Zendesk Suite is the collection of Zendesk products and capabilities that provide you with the tools you need to create a complete omnichannel support solution.
Zendesk Suite is built around a ticketing system that seamlessly integrates all of the communication channels you use to interact with your customers.
This article is a high-level overview that explains what’s contained in Zendesk Suite, how the different parts are related to and interact with each other, and what you need to know to get started using Zendesk Suite.
This article is intended for admins who need to understand and roll out Zendesk Suite to their support organization and customers.
- What’s included in Zendesk Suite
- Accessing admin settings in Zendesk Suite
- Adding staff members to Zendesk Suite
- Understanding how end user accounts are handled across Zendesk Suite
- Managing user access security and authentication
- Adding support channels
- Routing incoming support requests
- Managing support requests during non-business hours
- Guaranteeing customer support expectations with service level agreements
- Reporting on support activity across Zendesk Suite
- Enabling customer satisfaction rating
- Using the Zendesk developer platform to extend your support solution
- Rolling out your Zendesk Suite support solution
What’s included in Zendesk Suite
- Enterprise Plus
While all five plans contain the core Zendesk products, the higher plans contain the additional features and capabilities needed to scale and manage the complexity of providing support in increasingly larger organizations and businesses.
For more information about the Suite plans, see About the Zendesk Suite plan types.
Zendesk Suite includes the following products:
|Zendesk Support. This is the ticketing system and agent workspace – the hub of your support experience. Support provides ticket and user management, workflow, and other administrative aspects of the core of your customer service solution. The agent workspace is where all tickets and all interactions with customers from all communication channels are managed.|
|Zendesk Guide. With Guide you create a help center that contains your knowledge base articles and the support portal you provide to your customers. Guide also provides you with an authoring environment to create and manage your knowledge base articles. There are also features to enable staff member collaboration in the development of your knowledge base content.|
|Zendesk Gather. This is the community forum that can be added to your help center. It enables your customers to post topics (such as a question) and interact with other members of your community.|
|Zendesk Chat. Zendesk Chat enables customers to initiate live chat with an agent. Chat sessions become tickets that agents can update after the chat session. You can add Zendesk Chat to any website, your help center, and mobile apps. Live chat is one of the ways in which you can interact with customers via messaging (see Zendesk messaging and live chat below for more information).|
|Zendesk Talk. This is the voice (telephony) channel. Like live chat and messaging, voice interactions with customers happen in the agent workspace in Support. Talk also provides tools for monitoring all ongoing call activity, status for the agents currently working this channel, and reports to show you, for example, your customers’ average wait time and average call length. The voice channel also enables you to interact with your customers via text using SMS messages.|
|Zendesk Explore. Explore provides all the reporting and analytics tools you need to monitor and evaluate your tickets and agent status and performance. It contains reporting dashboards for the important activity in Support, Chat, Talk, and Guide. You can also use the query tools to build your own custom reports and dashboards.|
|Sunshine. This is Zendesk’s open and flexible CRM platform. You can use it to develop custom apps that connect to external customer data and to extend your messaging capabilities by adding additional messaging channels and AI services using Sunshine Conversations.|
In addition to these products, Zendesk Suite contains additional features and functionality that automate and streamline your customer service, offer your customers and agents rich conversational experiences, and help to address the needs of increased organizational and business complexity and volume.
Answer Bot and Flow Builder
With the Answer Bot (an AI-powered bot), your customers can be helped to locate the answers they need without having to contact a human agent or wait for hours or days to receive a response during non-business hours.
When the Answer Bot is enabled, it can respond to customers with recommended help center articles that the Answer Bot has derived from the content of the requesters email message or the message that has been entered into your contact form.
The Answer Bot also interacts with customers via Zendesk messaging (see next section) where it can guide customers through automated conversation flows and also recommend relevant help center articles.
You use Flow Builder to create automated conversation flows that provide a path and answers to common questions.
