Zendesk has introduced a new program to help customers upgrade to the Zendesk Agent Workspace.
The Zendesk Agent Workspace maximizes productivity for your teams by bringing you all the tools, context, and capabilities they need to deliver exceptional customer experiences, all from a single, unified interface. This includes:
- Delivering the conversational service your customers want
- Working smarter with powerful tools and built-in intelligence
- Boosting agent well-being for a better customer experience
This article includes the following topics:
- What's happening?
- Why is Zendesk making this change?
- What do I need to do?
- We're listening
- What new features are available after upgrading?
If your account admin received the email, your Zendesk account has been selected to be automatically upgraded to the Agent Workspace. We are helping customers automatically upgrade because Agent Workspace is the interface of choice for Zendesk going forward. It includes all the latest features and enhancements Zendesk has made to support agent productivity across channels.
Why is Zendesk making this change?
Zendesk built this new interface to help your agents provide fast and personalized support for customers and ensure they have all the tools and context they need to manage customer requests efficiently.
We want you to take advantage of our latest innovations and join our customers who have already made the switch. On average, accounts on Agent Workspace experience 17% faster replies to customers and 20% faster resolutions to customer requests by moving to our unified Agent Workspace.
What do I need to do?
Zendesk will automatically activate the Agent Workspace on your account during the timeframe Zendesk provided in the email we sent you. For the first phase of the rollout, selected Support-only accounts will be upgraded. No accounts with Support and Chat are impacted in this phase.
However, instead of waiting for an automatic upgrade, we strongly encourage you to start the upgrade now. This gives you and your agents time to prepare for the change.
Zendesk recommends that you:
- Upgrade now on your own terms. It's best to upgrade at the time of day when your account activity is the lowest.
- From now until the automatic upgrade date, you will be able to temporarily deactivate the Agent Workspace.
We recommend turning it on and off to get yourself and your agents acquainted with the key differences in the interface. This gives you time to generate any necessary training materials for your team.
- If you are wary of upgrading your production account, you can always create a free Zendesk trial account to try out the workspace. All trials have the Agent Workspace activated.
To help you in the transition, we have created a resources page with more information. See Resources for upgrading to the Zendesk Agent Workspace. Also, for a brief summary of the main interface changes, see our Quick Reference.
We appreciate all the comments you have made about automatically upgrading to the Agent Workspace. Your feedback is important to us and we have taken this into account. For details, see this statement from Jonathan Aniano, Sr. VP of Product.
What new features are available after upgrading?
In addition to a unified conversation interface based on the latest technology, the following is a list of new features Zendesk introduced that are available only in the Agent Workspace. Going forward, as you enhance and modernize your customer support offerings, these are valuable tools.
- Native ticket redaction
You can natively redact, or remove, sensitive information found in ticket comments and attachments so that your account stays secure and compliant. You don’t need to install a separate app. See Redacting ticket content.
- Context panel
When you’re working on a ticket, it’s often useful to have contextual information that falls outside the basic ticket content. For example, you might want to know more about the customer who requested the ticket. In addition, you may need to open Zendesk apps that can help you solve the ticket or search for articles in your help center that are relevant to the ticket. See Using the context panel.
- Knowledge in the context panel
Directly from the ticket interface, you can quickly search for content in your help center that might help your customers solve issues, view suggestions for content based on ticket content, or add feedback to flag existing articles. See Searching, linking, and quoting content in tickets and Flagging articles in Knowledge.
- Context panel resizing
You can change the width of the context panel to give you a better view of customer context, sidebar apps, or Knowledge articles. See Resizing the context panel.
- Ticket properties panel resizing
You can change the width of the ticket properties panel to give you a better view of ticket fields. This feature is particularly useful if you’re working on tickets with a lot of fields. See Resizing the ticket properties panel.
- Channel switching in the composer
You can easily switch between communications channels, all within the same ticket interface. You don’t have to maintain separate tickets or use separate dashboards for each ticket type. See Switching channels in the composer.
- Composer resizing
You can resize the ticket composer window as needed to meet your requirements. For example, you can use a smaller window for chats and messages, but you might want to use a larger window for long email messages. See Resizing the composer window.
- Color text in the composer
You can use formatting options to change the text color and the text background color in ticket comments. This feature is useful for drawing attention to important items in your comments. See Changing text color.
