication on the ticket is contained in comments. Agents and requesters can add comments to the ticket. Comments can also be added by automations, macros, and triggers. There are two types of comment: public and private. Everyone, including those CC'd on a ticket, can see public comments but only support staff can see private comments.


The thread of messages back and forth between the agent and the customer while working to resolve a ticket.

CSS customization

To more closely match the look of your company's web site, you can modify the default elements and styles in your Help Center or Web portal using CSS (cascading style sheets) code. To modify the look of your Help Center, see Using templates and themes to customize your Help Center.

Note: When you use the Theme Editor to edit the page templates, CSS, or JavaScript for a standard theme, or when you develop your own theme, it is saved as a custom theme. Custom themes are not supported by Zendesk and are not automatically updated when new features are released. See About standard themes and custom themes in Help Center.


Part of the Help Center, the community is where your end-users can ask questions, provide answers, or share ideas. Questions and ideas are associated with discussion topics. Community contributions can include ideas, tips, or any other community items. Answers can include observations, clarifications, praise, or any other response that's part of a typical community discussion. The community is available on Professional and Enterprise. See Managing Help Center community discussion topics and Managing Help Center community posts.

Current user

Current user is a reference to the last person who updated the ticket, which is not necessarily the same person who is assigned to the ticket. The current user (whoever updated the ticket last) changes whenever the ticket is updated. And, the update may have been made by the assignee, the requester, or someone who was CC'd on the ticket. See Understanding Zendesk user roles.

Custom agent roles

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

Custom ticket fields

You can add custom fields to tickets and they can be visible to agents only or to both agents and end-users. Your visible custom fields appear on your support request form in the Help Center. Custom fields are typically used to gather more information about the support issue or product or service. You can add the following types of custom fields: drop-down list, text, multi-line text, numeric, decimal, checkbox, regular expression. See Adding custom fields to your tickets.


This is often used interchangeably with end-user. See End-user.

Customer lists

Customer lists define a segment of your users in Zendesk based on a set of criteria. Customer lists are similar to views for tickets in that they enable you to create a list based on system attributes, tags, and custom fields. In this case, the list is a group of users instead of a group of tickets. Customer lists is an Add-on for Professional and Enterprise. See Creating and using customer lists.

Customer satisfaction rating

On Professional and Enterprise, your end-users (customers) can provide feedback about their support experience by rating their solved tickets. See Using customer satisfaction ratings.

Customized theme

In Help Center, when you use the Theme Editor to edit the page templates, CSS, or JavaScript for a standard theme, or when you develop your own theme, it is saved as a custom theme. Custom themes are not supported by Zendesk and are not automatically updated when new features are released. See About standard themes and custom themes in Help Center.

Contextual help

A Web Widget feature that uses the web page your visitor is currently on, along with your Help Center content, to suggest Help Center articles that may relevant to their questions. See About Contextual Help for the Web Widget.



A dashboard is an area of the Zendesk agent interface that displays summary information and vital statistics for the user. For example, the agent dashboard is displayed at the top of the home page when an agent logs in and it contains vital statistics such as the number of open tickets assigned both to the agent and the agent's groups.

Dynamic content

On Professional and Enterprise, you can create dynamic content that can then be referenced via a placeholder in automations, macros, triggers and by many of the system generated messages such as those sent in email notifications when a user creates an account. Dynamic content is a powerful tool for streamlining your multiple language support because the appropriate version of content is automatically displayed to users based on their language. See Providing multiple language support with dynamic content.


Email forwarding

Many accounts prefer to use their own email addresses rather than use a Zendesk address. You can set up email forwarding to accept email at your own address (for example, help@mycompany.com) and then forward it to your Zendesk address (support@mycompany.zendesk.com). See Forwarding your incoming support email to Zendesk.

Email notifications

Email notifications can be generated via a trigger or automation when a ticket is updated. Common notifications include a new public comment added to the ticket or a change to the ticket status. You can customize your email templates to match your branding and to modify the wording. See Customizing your email templates.

Email-only support

Many companies prefer to offer their customers support via email only. They provide the same level of service, but their end-users don't have access to the Help Center to view or track their requests. See Setting up to provide email-only support.


End-users are people who generate support requests from any of the available support channels (Help Center, email, Twitter, etc.). End-users do not have access to any of the administrator and agent features of your Zendesk. They can only submit and track tickets and communicate with agents publicly (meaning their comments can never be private). End users may also be referred to as customers. For more information about user roles, see Understanding Zendesk user roles.


