Social channel linking connects the messaging Web Widget to your WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram DM channels, allowing your end users to start conversations via the Web Widget and continue them in the social channel of their choice.
This article includes the following topics:
About social channel linking
When social channel linking is enabled on an account, end users can switch their messaging conversation from the Web Widget to their preferred social channel. This allows them to step away from (but not end) a conversation while, for example, waiting for a response from an agent, and return to it at their convenience, from another device or location.
To use social channel linking, your account must meet the following requirements:
- Is on a Zendesk Suite plan, or is using Zendesk Support + Chat with the Social Messaging add-on
- Agent Workspace is enabled
- Messaging is enabled
- Has connected one or more of the following social channels to your Zendesk account:
It’s important to note that, because of social channel-side limitations, each social channel only displays the responses sent and received through that channel. A conversation’s entire history, regardless of the channel it was conducted in, appears in the Web Widget. We’ll discuss this further in The end user experience, below.
The end user experience
When social channel linking is enabled, an end user can choose at any point to switch their Web Widget-based conversation to any enabled social channel listed above. The end user can then switch back and forth between the Web Widget and the selected social channel to continue the conversation.
Once social channel linking is enabled by an admin, an options menu icon appears at the top of Web Widget. When the customer hovers over this icon, the enabled social channels are displayed:
The end user selects their channel, and is asked to scan a QR code or open the app on their current device. They can also choose to return to the previous screen by clicking the back icon in the top-left:
When the conversation begins in the social channel, the end user will first be asked to verify that the link is correct, and they can continue the conversation in the social channel as needed. Any comments sent by the agent will appear in the selected social channel until the end user chooses to return to the Web Widget, at which point those comments appear in the widget.
Over the course of the conversation, the end user can choose to connect to different social channels, and only the conversation conducted through that social channel is visible in the conversation history.
For instance, a customer can choose to switch their conversation from the widget to their Facebook Messenger account while they’re away from their desktop, then returns to the Web Widget when they’re back at their computer. Later, they decide to switch their conversation to their WhatsApp account.
- In the Web Widget, the entire conversation – Web Widget, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp comments – appears in the conversation history, with each comment noting the channel used.
- In Facebook Messenger, the conversation history begins with the first comment left by either the end user or agent after the end user has switched the conversation to Facebook Messenger, and does not include any comments while the conversation was conducted via Web Widget or WhatsApp.
- In What’sApp, the conversation history begins with the first comment left by either the end user or agent after the end user has switched the conversation to WhatApp, and does not include any comments while the conversation was conducted via Web Widget or Facebook Messenger.
End users can disconnect their widget conversation from the social channel by returning to the Web Widget and clicking Disconnect:
The agent experience
Agents communicate with customers through the Agent Workspace, regardless of the channel the end user is on.
In the Agent Workspace, the end user’s channel selection is indicated in the conversation history:
By default, agent responses will be delivered to whichever channel was last used by the end user. All messages exchanged between the end user and the agent will be synced to the Web Widget. This continues as long as the end user's social messaging identity remains linked to the Web Widget.
The customer's social channel identity is added to the customer card in addition to the existing information.
Enabling social channel linking
You can enable social channel linking in your account’s Admin Center.
To enable social channel linking
- In Admin Center, click Channels in the sidebar, then select Messaging and social > Messaging.
- Click the Web Widget you want to use with channel linking.
- In the widget’s Basics tab, under Allow customers to switch channels,
select the social channels you want to link to the widget. You can only select
channels currently enabled in your account.
- Click Save settings.
You can disable social channel linking by returning to this page and deselecting the channels you no longer want to connect, then clicking Save settings.
Are there any plans to extend this to the mobile SDKs?
Thanks for posting your question! At this time, social channel linking is specific Web-only functionality. The reason behind this is that our Mobile SDK's inherently have the notifications features to allow for messaging on the go. Did you have a specific use-case or need behind having social channel linking within our Mobile SDK's? If so, we'd definitely love to hear it! Feel free to share it [here](https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/topics/1260801308710-Feedback-Chat-and-Messaging-Chat-?after=ZAAAAAAAAAAAZLkD8GEAAAAAaRrlPK4EBAAA#posts). Our teams definitely love hearing all the ways we can improve our products.
Hope this helps!
Erica - Dev Support
This feature really sounds incredible, and it could be useful for our european customers.
However, are there any plans to extend this functionality to other social channels, like WeChat?
I believe we have a way that you can integrate WeChat with Zendesk's Agent Workspace as mentioned here: Adding WeChat channels to the Zendesk Agent Workspace
If this isn't exactly what you're looking for then I'd recommend sharing your feedback in our Feedback - Ticketing System (Support) topic.
I hope this points you in the right direction!
Hello Brett Bowser,
I was already aware of the WeChat integration with Messaging. We are using it.
However I was referring to Social channel linking (i.e. linking the WeChat channel to the WebWidget for seamless transition) as desribed in the article above. Social Channel linking is only available for Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook, as far as I can see so far.
We decided to prioritise the most popular messaging channels. (Having said that, WeChat is popular in certain parts of the world). We do not plan to add support for WeChat linking from Web messaging out-of-the-box at the moment. Having said that, you can customize the web messaging experience and add WeChat using Web and Mobile SDKs.
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