Creating custom roles and assigning agents (Enterprise) Follow

enterprise plan

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

This article covers the following topics:

Understanding the predefined Enterprise agent roles

Zendesk Support also offers a number of predefined agent roles that reflect typical Zendesk Support Enterprise roles. You can use these agent roles as is or clone them and create variations to suit your needs. Or, you can create your own agent roles.
Table 1. Predefined agent roles
Agent role Description
Legacy Agent This is transitory role that includes all agents who have yet to be assigned to a role. For all these agents, we are maintaining the permissions they previously had on the plan you upgraded from. Also, you cannot assign agents to this transitory role. Lastly, this role will disappear after all its members have been assigned to other roles.  
Light Agent Light Agents are available as a Professional or Enterprise Add-on. Light agents can be CC'd on tickets, can view tickets, and can add private comments to tickets within their groups. They cannot be assigned to or edit tickets. Light agents can be given permission to view reports or they can be restricted from viewing any reports. They cannot create or edit a report. You can add an unlimited number of light agents at no charge.  
Staff A Staff agent's primary role is to solve tickets. They can edit tickets within their groups, view reports, and add or edit personal views and macros.  
Team Leader Team leaders have greater access to your Zendesk than staff agents. They can read and edit all tickets, moderate forums, and create and edit end-users, groups, and organizations.  
Advisor Advisors manage the workflow and configure your Zendesk. They create or manage shared automations, macros, triggers, and views. They also set up the service level agreements, channels, and extensions. Advisors don't solve tickets, they can only make private comments.  
Administrator Administrators have control over everything within your Zendesk, except for changing billing information or payment plans (that can only be done by the account owner).  

Creating custom agent roles

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

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

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

  3. Locate the role you want to edit or clone, then select Edit.
  4. Define and create the agent role as described below in Agent permissions.
  5. When you've finished defining the new role, click Create Role.
To add a new custom agent role
  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Manage > People.
  2. Select Add role.

  3. Enter a role name and description and then select the permissions for the role (described below).
  4. Click Create role.

Agent permissions

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

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

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

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

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

  • Private only
  • Public and private

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

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


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


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


  • Cannot add or edit
  • Can add and edit personal macros
  • Add and edit personal and group macros
  • Add and edit personal, group and global macros
Note: In order to create or edit multiple-group macros, agents must be assigned a role with permission to add and edit global macros (not just “group” macros, which will limit them to single-group macros).

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

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

Viewing and editing end-user profiles:

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

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

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

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

Help Center (if Help Center is enabled) You can decide the level of Help Center permission agents should have.
  • Can manage Help Center

When this option is selected, agents in this role have Help Center manager permissions. When this option is not selected, agents in this role have Help Center viewer permissions.


Note: When this setting is not selected, it does not necessarily mean that agents can't add and edit articles and posts. Permission to add and edit articles is set at the section level in the knowledge base (see Allowing agents to add or edit articles) and at the topic level in the community (see Allowing agents to add or edit posts in community topics).
Channels Depending on the channels that have been enabled for your account, agents may also be allowed to do any of the following:
  • Can answer chat requests
  • Can access Twitter functionality
  • Can answer phone calls

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

  • Can manage business rules
  • Can manage channels and extensions

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

Assigning custom roles to agents

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

To change the role of a single agent

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

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

The change is saved immediately.

To change the role of more than one agent

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

  3. Select the role, then click Submit.

Have more questions? Submit a request


  • 0

    So if we don't have the Enterprise edition there is no way for an Agent to have the ability to edit organization details such as a custom field for the end-user room numbers in that organization?

    I don't want to have to enable administrative privileges for my agent role so that they will then be able to do the tedious job of filling in all of the room numbers for our users.

  • 1


    We're on the Enterprise edition and quite happy with however Zendesk works, but I cannot understand why Light Agents cannot edit or change the properties in a ticket... whether or not they are the requester. There is nothing wrong with this and because of this limitation, we are bound to pay for an extra license each year just so internal people can assign the tickets back to the support team.

    We have 6 people that are licensed (role of Staff) to reply back to the customers and the remaining 10 employees have a role of Light Agents. We escalate the ticket to these 10 employees (individually of course) through a custom field called "2nd Assignee" and then through views etc they can see the escalated tickets to them.

    Because of this Light Agent limitation, they need to log in with a licensed account so that they can change the "2nd Assignee" back to the support person that owns the ticket... which to avoid wasting time, they always log in with the licensed account instead of their own account.

    I have also tried to create a custom role which is identical to the Light Agent role, with the exception that I have checked the box on "Can edit ticket properties", but when I try to change the role of a Light Agent to this new custom Role, I get a notification that I need to buy more licenses :|

  • 0

    Hi Leon!

    Light Agents were created so that people who don't need to actually interact with tickets or customers can still be looped into conversations internally, and keep an eye on things as needed. Because you're not actually paying for them to access Zendesk, their permissions are very limited.

    If you have Light Agents who need to be a part of a workflow like what you're describing you'll need to purchase additional licenses for their use, or tweak your processes so that Light Agents don't need to perform these advanced functions.

    I also should point out that having multiple people using the same login to use Zendesk is a violation of our terms of service. You can review those here if you need a refresher.

  • 0

    Oh :| I see... must have skipped that section in the T&C then :) 

    OK, i'll try to tweak around this in a different way without infringing any terms of service.

    Thanks for the heads up!

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