Extensions are tools that extend the functionality of your Zendesk. For example, you can add CSS and JavaScript widgets to customize the look or functionality of your Zendesk or you can enable integrations with cloud-based software applications and services such as Salesforce, Google Analytics, and Constant Contact - just to name a few. Extensions can be configured by agents with administrator permissions.

External email domain

You can change your email address to an email domain other than myaccount.zendesk.com, making it appear that it originated from your own email address (help@mycompany.com). See Forwarding your incoming support email to Zendesk.



The small, customizable icon that appears next to the title of a page in a browser tab. See Adding a custom favicon to your Zendesk.

Feedback Tab

Note: The Feedback Tab has been replaced by the Web Widget. The removal of the Feedback tab from Zendesk is planned for November 1st, 2016.

The Feedback Tab provides quick access for your end-users to search your knowledge base, submit a support request, or chat with an agent. It's displayed as a tab placed along the edge of the Web browser. The Feedback Tab can be added to your Zendesk or any other web site (such as your company web site). This feature used to be referred to as the Zendesk Dropbox.

First reply time (FRT)

A metric that counts the number of minutes between the time a ticket is created, and the timestamp of the first public agent comment on that ticket. See Calculating first reply time.


Note: The Web portal has been replaced by Help Center. The removal of the Web portal from Zendesk is planned to start on November 1st, 2016
Forums are part of the Web portal; this term is not applicable to Help Center. Forums, when not used in the general sense, refers to the second level of organization after categories in the Web portal. Forums contain articles.



Groups are used to create collections of agents. How you define groups is entirely up to you. You might create groups by skill (software vs hardware) or to reflect the organizations they serve (for example, a support group might serve only customers in a certain region or time zone). Agents can belong to more than one group. End-users cannot be added to groups, only organizations. Groups are not available on Essential. See About organizations and groups and Creating, managing, and using groups.

Group stations

This refers to the number of groups that have successively been assigned to a ticket. This is used as a condition in triggers. See Creating and managing triggers.


Help Center

The Help Center consists of a knowledge base and a community. End-users can use the knowledge base for help or turn to the community for answers. If they can't find an answer, they can submit a request to an agent. Agents can use the Help Center to help solve tickets or to answer questions in the community. See Getting started with the Help Center.

Help Center analytics

On Professional and Enterprise, you can closely monitor activity and search in your Help Center. You can see activity in community and knowledge base for the last 30 days, including the number of new articles and questions created, how many users have viewed them, and the total number of votes, subscriptions, and comments. You can also review search terms from the last 30 days, including the number of searches for that term, number and type of search results returned (if any), click-through, and the next action taken. See Analyzing Help Center knowledge base and community activity and Analyzing Help Center search results.

Help Center manager

A Help Center manager has full privileges in the Help Center. Administrators are Help Center managers. You can give agents Help Center manager privileges as needed. You cannot give light agents Help Center manager privileges. See Understanding and setting Help Center permissions.


On Professional and Enterprise, you can schedule holidays as exceptions to the business hours set in your schedule. You can add as many holidays as you like, and they will be treated as outside of business hours and not count toward any metrics you measure in business hours. See Setting your schedule with business hours and holidays.

Host mapping

Host mapping (also referred to as domain mapping) is the ability to map your default Zendesk domain URL to a different URL. For example, rather than using http://support.mycompany.zendesk.com you may want your Zendesk URL to contain your company's name, like this: http://support.mycompany.com. You need to configure this with your domain provider. See Changing the address of your support website (host mapping).



External applications created and designed to work with your Zendesk, to create a bridge between your Zendesk and the external app. Many integrations are offered through the Zendesk Apps Marketplace.


Insights is an analytics offering with more data and best-practice dashboards to help you make more sense of your data. With Insights you can understand your customer service operations, gain greater context, and turn findings into actions. Insights is powered by GoodData. Insights is available on Professional and Enterprise. See Insights resources.

Note: Insights is an enhanced analytics offering that replaces the previous analytics offered called Advanced Analytics.

Knowledge base

Part of the Help Center, the knowledge base houses the official support content offered by your company or organization. You can create articles and arrange them into sections and categories. Your end-users may be allowed to comment on articles. See Managing Help Center knowledge base content in categories and sections and Contributor guide to the knowledge base.