- Fixed composer (doesn’t disappear when scrolling)
You can also use the scroll bar on the right side of the ticket to scroll up or down through previous responses without losing sight of the reply you're composing. Separated scrolling is useful if you're working on a long ticket with a lot of details. See Scrolling through a conversation.
- Contextual tabs
Agents may have to manage multiple tickets at the same time. You can use tabs at the top of the interface to help you move easily between many types of conversations (email. chats, phone, and messages). Tabs provide important information and help you see which tickets are the most critical to address. See Using ticket tabs to manage conversations.
- Zendesk messaging
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 social channels, making it easy for your customers to self- serve or connect with your agents. See About messaging.
- Flow builder
You can use Flow Builder to create answers for your conversation bots, giving your customers the opportunity to self-serve their support issues before connecting with agents. See About flow builder.
- Easier process to add social messaging channels
You can send and receive social messages in the Zendesk Agent Workspace as part of the main conversation flow. Messages sent from these channels become tickets in the Zendesk Agent Workspace. See About messaging channels.
- Omnichannel routing and unified agent statuses
The omnichannel routing beta enables you to direct tickets from email, messaging, web form, and API to team members based on their availability, capacity, and the ticket priority. Using omnichannel routing means that the highest priority tickets are assigned to the agents who are most available to work on them. See About omnichannel routing and Configuring agent statuses
- Custom ticket statuses
Zendesk supports a set of system ticket statuses which are used to help you manage your ticket workflows. Custom ticket statuses enable you to create additional, more-specific ticket statuses. Custom ticket statuses can help manage your ticket workflows, as well as indicate a more meaningful ticket status to your business and end users. See Activating custom ticket statuses.
- Draft mode
Agents can compose public replies as drafts first, before updating a ticket. This enables agents to make sure everything is correct before replying to a customer. See Writing drafts of public replies in tickets.
- Custom ticket layouts (EAP)
Admins can create custom ticket layouts to support different ticket workflows for agents. Custom layouts allow you to specify which components are included in a ticket and control the location of where the components appear. Components include ticket conversations, ticket properties (fields), customer context, third party apps, and more. See About custom layouts.
- Using AI to summarize and enhance ticket comments (EAP)
Zendesk offers several AI-powered features that help agents be more productive while still providing a high level of customer service. See Using AI to summarize and enhance ticket comments.
Features that harness generative AI powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT include:
- Summarizing ticket comments to help agents get up to speed and quickly respond to customers.
- Enhancing agent comments by adding additional content, making the content more friendly, or making the content more formal.
Totally agree with all of the above.
I'm sure there are still many more users who operate the same way that are yet to investigate the changes or will only find out once the change is implemented.
Even though we are only a small Zendesk client (although we do run Sell as well), this type of change will have a big impact on how we work.
What seems worse is that no-one with any authority from Zendesk wants to get involved in this discussion or really listen tot he feedback. Might be time to move.
This has been an ongoing and increasing problem for Zendesk. They keep messing with the UI to make it buzzword compliant, then forcing the stuff down our throats. The wrecked the mobile app a couple years ago. They(customer support) said the same nonsense then, sorry you don't like it, we don't care, get used to it, posed in two faced double speak like "if you try it out for a while I sure you will learn to love it"
They are trying to manage and ignore the problem instead of fix it. Our organization has already moved 2 of 3 of out divisions over to another vendor. I will miss some the features of Zendesk, but the writing is on the wall. Much like vmware the management is comitted to a long slow death march as the destroy their own customer base.
Zendesk's biggest selling point for us was in the powerfully configurable user interface, views, and reports. With every major release they strip more of that configurability out and replace it with a "one size fits" version that only fits a subset of their customers, and freqently breaks the Agent ui's useability. The iPad app wastes most of the screen and requires multiple extra steps to update or close a ticket. That's man-hours we'd be paying for if our staff hadn't just refused to use it. This new UI change is bad enough we moved off the platform. I understand that they can't maintain both code bases indefinitely, but stonewalling and doubling down on the worse of the two because they failed to do requirements analysis or think about the impact to their customers isn't a reason for MY organization to renew.
I wish you all the best of luck, though we will be here a bit longer till either our contract runs out or the last biz group joins the great peace out. Keep pummeling them here and on the socials they seem to care about so much. r/sysadmin might be another to get the word out. Mangers can only take so much pounding before they issue the inevitable apologies.
