This article describes chat features that you can use in the Zendesk Agent Workspace when you have Chat enabled on your account. When you chat, Chat apps and macros are supported. For more information about the workspace, refer to About the Zendesk Agent Workspace.
This article contains the following topics:
- Setting your chat status
- Answering a chat
- Transferring a chat
- Using shortcuts in Chat
- Adding chat attachments
- Rating chats
- Setting Chat notifications
- Chat limitations
Setting your chat status
You can set your chat status directly from the ticket interface. This description shows you how to set your agent status from the Chat status menu. If your admin has enabled omnichannel routing for your account, the Chat status menu is replaced by a single status menu that works across multiple Zendesk channels. See Setting your agent status.
To set your status
- Click the agent chat status icon in the top bar.
- Select a status from the drop-down menu.
Status choices are:
Note: If a Zendesk administrator has enabled chat operating hours on your account, your chat status is set automatically.
Online: Signifies you're available to answer chats.
Away: Signifies internally to other agents that you're away from your computer. You can still get incoming chat requests and serve chats when your status is Away.
Invisible: Lets you log into the dashboard but not be visible online. You can still get incoming chat requests and serve chats if your status is Invisible.
Answering a chat
This section describes basics of how to chat with visitors in the agent workspace. Agents can answer chats directly from the workspace, but they cannot start a proactive chat with a visitor. All chats, including unanswered ones, become tickets in the Zendesk Agent Workspace.
Incoming chats appear on the top-right corner of the workspace (instead of a pop up tab). The top bar shows an Accept button.
To answer a chat
- Click Serve chat or Accept to open a chat conversation. When you start a chat with a visitor, the chat conversation appears in the ticket with the visitor name and status at the top.
- To learn more about the visitor before you chat, click User to see the visitor’s essentials card and interaction history.
- Enter a reply and click Send.
- When you're finished with a chat, click End Chat to end the conversation.
Both end users and agents can end a chat.
Depending on your chat status, you may or may not be able to serve chats in the queue. This setting depends on how your admin has set up chat notification routing for your account or for agents. See Setting up notification routing for live chat and messaging for details.
For example, an agent who can only manage tickets in their group may receive chat notifications for tickets outside their group, but they won't be able to accept or serve the chat, until it is routed to their group, or until an admin grants the agent permission to manage chats outside their group.
Transferring a chat
This section describes how to transfer chats in the agent workspace. Agents can transfer chats to other agents or to groups (chat departments) by using the Assignee field in the ticket.
To use chat transfer, Chat departments must be mapped to Support groups and any Chat department that needs to send or receive chat transfers is enabled on the Chat dashboard.
When you transfer a chat, remember the following:
- When you transfer the chat to another agent, check to see if the agent is online. If the agent is online, you'll see a green circle and dot around their profile image in the Assignee menu.
You can also transfer a chat to an agent who is away (shown with an orange circle and dot).
- If you transfer a chat to an offline agent, the chat is ended and the ticket is assigned to the agent's queue. The same is also true for an agent who is invisible or signed out.
- You can transfer the chat to another group.
- You can transfer the chat to the same group you're in, provided you're not the only agent online in that group.
- Transferred chats are added to the bottom of the chat routing queue.
- When you reassign a live chat to a different group in the agent workspace, the new group is notified of the reassignment. To help monitor transferred chats and messages, admins can create group-specific unassigned views, as they do for email.
- If a chat is currently being served, only the agent chatting with the client can transfer it to another agent.
To transfer a chat
- In a ticket, make sure your ticket fields are saved before transferring the chat.
- Click the Assignee field (near the upper left of the ticket).
A list of groups appears.
- Scroll the list and select a group, or select an agent within a group. You can also enter a group name or agent name to filter the list.
A message appears asking you to confirm the transfer.
- Click Assign.
Using shortcuts in Chat
With chat shortcuts, you can save typing time by inserting common phrases with just a few keys. For example, you might want to create a shortcut that says, "Hi there, how may I assist you today?"
Once you have created shortcuts for Chat from the Chat dashboard, you can use these shortcuts for serving chats in the Zendesk Agent Workspace.
To use shortcuts in Chat
- In a chat, type a slash (/) to view shortcuts. The matching shortcut options appear.
Note: Any personal or shared macros also appear in the list. See Applying macros with a keyboard shortcut.
- Highlight the shortcut you want to insert either by clicking it, or you can scroll through the shortcut options by pressing the down arrow and then Enter.
The complete shortcut appears in your conversation. For more information on chat shortcuts, see Chat: Inserting common phrases with shortcuts.
Adding chat attachments
If enabled, agents and visitors can send and receive attachments via Chat. By default, agents and visitors can exchange the following file types: PDF (.pdf), PNG (.png), JPEG (.jpeg), GIF (.gif), and Text (.txt). The file size limit for attachments depends on your plan type. Administrators can manage file sending options from the Chat dashboard.