Legacy agent

This is a Zendesk Enterprise agent role. If you upgrade your account to the Enterprise version, this role is used for all agents who have not been assigned to one of the other Enterprise roles. Each agent's permissions are the same as they had previously on the plan you upgraded from. If you assign all your agents to Enterprise agent roles, this role will disappear. You cannot select this agent role, it's only used to designate agents not yet assigned Enterprise roles. See Creating custom roles and assigning agents.

Light agent

This is a limited agent role. Light agents are available as a Professional or Enterprise Add-on. Light agents can be CC'd on and view tickets, add private comments to tickets within their groups, view reports, access and create topics in private, agent-only forums. They cannot be assigned to or edit tickets. You can add an unlimited number of light agents. See Understanding light agent permissions.

Liquid markup

Liquid markup is the templating language we use to enable placeholders (Using placeholders). You can also use Liquid markup to customize how this data is selected and displayed as output in ticket comments and email notifications. See Using Liquid markup to customize comments and email notifications.



A macro is a prepared response or action that agents can use to quickly respond to support requests that can be answered with a standard response or to modify a ticket. Macros contain actions, which can be updates to ticket properties. Agents manually apply macros when they are creating or updating tickets. Macros can also be organized into categories to help agents quickly locate them. See Using macros to update tickets and chat sessions.

Mail loop

When a machine is configured to send an automatic reply is emailed by another that is also configured to send an automatic reply, it can kick off a mail loop, a scenario in which each system will continue to reply automatically to the other every time a notification is received, creating a never-ending loop, until someone or something intervenes . See About mail loops and Zendesk email.


Markdown is a simple markup language you can use to easily add formatting, links, and images to plain text in certain fields in Zendesk. See Formatting text with Markdown.


Metrics are quantifiable measures used to track and assess the status of a specific process. Zendesk collects time-based metrics (first reply time, full resolution time, requester wait time), effort metrics (number of replies, reopened or reassigned tickets), agent activity metrics (online time, availability, resolved tickets), and others, as well as custom metrics, and uses them to analyze the quality of user services.

Mobile SDK

The Mobile SDK enables you to embed Zendesk support options directly in your native app, including Help Center browsing and searching, ticket submission and viewing, and a Rate My App component. SeeUsing Mobile SDK to embed customer service in your app. Also see our Mobile SDK developer documentation for Android and IOS.


With the Multibrand Add-on Professional and on Enterprise, you can manage support for multiple brands in Zendesk. Brand is a customer facing identity in your Zendesk, represented by a collection of contact points for your customers. These contact points can include email support addresses, Help Center, Web Widget, Voice, Twitter, and Facebook. Brand is also a ticket value, added to all your tickets. See Setting up multiple brands in your Zendesk.


Net Promoter Score® (NPS)

An industry measurement for predicting customer purchase and referral behavior. Net Promoter Scores are based on how customers reply to a single survey question, often "How likely are you to recommend this company to someone you know?" See About Net Promoter Score surveys.

Non-restricted agent

A non-restricted agent is an agent who has access to all tickets. In other words, they have not been restricted to only the group or groups to which they belong, the organization they belong to, or to the tickets they have been assigned to. The ability to refer to these agents may be useful when creating triggers. See Understanding Zendesk user roles.

Open Zendesk

In an open Zendesk, any user can see your Help Center and submit support requests. See Setting up an open Zendesk.


Organizations are collections of users (agents and end-users). How you set up your organizations is entirely up to you. On Team, agents and end-users can belong to only one organization. On Professional and Enterprise, agents and end-users can belong to multiple organizations, up to 300. A user does not have to belong to any organization, however.

After you create them, you can use organizations throughout your Zendesk to define views, as criteria for assigning tickets, as conditions in automations and triggers, to define access to forums, and in your reports. Organizations are not available on Essential. See About organizations and groups and Creating, managing, and using organizations.


The account owner is a type of administrator. The account name is associated with this person's name, usually the person who created the account. There can only be one account owner; however, account ownership can be reassigned by the account owner to another administrator if needed. The account owner has access to areas of your Zendesk that other administrators do not, such as invoicing, payment options, and benchmarking for the account. See Understanding Zendesk user roles.


Partner addresses

The support addresses for each Zendesk an organization has a sharing agreement with. Used to help prevent mail loops. See About mail loops and Zendesk email.


A Built by Zendesk app that displays end-user activity 30 minutes before and after the user submits a help ticket. See Installing and using the Pathfinder app.