For more information, see Understanding everywhere you can use Answer Bot and Using Flow Builder to automate customer conversations.
Zendesk messaging and live chat
Zendesk Suite includes Zendesk messaging and live chat, which provides rich conversational experiences across the web, mobile devices, and social media apps, using live chat and asynchronous messaging. This means that you can communicate with your customers using live, session-based, synchronous conversations or ongoing, asynchronous conversations, or a mix of both.
Ongoing messaging conversations with customers that can be continued across multiple sessions and devices, retaining the full conversation history.
Zendesk messaging is a collection of the following capabilities, channels, and technology:
|Live chat||Use Zendesk Chat to interact with customers via live, session-based chats.|
|Asynchronous live chat||Communicate with customers via messaging across multiple sessions and devices. The full conversation history, across sessions and devices, is retained.|
|Automated conversations with Answer Bot and Flow Builder||You can create automatic messaging conversation flows using Flow Builder that guide end users to the answers they seek. Answer Bot suggests relevant articles from your knowledge base to address their issues.|
|Web SDK||You use the Web SDK as a channel to embed both automated conversation flows using Flow Builder and Answer Bot and asynchronous live chat into your websites and your help center.|
|Web Widget (classic)||You use the Web Widget to embed into your websites and help center live chat (Zendesk Chat), your help center knowledge base articles, a contact form for submitting a support request, the Answer Bot, and other options.
Note: The Web SDK and Web Widget are similar, but different. The Web Widget does not support the new messaging and automated conversation flows provided by the new Web SDK; however, it does provide, at the moment, several features that are not available in the Web SDK. If you were already using Zendesk Support (before you began using Zendesk Suite) and have set up a Web Widget, you have the option of upgrading it to the Web SDK if you want to take advantage of the new messaging and automation features.
|Mobile app SDKs||You embed your support solution, which can include live chat, messaging, automation, and other support features, into your mobile apps using SDKs for iOS and Android.|
|Social media channels||You can add your company’s social messaging channels such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, LINE, and WeChat, to Zendesk Support. When customers send messages to these channels, the messages become tickets and agents can respond to messages from these third-party channels.|
|Sunshine Conversations||Sunshine Conversations, part of the Sunshine developer platform, enables you to add even more social messaging channels. For example, you can also add Viber, Telegram, and Apple Business Chat. Messages sent to these channels become tickets in the Agent Workspace. When an agent responds, the comment appears as a reply in the user's messaging app.|
For more information about using messaging, see About Zendesk messaging.
For agents, all Zendesk messaging interactions happen in the Agent Workspace in Support.
Agent Workspace in Zendesk Support
You should think of Support as the hub of Zendesk Suite. It’s your home base, the ticketing system into which all channel communication flows, and also the place where your agents will do most of their work.
For admins, Support provides the tools to set up your support solution (add channels etc.) and to route, view, and manage tickets.
For agents, the hub of the ticketing system is the Agent Workspace. This is the ticket interface where your agents manage all support requests for all of the communication channels you set up (email, live chat, voice, messaging, and so on).
The Agent Workspace is the interface you see whenever you click into a ticket (from the list of tickets on the Views page, for example).
All the support conversations your agents have with customers are captured in a single interface. In the example above, you can see that this ticket began as a live chat and then the agent followed up via an email message to the customer to provide additional information. That’s all captured in the conversation flow (the middle section of the ticket interface). The Agent Workspace allows all omnichannel communication to be captured in a single conversation thread.
On the left side of the ticket interface, you see the ticket data such as who’s assigned to the ticket, its priority, type, any tags that have been added, and so on.
On the right side, you see more details about the person who requested support; their contact information, their interaction history (their tickets), and also the path they took within your help center before they reached out to request help.
The right side of the ticket interface also provides access to the apps that you have the option of adding via the Zendesk Apps Marketplace.
