Using Zendesk Voice

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After your Voice channel has been enabled and set up by an administrator, you can make and receive calls.

Setting up your browser or phone to take calls

You can take and place Voice calls directly from a web browser or with your phone.

Setting up your browser for calls

The web browser that you use for Voice might affect audio quality. Zendesk recommends Google Chrome for the best experience. Chrome relies on browser-native audio compression and streaming capabilities known as WebRTC, or web real-time communications. The standard is currently only supported by Chrome.

Agents can also use another browser with the Adobe Flash plugin, such as Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer.

To set up your browser for calls

  1. Log into Zendesk in the browser you want to use.
  2. Click the Voice icon () on the right side of the toolbar to open the Voice console.
  3. In the Voice console, click the globe icon and then select Via Browser.

Opening ports on your computer

If you use a browser to take calls, you need to open ports on your computer and network firewalls for Zendesk Voice to work. The ports depend on your browser.

If your browser uses Adobe Flash (that is, all browsers except Chrome), make sure the following ports are not blocked:

  • TCP: 80, 443, 843 and 1935

If your browser is Chrome with WebRTC, make sure the following ports are not blocked:

  • TCP: port 80 and 443
  • UDP: all ports between 10,000 and 60,000

For more information, see the Twilio client requirements on the Twilio website.

To open ports
  1. Open the required ports on your computer.

    Follow the steps for your operating system in How to open your computer ports.

  2. Open the required ports on your network firewall.
    • For an enterprise/office environment, give the above port requirements to your IT team.
    • For a home environment, follow the steps for your operating system in How to open your home network ports.
  3. (Optional) Test your ports to confirm they are open.

    See How to test if your ports are open.

Enabling microphone access

You need to grant permission to Zendesk to use your computer microphone, either during your first call or by using the Voice console.

To grant microphone permission while accepting the first call

  • Depending on your browser, the prompt may be a pop-up browser toolbar or an Adobe Flash dialog box.
  • Click Allow or Share, depending on your browser. For example, in Chrome, the process is as follows:

To grant microphone permission with the Voice console

  1. Click the Voice icon () on the right side of the toolbar.
  2. Click the Settings (gear) icon in the Voice console.

  3. When prompted, grant permission to Zendesk to always use your microphone.

Setting up your phone for calls

In addition to answering calls via the browser, you can select to forward calls to your office or mobile phone. 

To set up your phone for calls

  1. Edit your user profile by selecting the User menu, then clicking View profile page.
    Zendesk Classic: Click your name in the upper-right corner, then click Edit in your profile page.
  2. Next to Agent forwarding, click +add number.
  3. In the window that appears, select a country and enter your phone number.

    If your telephone number includes an extension, add it to the extension field. If you also use additional key presses, you can also add those to the extension field. For example, if a caller must dial '123' followed by a pound ('#') key, enter '123#'.

    Zendesk Classic: In Zendesk Classic, you can also click Test Forwarding to call the phone number you entered and make sure forwarding is working.
  4. Click Save.
    Zendesk Classic: Click Update.
  5. In the Voice console, click the globe icon and then select Via Phone.

Enabling browser notifications

When your status is set to Online, your browser will request permission to show you notifications. If you've enabled Voice notifications and you're in another browser window, notifications about calls appear in the upper-right corner of the screen. You can click on the notification to get to your Zendesk and the call console.

To enable browser notifications

You should click Allow or Show, depending on your browser.

In Chrome, the request looks like the following example:

In Firefox, the request looks like this:

 

Receiving and placing calls

Once you've set up your browser or phone (see Setting up your browser or phone to take calls), you're ready to make and receive calls. Make sure you've set your status to Online in the Voice console.

Receiving an incoming call

If you're using your phone (see Setting up your phone for calls), you can simply answer calls as usual. Calls will come in your organization's Voice number. If you have multiple numbers, the call will show up as whichever number the customer dialed.

If you're using your browser (see Setting up your browser for calls), the console opens in the upper-right corner.

You can set up your browser so you receive call notifications when you're outside of Zendesk. See Enabling browser notifications for details.

To take a call
  • From your phone, answer the forwarded call.
  • From your browser, click Accept in the call console that appears under the Voice icon in the top toolbar.
    Zendesk Classic: Depending on how you are receiving calls, click Accept in the call console or answer your personal phone and follow the voice prompt. If you forwarded the call to your phone, you might also need to click Accept in the call console, depending on how your administrator set up Voice

    If you don't answer within 30 seconds or decline the call, it's placed back in the queue to wait for the next available agent.

When you accept the call, the call console begins recording the call and a ticket is created. For details, see Understanding how calls become tickets. 

Making an outbound call

You can make outbound calls from either your browser or your telephone. Keep in mind that while you can make outbound calls using your telephone, you must initiate the call from within Zendesk in your web browser.

