Setting up to provide email-only support Follow

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Many Zendesk accounts prefer not requiring their end-users to sign in to Zendesk. Removing the sign-in requirement means end-users can't view or track their requests on the Help Center. These tasks require users to sign in. Instead, all communication between agents and end-users occurs using channels such as email, Talk, or Chat.

When you set up to provide email-only support, you need to do three things: Allow anyone to submit tickets, remove links to ticket pages in your email notifications, and remove sign-in links from your knowledge base. These tasks are described below.

This article includes the following topics:

Understanding how email-only support impacts customer interactions

When you enable email-only support, end-users can still request support without signing in by using any the following channels:
  • Sending email directly to your support email address (for example, support@mycompany.zendesk.com)
  • Submitting a Zendesk Support request using the Web Widget
  • Chatting with an agent
  • Leaving a voicemail
  • Sending a request using Twitter

Regardless of the channel by which new requests are submitted, requests become tickets that agents manage using views, creating and applying macros, generating reports, and so on. All communication between agents and end-users is captured on those tickets and emails are sent back and forth between both parties.

End-users can still access your knowledge base on Zendesk Support to search for answers. The following strategies can help you promote this self-service support option:
  • Providing your end-users with the link to your knowledge base (for example, http://mycompany.zendesk.com/hc)
  • Using the Web Widget with knowledge base search enabled

The advantage of using the Web Widget is that your end-users get a simple request form coupled with a search of your knowledge base and, optionally, live chat with your Zendesk Support agents. For more information, see Using the Web Widget to embed customer service in your website.

Allowing anyone to submit tickets

To allow requests without requiring end-users to sign in to Zendesk Support, you need to modify your end-user settings. Only administrators can make these changes to the end-user settings.

For information on making these modifications, see Enabling anyone to submit tickets in Zendesk Support.

When an unregistered end-user submits a request for the first time, they are added to your Zendesk Support as a new end-user. They receive the request confirmation email but not the verification request email. They remain unverified in Zendesk Support.

Note: You might be wondering about the Allow users to view and edit their basic profile data and Allow users to change their password options. You can leave these enabled since your email-only end-users will never be able to sign in to do either of these things. Both are still relevant to your administrators and agents.

Removing links to ticket pages from your email notifications

You must sign in to view ticket pages in the Help Center. Because you don't want to require end-users to sign in, you need to remove any links to ticket pages from any email notifications sent to end-users. Some of your default triggers create notifications with ticket links. If you signed up with Zendesk before July 12, 2012, the legacy email template also contains a ticket link.

Removing ticket links from your notifications

Remove any links to ticket pages from the default Zendesk triggers that send email notifications to requesters. Here are the Zendesk triggers that need to modified:
  • Notify requester of received request
  • Notify requester of comment update
  • Notify requester of solved request

You'll also need to modify any similar notification triggers (if any) that you created. Only administrators can edit the triggers.

If you've enabled CCs (Admin icon () > Settings > Tickets > Enable CCs on tickets), you should also modify your CC notification email.

To remove ticket links from email notification triggers
  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Business Rules > Triggers.
  2. Edit the Notify requester of received request trigger by selecting Edit.
  3. Remove the {{ticket.id}} and {{ticket.url}} placeholders from the text in the email body. For example, here are before and after versions of the email text in the Notify requester of received request trigger.

    Before:

    Your request (#{{ticket.id}}) has been received, and is being reviewed by our support staff. 
    
    To review the status of the request and add additional comments, follow the link below:
    http://{{ticket.url}}
    
    {{ticket.comments_formatted}}

    After:

    Your request (#{{ticket.title}}) has been received, and is being reviewed by our support staff. 
    
    We'll contact you as soon as we have an answer for you. 
    
    {{ticket.comments_formatted}}
  4. Click Update Trigger.
  5. Repeat for the Notify requester of comment update and Notify requester of solved request triggers.
To remove ticket links from CC notifications
  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Settings > Tickets.
  2. In the CCs section, edit the CC email text field.
  3. Remove the {{ticket.id}} placeholder from the text in the email body, as shown here:

    Before:

    You are registered as a CC on this support request ({{ticket.id}}). Reply to this email to add a comment to the request.
    
    {{ticket.comments_formatted}}

    After:

    You are registered as a CC on this support request ({{ticket.title}}). Reply to this email to add a comment to the request.
    
    {{ticket.comments_formatted}}
  4. Click Save tab.
Note: The {{ticket.title}} placeholder does not contain a URL back to your Zendesk; it's just the text of the request title.

Removing sign-in links from your knowledge base

In the Help Center, removing elements that link to the sign-in page involves deleting or hiding template components. You must be signed in as a Help Center manager to edit template components. Your agents, like your end-users, will no longer see a sign-in link for your Zendesk. To access the sign-in page, your agents need to use the following URL: mycompany.zendesk.com/access. This is the sign-in page.

Note: Only Team, Professional, and Enterprise accounts can customize Help Center.

Removing the ability to sign-in means that every visitor to the Help Center is treated as an anonymous user with limited privileges. Anonymous users can view the public areas of the Help Center and share links to content. They can't comment on articles or participate in the community. For more information, see About Help Center roles.

Because anonymous users can't participate in the community, consider disabling your community. For instructions, see Disabling your Help Center community.

To remove the links to the sign-in page

  1. In the Help Center, click General in the top menu bar, then select Customize design.

  2. Click Edit Theme to open the Theme editor.
  3. Select the Header template from the menu in the Theme editor.

  4. Delete the following component in the code:
    {{user_info}}

    The component displays a sign-in button on the right side of the header.

    Tip: If deleting code makes you nervous, use the comment tag to hide the component, like so:

    <!-- {{user_info}} -->
  5. Select the Article template and delete or comment out the following elements:
    • {{vote}}
    • the entire <section class="article-comments"> section and the comment components it contains

    The vote component and the article-comments section prompt users to sign in.

  6. Click Save at the top of the sidebar to save your changes.
  7. Cick Publish changes at the top of the sidebar.
Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • 0

    Regarding "Removing sign-in links from the Help Center", I can't find the "Edit Theme" option in my Help Center Customize screen.

    Am I looking in the wrong place? I am going to the HC, clicking "Customize" then I only have options for Theme, Appearance, Branding, Mobile branding.

     

  • 0

    Hi Phil, are you using the Essential plan? Customizing the Theme is only supported in Team, Professional and Enterprise.

  • 0

    Hi Martijn, wow fast reply! thanks :)

    Yes I am on Essential ...but at the top of this article is https://zen-marketing-documentation.s3.amazonaws.com/docs/en/plan_available_all.png.  So is this not possible on Essential?

  • 0

    This information is probably focused on the option to get rid of the links in your triggers. Maybe a Zendesk Agent can clarify this for you. 

  • 0

    Hi Phil!

    Unfortunately the link you provided doesn't seem to be good anymore so I can't see what you're referring to. However, I can confirm that the ability to edit the HTML, CSS, and JS in Help Center is only available on the Team level plan and up. As an Essential customer you don't have access to that functionality.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  • 0

    Thanks for the confirmation Jessie.  I must say, the information at the top of this article is hugely misleading if that is the case.  We chose Zendesk based off of the information here and now I find I can't actually do it unless I upgrade to a considerably more expensive plan?

  • 0

    Hey Phil,

    Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I'm going to let our Docs team know about that so we can add a note specifying that the portion of this workflow that require editing the Help Center code isn't available to Essential users. I'm so sorry for the miscommunication!

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