Side conversations are spaces in a ticket where agents can have a side conversation with a specific group of people, or discuss a specific area of concern or course of action. You can use them to organize information about a ticket.
Advantages of using side conversations
Problems often consist of multiple parts, and solving them often consists of conversations with different people. It gets confusing for everyone involved when all of the questions and answers are mixed together in one place without any kind of organization.
For example, let’s say you need to discuss something with your Legal team, but don’t need or want other people involved.
- Find, organize, and manage information about a specific part of an issue
- Have a conversation with the right people
- Find specific questions, answers, and replies. Ensure conversations happen outside of the main conversation with the requester
- Have multiple standalone conversations that are separate from each other
- Get outside help without pulling others into the main ticket directly
Recommendations about side conversations
- The assignee should create and manage side conversations in the tickets they're responsible for. This allows administrators to create triggers based on the assignee role, and enables easier handoff between agents.
- Set up triggers to take advantage of the side conversation event conditions to fully integrate them into your workflows and to keep agents on top of the activity within them. See Setting up trigger conditions for side conversations.
- Create trigger conditions for side conversations to make sure that assignees know when a side conversation is created, closed, replied to, and reopened. Without them, the agent assigned to the ticket (ideally, this person is also the creator of the side conversation) may have a hard time knowing what’s going on with a particular issue.
- Remember that the creator of the side conversation doesn't automatically receive email replies to side conversations. That’s not the default behavior. Also sending side conversations to your own support address is not supported and will result in those side conversations ending up in the Suspended tickets view.
About side conversation channels
When you create a side conversation, you can choose to have the side conversation in one of these channels:
- Email: Creates an email-based side conversation (see Creating side conversations).
- Microsoft Teams (if enabled): Creates a Microsoft Teams-based side conversations (see Using Microsoft Teams in side conversations).
- Slack (if enabled): Creates a Slack-based side conversation (see Using Slack in side conversations).
- Ticket (if enabled): Creates a side conversation child ticket
(see Using side conversation child
tickets).Note: Side conversation child tickets can be routed by omnichannel routing. See About omnichannel routing with unified agent status.
In the Agent Workspace, side conversations are created from the context panel. In the standard agent interface, side conversations are created from Side conversations at the top of the ticket conversation pane.
|Agent Workspace||Standard agent interface|
About support addresses used to send side conversations
Side conversation notifications are sent from the support address associated with the ticket that the side conversation is on (for example, email@example.com). If you have multiple brands and support addresses, side conversation notifications come from each of your support addresses (for example, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Optionally, you can use the Select an Address app to control the email address that side conversation notifications are sent from. For example, the app allows you to change the default support address associated with a ticket.
If you have internal email routing rules (for example, in Microsoft Exchange), we recommend that you include references to each of your unique support addresses. Otherwise, email notification for side conversations will not be routed correctly. Check your allowlists and blocklists.
I cast my vote for ability to use brand common signature
I believe this is currently broken.
Can see that ONLY the last message is being quoted / provided in emails, and all others are not shown.
What is going on?
I think this is a misunderstanding.
The mail will usually only contain the last of your messages.
Also, side conversation mails have no context, i. e. no content from the original ticket.
That is intended if somewhat hindering. It would be nice to have an option to include some parts of the ticket. However, you can do that with a macro.
Yours truly - Peter
"That is intended if somewhat hindering. It would be nice to have an option to include some parts of the ticket."
Isn't this already possible today? I mean, you can select what comments you wish to include from original ticket when starting a side conversation:
With that function you can select which public and internal comments you include in the side conversation.
= It has previously contained EVERYTHING. As far as I'm aware. Perhaps it was in EAP, then it got changed? I'd like to know.
What in the world is the point of creating a side conversation email to an external party etc. that does not then include the PREVIOUS messages?! Just the last one? It invalidates the whole point of an email chain.
As has been pointed out above, you can add that. I have no issue with that, where you can pick and choose. This is helpful.
What is not helpful (in any context) is having an original side convo email to someone, several back and forths, and each time only the LAST message is sent.
When I add someone else to show the history of the email exchange, how am I meant to convey all that - when only the last message is shown? It used to do this naturally AFAIK.
There is no 'print ticket' option (save to pdf) either, as a worst case backup.
Good catch. I haven't realized that this had been supplemented.
Hi there ! I'm not sure to understand when a reply to a side conversation becomes public or not.
When an agent send a side conversation via email, all of the recipients on the side conversation receive an email notification with your message. So everytime a email based side conversation is created ? And what happens if you choose "Ticket" rather than "Email" ?
@... that only refers to if you explicitly set up a new trigger to send an email notification to the assigned agent to let them know that a side conversation has been updated and they then reply to that email notification. In practice this is highly unlikely since 1) we don't create these triggers by default, nor do we recommend doing so, and 2) it's not currently possible to put the side conversation message into trigger templates since there are no placeholders for it, which means the notification email wouldn't have anything to respond to regarding the side convo message. We recommend setting up triggers to change the status (or tags or anything else that makes sense in your setup) of the ticket that the side conversation belongs to to move it into an appropriate view instead of sending email notifications.
To be clear, side conversation emails are not delivered via triggers. If you send an email side conversation, the email is sent directly, they're not "notifications" like ticket comment emails.
@..., thanks for the clarification !
Actually it would have been interesting for us if a reply to a side conversation could become a public reply: in some cases, we are relying on the public reply of people we add to tickets as CCs and we'd like to send them a reminder if they delay replying. So I thought we could use the side conversation for the reminder, and it would have been convenient if they could just reply to that email to make a public reply, but I suppose this is not the purpose of this feature.