To make an outbound call and create a new ticket
  1. Click the Voice icon () on the right side of the toolba
  2. Click the dial pad icon.
  3. Click the drop-down menu next to the phone number to select which of your Voice numbers you're calling from.
  4. If you're dialing outside of your default country, select the new country from the drop-down list next to the flag icon.
  5. Enter the telephone number and click Call.
  6. If you're using your phone, Zendesk will call your number and then dial the requester after you pick up.
To make an outbound call from an existing ticket
  1. Select the ticket you want to use to call the requester.
  2. Above the new comment field, click the telephone icon.
  3. Select an existing telephone number or click Enter a number to call to manually enter a new number to dial.

 
To make an outbound call from a user's profile
  1. Open the user's profile.
  2. Click on the number in the Phone field.
  3. Select Call this number

Muting a call

Set a call to mute to temporarily disable your microphone.

To mute your microphone

  • Click the microphone icon in the call console.

     

Putting a call on hold (Basic and Advanced Voice)

While on a call, you can put the customer on hold or mute your microphone so that you can consult with another agent or track down other information.

Note: This option is not available with Lite Voice. It is available for Basic Voice, Advanced Voice, and pay-as-you-go Voice plans if you signed up before March 15, 2016.
To put a customer on hold
  • Click the pause button on the lower-right side of the call console.

    While on hold, the customer hears the on-hold music and you hear a beep every 15 seconds. Click the pause button again to take the customer off hold.

 

Transferring a call (Basic and Advanced Voice)

To learn about transferring calls, watch the following video or read the section below.

Making a warm transfer (1:42)

With warm transfer, an agent an agent can consult with another agent before transferring the call to them. After consulting with the other agent, the agent can either transfer the customer to the other agent or just disconnect from the consultation call and return to the customer.

To transfer a call
  1. After you answer a call or make an outbound call, the ticket automatically opens.
  2. Click the transfer button from the ticket or the call console. The customer is placed on hold and hears the hold greeting.
  3. Start typing the agent's name or phone number. Click on the agent's name to transfer a call.
  4. Introduce the call you're transferring to the other agent. The related ticket will automatically open in the other agent's Zendesk. Click Make Transfer.
  5. The message This call has been transferred successfully appears in the window. At this point, the related ticket is also assigned to the other agent. Click Close.

Ending a call

You can end a call manually, or, if the customer you're talking to hangs up first, Voice automatically ends the call.

To end a call
  • Click Hang up in the call console at the top of the ticket. Or, if you've redirected the call to your telephone you can end the call by hanging up.
    Zendesk Classic: Click Hang up in the call console.
In this state, with the call ended and the ticket still open, you're considered to be in wrap-up and unavailable to take more calls. This allows you to complete annotating and setting the ticket properties before moving on to the next call. When you are ready to go back into the pool of available agents, you can make yourself available.
Note: If your administrator has disabled agent wrap-up, then you are immediately available for another call when you finish a call; you do not need to make yourself available.
To make yourself available for another call
  • In the Voice console, click Available to take new calls.

If you do not see this option, then your administrator has disabled agent wrap-up. This means you are immediately available for another call when you finish a call. For details, see Configuring Voice channel settings or, if you use Advanced Voice, see Configuring agent wrap-up for each number (Advanced Voice only).

Understanding how calls become tickets

A new ticket is automatically created for calls in the following situations:
  • When you accept an incoming accept phone call
  • When you place an outbound call from the console
  • When a caller leaves a voicemail

Details about the call or voicemail and a recording are added to the ticket as a comment. If you placed an outgoing call from an existing ticket as described in Making an outbound call, the comment is added to the existing ticket.

Your Voice channel can be configured to prevent users from accessing the live call recordings (see Configuring Voice channel settings). If your administrator has allowed the recordings to be accessible, the user can click a link to the recording from the notification email to hear it.

You can add a comment to the ticket and update the ticket properties while you speak with the customer.

Identifying the caller and handling new user accounts

If the caller is an existing end-user and their number has already been added to their profile as their direct line, their existing profile is set as the ticket requester.

Calls received from new, unknown users generate new user accounts that are identified only by the telephone number they're calling from. To communicate via email with these users going forward, you need to ask your callers for their email address while you're on the call with them and then add it to their new user account.

Unknown users can also actually be existing users if they're using a telephone number that they haven't added to their user profile. In this case, you can merge the new user account with their existing user account. For more information, see .

Each user must have a unique telephone number; this is how Zendesk Voice identifies them when they call in. Therefore, the user's profile phone number must be their direct line. If the user hasn't already done so themselves, you should verify that the number they are calling from is their direct line and then select the Enable as direct line option in the user profile, as shown here:

Setting a telephone number as a user's direct line means that the number cannot be used by any other users in the account.