At the top of the Agent Workspace, agents can access and monitor activity for the channels that they’ve been assigned to (chat, voice, and messaging). They can also set their availability status (online, away, or invisible) to make themselves available (or not) to participate in incoming support requests via those channels.
To learn more about the admin tasks that are specific to the Agent Workspace, see Getting started for administrators in the Zendesk Agent Workspace.
Additional features for increased organizational and business complexity and volume
In addition to these products, Zendesk Suite contains additional features and functionality that help to address the needs of increased organizational and business complexity and volume. Here’s a quick summary of each.
|Light agents||Light Agents are additional agent users that are able to collaborate on tickets. They have limited permissions, but can stay informed about tickets and, when needed, provide subject matter expertise and advice by adding private comments to the ticket. See Understanding and setting light agent permissions.|
|Side conversations||Side Conversations enable you to bring in other people from internal and external teams to collaborate on tickets without interrupting the main conversation flow within the ticket. The difference between this and Light Agents is that these other people are not able to see or interact with tickets; they have no agent permissions whatsoever. An agent working on a ticket can create a side conversation to communicate with and gather more information from, for example, a supplier or shipper, to help them solve the ticket. Side conversations keep these informational conversations associated with a ticket so that it’s all in one place. See Using side conversations in tickets.|
Multibrand allows you to create additional customer support experiences. A brand is a customer facing identity, represented by a collection of contact points for your customers. These contact points can include brand-specific email support addresses, a branded help center and embedded support in websites and mobile apps, and brand specific contact telephone numbers and social media channels.By default, you have one brand in Zendesk. By adding more brands, you can segment your customer experience in the way that makes sense for your business. For example, you might have two distinct brands whose customers do not overlap. Each different set of customers interacts with your Support team via the brand-specific contact points. See Setting up multiple brands.
|Multiple ticket forms and conditional ticket fields||In the Suite, you can create custom ticket forms (see Creating multiple ticket forms to support different request types) and use conditional ticket fields (fields that are displayed or hidden based on what a user selects in another field – see Creating conditional ticket fields in Zendesk Support).|
|Data center locality||Data Center Locality provides you with the option of choosing where your account data is hosted (US-only or EU-only). See About Data Center Location.|
|Advanced compliance||Advanced compliance helps you fulfill your HIPAA obligations. With advanced compliance, you have the ability to enter into a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with Zendesk. Additionally, Zendesk will provide you with appropriate security configuration options to help safeguard protected health information (PHI). See Advanced Compliance.|
|Enhanced disaster recovery||Enhanced Disaster Recovery enhances the protection of your Zendesk data and provides for faster recovery in the event of a disaster that interrupts your Zendesk service. Your Zendesk data is replicated in real-time and you’ll receive priority cloud resiliency. See Enhanced Disaster Recovery.|
|Premium sandbox||The Premium Sandbox extends the standard sandbox functionality that is included in your Zendesk account. A sandbox allows you to test changes you make to your Zendesk Suite configurations, experiment with integrations, and provide training for your agents. The Premium Sandbox allows you to include much more user, organization, and ticket data information. See About the Premium Sandbox.|
|High volume API||High Volume API provides more capabilities for developing custom solutions on the Zendesk developer platform, allowing you to increase your overall API rate limit to 2500 requests per minute (see Zendesk API rate limits) and to send up to 700 Zendesk events to AWS per minute (see Stream Zendesk events to AWS and Events schema for Amazon EventBridge).|
To see which of these are available in your Zendesk Suite plan, review the articles that have been linked to above.
The Zendesk Suite also includes a number of capacity add-ons. For example, you can purchase extra "pay as you go" minutes for your Talk calls and texts. You can also add several of the features above (Premium Sandbox and High Volume API) as add-ons to plans that do not already include them. For more information, see About Zendesk Suite add-ons.