Has anyone come up with a way to deal with bounce back emails as of yet? This is still something we are struggling with.
Our company uses Side Conversations for creating tickets between teams based on the original ticket. We are only using it for tickets - similar to a Child Ticket feature. However, with the button titled, "Side Conversations", it often gets overlooked or forgotten. Is there any way we can customize this button on the Agent workspace UI to say "Child Ticket"? It would help with discovery 10,000%. Thank you.
Issue is still outstanding, no resolutions.
Creating a ticket.
@... bounces are something that get suppressed early on in the incoming email pipeline before getting routed to side conversations. I've spoken to folks about this and hopefully we'll find a way to handle them in the future. Does this only become a problem with side conversations vs. regular ticket notifications?
@... that's an interesting use case. We don't have any plans for it, but it's something we can give some thought. Essentially the suggestion would be that if there is only one side conversation channel enabled, have the button be named after it somehow, right? I'm wondering how this could be worded for e.g. "email"
@... the side conversation emails are designed to act like regular email where a reply in the side conversation composer includes the message that is being replied to as quoted content. That last message should include the entire conversation up to that point, since email clients do the same thing, though there are cases where someone may edit out the quoted content they're sending or if they reply to an earlier message, etc. Side conversations have always worked like this except for during the EAP when we didn't include any previous content, only the message being sent. If this isn't working for you then we can take a look in the ticket you're submitting.
Thanks @... - It would be great if it the button could be customizable - without worry about logic (only when Tickets are enabled, etc.) to have it worded differently.
Jason Fouchier and Toby, we are also struggling with bouncebacks with Side Conversations as well as for regular email notifications from the ticket itself. We have no way of knowing whether the email was received; for instance, if an agent creates a requester profile on a ticket, there's a chance the new email will be mistyped. In Outlook, that agent would receive immediate feedback of the bounceback. However, in Zendesk, that email with the mistyped email would not be sent, and other agents might potentially add the same mistyped emali on other tickets (speaking unfortunately from experience).
That's what I thought. Thanks.
Re: "If this isn't working for you then we can take a look in the ticket you're submitting."
= Have submitted with documentation. Cheers.
Yes, this is only an issue with side conversations. Regular ticket communication works just fine.
I know how to expand the side convo window...is there a way to set it to open expanded by default?
Thank you for leaving a comment to our community.
As of the moment, there is no native way to set it expanded as default. I understand your need for this functionality so I'm marking your comment as Product Feedback. We truly value customer feedback and your voice and votes in the product feedback topics in the community help influence future Zendesk functionality.
All the best
Hi - Is there any way to add a footer to all side conversation emails? I just received one accidentally (they should have created a side conversation ticket) and it was very hard to track down which ticket it originated from. I'd like a simple "re: Ticket ID XXXX" or something similar in the body. Thanks!
You need a macro like the following, or do these actions manually:
AFAIK there is no trigger to update a side conversation before it is sent, thus, there is no way to enforce this 100%.
Thanks - yes, unfortunately this is great, but won't work for us. It would be great to have a base template like the emails that are currently sent out that we could configure.
I'm trying to figure out the best way to solve something that I believed was quite straight forward to solve.
We receive emails on a occasion that shouldn't be handled with in Zendesk at all, these emails we need to forward to other people in our organisation that don't use Zendesk, that isn't going to change as these emails are occasional and we don't want to train these employees in a new tool for only these occasions, that is dangerous, expensive and inefficient and all that ...
The most straight straight forward option that I can see and that works for most of the part is to use the "Forward via email" option from the message context menu.
That works for the most part, even sends attachement along with the forward, but the reciever doesn't get the original requestor email address, that is a major issue.
Can I change something to fix this?
Are there any other ways to achive this?
Hi Oskar, Are you forwarding the email from your email to Zendesk or from Zendesk to an external email? If you are pertaining to the latter, the sender will be your default Zendesk email, since that is the designated email associated with your Zendesk Account. Unfortunately, there is no option to change it yet.
Hi Cheeny - thank you for your input, to confirm, yes the case I'm talking about is when a Zendesk agent has to forward a email from Zendesk to another employ via email.
To clarify my issue is that the receiving employee doesn't get the requestor email address, that means that this hasn't been successfully forwarded as there are no means for the employee to contact the requestor.
Here is a test ticket and how the original email is forwarded.
And this is the resulting email received by the employee, as you can see only the internal name of the requestor as set in Zendesk is displayed.
Personally if I would be responsible for this feature as a product manager I would put this down as a bug as the result or at least a must-have feature request, as this heavily affects this feature.
Thank you for sending in the screenshots. We'd love to take a closer look at your account and the email transmission of your tickets. Would you please initiate a chat with us or send us an email at email@example.com.
All the best
Thank you for your response to this, I've sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org as per your request.
I wanted to comment on this and bring up an obstacle that we are seeing after migrating to agent workspace.
Before going to agent workspace when you had a conversation in a side conversation email, the newest reply would be the first one you would see and all the other emails would be compacted for a nice tidy and clean interface. Now with agent workspace though, the side conversations you have to jump to the latest message and if you don't want to see the previous emails you must hit the 3 dots to minimize them. Is there a way we can make it so that way it's automatically minimized?
Is there a way to delete the sent history of side conversations?
Over time this has cached a significant number of email addresses and we want to delete the history so as not to send to incorrect email addresses by accident.
we have a big problem with side conversions via child ticket > all comments are public and no possibility to create it as private. We need this as well in the webform as in the macro settings. As far as I can see it is also not possible to change a comment from public to private via trigger or API.
Any solution for this issue?
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