Setting up Zendesk Chat

Note: If you started using Zendesk Chat on or after May 22, 2014, you have Zopim Chat instead of Zendesk Chat. For information about Zopim Chat, see this article.

The Chat channel allows your agents to interact with customers in real-time using text chat. A chat session becomes a ticket and all of the text within the chat is added as a comment to the ticket. Your customers can initiate a chat session from your Feedback Tab or, if you allow it, from the ticket details page in the Web portal.

The details of how agents use chat is described in Providing live chat support with Zendesk Chat in the Zendesk Agent Guide. This topic describes how administrators set up the Chat channel.

Chat is available to the Regular, Plus, and Enterprise plans.

Configuring Chat channel settings

Enabling Chat for your account means that agents with the proper permissions can be made available to respond to chat requests (see Which agents can chat with end-users? below).

To configure your Chat channel

  • Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Channels > Chat.
    Zendesk Classic: Select Settings > Channels > Chat > Edit.

The following table describes the Chat channel configuration settings.

Chat settingDescription
Enable Chat? Enabling Chat makes it possible for agents who have the proper access permission to make themselves available and accept chat requests.

As described in Providing live chat support with Zendesk Chat in the Zendesk Agent Guide, this adds the Chat option to the Zendesk agent interface.

You can think of this setting as enabling the back-end Chat support in your account. Since end-users are the ones who initiate chat sessions, you also need to either add Chat to a Feedback Tab (described below) or allow end-users to chat with agents from a ticket they are viewing in the Web portal, which is the next setting on this page.

Chat about my ticket? This setting allows end-users to initiate a chat session from an existing ticket that they are viewing in the Web portal (any ticket in Check your existing requests). When enabled and if at least one agent has made themselves available to chat, the end-user sees this link in the ticket:

Clicking the link starts a new chat session and all text entered during the chat is added to a new comment in the ticket.

Note: This option is not available in Help Center. If you're not sure you have Help Center or the Web portal, see About the different versions of Zendesk.

Maximum chat requests per agent You can select 1 through 9 and unlimited. When an agent reaches the maximum chat requests limit, the agent is automatically made unavailable for further chat requests until the number of open chats decreases.
Welcome message This is message that is displayed to end-users when a chat is initiated. The default text is "Hi there. How can I help today?". Change this to any greeting that you'd like.

Configure your Chat channel as needed and then click Save.


Adding Chat to a Feedback Tab

Your Feedback Tabs can prompt users to search your knowledge base, submit a support request, or chat with an available agent in real-time. There's just one setting that you need to enable in a Feedback Tab to include Chat.

The Feedback Tab settings are described in Setting up your Feedback Tab channel.

Which agents can chat with end-users?

When you enable Chat, your agents are able to chat with end-users. However, all agents, administrators, and the account owner must belong to a group to use Chat. Belonging to a group is a requirement to be assigned to tickets; Chat has the same requirement.

In the Enterprise version of Zendesk, you can also modify the predefined custom agent roles (Advisor, Staff, and Team Leader) to either allow or disallow those roles to answer chat requests.

You can also create your own custom agent roles and define your staff's access to Chat based on your own needs and workflow. For more information, see Custom agent roles.

Note: Enterprise version Light Agents cannot use Chat.
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