Accessing admin settings in Zendesk Suite
As an admin user for your Zendesk Suite account, you have access to either all or just some of the products in Zendesk Suite. What access you have depends on how your Zendesk user profile has been configured. For the sake of this section, let’s assume you're an admin user with complete access to everything in your Zendesk Suite (user access and roles are explained below in Accessing admin settings in Zendesk Suite.
To get started using Zendesk Suite, you sign in to Zendesk and you’ll see the Home page in Support, which includes the dashboard and getting started tasks for admins.
The individual product and suite settings and configuration options that admins have access to are located in several places. In the individual products such as Support, Chat, and Explore, you can find the admin settings by locating the Admin icon in the left-side toolbar, as shown here for Support.
In Guide, you access the admin settings and tools from the top navigation bar (via the Guide admin link). This is because the default view of Guide is the help center, which is what your end users also see. The top navigation bar is only displayed to admins and agents.
In the individual Zendesk Suite products, the admin settings are used to configure those specific products. For example, the settings in Guide allow you control the help center’s content moderation features, whether or not end users need to sign in to access your help center, enable Google Analytics to help you better understand web traffic to your help center, and other options.
For admin settings that affect more than one product in Zendesk Suite, you use the Admin Center. You access this through the product tray (), which is included in all Zendesk Suite products and is located in the top navigation bar.
You use the product tray to switch between the different parts of Zendesk Suite. At the bottom of the tray you can find the link to the Admin Center.
In the Admin Center you’ll find the settings that are relevant to your account: your billing information, access security, integrations, channels, and so on. We’ll discuss several aspects of working with the Admin Center later in this article. You can find more detailed information about all of these settings in Using Zendesk Admin Center.
Adding staff members to Zendesk Suite
When you add admin and agent users to your Zendesk Suite account, you select the products they have access to and also their role permissions.
All users are added to your account in Support via the People page in the admin settings or the Add tab in the Agent Workspace.
When you add a user, you choose their type as either a staff member or end user. You then assign your staff members to the different parts of Zendesk Suite by editing their user profile in Support.
In a staff member’s profile you click the Manage in Admin Center link, as shown above. See Opening the staff profile for step by step instructions.
On the staff member’s profile page in the Admin Center, you choose which Zendesk Suite products the staff member has access to and also their role (what actions they are allowed to take in each of the selected products).
As you can see above, all staff members have access to Support; however what they are allowed to do in Support (and in the other products) is based on their assigned role. See Setting roles and access in Zendesk Admin Center.
Each product contains an admin role, which allows the person assigned to this role to access the product’s admin settings to do things such as configuring the product, setting up workflows, and so on. You can assign the admin role to as many people as you need to.
Agents provide customer support, interact with end users (via email, chat, messaging, voice, and other channels) and solve their support issues. Admins are also agents.
What an admin or agent can do in a product varies. Also, there are additional roles for each product. The role options are displayed when you click the Role drop-down list. For a detailed explanation of the roles for each product, see About staff roles in Zendesk Admin Center.
Organizing staff members into groups
After you’ve added your staff members (your admins and agents and other staff member roles), you organize them into groups. This is also done in Support.
Groups collect staff members together based on criteria those agents have in common. Groups can only contain staff members; no end users can be included. All staff members must be assigned to at least one group, but they can be members of more than one.
Groups are essential to defining support workflows. For example, you may have a group of agents who specialize in a particularly complex area of support. When a support request is received that requires that level of expertise, the request can automatically be assigned to that group.
Understanding how end user accounts are handled across Zendesk Suite
The other type of users that are added to your Zendesk account are end users (the people you provide support to, your customers). They can be added by importing them into your account, added manually by agents, or automatically as they contact you for support using the communication channels you set up.
Your customers can contact you via any of the communication channels you set up and all those interactions from those different channels are captured in their individual user profiles if the end user’s channel-specific contact points (telephone number, messaging handle, etc) have been added to their user profile.