When file sending is enabled, a paperclip icon appears in Chat conversations in the agent workspace.
To send an attachment
- In a ticket, click the paperclip icon in a Chat conversation and browse to select a file (or drag a file into the field).
- Click Send.
You can include multiple attachments in a chat. To delete an attachment from the list, click the X icon.
If your administrator has enabled secure attachments, attachments are accessible while a chat is ongoing, but once the chat ends, customers can access the attachments only after they sign in to Zendesk. See Enabling secure chat attachments for more information.
If enabled by a Zendesk administrator, visitors can rate a chat as either Good or Bad during or after any chat session in the agent workspace. Chat ratings give you a better sense of visitor satisfaction. For more information about chat ratings, see Measuring visitor satisfaction with chat rating.
To rate a chat
- Visitors can click the thumbs up or thumbs down icon at any point during the chat. When they click a rating, a window appears prompting them to leave a comment.
- Agents can also choose to prompt visitors to leave a rating during the conversation by clicking the rating icon in the bottom of the chat window. The visitor sees a Rate this chat link in the widget.
Setting Chat notifications
The sounds and notifications you set up from the Chat dashboard are supported in the agent workspace. This includes:
Chat desktop notifications
You can enable or disable chat notifications from appearing on your desktop. Notifications will only appear when Chat is not visible and your browser settings allow the dashboard to show notifications.
Chat sound notifications
The dashboard alerts you of chat activity with sound notifications. You can modify or disable these in your personal settings.
To edit Chat notifications
- From the Chat dashboard, select Settings > Personal > Sounds & Notifications.
For details, see Editing your Chat notification settings. These changes only affect your personal settings, not the entire account.
For information about Chat limitations in the Zendesk Agent Workspace, see Limitations in the Zendesk Agent Workspace. See also Before you migrate. As product development continues, Zendesk will work to add more features and remove limitations.
Thanks Mike, we do have that set up — the issue above is with chat triggers specifically, and the best way to enter their information while already in a chat with them.
From the article:
Sharing similar feedback/confusion that Hannah voiced. Is it possible to have Messaging and Chat enabled at the same time? I don't understand how we're supposed to switch between these channels if they're "two distinct offerings." If only one can be enabled, then what can we make of the triggers in the Chat dashboard that are for "Channel: Chat and Messaging"?
Even with Messaging enabled, customers / you can still access the Chat product.
In the Agent Workspace you can switch channels within the tickets.
In regards to your questions about Chat triggers in messaging, you can find more details here:
Hi Natsumi Mariner and Hannah Voice, this can be confusing indeed! Here's hoping I can clarify this (from my own experience setting both channels up simultaneously).
We can indeed have both channels/setups active, but we won't be able to switch from "Messaging" to "Chat" and vice-versa during the same user engagement (or ticket ID). The end-user is either contacting us via one or the other.
How can both coexist in Agent Workspace?
Let's assume we have multiple Brands. We can therefore enable Messaging for one brand, which shows as "Web Widget" in Admin Center » Channels » Messaging and social » Messaging (yoursubdomain.zendesk.com/admin/channels/messaging_and_social/channels_list); and Chat for another brand, which enables "Web Widget (Classic)" in the same section in Admin Center.
Having these two widgets active means we can receive chats via both Messaging and classic web widget within the same Zendesk account (and with Agent Workspace enabled). In other words, users can contact us via these two channels, but they are different and unrelated.
To illustrate a bit more, here's a classic chat conversation with end-user "John" in Agent Workspace:
And a messaging conversation with end-user "Mary" in the same Agent Workspace:
However, if a user contacts us via one of these channels, we can't choose to change the channel to the other (as it isn't available/possible).
In our examples above, we can't change the channel to "Chat" on our conversation with Mary, as she didn't engage us via the classic widget:
We can't change the channel to "Messaging" on John's conversation either, for the same reason:
I hope this clarifies things a bit... Let me know if it doesn't 😅
Hey Pedro Rodrigues thanks for all of the helpful information. From your example, is it correct to say then that if we're only using on brand, then we would only have either Messaging or Chat?
Hi Natsumi Mariner, sorry for any delay getting back to you. That's right, as we're only allowed one widget per Brand, at least for now.
I have this problem when the chat is transfer to another agent:
This will close the current session. Would you still like to end the chat?"
I have all as Mike said here but nothing!
Both Agents are online on the same group, the department is enable to chat, both agents are enables to chat... and nothing!
Any other idea?
I'm sorry you're having trouble with the transfer. I recommend contacting Zendesk Customer Support so they can help you troubleshoot the issue.
Hi Lisa Kelly
I solved the problem!
I tell you what happened to me; the groups inherited from the old instance before the switch to the agent workspace did not work for the chat transfer, they only work for the assignment but once the chat is in progress if I want to transfer the chat it gives me the error reported earlier. I had to delete all groups and redo them one at a time, that's the only way it worked.
