Preventing agents from starting and replying to side conversations

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15 Comments

  • Dante Zanoni

    Is there anyway to have a private side conversation with either the end user or one of the light agents within the ticket so all other cc'd light agents aren't able to see it?  I've tried side conversation using email, and assigned ticket to just myself as the sole agent, and cc'd other light agents.  Any and all Light agents where able to see the side conversation email.

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  • Cheeny Aban
    Zendesk Customer Care
    Hi Dante, 

    Since light agents are still considered as part of your account, even though they have limited access, they can still view ticket comments within their group. We understand your need for this functionality so I am marking your comment as Product feedback. We truly value customer feedback and your voice and votes in the forums help influence future Zendesk functionality.
    -1
  • Dante Zanoni

    So light agents are able to log into platform to see ticket thread even if they were not assigned the ticket.  I only assigned the ticket to myself and no other group.  I only cc'd some light agents through public reply.  Some of the cc'd agents were able to log in to the platform through email, some could only reply through email thread.  Bit confusing

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  • Cheeny Aban
    Zendesk Customer Care
    Hi Dante, 

    It would depend on your light agent role settings. You can check the settings from Admin Center>Account>Team>Roles> Light Agents>Edit>Ticket they can access. 

    Light agents should have access to your account and can only add a private comment on the ticket, provided that they are using Support. If they are listed as the requester of the ticket or the side conversation, they can only send a public reply if made outside Zendesk. More information about light agents can be found here: Understanding and setting light agent permissions
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  • Dante Zanoni

    Thank you Cheeny,

    I am familiar with some of the permissions of light agents.  I guess my question is; Is there any way to have a side conversation where myself, as the sole agent assigned to the ticket, is able to privately talk with whomever I'm having side conversation with, so no other followers, cc's, or any light agents that may be in group that was assigned the ticket can see the side conversation?

    Sorry this sounds bit confusing. 

    Thanks

    Dante

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  • Dainne Lucena
    Zendesk Customer Care
    Hi there!

    It would boil down to agent permissions.

    An agent may access tickets in one of the following ways:
    • Assigned to them
    • Requested by end users in their organizations
    • All within their groups
      • Assign tickets to any group: Assign tickets to agents in any group, not just other agents within their group. This option is only available when All within this agent's groups is selected.
    • All (including suspended tickets)
     
    So if you want that your conversation would only be able to be the one you are talking to then the best option would be to manage the agent ticket permissions. It would either be that they can only view tickets that are assigned to them (This would include searching for tickets. Even if they search for the ticket # they won't be able to view it). You could also create multiple groups. This would be the same for end-user and agent groups alike. 
     
    Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.
     
     
    Thanks,
    Dainne Lucena | Customer Advocacy Specialist
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  • Thomas Anderson

    Hi! Some of my agents are unable to reply to side conversations started by another. I had assumed that this was an issue with permissions, and that the "contribute to side conversations" option was unchecked, but I can't find where to update this.

    It looks like the layout of the Admin Centre has changed since this article was written?

    So two questions:

    1. Am I correct - are permissions the reason some of my agents cannot update an internal conversation created by another? Or is this normal?
    2. If I can change this, where do I make the change?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give!

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  • Beto
    Zendesk Customer Care

    Hello Thomas, thank you for your question!

    Indeed you are correct, being able to contribute to side conversations is a permission that can be granted or revoked for a Role. 

    Also, as of this writing this article has been updated with the latest version of the Admin Centre. You can find where to edit the roles by going here:


    And editing the role that you wish to grant or revoke side conversations permissions.

    I hope this was helpful!

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  • Thomas Anderson

    Hi Beto,

    Very helpful, thankyou 🙂

    I don't see the "roles" option in my Admin Centre. Is this option unavailable to us in our Professional plan?

     

     

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  • Beto
    Zendesk Customer Care

    Thomas! I am truly sorry, I should have specified that.

    This is correct, I'm afraid this functionality is not included in your current subscription. As you can see on this article: Creating custom roles and assigning agents, creating custom roles is only included in the Enterprise and Enterprise Plus subscription. This means that specifying the access for side conversations depending on the role is only available for these subscriptions levels.

    I hope this was helpful!

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  • David Brown

    In my case, our agent and end-user base are internal to my company. I can see a use case for side-conversations where we can utilize it to reach out to third parties, such as suppliers. Is there a way to restrict who can be contacted via side conversations, such as whitelisting a certain domain or even individual email addresses? An example concern is to make sure there is no accidental IP leakage by way of sending a side conversation email to someone they should not have by using the wrong email address.

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  • Dainne Lucena
    Zendesk Customer Care

    Hi David Brown

    Since side conversations are limited to only your team, you don't have to worry about adding your end-users to side conversations. You may add the 3rd parties that you've mentioned as a light agent with their own custom role. From there you can create the restriction using custom roles. 

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  • Heather Rommel
    Community Moderator
    Zendesk Luminary
    The Product Manager Whisperer - 2021

    We're interested in locking down side conversations (we use the Slack side conversations functionality) and not allowing Light Agents to see them at all. However, we're not able to change permissions for Side Conversations on Light Agents. AND there doesn't seem to be a way to limit viewing of Side Conversations even if we could change this.  We have ~900 Light Agents which we pay for the add-on but don't want to pay for a full license just to turn this off and still not be able to limit their ability to view side conversations.

    Are more appropriate permission structures and flexibilities being worked on?

    Are

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  • Amanda Rice

    As David Brown asked above, I would like to know: Is there a way to restrict who can be contacted via side conversations, such as whitelisting a certain domain or even individual email addresses? When we enter a name in the "To" field on a side conversation, the search results list all of our 30k+ end users. The list of possible recipients is extremely large. We would like to restrict the number of results to specific domains, instead of seeing all end users and potentially sending the side conversation to an end user/customer.

    Also, does Zendesk require that the recipient of a side conversation be added as an end user in Zendesk? It seems we cannot type an email address into the "to" field on a side conversation, we must first add the recipient as an end user.

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  • Gab
    Zendesk Customer Care
    Hi Amanda, 
     
    I'm afraid we don't have this capability at this time.
     
    There's a similar use-case where one of our Product Managers mentioned this: 
     

    A workaround in the meantime, if it's not too many, would be setting up some macros that are addressed to the specific email addresses and training the agents to use those macros instead of initiating bare side convos. Otherwise I've noted your request for domain restriction and some way of limiting the recipient pool.

     
    I've noticed that you've also left a comment on this post. Feel free to up-vote this post to drive engagement for possible future roadmap planning. 
     
    For users who are not agents and/or light agents on the Zendesk account, you can enter their email address on the To: field. You only have to type or paste the full email address once. The next time you initiate a side conversion with that person, the address will autocomplete. Users you add by email automatically become end users in your account, if they aren't there already.
     
    More information can be found here: Creating email side conversations
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