Therefore, it’s possible to be in contact with a single customer using multiple channels and have more than one user profile for that customer. For example, a customer first contacted you for support via email message (and their user profile was created using that email address) and then later they called your support telephone number and the agent they spoke to did not inquire if they had already contacted them for support or asked for their email address. Likewise, that same customer could also contact you using one of their other email addresses, which creates a new user profile.
To manage these cases, you can easily merge duplicate end user accounts so that every support transaction is tracked in a single user profile. See Merging a user's duplicate account.
Although an email address is not always required for an end user account to be created, it’s best, if possible, to acquire each end user’s email address because an email message is often the best way to follow up on a support conversation that occured on a different channel such as live chat and voice.
Having multiple accounts for a single end user is not a technical issue; you can successfully support your customers on any of the channels you set up, even though separate channel-specific user profiles might be created. However, if maintaining a single user profile is important to you, you should always ask ‘new’ contacts if they have previously reached out for support and ask for their contact details to see if you can match them to an existing user profile.
You can also organize end users if needed. For example, you can segment your end users into organizations and then view, route, and report on tickets specific to those organizations.
For more information about end user accounts, see Adding and managing end users.
Managing user access security and authentication
Your staff members must be signed in and and be authenticated to access any part of the Zendesk Suite, for obvious security reasons. You can choose between the native Zendesk user authentication, third-party authentication using Microsoft or Google, or single-sign on using a number of different services. Zendesk authentication is enabled by default.
Staff members sign in once per session and then access the products that they have access to via the product tray.
Staff member authentication is managed on the Security page of the Admin Center. There you choose between Zendesk or external authentication, set up single sign-on and two factor authentication, configure IP restrictions, and so on.
You also use the Admin Center to manage end user authentication. You have the option of requiring end users to sign in and be authenticated to use your help center to submit support requests via the support request form.
In addition to the support request form in your help center, you can embed your Zendesk support into your websites and mobile apps and you have the option of requiring end users to sign in for a live chat on your website so that you can authenticate who they are.
For more information about security settings, see Managing security settings in Admin Center.
Adding support channels
We’ve mentioned support channels briefly a number of times in this article. You know that live chat and messaging and voice, for example, are channels by which your customers can use to contact you for support. These are just several of the many channels that you can add.
All incoming support requests from each channel you set up automatically become tickets, which you can then view, manage, and resolve in Support and the Agent Workspace.
Admins are able to add channels using both the admin settings in Support and the Channels page in the Admin Center.
Here’s a quick summary of the channels you have available to add. Follow the links for more information about and instructions for adding these channels.
|Customers contact you via email addresses that you create in Support. You can also redirect external email addresses (a support email address you already have on your own or a different email provider) to your Zendesk account. See Getting started with email - Part 1: How the email channel works.|
|Contact form in your help center||This is a web form that is included in your help center. You can use the standard contact form or create custom ticket forms with custom and conditional ticket fields. See Optimizing your ticket forms for a better agent and end-user experience.|
|Comments in your help center||You can create tickets from the comments that are added to the articles and community posts in your help center. Replies from agents are added as comments. See Creating a ticket from a comment on a knowledge base article and Creating a ticket from a community post or comment.|
|Live Chat via Zendesk Chat||You use Chat to enable live chat sessions with your customers via a chat window that you add to your help center, your websites, and your mobile apps. See Getting started for Chat admins.|
|Zendesk messaging||Zendesk messaging provides ongoing messaging conversations that persist across devices and sessions. You can embed messaging into your help center and your websites. See Getting started with Zendesk messaging.|
|Voice via Zendesk Talk||You provide support telephone numbers to your customers so that they can contact agents. Customers can also leave voicemail messages when agents are not available or during off hours. These are captured as recordings in new tickets, which can then be followed up on. See Enabling Talk and configuring general settings.|
|SMS text messaging via Zendesk Talk||If you enable it, customers can also send SMS text messages to your support telephone numbers. See Getting started with Text.|
|Facebook wall posts and private messages||The Facebook channel enables wall posts and private messages from Facebook Pages to become tickets. See Setting up your Facebook channel.|
|This channel enables you to convert incoming direct messages and liked tweets to tickets. See Setting up your Twitter channel.|
|Social messaging channels||You can set up the following social messaging channels: WhatsApp, LINE, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter DM. Messages to your social messaging channels become tickets in Support and agents can respond to messages from these third-party channels in the Agent Workspace. See About social messaging channels for the Zendesk Agent Workspace.