Authorizations granted to users, that define what parts of the Zendesk they can access, and what tasks they can perform. Permissions are attached to roles. See Understanding Help Center roles and setting permissions, and Creating custom roles: Agent permissions.

Personalized email replies

The email address used in replies to end-users can be configured to show the agent's name as the friendly name rather than your Zendesk account name. For example, "Claire Grenier <notifications-support@myaccount.zendesk.com>" instead of "MondoCam Support Center <notifications-support@myaccount.zendesk.com>". See Enabling personalized email replies.


Placeholders are references to ticket and user data that you include in the subject and text of email notifications. Without placeholders it would be impossible to create automatic notifications. You'd have to manually enter this data for each ticket. Placeholders are contained in double curly brackets, like this: {{ticket.assignee.name}}. You can view the list of available system placeholders when creating macros (for example). Custom fields can also be referenced as placeholders. See Using placeholders.

Play mode

Play mode guides you through available tickets in a view automatically. Depending on settings configured by your administrator, you might be automatically launched into Play mode when you select a view. See Working with tickets: Using Play mode.


Each ticket is assigned a priority. There are four values for priority: Low, Normal, High, and Urgent. The ticket priority is used throughout Zendesk to generate views and reports and it's also used as conditions and actions in automations and triggers and as actions in macros. See About ticket fields.

Products icon; product tray

The products icon is a drop-down that lives in the top right corner of the header that allows agents to easily move between the various products that Zendesk offers, including Zendesk Support and Help Center. Clicking the products icon within the tray will open the product in a new browser tab/window. Sometimes referred to internally as the product tray. See Navigating between Zendesk support and Help Center.

Remote authentication

Remote authentication refers to the process of authenticating your users outside of your Zendesk (for example, via social media single sign-on providers, such as Facebook and Google, or via Enterprise single sign-on using JSON Web Token (JWT) or Secure Assertion Markup Language (SAML). See Single Sign-On.


Requester refers to the person who made the support request. Requester is used in macros, views, automations, triggers, and reports to refer to the person who generated the support request. See Understanding Zendesk user roles.

Restricted agent

The term restricted agent is used for agents whose ticket access has been limited to one of the following:

  • All tickets (can also add, modify and assume end-users)
  • Tickets requested by users in this agent's organization (also can't see forums restricted to other organizations)
  • Tickets assigned to this agent only

An agent's access can be restricted via their user profile. See Understanding Zendesk user roles.

Restricted Help Center

In a restricted Help Center, end-users are required to sign in to access your Help Center. Anonymous users cannot access your Help Center. See Restricting Help Center access to signed-in end-users.

Restricted Zendesk

In a restricted Zendesk, only users with email addresses in domains that you approve can register and submit support requests. All other users' requests are either sent to the Suspended Tickets queue or completely rejected, depending on your setup. See Setting up a restricted Zendesk.


Roles define the permissions and access a user has to your Zendesk. Roles are assigned to both external users (i.e., customers), and internal users (i.e., employees). See Understanding Zendesk user roles, Understanding Help Center roles and setting permissions, and Creating custom roles and assigning agents.



On Professional and Enterprise, Secure Assertion Markup Language (SAML) is one of the two types of single sign-on available for remotely authenticating users, the other is JSON Web Token (JWT). See Single sign-on (SSO) options in Zendesk.


A sandbox is an internal-only instance of Zendesk you can use to set up and test changes before moving them to your customer-facing production instance. Sandbox is available on Enterprise. See Testing changes in your sandbox (Enterprise).

Satisfaction Prediction Scores; satisfaction prediction

A Satisfaction Prediction Score is an indicator of whether a ticket is likely to receive a good or bad satisfaction rating, based on a predictive model built for individual accounts using past customer support and satisfaction rating data. See About Satisfaction Prediction Scores.


On Professional and Enterprise, you can set a schedule for your Zendesk with a time zone, business hours, and holidays. Professional accounts can set only one schedule, while Enterprise accounts can set multiple schedules. You can use your scheduled business hours in views, SLA policies, triggers, automations, and Liquid markup. See Setting your schedule with business hours and holidays.

Shared organization

A shared organization refers to allowing all users within an organization to see all of the organization's tickets and, optionally, allowing those users to comment on each other's tickets. An administrator can set up shared organizations (it's an option available when creating or editing an organization). You also have the option of granting this privilege to select end-users instead. You set this up in the user's profile. See Setting up a shared organization for end-users.

