As an alternative to email-based side conversations, agents can use side conversations in a ticket to initiate and participate in Slack threads. The Slack side conversations you initiate are viewable in the ticket and in the Slack application. Like email conversations, Slack side conversations are recorded as ticket events and you can use them as trigger conditions.
Creating a side conversation using Slack
When you create a side conversation, you choose between using email or using Slack.
To create a side conversation using Slack
- In a ticket, open the context panel and click the Side conversations () icon, then click the plus sign (+).
If you don’t have the Agent Workspace, in a ticket click the Side Conversations plus sign (+) in the upper-left.
- Select Slack as the conversation type.
- Enter the Slack channel and your message. You can also add attachments.
For more information about the composer, see Rich text editing in the side conversation composer.
You start a side conversation in one Slack channel at a time. You cannot combine Slack and email conversations. If you have a lot of Slack channels, it may take a few moments to display the list of available channels.
If you have multiple Slack workspaces connected to Zendesk Support, the workspace appears before the channel address. For example. Slack Workspace 1 - #general, Slack Workspace 2 - #general, and so on.
- When you’ve finished composing your message, click Send.
The team in the Slack channel can view your message and reply to the thread directly, without logging into Support.
The Slack replies are automatically included in the ticket’s side conversation. The conversation can continue back and forth, as long as necessary, until you get the information you need.Note: You may experience some delay in updates that occur between Slack and ticket side conversations. Typically, the delay is about 5 seconds, but can be 30 seconds or longer.
- When the side conversation is complete, click Done.
Deleting a Slack side conversation
To delete a Slack side conversation, you must be the agent who created the Slack side conversation or an administrator.
To delete a Slack side conversation
- In a ticket, open the context panel and click the Side conversations () icon.
If you don’t have the Agent Workspace, in a ticket click Side Conversations in the upper-left.
A list of side conversations for the ticket appears.
- Select the side conversation you want to delete.
You can only delete Slack side conversations. You cannot delete email side conversations.
- Click the options menu icon () on the right side of the conversation, then select Delete message.
- When a confirmation message appears, click Delete to confirm the deletion.
When you delete, the side conversation is removed from the ticket and it is also removed from Slack. Messages edited or deleted on the Slack side are also reflected in side conversations.
About limitations and breaking the link between Support and Slack
You can add attachments to Slack side conversations, but you can't initiate macros or insert ticket comments of more than 1,000 characters. The following Slack features are not supported:
- Direct messages
As a workaround, the administrator can set up private Slack channels that only have one member. For example, #lkelly-private and add them to the Slack for Zendesk integration.
Slack @mentions are not supported, but you can include @here to notify everyone currently logged in or @channel to alert every member of a channel.
- Emoji reactions
- Typing indicators
If the link breaks between Zendesk and Slack, for example, if an admin removes the Zendesk app from a Slack channel or if they archive or delete a Slack channel that you used for side conversations, you can still open and view these side conversations in a ticket, but you can no longer use that Slack channel to send or receive updates to side conversations.
I would like to ask a question about @mentions. I don't know whether I missed something about @mentions but actually I use it normally. My problem is, it doesn't work for the all users.
When I would like to tag someone I just use the email address registered to slack for a specific person. For example, if registered e-mail address is "email@example.com", I use "@name" to tag someone. Even though I am able to tag 90% of slack users, it doesn't work for some of them. What could be wrong?
Thank you for your post, hope you are doing well today!
Unfortunately, as explained in the article above, Slack @mentions are not supported, but you can include @here to notify everyone currently logged in or @channel to alert every member of a channel.
If you need to know more about the @mentions, please feel free to have a look at the Slack documentation about this : Use mentions in Slack.
Have a great rest of your day.
We love this feature and use it daily, but we're seeing that the connection breaks occasionally. We've had it happen (and resolve itself) twice in the last week or so. The agents get an error saying "The Zendesk for Slack app hasn't been invited to any Slack channels". Anyone else have this issue? Anything I can do to prevent it? Not sure what's triggering it, and it resolves itself within 15 mins or so.
Would it be possible to add a feature where the "Send in channel" is an option with the Side Conversation via Slack? This would really help with "bumping" a thread in Slack that might have been lost in the fray.
Hi Zachary, since this is a product feedback suggestion, would you mind reposting it in our Feedback on Support topic, along with some additional details. There are some guideline about how to write an effect product feedback post here: Product feedback guidelines & how to write a good feedback post
Is this the correct feature requests to upvote in order to have the Slack @mentions integrated in the Zendesk side conversation? https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/1260803114110--mention-slack-user-functionality-on-Zendesk
In addition, there is a typo in your documentation, there should be 2 words.
How long does it take for a newly invited Slack channel to become available in side conversations? I believe I've properly invited it but it doesn't show up in the dropdown list.
Hey Jeremy! Some changes in Zendesk require the browser tab to be reloaded, have you tried that?
Thanks, Dave! I did try that and the channel still isn't showing up. Is there a chance that side conversations is limited to 6 Slack channels in the dropdown? That was my other theory. If that's the case, I think we can work with it but it would help to know.
Is there any significance of the 'Mark Done' on the Zendesk Slack conversation? Does it do anything, does the conversation become archived or anything or can you Reopen it whenever?
Also this is a long shot but would this be possible to do via Zendesk App? As once we have a certain flow we want to use for our business, the fact that Zendesk App doesn't allow it doesn't help. This flow needs to be used out of hours or on weekends when someone may not be sat at their laptop to initiate the slack conversation?