Note: If you’re not using the Agent Workspace, which is enabled by default in Zendesk Suite, but can be disabled, you’re using the standard agent interface and the information about using the social messaging channels is different. See Using social messaging channels.
|Additional chat, messaging, and voice channels using Sunshine Conversations||The Sunshine platform enables you to add even more social messaging channels. For example, you can also add Viber, Telegram, and Apple Business Chat. Messages sent to these channels become tickets in the Agent Workspace. When an agent responds in the Agent Workspace, the comment appears as a reply in the user's messaging app. See Adding Sunshine Conversations channels to the Zendesk Agent Workspace.
Note: The social messaging channels that can be enabled through Sunshine Conversations are only available if you’re also using Zendesk messaging and the Agent Workspace.
|Third-party apps and integrations||In the Zendesk Apps Marketplace you can find many third-party apps and integrations that also become channels and create tickets in Support. For example, you can create a ticket from a Slack message and in Google Play you can convert reviews into tickets. Details and set up instructions are provided in the descriptions you’ll find in the Marketplace.|
|Zendesk API||You can use the Zendesk API to create custom channels, which create new tickets. See Using the Zendesk developer platform to extend your support solution.|
The channel that was used to submit a support request is visible on the ticket, below the ticket title, as in this example.
You’ll also use this channel source information when viewing reports in Explore (see Understanding ticket channels in Explore) and if you want to set up routing for tickets that are received from specific channels (more about this below in Routing incoming support requests).
About the Web SDK, the Web Widget, and the mobile SDKs
The mechanisms for providing a number of different channels to your end users are the Web SDK, the Web Widget, and the mobile SDKs. All three enable you to embed elements of your support solution where your customers are located.
The Web SDK, the Web Widget, and the mobile SDKs are considered channels, but they’re essentially a channel for other channels.
Web SDK. The Web SDK is used by Zendesk messaging to embed live chat and ongoing messaging conversations and automated conversation flows using Flow Builder and Answer Bot into your websites and your help center. See Working with messaging in the Web SDK.
Web Widget (classic). You use the Web Widget to embed into your websites and help center live chat (Zendesk Chat), your help center knowledge base articles, a contact form for submitting a support request, the Answer Bot, and other options. See Providing omnichannel support using Web Widget for Zendesk Suite.
Mobile SDKs. Mobile SDKs for iOS and Android allow you to embed into your mobile apps live chat, messaging and automated concversations flows, your help center knowledge base articles, a contact form for submitting a support request, and other options. See Working with messaging in the Zendesk SDKs for Android and iOS and Embedding customer service in mobile apps with the Support SDK.
Routing incoming support requests
The live channels (voice and live chat) are directly routed to the pool of agents who have been assigned to provide support to those channels. If no agents are available, or during off hours, requests from those live channels can be followed up on (the voicemail channel accepts voicemail messages and live chat prompts customers to leave a message that creates an email-based ticket).
Incoming support requests from all of the channels you set up can be automatically routed to specific agents or agent groups and organized into views.
Incoming voice calls can be assigned to a specific group (or more than one group) so that only agents in those groups are able to see and respond to those calls. Tickets created through the email channel, sent to a specific support address, can be automatically assigned (for example, email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org is assigned to a sales support group). Also, in Chat you can route incoming chats to agents using skills-based routing (for example, only agents who are fluent in a specific language are able to respond to chats in that language). These are just several examples of the many options you have for routing tickets.