Show all events

You can click Show all events in a ticket to see a complete history of each time the ticket has been updated. See Viewing a ticket's audit trail.

Single Sign-On

In addition to the user authentication provided by Zendesk, you can also use single sign-on, which authenticates your users outside of your Zendesk. There are two types: social media single sign-on and Enterprise single sign-on. Social media single sign-on are additional login options that you can provide for your customers convenience. For example, you can make the Facebook, Google, and Twitter logins available on your login page. Enterprise single sign-on is provided by JSON Web Token (JWT) and Secure Assertion Markup Language (SAML). SAML is available in the Professional and Enterprise versions of Zendesk. See Single sign-on (SSO) options in Zendesk. JWT is available on Team and above.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

On Professional and Enterprise, you can define SLA policies so that you and your agents can better monitor your service level performance and meet your service level goals. Service Level Agreements, or SLAs, are typically an agreed upon measurement of the average response and resolution times that your support team delivers to your customers. Providing support based on service levels ensures that you are delivering measured and predictable service, and have greater visibility when there are problems. See Defining and using SLA policies.

Staff agent

This is a Zendesk Enterprise agent role. A Staff agent's primary role is to solve tickets. They can edit tickets within their groups, view reports, and add or edit personal views and macros. See Custom agent roles.

Standard theme

In Help Center, there are several standard themes you can use to define the layout of your Help Center. These are predefined themes that come with your Help Center by default. Standard themes are supported by Zendesk and are automatically updated when new features are released. See About standard themes and custom themes in Help Center.


Each ticket is assigned a status. There are five values for status: New, Open, Pending, On-hold, Solved, Closed. The ticket status is used throughout your Zendesk to generate views and reports and it's also used as a condition in automations, macros, and triggers. The status can only be changed to closed via automations and triggers (not manually). See About ticket fields.

Support addresses

Any email address you want to use to receive support request as tickets can be added to your Zendesk as a support address. Support addresses can be either variations of your Zendesk address or external email addresses. See Adding support addresses for users to submit tickets.

Support request

This term is used to describe what end-users create, via the Help Center or any of the other channels such as email and Twitter, when they request support. Support requests become tickets in your Zendesk. To end-users, a ticket is a support request and this is the term used in the Help Center (for example, Submit a request and My open requests).

Suspend a user

Users can be suspended, which means that they are no longer able to sign in to your Zendesk and any new support requests you receive from the user are sent to the suspended tickets queue. See Suspending a user.

Suspended ticket

Based on a number of factors (such as an email being flagged as spam) some of the email coming into your Zendesk may be suspended or even rejected. Email messages that are suspended are added to the suspended tickets queue from where they can be recovered or deleted. See Managing suspended tickets and spam.



To help you categorize, act on, or search for tickets, you can add tags. Tags can be added to tickets automatically based on the words in the request, manually by agents, or via triggers, automations, and macros. Once added, you can create views by tags, search for tags and the tickets in which they are included, and use tags in your triggers, automations, and macros. See Using tags.


There may be times when you want to notify an external system about a new ticket or an important state change to a ticket (for example, send a message when a high priority ticket has not been resolved after a specified amount of time). By setting up external targets you can communicate with many cloud-based applications and services (such as Twitter and Twilio) as well as HTTP and email. Targets are not available on Essential. See Notifying external targets.

Team leader

This is a Zendesk Enterprise agent role. Team leaders have greater access to your Zendesk than staff agents. They can read and edit all tickets, moderate forums, and create and edit end-users, groups, and organizations. See Custom agent roles.

Temporary agent

Temporary agent seats are a way to increase the number of paid agents on your plan for a time period shorter than your current billing cycle.

Temporary agent seats are a billing designation and not an agent role. You can manage temporary agents' roles and permissions in the same way you would with other agents.


Support requests received from any of your channels (see Channels) become tickets. Each ticket is assigned to an agent to solve and all activity related to solving the support request is captured as details within the ticket. Ticket data includes Subject, Email, Description, Status, Type, Priority, Group, Assignee, Tags, and any other custom fields you create. Each ticket requires a subject, email address, and description. See About ticket fields.

Ticket deflection

Providing information to users so they find answers to their questions on their own, rather than submitting help tickets. See Fine Tuning: Best Practices for Ticket Deflection.