Hello Zendesk Customers,
My name is Jon Aniano, and I run Product Management at Zendesk for the Suite. When it comes to the process being discussed here and our decision making around Agent Workspace, the buck stops with me.
I've read through all of your comments and I wanted to personally chime in here and respond:
Firstly - Thank you for all of the feedback, it is genuinely a gift. It has been great to see the community engage on this thread. Please keep the feedback coming, we're listening, I'm listening.
Secondly - From the feedback, it is clear there are some use cases and preferences that we're not handling well (and not giving you enough control over) in Agent Workspace. Please know that we are working on these, but also I want to hear more about these directly from you. So, we're going to hold one or more listening session webinars (stay tuned, we'll announce them here) where you can join me and engage directly with me and my PM team. We'll have some back and forth dialogue about the topics here, we'll take questions, and we'll talk through this together.
Thirdly - We're making some immediate changes to this process in response to this feedback. We will absolutely honor any requests to roll back to the old agent UI for this batch of activations. If you feel your team will be unduly affected by the move to AW, we'll let you continue to use the old UI until a future date, likely in 2023 (timing TBD, we're working this all out right now). If you've already requested a roll back and you've been denied (as I've seen in the comments here), we'll re-engage with you and we will process the request again.
Finally - The product and engineering teams at Zendesk will spend some time over the coming weeks to determine how we can reprioritize some of our work for the remainder of the year to respond to the feedback in these comments and the feedback we hear in the listening sessions.
Agent Workspace is the primary Zendesk user experience. It is used by tens of thousands of Zendesk customers, and many of these customers have seen great results in migrating. Its our job to make sure ALL of our customers can reap the benefits of Agent Workspace, and you have my commitment that we'll make this happen together.
Hi Jonathan Aniano,
im happy to hear that - i am one of the ones that were rejected to stay on the older ui. We are scheduled to be switched on monday - will this then not happen, or do we need to do something actively?
Hi Jonathan Aniano,
I also opened a ticket to stay at the old UI, and was switched to it pretty much with the response that we can't be given an extension, I hope to hear from the Zendesk team soon.
Hi Jonathan Aniano,
Please advise if the upgrade is now on-hold or if we need to do anything to ensure that we stay with the OLD UI. Thanks.
Hello Jonathan Aniano I had already requested to stay on the old UI and was denied, I hope they reverse that decision soon before they switched and completely mess me up in the middle of my high season.
You wanted feedback:
1 - Provide an open testing sandbox so we can all play with it and understand how will it work.
2 - Confirm what will happen to all of us that use Zendesk Support on our phones through your app, will it still work? Will it change?
3 - Allow those of us who use mostly support as e-mail communication with our customers to work the same way we have done it since day zero, latest email at the top.
4 - Having to click on the right side panels to get to the contextual info I want requires more time. Can we please be able to pin are most popular apps so we don't have to fetch for them every time? I personally just use the "Choose your address" app and the "Shopify App". I don't want to now have to click on a tab, then click on the app to see the same info I know can see just as soon as I open a ticket.
5 - Since I can´t actually see and test the new UI without actually switching to it myself, and since you have not provided a sandbox version to test it, or a very long and clear video showing each feature, I am not sure if this is truth, but I heard from other users that now on the new UI private responses and public responses are not visible on the same view. That you have to toggle back and forward. This is a huge set back, it requires more time for me to see my agent´s notes and then respond accordingly to the public.
6 - You want to make Zendesk better? Work on what was broken and needed fixing:
a - When a regular e-mail user responds instead of using a new email by editing their original email with highlighted text or so, something many people do when responding to questions within an email, we can't see that information unless we click on "see original e-mail" tab. This should just show up on the ticket without an extra step.
b - Solve the issue of many people being unable to see the attachments we sent because they are posted many times as a link at the bottom that they miss.
c - Allow for apps to be seen and accessible on your Zendesk Support App for those of us that constantly use our phone while working on the road.
d - When an old solved or pending ticket is updated by the requester, move it automatically to the top of our open tickets list, so we don't miss it.
7 - Other companies that have looked into making changes like this have taken MUCH better approaches. Examples:
a - One sent their customers new different looking UI screenshots and asked them how easy or not it was to get a specific task done. This allowed them to get real customer data back from real users, not just internet or industry trends. Your customers are the actual users, not internet trends. (Ex: Attentive)
b - Other companies send me completely working test mode version of their new UI and asked me to provide feedback. I was able to test every single aspect of it and respond based on that.
c - Other companies had full live meetings with top product managers and developers BEFORE they even started to think of launching a new UI to get feedback from their direct users (Ex: Shopify).
