Zendesk Talk for voice enables you to respond to inbound text messages, automate alerts, or send proactive messages. For example, you can send an automated text response when a customer submits a request or alert an agent via text when a ticket needs attention (for examples, see Text recipes).
Texts automatically create tickets in Zendesk Support so you can apply all the advantages of automated workflows, centralized reporting and full customer history to text support. There’s no coding or additional software required, so you and your team can get started in minutes.
Text message support
- Text messages can be up to the standard 160 character limitation in length.
If you type a longer message, it will be split into multiple messages, each 153 characters in length. For example, if you type a message of 161 characters, it will be split into two messages; one of 153 characters, and one of 8 characters.
- You can send up to 250 simultaneous text messages from the same number. If you exceed this, messages will no longer be sent, and you'll see a warning that the message was rejected by the provider.
- Text does not support short codes or alphanumeric sender ID
- You can receive inbound MMS messages on US local numbers, but Text does not currently support outbound MMS messages.
To learn about the supported countries, and prices for Text, see Zendesk Text number availability and pricing.
This article contains the following topics:
Setting up text
Use the following topics to help you set up Text for a 30 day trial:
Choosing a text number
You set up a new Text number in Admin Center under Messaging and social > Text.
If you want to add Text to an existing Talk number, see Enabling a Talk number for Text.
For detailed steps, see Adding and managing Text numbers.
Text is a feature of Zendesk Talk, so selecting a number for Text will initiate your free trial of Zendesk Talk if you don't already have it. Trials include one free phone number and a $1 of usage credit.
My team has a Talk Team, Professional, or Enterprise account.
If you have a Talk Team, Professional, or Enterprise account, you can choose a separate phone number to try Text -- it'll be yours, free, for 30 days (you may be able to use the same number for Text that you use for Talk. Contact our customer service team for more information).
If you are currently trialing Talk Team, Professional, or Enterprise, your free $1 credit will apply to Text. If you are a current customer with Talk Team, Professional, or Enterprise, any Text usage fees will be applied to your account.
My team has a Talk Lite account.
If you are on our Talk Lite plan, you will need to upgrade to our Talk Team, Professional, or Enterprise plan to use Text. To try Text before upgrading your Talk plan, contact our customer service team.
My team uses another SMS provider -- can I use that number for Text?
If you decide to purchase Text (included on the Talk Team, Professional, or Enterprise plans), you can port over an existing phone number from another provider to use for Text. Learn more here, or contact our customer service team for more information.
Sending an inbound text
Now that you’ve started your free Text trial, send a test text from a mobile phone to your new Text trial number. You’ll see that your text will automatically create a ticket in your Zendesk Support account. Public replies in the ticket will send a text back to you.
The following example show what a text ticket looks like and the texts the customer sees on their phone.
Note: To take advantage of user identification for inbound texts, set the mobile phone number you use for testing as the “direct line” for an end-user profile. Learn more here.
Automating an outbound text
Now that you’ve received and responded to an inbound text, take it to the next level and set up an automated outbound text using a trigger.
The following example shows a trigger that responds to text messages with a standard message and the text the customer sees on their phone.
For more help creating Text triggers, see Automating SMS support with Text triggers.
When you’ve reached the end of your free 30 day trial or use your $1 free credit, add Team, Professional, or Enterprise to your Zendesk subscription to continue using Text.
What condition/action needs to be added to the trigger, so that the end-user doesn't repeatedly receive the auto-reply message in a text conversation?
If multiple replies are going out on the same ticket, I would advise adding a "Status is New" condition to the trigger to allow it to only send messages on newly received tickets. You could then include an action that sets the ticket status to Open on that trigger, nullifying the conditions.
If you are still having issues, please let me know and we can look to open up a ticket and look more closely at your account.
What are the rules regarding SMS? If a customer gives us their phone number or calls in, are we allowed to text them back or do we need express permission? How is permission received with ZD?
Specifically for the SMS channel there is no general rule in place.
The way you will handle your end-user data would be in-line to what are is required by the governing body of the area where business operates.
You can check on this article to know more on Complying with Privacy and Data Protection Law in Zendesk Support.
Hi I'm trying to find the instructions for sending a single outbound SMS text message and just can't seem to find it anywhere? It's possible to do isn't it?
You may need to create a trigger that sends out these proactive text messages. I would recommend taking a look at the following article for more information: Text Notifications with triggers
I hope this helps point you in the right direction!
thanks Brett I was able to find it myself after some digging earlier but your response is much appreciated!
Actually I have a different question regarding CSAT ratings specifically with regards to our in App messaging system, we already have CSAT enabled for other messaging channels via facebook etc. emails/webform/chats and those are working fine - but tickets created from our App are not included in ratings because there is no prompt to rate the ticket afterwards so I'm not sure where to find out how to configure/enable this in zendesk or if it requires help from our app developer somehow? I was guessing zendesk should be able to do this on it's own after tickets are solved to send a prompt for a rating, but for some reason only our App tickets don't get rating requests - can you point me in the right direction? Thanks
If it's not working on some of your tickets then I would recommend taking a look at your CSAT trigger or automation to see if there's any conditions that are preventing it from sending.
Keep in mind that these triggers will only send the survey via email to the user so if there's no email channel associated with your app then you may want to get your developers involved so they can set up another way for users to submit their feedback within the App.
I hope this helps!
Does this feature create one ticket for each phone number? If a contact has regular inquiries that span over a long time, does it stay within the same ticket number? If so, how would we separate the communications and different tickets?
There is no way to thread an SMS message to a ticket, it's not like email where there is extra information so you can thread it to the right ticket.
The way the message is sent in the above is to fire a trigger that sends the SMS message. So to handle SMS messages their response will find the existing open SMS ticket or it will make a new SMS ticket. But each user should have only 1 open SMS ticket.
Hi, Is this still true?
I just did a few tests:
I would love to know the exact limits so I can advise our agents. Thanks
The SMS limitation is still the same as outlined in this documentation.
I created a ticket on your behalf so I can investigate the issue more. Kindly check your email for updates. Thanks!
Hey there Zendesk team!
I have 2 questions:
1) Let's say we have a ticket with an email thread, is it possible to send a SMS on that same ticket thread? As we do phone calls, for instance? Or does a new ticket need to be opened?
2) Additionally, once we get a reply, would that be integrated on the same ticket?
Thanks in advance!
Yes, it is possible to reply via SMS on an email ticket! It will require a trigger recipe and a custom checkbox field setup. Please see this article for full details: How can I send a text to customers on a ticket that originated in a non-SMS channel?
If you do receive an SMS reply to the trigger notification, it will create a separate SMS channel ticket. This is because you are not switching the original channel of the ticket, rather the SMS was sent via business rule. Since SMS traffic is meant to be inbound, you can merge the two tickets together when this scenario occurs. Hope that helps!
Is it possible to determine which phone number was sent an SMS message within Support or through the API?
Hello Bryan, thank you for your question!
Unfortunately, this is not an information that you could easily find on the ticket, or the ticket events, but! In the Admin Centre, you can head over to Channels > Text and go to the History tab, where you should be able to find the SMS history for your account. In there, you can see to which of your Lines the Texts were sent to.
For more information on this, you can review this article: Reviewing Text history.
I hope this was helpful!
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