Clicking on the 'Mark done' button will simply flag the side conversation thread as done. You can still reopen it anytime as long as the ticket is not yet closed. About your other question – I'm afraid side conversations are not accessible via the Zendesk mobile app. At this time, you'll only be able to read and reply to side conversations in a ticket through the browser.
This looks like an awesome feature. I have two questions to which I'm not finding an answer:
1) We are using Slack free version, where old messages drop off after reaching the 10K limit. After those messages drop from view in Slack, are they still visible in the ticket side conversation? Most of the time we aren't going to care 3-6 months later, but there may be some cases where the side conversation from Slack would still be relevant and important to see.
2) Do side conversations work with threads and only with threads? I'm picturing starting a side convo, then someone replies in the same channel, but NOT in a thread. I don't see how Zendesk would know it was part of the side convo if it was not in a thread, since the next message in the channel could be about...anything. However, I'm also considering that if someone neglects to answer in a thread, their reply will not be in the side convo which would defeat the purpose if we have to go check Slack to see if everyone is doing it right :)
Thanks in advance for any feedback or thoughts on that.
Messages added to the side conversation thread won't be deleted from the ticket. Even when Slack deletes or archives the messages in your workspace, you should be able to check back on them via the side conversation in the Zendesk ticket.
On your other question – you are right, a message or reply must be sent to the actual thread in Slack for Side Conversations to be able to pull them into your Zendesk. Comments made to the channel, outside the thread, won't be added to the ticket in Zendesk.
I have noticed that if the team sends CSV and ELS files through this integration, the comment fails to sync to Zendesk. Is this a known issue? If so, is there a plan to fix?
Is that an attachment? If yes, it could be because of Attachment size limitations.
Thank you for your response.
No, the attachment size does not exceed the system limitation. I have found the file types to be the issue.
We have automation on the Slack side that after a 7 day retention period messages are deleted. I have not tested this yet, but if we integrate Slack with Zendesk and have the side conversations recorded on the ticket will the slack conversations also delete after 7 days in Zendesk? Or will the ticket keep the slack message for historical purposes since it was related to the ticket?
Were any changes recently made to how these side conversations work? Before, as new messages came in from Slack, the latest messages would show up within the conversation so it was very easy to see new replies.
Now, it seems any new replies are being added to a thread under the original message which makes it much harder to replies to the messages unless you click into the side conversation.
Is this a bug? Is it expected behavior?
Rebecca Love I tried a csv file in our test account and it worked, but it looks like Slack parses it and displays it inline. I can imagine this may cause issues if it's a really large CSV file. Have you tried with smaller CSVs to see if those worked for you? As for ELS files, I'd probably suggest something like zipping them before sending or something along those lines, they may not be allowed one one/both of the sides. I'll have to do some investigation if they're supported in our system or not.
Luis Pagan I believe it depends on the way the messages in Slack are deleted, but if it's done in a way that sends the deletion events back to us, the deletions will be respected in the side conversations.
Clayful I just tried on our test account and messages are threading fine. Are you still having issues in your account? If so, can you please open a ticket so we can investigate? Thanks!
Thanks Toby! We did submit a ticket - #10131509.
If you see the conversation here - it threads but from when the message was first sent, not in real time as it used to. So as an agent is having the conversation, they don't see the new messages coming in anymore.
Thanks Maria! I see what you're referring to I think, we'll check it out and get a fix as soon as we can.
Thank you, Toby Sterrett!!!! 🙏
was there a change to the way Zendesk sends updates to Slack?
We have set up a channel on slack (zendesk updates) that notifies us of all ticket activity - it broke as of March 17th.
I created a ticket for you. Someone from our team will reach out to discuss what could have happened.
Clayful we looked into this and there are a couple of things... first, the preview text in the conversation log shows the first unread message from the thread, so it may appear "stuck" if more messages are coming through before the side conversation is opened. It should update to the most recent message when the side conversation is opened (and remains open, I believe). The idea is for the viewer to see the first reply to their last interaction to give them context.
We did find a bug, though, where it indeed was not updating in the case where someone who wasn't a part of the slack thread was viewing the ticket.
Let me know if that is still causing issues or if you have any questions about the behavior!
Thanks Toby Sterrett, appreciate the follow up.
I thinkkk I get what you mean by stuck but I don't think that's the issue. I think it's that before it used to show up within the conversation at the bottom (so the snippet would move down in the convo as new messages were coming in) and now it's staying at the top where the initial message was sent.
Let me know if its easier to hop on a quick call to show you what I mean!
Clayful ohhh, do you mean the list isn't scrolling to show the latest messages as they come in? If so, we'll take a look.
Maybe... if we're talking about the same "list" - its the list of messages within the ticket, not the list of messages in the slack side conversation window.
You see how in the screenshot the slack "widget" (the yellow block) doesn't move down in the main conversation? That's what we're trying to address. Because the notification when a new message from slack comes in is very small, the slack window takes up most of the window so you can't have it open whole answering the ticket message. so we relied on the yellow block updating below in the conversation as messages were coming in.
Again, happy to hop on a call to explain! The nomenclature here is a bit confusing and want to make sure we're talking about the same thing.
Is there a way to disallow an Agent from being able to delete a delete a Slack side conversation? I like that Admins can do it, but we don't necessarily want an agent to....
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