Tip!: for the switch to agent workspace, redo all chat groups from scratch!
I'm glad it's fixed! But, I'm sorry that you had to redo all your chat groups! The migration wizard is supposed to take care of that automatically (if requested), but it looks like that didn't happen in your case. Do you recall what version of Chat you are using? So I can give more details to our Product team. See Determining your Zendesk Chat account version.
We experience latency issues whenever more than 2 tabs are open (which is unavoidable given the queue and need for after-chat work). All other tools open or sites that we navigate outside of Zendesk Agent Workspace are working as per usual. May I know what's causing this issue? Is this a known Zendesk limitation? Network and Hardware minimum requirements are met I believe but as long as we have more than 2 tabs open - problem starts. Can someone assist ?
Just commenting that it would be nice to mention in this article that the visitor path info we are used to seeing in legacy chat (not on the agent workspace) is still available, and lives in the Context Panel.
We show and describe this in the main article about the Agent Workspace. See Key elements of the ticket.
Lisa Kelly Yes, I'm just saying it would be good to mention it in the article above as it's an important part of serving a chat for many agents.
we tried to transfer the chat to another online agent.
there was no option to assign the chat to the other agent even though both were online.
Shu Anne Tio
We also had this behavior when we introduced chat 2 years ago.
The solution was that we had to activate more than one department for chat, if I remember correctly. Anyway it does not seem intuitive but there is a solution.
Is there a way for the agent to preview a chat in the Agent Workspace prior to accepting? We have newer agents who need to be a bit more selective with the chats they can take and would like them to be able to preview a chat prior to accepting. We haven't yet upgraded to the Agent Workspace and just want to confirm this prior to upgrading
Hi Dave Jensen, I don't think there is at the moment.
Using Subject in Views usually shows a preview of a ticket's Description but that does not seem to apply to Messaging tickets in Views: when hovering over the Subject I can only preview "Conversation with [user] URL: none".
That said, the only option seems to be creating a View where you see New tickets via Messaging and opening the ticket. This way you can open the messaging ticket and bypass the 'Accept' call-to-action (which will remain active until someone clicks to accept, so at least there's that):
We have recently moved to AWS - Chat. Is it expected behaviour when an agent transfers a chat to another agent, the agent will not receive a sound notification to alert them of the transferred chat?
I could not find anything in the AWS Chat limitations article, unless I missed it.
It depends. After the Chat is initially accepted, the Chat becomes a ticket and behaves like any other Support ticket in the Agent Workspace. The notifications you receive depend on what ticket notifications and routing rules you have set up in your account. If chat transfers are not working as expected in your account, Contact Zendesk Customer Support.
Thank you for your reply Lisa Kelly.
I have contacted ZD Support and they confirmed it is a known limitation of the AWS system. It maybe helpful to note that in this article so other customers are not asking them same thing & clogging up support.
If we're looking at chat transfer notifications I believe that this sound notification only happens if the chat is transferred to a group but for a specific agent, it's not yet supported.
I did check in our article but as of now this feature is still being worked on, don't have an ETA yet though. https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/4408860643354-Agent-Workspace-Notification-when-chat-is-transferred-to-agent#:~:text=Thanks%20for%20the,Regards%0AAyush
I just enabled Agent Workspace and not all of my shortcuts are appearing. Never had a problem with this prior to switching to Agent Workspace? Do I need to rebuild them? Is there a limit to how many appear. Some do come over--but some don't, and I cant figure out why/why not.
Any help is appreciated!!
I'll create a separate ticket for further investigation.
Is there a way to prevent chats being transferred to individuals and only have them transferred to groups?
We are finding that people are transferring and accidentally selecting an individual's name which assigns the chat directly to that person, without notification and causing chats to be missed if someone is working on a different system.
We want people to transfer the chat to the whole group so that is goes into a queue, but not to individual agents. Thanks, Steven.
quick question about Messaging.
If all agents are Invisible, does that mean an automatic message is gonna be sent saying that no agent is available ?
Or is it something only firing when we're out of the schedule (only if I put the option in the flow builder of the bot)
Thanks for writing in! At the moment, there is no option yet to prevent agents from transferring chats or messaging requests. As described in the article, agents can transfer the ticket by changing the assignee. Normally, chats will flow depending on the routing option you have configured and it is still depending on your internal workflow or process agents. Some users are training their agents if they want to transfer they are using another internal tool to chat with their team members. You may also look into this - Sharing chats with other agents in the Zendesk Agent Workspace if this works on your use case.
With Flow bot, the first recommendation is still configuring a schedule. The office hours will be shared with the visitor and by having a schedule, visitors will know and they can opt to leave a message and wait for an agent's reply or come back during office hours.
We hope this information helps!
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