You set up and manage ticket routing in Support.
To automatically route your tickets, you create business rules (triggers and automations) that evaluate ticket data and then take action. For example, incoming support requests from a specific channel are assigned to a specific group, as in the example above. You can also modify the other ticket data, such as setting the ticket’s priority based on who sent you the support request.
You can also handle ticket routing manually. As an example, if you want to triage all incoming tickets before assigning them to agents, you can assign someone the role of triage agent who evaluates the incoming tickets in a view that’s been created for that task and then manually assigns the tickets to the appropriate agent or group.
For a detailed explanation of ticket routing and links to articles that provide set up instructions, we highly recommend that you read the following article: Routing options for incoming tickets.
Managing support requests during non-business hours
An important aspect of managing your flow of incoming support requests is to set the customer’s expectation about when their request will be responded to when you’re not available.
If you’re not providing 24/7 support to your customers, you’ll need to have a workflow in place for following up with customers, regardless of when they contact you. You do this in Zendesk Suite by creating a business hour schedule that can then be used to automatically inform your customers about your availability and when you’ll be able to respond.
You set this up in Support.
You set the days and hours that you are available and when a request comes in outside those hours the customer is notified. For example, an email message support request during non-business hours generates an email message reply that you use to indicate when the customer can expect to be contacted and also direct them to your self-service articles in your help center.
This is done with a trigger that evaluates if the message has been received during non-business hours and then generates a notification to inform the customer if it has been. You can also create automations (time-based responses based on a number of business hour conditions).
How business hours are used differs across the many channels you can add. The email message example above is straightforward (receive an email message, reply with an email message). You can respond to a tweet with a tweet. A chat request can be automatically responded to with a prompt for the customer to send you an offline message instead. These are common examples.
For more information about setting up business hours, see Setting your schedule with business hours and holidays.
As mentioned earlier in this article, you can also use the Answer Bot to automatically reply to a number of different types of support requests. See Understanding everywhere you can use Answer Bot.
Guaranteeing customer support expectations with service level agreements
Related to customer expectations and response time are service level agreements (SLAs). An SLA is an agreed upon measure of the average response and resolution times that your support team delivers to your customers. Providing support based on service levels ensures that you're delivering measured and predictable service. It also provides greater visibility when problems arise.
You define SLA service targets in Zendesk Support so that you and your agents can monitor your service level performance and meet your service level goals. Zendesk Support highlights tickets that fail to meet service level targets so that you can promptly identify and address problems.
Support SLA policies don’t apply to live channels such as Chat or Talk because the service targets are different. For example, let’s say that your company goal is to answer chats within 60 seconds and you want to know how well you‘re doing. You need to use Explore to create a report, instead of using a SLA policy.
For more information, see Defining and using SLA policies.
Reporting on support activity across Zendesk Suite
Your primary reporting tool in Zendesk Suite is Zendesk Explore. This provides key metrics, reports, and dashboards for Support, Guide, Chat, and Talk. You can also create custom queries and dashboards.
For a detailed introduction to Explore, see Getting started with Zendesk Explore.
In addition to the reporting provided by Explore, you can find several other reports in Support. On the Reporting page () in Support you’ll find three dashboards that give you insight into the activity in your help center (knowledge base, community, and search). See Analyzing knowledge base activity and Analyzing help center search results.
The voice and chat channels also provide live activity dashboards. These show you information such as number of total calls in the queue, average wait time, number of agents who are online, number of active chats, and so on.
For more information about using the live activity dashboards, see Analyzing call activity with the Talk dashboard and Using the Chat dashboard with the Zendesk Agent Workspace.
Enabling customer satisfaction rating
To receive customer satisfaction feedback, you can enable customer satisfaction rating on resolved tickets and for live chats.
