The Zendesk Agent Workspace includes a flexible message composer that enables agents to work seamlessly across a variety of channels. Agents can work equally well with all types of messages in all types of languages, including social messages, web messages, live chats, emails, and internal notes. This article describes how to use the composer to manage conversations in the agent workspace.
This article contains the following topics:
Switching channels in the composer
When you receive a new message in a ticket, you can choose to reply on the same channel or pick another channel.
To switch channels
- In a ticket, locate the conversation that needs a reply.
- Locate the current channel indicator at the top of the composer window.
- Click the down arrow (v) to open the channel menu.
- Select the channel you want to use for the reply.
Your channel choices vary depending on which channels your administrator has set up for your workspace. They also vary based on the current state of your conversation. For example, during a live chat, you can reply by email (if there's an email on file for the customer), or add an internal note, then reply by chat. However, after the chat is ended, you can't reply by chat. See About channel switching logic in the ticket composer.
Your admin can configure default privacy settings for your conversations. See Changing the default privacy of ticket comments.
Saving drafts across channels
In the composer, each channel is a different way to communicate. You may compose different messages for each channel and the drafts are not carried across channels. For example, when you write something in an internal note and switch to a public reply, that message will not be displayed in the public reply. However, when you switch back to internal note, you will still be able to find the message you left there. This goes for all channels.
If you type a message in more than one channel and submit an update, any message you typed into another channel persists until it is sent or submitted. Channels with unsubmitted messages are marked with a blue dot.
These unsubmitted messages will persist in the ticket even if you switch to another ticket or end your browser session. To remove an unsubmitted message, switch the composer to the channel that has the draft message and completely delete the message.
If you're concerned about a draft being sent publicly by accident, you can use Draft mode to compose draft messages in public channels. Draft mode requires that you to confirm a message before it's sent. See Writing drafts of public replies in tickets. Working in draft mode is quicker than first composing the message as an internal note, then copying it over to a public channel.
Using Send vs. Submit
During a live chat or messaging conversation, click Send (or press Return) to send your reply.
To send an email or save other changes to a ticket, click Submit.
Resizing the composer window
The Zendesk Agent Workspace includes a flexible composer window. You can resize the window as needed to meet your requirements. For example, you can use a smaller window for chats and messages, but you might want to use a larger window for long email messages.
To resize the composer window
- In a ticket, click the border at the top of the composer window.
- Drag the border up or down to change the window size.
When you resize the composer window in a ticket, the window size is saved across multiple tickets. It stays the same until you resize it again.
Using formatting options and controls
The composer comes with a full range of built-in formatting options and controls, including rich text, tables, hyperlinks, emojis, and attachments.
When you pick a channel, the composer controls change to match the channel you're using. For example, a social messaging channel may not support tables or rich text formatting, but the email channel does.
Editing tables in the composer
You can make changes to tables that you paste into the composer from other applications. Changes you can make include editing table text, adding or deleting rows and columns, and merging or splitting table cells. You can quickly make table changes directly in the composer instead of returning to a separate application to do the work.
To edit a table
- Paste a table into the composer.
- Click inside the table to show the table menu icons above the table.
There are icons for a Column menu, a Row menu and a Merge/Split cell menu.
- To make changes to the table, click the desired menu icon and select a command.
For example, click the Row menu icon, then select Insert row above or Insert row below to add a new row to the table.Tip: You can use a keyboard shortcut to set focus on the menu toolbar (Ctrl+Shift+`), then use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move between the menus.
- You can also click inside the table and edit the table text.
Picking a skin tone for emojis
To help personalize your replies, you can pick a skin tone for the emojis you use in ticket comments. This feature works for any channel that supports emojis.
Watch the video (15 seconds). Refresh the page to replay the video.
To pick a skin tone
- In a ticket, click the emoji icon () at the bottom of the comment field.
A list of emojis appears.
- Click the skin tone picker () at the bottom of the emoji list.
A choice of skin tones appears.
- Select the skin tone you want to use.
All the emojis that support skin tone change to match the skin tone you pick. For example, many of the finger and face emojis support skin tone changes.
- Click an emoji to add it to your message.
You skin tone choice remains in effect until you switch browser types or clear your browser cache.
Changing text color
If enabled by an admin, you can use formatting options to change the text color and the text background color in ticket comments. This feature is useful for drawing attention to important items in your comments. If your channel supports rich text formatting, the colors you add to comments in a ticket appear as colored text in your messaging applications and email replies. To receive colored text responses from your customers, make sure the Rich content in email setting is enabled.
To change the text color
- Start typing a comment.
- Select the text you want to color.
- Click the T icon at the bottom of the comment field to open the formatting options, then click the text color icon ().
A color picker appears.
- Select a text color and a background color from the picker.
You can choose from one of the predefined, accessible colors and apply it to the text you selected. You can use several combinations of different text colors with different background colors to enhance your comments. If the color picker is covering up some of the text you want to color, you can resize the composer window to prevent the overlap.
When you apply color to a bulleted list or numbered procedure, the list is colored, but not the bullet symbol or number. Color cannot be applied to text inside a code block or code span. Also, do not apply color to placeholders. If applied, the placeholder will not be visible.
- In addition to adding color to existing text, you can also pick a text and background color first, then start typing.
Note: When you copy and paste color text, from any source, the color is not retained.
Scrolling through a conversation
You can also use the scroll bar on the right side of the ticket to scroll up or down through previous responses without losing sight of the reply you're composing. Separated scrolling is useful if you're working on a long ticket with a lot of details.
You can also click Jump to the latest message to find the most-recent replies.
To prevent unexpected results, when you are actively working in a live chat or messaging conversation, Zendesk doesn't recommend changing the ticket requester.
Loading additional comments
For tickets with more than 100 comments in a conversation, only the 100 most-recent comments appear when you first open the ticket. This helps overall performance and enables the ticket to open quickly. Even though only the first 100 comments are loaded by default, you can still view all the additional comments in the ticket.
To view more comments
- Open a ticket.
If the ticket has more than 100 comments, you'll see a Show more banner at the top of the conversation pane.
- Click Show more.
The next 100 most-recent comments are loaded. You can continue loading comments, 100 at a time, by clicking Show more. You can also click the filter icon () to filter between public messages and internal notes.