Zendesk's own messaging functionality allows you to deliver rich, modern, and automated conversation experiences on your website and mobile apps.
This article describes how to migrate your account from Zendesk live chat to our messaging capability.
This article includes the following sections:
- Migration considerations
- Preparing for migration
- Migrating from live chat to messaging
- After the migration
Migrating from live chat to messaging changes how your agents and customers interact. You’ll gain useful new functionality, which will replace some existing functionality you’re currently using, and workflows for both agents and administrators will be altered. Before starting the migration process, we recommend you do the following:
- Evaluate your account. Use our checklist to determine whether your account is in good shape for migrating to messaging. See Evaluating your account for migration from live chat to messaging.
- Compare messaging and live chat. Messaging and Chat share many of the same capabilities. However, some messaging features are still in development. For a complete assessment of feature parity, see Messaging vs. live chat: Which is right for you?.
- Understand how migrating to messaging impacts your workflows. Because messaging is enabled at the account level, it changes how administrators and agents work, and how customers experience the support you offer. These changes may require additional training for your staff. See About messaging and About the Zendesk Agent Workspace.
- Review how messaging impacts your functionality. Because messaging is enabled at the account level, your account is impacted in a number of areas, including the Web Widget (Classic), mobile SDKs, Answer Bot, and Agent Workspace. See How enabling messaging changes your account.
- Evaluate your multibrand needs. After it is enabled on your account, messaging is then activated on a per-brand basis. You’ll need to turn it on for every brand that will offer messaging functionality. Brands without messaging turned on retain their original functionality. See Enabling messaging on your account.
- Learn how messaging impacts your Chat account. Activating messaging on a brand disables live chat for that brand. With that change, administrators will need to make changes to their Chat settings. See Updating Chat settings.
- Learn about automated conversations. One of the biggest changes when moving to messaging is that Answer Bot becomes a first responder to customer support requests, as soon as messaging is enabled on a brand. See About Answer Bot for messaging.
Finally, it’s important to check out the current messaging features to make sure they meet your needs. As product development for messaging continues, Zendesk will add more features. See Messaging and live chat feature comparison.
Preparing for migration
Before migrating, we recommend taking the time to make sure your account meets the requirements for enabling messaging, take a look at your customer service needs, and prepare your agents for their new work environment.
Checking your account requirements
If your account meets the requirements for enabling messaging, you'll see an in-product message on your account's Channels page in the Admin Center.
To enable messaging, you must have an account with:
- Zendesk Suite OR Support + Chat (Team plan or higher) with the Agent Workspace enabled. See Activating and deactivating the Zendesk Agent Workspace for instructions on enabling the workspace.
Before enabling messaging, we recommend you have an account with:
- An active, public help center, with at least 10 articles that cover commonly-asked questions.
Note: A public help center is required if you plan to use Answer Bot capabilities that refer to your help center content, such as article suggestion. If you do not want to use that Answer Bot functionality, you can have a restricted help center, or no help center.
Preparing your messaging strategy
You should evaluate your web and mobile channels and determine which you’ll want to implement to best serve your customers and your business. Consider the following:
- Your digital presence. Which page(s) are your customers currently using to reach you – a help center page? Check which web pages drive the most conversion. A mobile app? Ask how you provide support through the app. How you answer these questions can impact how you implement messaging on your web and mobile channels.
- Your region. Do you need to take advantage of the language management capabilities when planning automated conversations? Are specific social channels popular among users in your region?
- Your industry. Industries have different expectations for the level of formality in business interactions, which will need to be taken into account when designing automated flows.
Preparing your agents for messaging
Share the links below with your agents, to introduce them to messaging and how their workflows may change.
- Agent Workspace for messaging introduces agents to their main screen, where they’ll be interacting with customers in real time, as well as working with Support tickets.
- Managing conversation handoff and handback explains how messaging conversations are passed from Answer Bot to agents, as well as how and when a conversation ends.
- Translating conversations in the Zendesk Agent Workspace explains the automatic translation feature, how it works and how agents can manage it.
Migrating from live chat to messaging
When you’re ready, you can begin the move from live chat to messaging. In this section, we’ll offer a high-level guide to the tasks you may need to perform to migrate to and set up messaging. Use the links below for detailed information and specific instructions.
Note that you can test messaging in your sandbox before launching it in your production instance.
- Enable messaging at the account level.
- Update your Chat settings to ensure a smooth transition from live chat to messaging
- Make sure your tickets get to your agents:
- Activate messaging on your channels:
- Design your custom conversations with Flow Builder. Create automated conversation flows to engage customers before bringing agents into the picture.
After the migration
Messaging is fully functional as soon as it is enabled, as described in the previous section. After migration, you can refine your messaging setup in the following ways:
- Creating an out-of-office message for messaging
- Enabling customers to continue their conversation over email
- Using CSAT with messaging
- Messaging reporting in Zendesk Agent Workspace
For all the messaging resources, see Messaging resources.