For live chat sessions, the end user prompt to rate the service they received is included in the chat window.
For all resolved tickets, a customer satisfaction survey can be sent to the end user when their email is included in their user profile.
This means of course that if you don’t know the end user’s email address (because you interacted with them on Twitter and don’t have their email address, for example) you will not be able to send them the satisfaction survey email message.
To request satisfaction ratings for the support you provide via the voice channel, you must also have the end user’s email address added to their user profile. The email will be sent after the call ends and the ticket is resolved.
You enable customer satisfaction for resolved tickets in Support. For set-up instructions, see Using CSAT.
For information about enabling customer satisfaction rating for live chats, see Measuring visitor satisfaction with chat rating.
In the Enterprise and Enterprise Plus versions of Zendesk Suite, you can extend customer satisfaction rating by enabling Satisfaction Prediction Scores. Satisfaction Prediction Scores are generated using your account’s customer support data, and can identify what characteristics are likely to result in your customer being satisfied. See Working with Satisfaction Prediction Scores.
Zendesk also offers NPS (Net Promoter Score℠) surveys, which is available as a separate add-on. For more information, see About Net Promoter Scores℠.
Using the Zendesk developer platform to extend your support solution
Beyond all of the many products, features, and functionality provided by Zendesk Suite, you can also extend your support solution by adding pre-built apps and integrations and also by building your own apps and integrations using the Zendesk developer platform.
- You can create your own apps to enhance the functionality of Support, Chat, and Guide. See Extend Zendesk products
- You can also build custom integrations using the Zendesk APIs. See Use the Zendesk APIs.
- Using the Zendesk Sunshine CRM platform you can access your customer data no matter where it's located and build custom apps in the Zendesk Suite. For an overview, see here. You can find Sunshine developer resources here.
Finally, many apps and integrations that have been built on the Zendesk developer platform are available in the Apps Marketplace that help to improve agent efficiency, streamline your support workflows, and connect to the many other web applications and services you use everyday.
Rolling out your Zendesk Suite support solution
Now that you have an overview of Zendesk Suite, you can begin planning how you’ll roll out your Zendesk support solution to your staff and then your customers.
Because Zendesk Support is the hub of Zendesk Suite and all of the Zendesk products are designed to work with Support, you’ll want to set it up first.
Get started by adding your staff members, organize them into groups, assign admin user roles, create any custom user profile fields that you need, set up organizations, create your support email addresses, and add custom ticket fields and ticket forms.
You should then set up the support channels that you want to provide to your customers. Set up messaging, live chat, the voice channel, and so on. Determine which agents will staff your channels. Determine how you’ll handle support requests during non-business hours and set up a business schedule.
With your channels in place you can then set up your automated workflows using views and triggers and automations.
While setting up new channels is a relatively easy task, an important consideration is when to make channels available and for whom. Limiting availability at first can help you to gauge demand and assess training and staffing needs to ensure a responsive customer experience.
To start, it’s a good idea to set up a self-service channel using Guide to create your help center. Create knowledge base articles for common support issues so that your customers can resolve many of their issues on their own. Having a knowledge base also sets you up for providing better service through other channels such as email and chat and messaging because the Answer Bot uses those articles to automate responses to support requests.
You can then begin deploying live channels like live chat and voice using a phased approach. For example, you might start using voice to make outbound phone calls on particularly complex tickets or by implementing proactive live chat on your website so that you have better control of the flow of chats and the need to have live agents available to respond to them. This gives you time to assess important metrics such as your average length of calls and chats and how much time agents need after calls and chats to wrap things up. These metrics will provide you with the data you need to determine staffing levels and also training needs.
To help you understand and manage the steps involved in launching your Zendesk support solution, your next step should be to refer to the Launch guide for Zendesk Suite. There you’ll find the step-by-step instructions, best practice advice, and videos to help you successfully rollout support to your customers.