The Zendesk context panel provides valuable information you can use to get a better understanding of your customer and solve tickets quickly. This article describes how to use the context panel.
This article includes these sections:
About the context panel
When you’re working on a ticket, it’s often useful to have contextual information that falls outside the basic ticket content. For example, you might want to know more about the customer who requested the ticket or start a side conversation associated with the ticket. In addition, you may need to open Zendesk apps that can help you solve the ticket or search for articles in your help center that are relevant to the ticket.
The Zendesk Agent Workspace includes a context panel on the side of the ticket to help you view and manage this information. The icons that appear in the context panel vary depending on which features your admin has enabled for your account. For example, you need to have an account with Guide or Zendesk Suite to use the knowledge features.
Sell also includes a context panel for leads, contacts, and deals. See Using the context panel in Sell.
Watch this video for information on how you can use the context panel to help your customers:
Opening and closing the panel
You can open and close the panel as needed to do your work. You can also switch between views.
To open and close the panel
- In a ticket, click any context icon in the right sidebar to open the panel.
You can also open the context panel from a Sell lead, contact, or deal card.
You can click the icon again to close the panel.
- When the panel is open, click an icon to switch between views.
For example, if apps () are showing, click the user icon () to view user information.
In the panel, you can:
Icon Name Description User View contact information about the customer and the customer’s interaction history. See Viewing customer context in a ticket. Knowledge Search for content in your help center that might help your customers solve issues, view suggestions for articles based on ticket content, or add feedback to flag existing articles. See Searching, linking, and quoting content in tickets and Flagging articles in Knowledge. Side conversations Create or view side conversations associated with the ticket. See About side conversations. To see this icon, your account must have side conversations enabled by your admin. Smart assist View the ticket's intent and language, predicted by intelligent triage, as well as the top three suggested macros. See Using the smart assist panel. To see this icon, your account must have intelligent triage enabled by your admin. Apps Open a list of public or private apps to help you solve tickets. You only see apps that have been installed by your admin. See Managing your installed apps.
If you’re working in Sell, you’ll see additional icons in the context panel for working with leads, contacts, and deals. See Using the context panel in Sell.
Resizing the context panel
In some cases, you may want to change the width of the context panel to give you a better view of customer context, sidebar apps, or Knowledge articles.
To resize the context panel
- In a ticket, open the context panel.
You can also open the context panel from a Sell lead, contact, or deal card.
- Hover your mouse pointer over the shared border between the context panel and the ticket comments, until a resize icon () appears and the panel border turns blue.
- Drag the border to the left or right to change the context panel width.
These adjustments you make remain when you switch between views in the context panel, or when you open or close the panel. Your changes are maintained across tickets, until you do a hard refresh.
Preparing your apps for context panel resizing
If your company is developing sidebar applications for the Zendesk Agent Workspace or Sell, make sure your application developer uses the flexible property in the application manifest file (flexible = true) to take advantage of changes to the context panel width.
If the flexible property isn't specified in the application manifest file, Zendesk assumes the property is set to flexible = true. This default makes it easier for your apps to be set as flexible, but it's always a good idea to specifically include it. If you don't want your app to be responsive to changes in the context panel width, set the property to flexible=false. See this article for more details.
This looks great =).
Is the Knowledge view an integrated part in support now or is it still the knowledge center app?
Got my question answered here https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/1260802188890/comments/1260800306729
This looks great. My company uses our apps all the time. We will be able to have the apps automatically load by default or will agents have to select the apps button every time we select a new/open ticket? Thanks!
Thanks for your input here. When I checked this on my end, it seems to open the Apps automatically once I selected it, whenever I open a new ticket on my window. Most likely this is the behavior we're expecting out of the context panel, whichever view/icon is chosen, it's the one to open everytime.
Thanks Ahn, I had the same question as Pat about the apps.
Would be great if there was a way to control the behavior (i.e. always default to apps, knowledge or user info) rather than letting the user decide. We need our ticket sidebar apps consulted on every interaction.
Also wondering if there are any configuration options--i.e. can we move the panel to the left side of the ticket. This is where the user/interactions are for us today (as a non agent workspace enabled account) and the apps are on the right so it's not an either or thing as it seems it will become in Agent Workspace. To be honest, that is a bit of a "con"/detractor for us enabling the workspace.
As Ahn mentioned above, once an agent selects a panel option (closed, or open to User, Knowledge, or Apps), that option will persist from ticket to ticket, even when the agent logs out and logs in again.
There isn't a way to configure the location of the context panel, however. We hope that the benefits will outweigh the challenges that come from change, but we're always open to feedback in our Feedback on Support topic.
We're building out a new version of our internal support Zendesk and want to take full advantage of the context panel. Is there any way for it to include information from custom user fields? Would love to have information like a person's title, department, and all that available at a glance.
Custom user fields do not reflect on the context panel yet. We understand your need for this functionality so I am marking this ticket as Product Feedback. I suggest that you create a post on our Support Feedback Page regarding the customization of the context panel. Threads with a high level of engagement ultimately get flagged for product managers to review when they go through roadmap planning. Specific examples, details about impact, and how you currently handle things are the most helpful things to share to help our product teams understand the full scope of the need when working on solutions.
We truly value customer feedback and your voice and votes in the product feedback topics in the community help influence future Zendesk functionality.
Very excited about being able to resize the context panel!!! Do you happen to know if there are plans to do the same for the left-hand side of the ticket? We'd love to be able to expand or contract there as well!
@... I just wanted to leave my feedback on this, first of all this option just isn't persistent. Secondly even though this option would persist properly this isn't enough.
Steps to reproduce that this isn't persistent:
Now the context panel is closed and will remain that way on the next ticket you open.
And why isn't a properly working persistency of this option enough? Agents are only human, they make mistakes, close this for what ever reason or who knows, we need the interface of Zendesk to serve our business goals properly and one of the tools that I really liked when we were evaluating Zendesk was the Interactions history, that just isn't useful if it is hidden away. I just need to to be opened up at time of ticket being opened.
I totally agrees with Oskar
Heather Rommel Allowing you to expand/contract the left hand side is next on our journey to enable more flexible layouts, expect to see this coming soon.
Is it possible to open the Apps from the context panel by default instead of the User info?
As what has been discussed by Ahn and Dave, the option in the Context Panel will be retained once you have opened a new ticket. As it turns out, there's not option yet to have it default to a certain option.
Dane this isn't really true, there are cases where this context panel will be closed and will remain such until the agent opens it up again manually.
Even if that would work perfectly, that doesn't really solve the issue at hand, some agents will always forget to open this context panel.
Here is a very easy way to reproduce this unreliability:
This behaviour isn't really a big thing on it self, but when this this is something that some of us actually feel like should have the ability to be forced open at all times this makes this buggy behaviour a bit bigger deal.
Thank you for providing the complete steps to replicate the issue. For any unexpected behavior within our product, it will be better to contact support for one of our Advocate to investigate further.
Hi, just a heads up that the About the Context Panel section above ends with the sentence "Watch this video..." but there is no video/link to video.
Thanks, Lila, The video is back.
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