Merging tickets when a call is about an existing ticket

You may often find that callers are contacting you about an issue for which a ticket has already been created. To handle this situation, just conduct the call and add comments as needed to the new ticket. You can then merge the new ticket with the existing ticket.

For information about merging tickets, see Merging tickets.

 

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Comments

  • 0

    We already record calls and don't need that but saving the time on lookup of the customer would be nice but not worth .05/minute. Any chance of a version that just does the lookup?

  • 0

    Hi Bob, we do plan on enhancing our API to make phone-type integrations easier.  For example, you could use our search API to lookup tickets by requester phone #, is this what you are after?

  • 0

    If a user has more than one direct line, how do we enter that? For example, they may call from a cell phone or an office number?

  • 0

    Hi Jonathan, unfortunately there's no solution for that right now -- we only support one phone number field in Zendesk.

  • 0

    Is there a way to transfer a call to other agents?

    Is there a way to send sales phone calls to a different phone number (outside this system?)

    How about a phone tree options where only support rings to the agents, and others ring elsewhere?

  • 0

    What'st the cost? Same as Twillio's rates?

  • 0

    How do I add a land line so I can answer phone calls through that line but still be integrated with my zendesk?

  • 0

    @Jackson, thanks for highlighting the Linux issue.  We haven't done any testing on Linux/Ubuntu as it's not an officially supported platform of ours.  No plans at this time to add default greetings voices/tones, but if you're looking for a professional recording, I learned about fiverr.com (I'm at Twilio Conference right now) for getting inexpensive voice recordings from professional voice actors/actresses.

    @Lucas, there is no way to transfer calls or IVR functionality at the moment.  In this first version we provide a basic call queueing and call routing workflow.  Look for more enhancements in upcoming releases.

    @David, you can add a land line in your agent user profile and this will show up in the phone availability menu along with the embedded phone client (browser) option.

  • 0
    1. Voicemails are limited to 2 minutes.
    2. You can also search for phone numbers in Mange > People search box with "phone:+1##########"
  • 0

    I just have a question regarding zendesk voice, basically we want to calculate the stats of each agent, we tried to compute using minutes and seconds from "Phone call caller (xxx-xxxx)" notification but it does not match with the total we got from Call history.

    What is the process if we wanted to check the total of monthly stats (total minutes) per agent? Is Call history accurate or is call activity (or some other way) better to check it?

  • 0

    @Jeice At the moment, Voice calls are calculated as soon as they arrive in your Zendesk, in addition to the number of minutes your agent is on the call, plus wait time. Voice calls are not tracked for total talk time.

  • 0

    hey guys - we currently use cisci desktop agent for our call management solution.  This software also allows us to choose skill levels for our agents which are linked to a phone tree for different types of issues (Ex. Press 1 for password reset, press 2 for claim status...).  Does this feature allow for the same type of call triage?  If not, is this something that might be rolled out some time soon?

  • 0

    @Harrison No triage or IVR at this time. It's something we are looking into.

  • 0

    Great feature

    I assume at the moment it picks an agent as random to be the first one on the call rota and then cycles through available agents?

    I notice if i decline the call it bounces to the next availble member of staff.

    Is it possible to have all the agents called at once and not end on 30 seconds? Can we set up the call rota to say ring the phones in this order instead of the random order. i assume it looks at who last accepted a call and select the agent who hasn't had the most recent. Ideally have the call bounce through to an available agent is good but very easy to miss as it only rings for 30 seconds and then moves to next agent especially if using the available at this direct number option.

    What further ideas are being looked into on this channel as we are going to be logging and recording alot of inbound traffic if we look to go ahead with this.

    for example the reporting page /voice/settings#call_activity showing the amount of calls waiting be great if that was external page.

  • 0

    Hi Tom, currently, as you have discovered, we route to the next most idle agent first.  Currently we only support simple routing (one agent at a time) but we're interested in hearing how you prefer to route to agents.

    There are a number of things we are interested in adding, including outbound calling, IVR, and multiple phone lines.  As you can see in our forum, we are releasing this feature for UK numbers next month.

  • 0

    Our big features we would like to see are:

    Ability to transfer calls

    Setup "groups" to have specific people responsible for answering phones first

    Have all numbers in "group" ring at the same time.  First response wins.

  • 0

    Hi Steve

    I like it routes to my most idle agent, could way to balance the work load.

    So things i would like or would be cool:

    •     The ability to have multiple direct lines for end users as we commonly have them call from different landlines in there office or mobile phone numbers.
    • Transfer between agents - eg from 1st line to second line support groups , this would then transfer the ticket created.
    • Filtering - based on tags so certain users may have a specific agent they liaise with with a custom message for that tag
    • Reporting - live reporting boards - so enhancing what is shown here /voice/settings#call_activity

    I assume this will mean more reporting views will be made available, such as calls accepted by agent by hour vs the total calls that came in that hour.