8 - I would say that in this case it was clear that either no feedback at all was asked from real users about the changes you guys had thought about, or you only sampled a very small non representative set of people.
9 - Roll out dates are HUGE. Most companies DO NOT do roll outs right before big days for online sales like Labor Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas (or 4th of July or Memorial day).
10 - Tell us exactly what will happen to our EXISTING integrations. I am integrated with: Facebook Pages, Tidio, Shopify, Ebay, Walmart, Amazon,
11 - Bring back the Admin Center to the same window, instead of having to click out of our Support Suite into a different page.
12 - Bring the ability to open a support ticket for help with Zendesk Support Suite directly into the Support Suite, so we can access help faster, rathe than going t a different page, using a new login, scrolling through pages that try to avoid us reaching you and push us to read through articles we know by heart by now. Most major companies I work with have an Intercom chat right on the bottom right side and I can access a support agent in minutes, without a thousand clicks and new logins.
13 - Bring back the ability to connect with Instagram, your tutorials say it is possible but my Admin Center under Messaging and social does not show Instagram as an option (or messages at all), just Twitter, Facebook Pages and Text.
14 - As you probably know many Zendesk users are company owners, if not most, I can guarantee that most of us before we make any changes that will affect our customers the first thing we think is: lets ask our customers what do they think. Lets send a SURVEY with our ideas and see if we are right, and give them a chance to express theirs BEFORE we make a change.
I will be more than happy to chat with you or your team about all of this.
Lastly, I appreciate that finally Zendesk took real action and decided to stop and think, it is a bit late and you created unnecessary stress on a group of people that face a lot of stress on a daily business running their business and depends on your doing your job right so we can do ours right. I hope moving forward we can avoid situations like this.
Also, @Jonathan Aniano PLEASE make your chat bot not to ask us to log in after we are already loged in and to allow as many characters as we want when explaining an issue. Right now it only allows 128 characters (without even showing how many characters we have used), which force us to re phrase the issue a thousand times until we reach the threshold, and to try and resume the issue into 128 characters, or finally copying the issue into Microsoft Word to see the character count and phrase it there to then paste it on the bot, to then still be giving the option to write 5000 characters if we want. Let me write the entire issue at once. SIMPLICITY.
Took me 10 minutes today to find a way to contact an agent, do you have any idea of how frustrating is that? I know your company wants to save on agents and push us through automated bots and articles. We know we have those if we need to and we will use them when we know they are helpful. But for when I need an agent I usually need it fast, I don't have time to waste trying to find the path that will take me there. It makes your company look cheap, and not customer oriented. Zendesk is a CRITICAL part of our companies, not some random add on. When we need help, we need it FAST and easy to find. And better Yet, by PHONE with HUMANS.
I am a MUCH smaller company than Zendesk, one with a MUCH smaller budget, and yet I offer my customers the option to contact me through real not automated chat RIGHT from the home page on my site and provide them with a direct line with no phone tree directly to our support agents. But I don't have to respond to shareholders trying to make them more millionaires, I just accept a small cut on my paycheck so my customers have a better experience and so I hire more support agents.
Agreed with what is stated above. This migration introduces several major UI changes and hurts the experience for us (email/phone support only). The old UI was perfectly fine for that. Overall, I feel it's an unfortunate and unpleasant Customer Experience to move with this change without a way to customize some of these behaviors ("Requester" vs "Title" on the ticket, comment box on the bottom, reply not moving from "Internal Comment" to "Public Reply" automatically, etc).
I totally agree with my colleagues.
This change is not intended for anyone who uses Zendesk primarily or just for messaging.
This, more than an improvement, seems like a regression for those who do not use multichannel.
I am very disappointed that we are forced to go through this change, it is not intuitive at all and for our business model, the speed of response is lost. I prefer not to mention the visual part...
Anyone aware of any alternative products that have not gone stupid?
Forcing your customers to use an inferior product after getting them used to something entirely different seems like a bait-n-switch. We are definitely going to be looking for any and all alternatives as ZD seems to have lost the plot on what their customers actually want vs what ZD "THINKS" we want.
Hello, Jonathan Aniano
I am live in a chat and your support do not seem aware of the content of your message:
Hi Paul! Thank you for reaching out! I understand that you are requesting to opt out of the Agent Workspace upgrade.
