Messaging lets you have rich conversations with your customers that are persistent, with full context and history. When you enable messaging, you can connect it to your website or help center, mobile apps, and third-party channels, making it easy for your customers to self- serve or connect with your agents.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of what messaging can do, the channels you can use to deliver messaging to your customers, and guidance on how to get started.
This article includes the following sections:
What is messaging?
Messaging is, at its core, a conversational platform, much like Zendesk’s legacy live chat. However, it upgrades live chat functionality in a number of ways, including:
- Persistent conversations, so both agents and customers can view past interactions for greater insight into their ongoing support relationships.
- Multiple channel availability, you can include it wherever your customers want to engage with your support services.
- Ticket creation, which lets agents follow up on more complex support requests through Zendesk Support.
- Automated conversation bots, created with Flow Builder, our drag-and-drop designer, can include article suggestions and customized conversational text.
- Integration in the Agent Workspace, so your agents can manage support requests coming in from all of those channels from a single, unified interface.
You can deploy messaging across three channel groups -- website, mobile apps, and social channels -- each with multiple delivery channels and configuration options. Pick and choose any combination of channels to best reach your customers:
- Website channels (Web Widget) can embed messaging in your own website or Zendesk Guide help center.
- Mobile apps (iOS, Android, and Unity SDKs) deliver messaging capabilities via your customers’ mobile devices.
- Third-party channels (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, LINE, and more) let you connect with and support customers wherever they are.
Messaging impacts everyone who works on (or with) your Zendesk:
- Admins can quickly set up messaging in the Admin Center, and can use Flow Builder to create automated, interactive conversation bots. These bots can greet customers, offer specific article suggestions, gather information, ask questions, and more.
- Agents can respond to their customers at any time and continue where they left off in a previous interaction. Conversation history in the Agent Workspace provides agents with additional context required to respond to customers.
- Customers have the opportunity to self-solve their support issues with targeted article suggestions before connecting with an agent. Conversation history helps them refer to earlier support requests, and give feedback to agents with customer satisfaction surveys.
Requirements, recommendations, and limitations
To enable messaging, you must have an account with:
- Zendesk Suite OR Support + Chat (Team plan or higher). Note that some social channels are only available with Zendesk Suite.
- Agent Workspace enabled. See Activating and deactivating the Zendesk Agent Workspace.
- At least one Chat-enabled agent. See About Staff roles in Zendesk Admin Center.
Before enabling messaging, we recommend you have an account with:
- An active, public help center, with at least 10 articles that cover commonly-asked questions.
Note: A public help center is required if you plan to use Answer Bot capabilities that refer to your help center content, such as article suggestion. If you do not want to use that Answer Bot functionality, you can have a restricted help center, or no help center.
Messaging is a constantly-growing feature, and there are some limitations to the currently-available functionality. See Limitations in messaging functionality for more information.
Get started with messaging
When you’re ready, use the following articles to learn more about messaging and how to get it up and running on your account.
- Welcome to messaging
- Getting started with messaging for web and mobile
- Getting started with social messaging
If you have been using live chat and want to transition to messaging, start with Resources for migrating from live chat to messaging.