Zendesk Support defines a number of user roles that are key to managing the people who generate support requests, those who resolve them, and the tickets themselves.
Users and people are essentially equivalent terms; it's the broadest definition for all people who use your Zendesk. When you need to manage people, your starting point is almost always the People page. This is where you add new users, define their roles and privileges, and then organize them using groups and organizations. You'll usually only see the word users in documentation like this.
Each user's role is defined when they are added, although you may change a user's role as needed. And, when users sign in, they are only shown the parts of Zendesk Support that they are allowed to see and use.
End-users, or customers
End-users are also sometimes referred to as customers. These are the people who generate support requests from any of the available support channels. End-users don't have access to any of the administrator and agent features of Zendesk Support. They can only submit and track tickets and communicate with agents publicly, which means that their ticket comments can never be private.
How end-users interact with your Zendesk Support depends first on the support channels you've made available to them and then by how you've defined public access. You can provide either open or closed support. Open support in Zendesk means that anyone can submit tickets. Closed support in Zendesk means the opposite. For example, you might use closed support for an internal support operation within a corporation.
In a closed Zendesk, you add the end-users. In an open Zendesk, you can either add users yourself or end-users can add themselves by submitting tickets. If end-users can add themselves, you can either require them to register or not. you can add users yourself and end-users can add themselves by submitting tickets. In a closed Zendesk, all end-users must be registered.
You can also control if and how your end-users access your Help Center. This is the end-user's view and includes the Submit Request page, the Knowledge Base, the Community (if available), and a view of their tickets. For more information on how end-users can access Zendesk Support, see Configuring how end-users access and sign in to Zendesk Support.
You also have the option of adding your end-users to an organization, which is a collection of users (both end-users and agents) that can be used in many ways throughout your ticket workflow. For more information, see About organizations and groups.
Agents, administrators, account owner
The people who resolve support requests, you, play different roles in setting up and managing your ticket workflow.
- May be added to more than one group (must be added to at least one)
- Add and edit end-user profiles. Agents cannot create or edit other agent or administrator profiles.
- Add public or private comments or both to tickets
- Create and edit their own macros
- Create and edit their own views
- Can view reports
Note: Only agents with access to all tickets in your Zendesk account will be able to view reports and use Insights reporting.
- Moderate and manage articles in the Help Center
- Access tickets in one of the following ways:
- All tickets in your Zendesk account
- Only tickets assigned to the group or groups to which they belong. Restricting an agent's permissions prevents them from making certain edits to users, including adding notes to user profiles.
- Only tickets received from the organization to which they belong
- Only tickets that they are assigned to
On Enterprise, you can define your own agent roles and choose what each role is allowed to see and do. For more information, see Custom agent roles.
Administrators can add new agents either manually one at a time or as a bulk import operation (you can set the user role in the CSV data file used in a bulk import). Agents can be promoted to the administrator role by an administrator.
Agents are added to groups. Each agent must be added to at least one group. For more information about groups, see About organizations and groups.
As noted above, there are a number of ways to limit the access agents have to tickets. These are explained in Creating, managing, and using groups.
Notwithstanding ticket access restrictions, CC'ing an agent on any ticket lets the agent receive email notifications of all public and private updates to the ticket. For example, suppose an agent is only allowed to see tickets in the L2 group. After the agent is CC'ed on a ticket in the L3 group, the agent gets email notifications of all public or private updates to the ticket even though she's not authorized to see L3 tickets.
- Access all tickets (not just the tickets they are assigned to)
- Access, create, and edit business rules (automations, macros, SLA service targets, triggers, views)
- Access and edit targets
- Install and configure apps
- Create reports
- Edit all reports
- Access and manage settings (account, security, channels, ticket fields, and so on)
- Add and manage end users, agents, and admins
- Promote agents to the admin role
- Create groups and organizations
- Assume an end user's identity
- Create custom agent roles (Enterprise plan only)
Administrators are responsible for designing and implementing the ticket workflow. They add end-users, agents, and other administrators; define the business rules (automations, triggers, views, etc.); and customize and extend Zendesk Support. Where an agent's primary function is to interact with end-users and resolve support requests, administrators may do that as well as set up and manage the workflow.
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 Zendesk Support that other administrators do not, such as invoicing, payment options, and benchmarking for the account.
User references in business rules
Business rules need to refer to some types of users in more abstract ways to define conditions and actions; therefore, you'll see references to requester, submitter, assignee, current user, and non-restricted agent.
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.
The ticket submitter is either the user who submitted the request or the agent that opened the ticket on behalf of the requester.
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.
In triggers, (current user) is the last person who updated the ticket. The (current user) changes each time someone different updates the ticket. The update can be made by any agent or end-user with access to the ticket.
In views, (current user) is the agent who is currently viewing that view. This enables one view to show relevant tickets to each agent, without having to create a specific view for each individual agent (see Using views to manage ticket workflow).
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.