Agent Workspace is the primary UI of Zendesk so everybody will be migrated to Agent workspace and there is no way of preventing this. We recommend that you migrate to Agent Workspace as early as now so you can familiarize yourself with the new UI
More information about the migration process can be found here
Paul Edwards Copy the link to this thread, give them Jonathans name and copy and paste the relevant section. I initially got the same response as you, but I sent them what I described and they then acknowledged it.
Thanks, Richy, already done but waiting for response/acknowledgement
Just wanted to note, my ticket was updated and I was told that I can have a two-week extension on the switch to the interface, and that's basically it. I've reiterated my issues, and hope there'd be some change, and fixing the interface with greasemonkey or something similar might be harder than just migrating away.
So this is the unhelpful response I am getting:
Hi Paul, Jon Aniano said: "we'll let you continue to use the old UI until a future date". There is no mention that an account can be exempted from migrating to Agent Workspace like what you are requesting. If you can share the reasons why you do not wish to be migrated, I'll be more than happy to submit your request for the scheduled migration to be postponed so it can be reviewed
I am taking that @Jonathan Aniano forgot to send the message tot his team, and we are all still stuck with this great downgrade. Great job you guys! Terrific comunication!
Jonathan Aniano I just got denied for keeping the old UI??
So after putting Jonathan Aniano entire comment above about giving us the option to opt out for now, I have now been to a support specialist who will consider my request
I've only been waiting 7 hrs for someone to get back to me after supplying my subdomain so that they could initiate the request for rollback, even though I explained that I want to delay/prevent the migration. Haven't heard anything back and still scheduled to be migrated tomorrow.
When we migrate to Workspace, will there be an option to revert to "old" UI?
I have two tickets open and have yet to receive any response. My migration is scheduled for tomorrow as well. This is very frustrating and added stress that we all don't need.
Quick note to all of you who have commented since my post. If you've submitted a ticket requesting to opt out of this set of activations and/or if you've posted here, I've had our team add you to the list of exclusions. You will not be auto-activated.
If you're reading this later on, and you have been auto-activated, and you'd like to revert, if you submit a ticket, we will approve the roll-back.
Thank you Jonathan Aniano!
Please ensure I am on the list of exclusions. This is a big relief.
Thanks Jonathan Aniano!
Please add our account to the exclusion list as well.
I'd like to add my voice to the displeasure of being offered an *upgrade* that undermines the basic UI flow for email based ticket management in favor of chat/messaging. Choosing winners and losers within your customer base doesn't strike me a strategic unless you are actively interested in winnowing out your luddite customers that have the temerity to still value email-based support. Strikes me as development disconnected from the real world ... without an interest in doing the heavy lifting to make this a win-win for all customers.
Thank you Jonathan Aniano - I do appreciate your candor and forthright response. A middle road that includes all of us is possible. While this vision takes shape, please include our account to the exclusion list for the auto upgrade
Thanks Jonathan Aniano! Please add our account (RiseSmart) to the exclusion list as well for now. We do not wish to be auto-upgraded.
Here is a video entitled 'Zendesk Deep Dive on Agent Workspace', from June 2022 by a load of product talking heads.
At 27.12, the question 'When will Zendesk no longer support the old UI and only support Agent Workspace?' is addressed: "....not the end of this year or even next year" and " .....give lot's of heads up, it won't come suddenly..."
What has changed?
I am having a TERRIBLE time trying to get someone to help me. We are scheduled for this unwelcome automatic Agent Workspace switch tomorrow. I am the admin user and I am going on vacation and DO NOT want the switch. At the very least, I would like to request the switch be scheduled for mid-September rather than tomorrow, but I can't seem to get anyone to help with rescheduling. Our company does email-only support as well so much of the extra features are just "noise".
Okay everyone. Thank you again for working with us as we adjust our process here.
At this point, if you've requested an opt-out here or via a ticket to our Advocacy team, we will honor that request and you will be excluded from this batch of activations.
Going forward, if you would like to be opted-out of this round of activations or if you've been migrated and you wish to roll back, you will have to contact us and file a ticket with our Advocacy team. We have updated our Advocacy processes and information to accommodate this.
Most of you probably already know how to contact Zendesk and log a ticket, but, just in case you need some assistance, this article helps guide you in the process: https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/4408843597850
I look forward to continued discussion and collaboration with all of you.
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