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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.
Messaging and conversation bots are easily scalable to meet your business needs. You can create a conversation bot that performs basic actions, like greeting the customer before passing them to a live agent. You can design a more complex bot that automates more of the conversation, asks the customer questions to help clearly define their support issue, routes conversations to the right agent, collects useful data from customers, and present options to help them self-solve their problems. Or you can choose a configuration somewhere in between.
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 allows you to support multiple conversational styles, from live, real-time chat functionality to asynchronous communication with your customers.
Some of the benefits of messaging are:
- Multiple channel availability. You can initiate and conduct conversations across a range of channels, such as web, mobile, and social messaging.
- Persistent conversations. Both agents and customers can have multiple interactions over a period of time in a single conversation, and can refer to earlier interactions for better context.
- Portable communication. Customers can start a conversation from home in Web Widget, then continue it on WhatsApp in line at the grocery store, for example.
- Conversational bots. Bots can automate deflection options and triage support issues before (or instead of) handing the conversation over to a live agent.
- Ticket creation, which lets agents follow up on more complex support requests through Zendesk Support.
- Integration in the Agent Workspace. As with traditional channels like email, web form, and API, messaging conversations are handled by agents in Agent Workspace, and can use familiar productivity aids to assist them.
You can deploy messaging across websites, mobile apps, and social channels. Pick and choose any combination of channels to best reach your customers:
- Website channels (Web Widget) can embed messaging in your own website or 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 benefits everyone who works on (or with) your Zendesk:
- Admins can quickly set up messaging in the Admin Center, and can use bot 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.
Account requirements and recommendations
To enable messaging, you must have an account with:
- Zendesk Suite OR Support + Chat (Team plan or higher). 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 suggest articles from your help center in a conversation bot or autoreply. If you do not plan to use that 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.
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.