Ticket sharing

Tickets can be shared between Zendesk accounts so that you can collaborate on solving tickets. You establish sharing agreements with other Zendesk accounts and specify the terms under which sharing can occur, and how shared tickets are managed. See Sharing tickets with other Zendesk accounts.

Time-based events


Creating or updating tickets in Zendesk generates events. You can use these events to automatically modify tickets and send email notifications. For example, when a new ticket is created Zendesk sends an email confirmation to the person who generated the ticket (the requester). The mechanism that enables this is called a trigger. Using triggers, you can also automatically assign a ticket to a specific support agent or support group based on the email address it was sent to, the organization to which the requester belongs, or keywords contained in the request message. On Essential, you can use default triggers, but you cannot create custom triggers. See About the Zendesk default triggers and Creating and managing triggers.


Each ticket is assigned a type. There are four values for type: Question, Incident, Problem, Task. The ticket type is used throughout your Zendesk to generate views and reports and it's also used as a condition in automations, macros, and triggers. See About ticket fields.


User tagging

Tags can be added to users and organizations and these tags can then be used in business rules to manage the ticket workflow and to restrict access to forums. See Adding tags to users and organizations.



Views define a collection of tickets based on a set of criteria (expressed as conditions). Views can be formatted to be displayed as lists or tables and you can specify who can access them. You create and use views to define collections of tickets such as "My open tickets" or "Recently solved tickets" for example. On Essential, you can use default views, but you cannot create custom views. See Accessing your views of tickets and Using views to manage ticket workflow.


The Voice channel integrates live telephone support into your Zendesk. Agents make themselves available to receive calls and their conversations with customers are recorded and added to tickets. When agents are unavailable, customers leave voicemail messages that automatically become tickets containing the voicemail recording and a transcription. You can also make outbounds calls. See Getting started with Zendesk Voice.


Web portal

This is the older version of the customer-facing portal where end-users submit tickets, track their support requests, and access your knowledge base and forums. Web portal was replaced by Help Center.

Note: Starting on August 21, 2013, the Web portal is no longer available for new accounts. A new self-service option called Help Center is available. See the Help Center entry.

Web Widget

The Web Widget enables you to embed Zendesk support options in your website or Help Center, including Help Center search, Zopim live chat, and a contact form. You configure the components you want in the widget, then add the widget code your website or Help Center. After you add the code, you manage changes from your Zendesk. SeeUsing Web Widget to embed customer service in your website.

Note: Web Widget is a replacement for Feedback Tab.


The whitelist is used to allow email to be received from specific email domains and addresses. It is used along with the blacklist to, for example, allow email from a specific address in a blacklisted domain to be accepted into your Zendesk (and not suspended). See Using the whitelist and blacklist to control access to your Zendesk.


Available in the Classic version of Zendesk, a widget is a small application that extends the functionality of your Zendesk.

Note: Widgets are not available in the new version of Zendesk. In the new version of Zendesk, you can build apps to extend your Zendesk. See Developing Zendesk Apps.
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  • 0

    How can I get a printable version of the glossary?

  • 0
    Symon Ayland

    Second the printable version request (in PDF format preferably).

  • 0


    The glossary is included in the PDF version of the Admin Guide. http://cdn.zendesk.com/resources/documentation/Zendesk_Admin_Guide.pdf. Will that help you? 

  • 0

    How much do I need to pay for using Zendesk ?

  • 0


    You can find the pricing here:  http://www.zendesk.com/product/pricing#compare

  • 0

    How do I change an email address to an existing agent?

  • 0

    Hi Tracy, 

    Any email address in your Zendesk is associated with a user profile. If you're an Admin, you can go to Manage > People and search for the email address on that page. Pull up the user profile and use the Role pull-down menu to adjust accordingly. If you receive a message that you need to first increase your agent count to do so, you have two options:

    1. Your account owner can go to Settings > Subscription and increase your agent count there.

    2. If this new agent is replacing a former agent, you can first pull up the profile for the former agent and downgrade their role to end-user. That will free up an  existing agent license for the new agent.

  • 0

    I'd like a PDF copy of that admin guide, but the link provided doesn't work. Is there somewhere else I can find it?

  • 1

    Hi Allison!

    I'm afraid that we don't have a PDF of this page available anymore. If you'd really like an offline copy of it saved, though, you should be able to print the page to PDF so you can save it to your computer. I was able to do this by right-clicking on the page, clicking "print", and then choosing "PDF" as the destination.

    Hopefully that helps!

  • 0

    Thank you for that tip!

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