  • 0

    What bothers me most is when i get a ticket with a voicemail attached, i cannot quickly assign that voicemail to an existing user - or i missed something.

     

    I listen to the voicemail and hear the customer say their email. Then, i need a simple feature to type in that email and lookup my existing sd users. if none is found, then i click "create new user with this email that i just searched for and save ticket with that user".

    While testing, i had to click 3 levels away from the ticket to finally be able to type in an email address for the new user that was created for that ticket! Frustrating!

  • 0

    That's good feedback Norman!  We could make that more visible for voicemail tickets.

  • 0

    Hope that there will be support for German telephone numbers, soon. 

  • 0

    Hi Steven - the screenshot at the top of this article implies that an agent can be available via browser or at an alternate phone number.  Am I interpreting that correctly?  If so, can you point me toward some instructions to enable availability at an alternate phone number?  I haven't been able to track anything down.  Thanks! 

  • 0

    Nevermind - I saw that I can add a phone number under my agent profile which then populates the "Available at..." option.  Thanks again.

  • 0

    Hi Ryan, looks like you found it.  Thanks for pointing that out, we can make our documentation more clear.

  • 0

    I am running an internal helpdesk and having some issues with how Zendesk treats new numbers. I would very much like it to NOT create a new user every time a caller comes in. The reason is that my end users is calling from department phones and not individual numbers.

    It would be great to simply have an option in settings to make this not happen. Basically making it necessary for the end user to give an email address or name up front before we can create the ticket.

    If not, it would create a lot of work for us merging or reassigning tickets thus making Zendesk Voice almost completely useless!

  • 0

    Thank you for rolling out in the Netherlands. I created a numer but am not able to click "enable" in the Flash pup-up. Neither in Chrome or FireFox on mu Mac. Is there a workaround?

  • 0

    Hi Roy, can you tell me what version of Flash you have?  This is usually related to having an older version of Flash.  Try upgrading to the latest version on your machine.

  • 0

    Carsten, I'm very interested in your use case.  Specifically: "Basically making it necessary for the end user to give an email address or name up front before we can create the ticket".

    If your customers are calling from department phones, their tickets will create a user profile for every department phone number and new tickets will be created with this user profile ass the requester.  You could rename these user profiles to help identify additional callers who call from these numbers, and then change the ticket requester when you finally identify the user.

  • 0

    @Steven With the amount of people changing departments within the company or leaving the company that would be almost impossible to implement.

    I agree with @Jared - and your reply to him. I think the best way to do this would be to have something other than a ticket to hold the call until we have found the correct user or existing ticket.

    It seems to me (without actually having tested it) that the way you have chosen, with the merging of tickets and users, is not very "agent" friendly. From a system that i have come to love for its complex simplicity and userfriendliness this setup seems "wrong" :-)

  • 0

    I appreciate the feedback Carsten.  The fact that tickets are the main currency in Zendesk, and need to be used to support various channels which may have different needs, is a challenge.  The implications of introducing calls as a first class resource in Zendesk are far reaching.

    For example, what happens if you create this resource which represents a call?  We have to consider things like how these tie into triggers, automations and email notifications.  The last thing we want to introduce is another thing outside the ticket workflow to keep track of, which is a complaint from our users about how we handle suspended tickets today.  We do recognize the problem and we're thinking hard about how to solve it.

  • 0

    I know nothing is "simple", but wouldn't it be relatively simple to add an additional ticket type, called "call" or something like it, and allow us to filter and setup our own rules on how these are displayed?  Then let us decide how they are handled.  

    We can "sort of" do this now with tags, but they still tend to show up in our views.

    We could then prevent notifications from going out automatically on "calls", and choose to hide them from any of our views.  And even auto-solve them so they don't cloud up our helpdesk.

    I still agree that the user management caused problems autocreating on every new phone number that came in.  And there is no handling of shared (non-direct) numbers, or when users call from multiple phone numbers.  Perhaps it is complicated system-wise, but that is the way people use phones, so the system needs to handle it well/better.  If there is no match of a number, or the same number is found for two users, have a place on the screen where it guesses who the user might be and allow us to select it.  

    I have less of an issue with the system auto-creating users, and more of an issue that there is no way to handle numbers we know should tie to a specific user, but can't because you only get one DID, and it can't be shared/must be unique.  

    Have you considered tying phone numbers to organizations... then let us select the user/create a new one?  

    We haven't been able to use it internally for these reasons, and the lack of ability to transfer calls. (My apologies if this is a feature now!)

    I think it is close though...

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