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.
You can contact Zendesk Customer Support and request that the upgrade be postponed. See this post for more background information.
Just wanted to let you all know that I received approval to stay on the current UI, not sure until when because they did not confirm.
Just rolled my account into the new Agent Workspace experience.
@Jonathan Aniano, How can I provide formal feedback on the product? You mentioned there will be listening session(s). How can I join these?
So far, the new Agent Workspace is not as bad as people are making it to be, and I'm actually seeing performance improvements in general responsiveness with the interface being able to keep up with the "quick" ticket updates I make, however I did notice a few annoyances compared with the "legacy" UX:
Hi Onur - Consider your feedback formally submitted! Thank you for your comments. I've passed this along to the team and I know we are actually working through designs and solutions for all of these.
As for the listening sessions, we'll post here with timing and instructions.
I absolutely dislike the new "look/feel".
The way you reply back to emails, show emails etc. feels so off.
I would go as far as saying I was 17% or more effective in the old version rather than this new look...
The new mode doesn't suit any customer that works tickets in email only mode.
Your support is unresponsive. Can we get opted out of Agent Workspace please? Already opened a ticket.
I've managed to delay our auto-upgrade that was supposedly to start tomorrow using the chatbot on support and referencing this thread.
We also use our accounts for EMAIL support ONLY! It is imperative that the newest, latest message appears at the top. Cluttering up the interface with features we do not use makes our workflow more complicated. Please include options to sort with latest messages on top and the option to de-clutter and only show emails in Agent Workspace.
We sincerely appreciate this feedback and would love to hear more about this feedback live. Please join us on Thursday, October 13th at 11 AM CST for our PM Roundtable on Agent Workspace. Live chat with us on what is and isn’t working with recent UI changes, your product experiences, and share your feedback directly with the product team.
The link to register can be found here.
The team would like to know more about how different customizations can help workflows, and learn how the plans for allowing this can better be expanded to allow for a more comfortable UI for all different teams. .
And also feel free to contact our Support team to learn about any possible changes already available to your accounts.
Really would like to get on this roundtable discussion. Unfortunately, the registration link appears to be broken though.
Thank you for the heads up! We fixed the link and it should be accessible now. Let me know if you or anyone else run into an issue.
Thanks, but problem #2: Apparently the registration site doesn't recognize my preexisting Zendesk Community user account. Is usergroups.zendesk.com different from support.zendesk.com?
Interesting! We will look into this right away (for reference there shouldn't be any issue), and just so we make sure you get registered, would you be able to try this link but use your browser in an incognito window?
If you continue to run into a blocker, let me know and we will manually add you, just to be safe and avoid you missing out on getting to talk to us live about feedback and your thoughts.
No dice unfortunately. Can you please add me manually? Thanks.
No worries! I'll get you added in a few minutes, and you should get an email confirming that.
I look forward to seeing you there!
Even if I'm chatting with an end user, it still makes more sense to have the most recent reply at the top along with the reply box. Otherwise it's way too much scrolling.
Has this been fixed? Just got notification this is rolling out to everyone in March.
@zendesk I'm not sure you have received one comment that is excited about this drastic move. Its imperative that the reply box to the top of the ticket interface, why is this not considered before you pull the plug on the old UI.
Or just provide the option per agent/organization for how they want it. It's literally a database sort command.
Read through the entire thread and based on the past 10 years of experience with Zendesk and many interactions with their support team I have to agree with everyone here. Zendesk seems to be out of touch with at least a big part of their customer base - those providing support by email. Missing features that would improve agent efficiency do not get added. Instead existing functionality gets deprecated. My impression is that by seeking out additional markets the old - and very loyal! - customer base gets pushed out. A good products gets turned into a bad one instead of improving it - what a colossal waste of development resources!
It's a step we tried to avoid for a long time, but finding a service that fulfils our needs instead of trying to be hip is a topic that is back on my desk. Really, I'd love to rather spend my time providing value to our customers, but Zendesk makes this increasingly harder.
Kolten Kittleson - for those of us who were unable to attend the 'PM Roundtable on Agent Workspace', is there a link to the recording available?
So is Zendesk just going to leave those of us using email high and dry?
Why not provide a top level down for SMS/chat and a top level up for email tickets?
Ok... this isn't as bad as it sounded. At least it jumps to the last reply... which doesn't require any more scrolling than it used to.
In the Agent Workspace, you can have a mix of SMS/Chat and Email conversations within the same ticket. So, there are no longer separate tickets for SMS/Chats vs. Email.
That said, the Product Team is aware that having the "the newest comment first" in a ticket is a popular feature request that customers would like to see. You can vote for your favorite features on our Community site.
Lisa Kelly So let's back up a moment. If a customer is having one conversation with us via e-mail and then starts a different conversation on a different topic via SMS -- they are going to be in the same ticket? That's absolutely terrible.
Hi Matt, That's not what I meant. Apologies for the confusion.
Just to clarify. If the ticket is related to the same topic, the conversation can change from SMS/Chat to Email, all within the same ticket. See this description of a Sample ticket and workflow for an example. You can also watch the video in the article I linked for a quick overview of the Agent Workspace.
So from reading this thread and how every comment is against a forced move, it sounds like this got delayed. We're now told the force move will be in March - but can we get any confirmation that the issues people have raised will be addressed?
The main issue is the order of messages, especially for email only customers (myself included). The fact that the forced moves were delayed and you've had roudtables etc. should mean you'll address it? Or are you just waiting for people to give up complaining and then continue doing the same thing?
Most of the other benefits listed are already available in the existing interface with sidebar apps etc., so really the move is just going to make us less productive regardless of how many buzzwords you try and throw in to make it sound better.
Some confirmation that things are actually going to be addressed before next March would be great.
It looks like custom field isn't correctly ordered on the UI.
I created a "Summary" multiline field, put it in the first position : it work with current Zendesk UI. But, if I do the same thing with new interface, the Summary Field stay in the bottom of all others fields.
Edit : I'm talking about custom "agent" fields ; thoses who are ordered on the left panel.
I have tested the behavior on both AW and Standard interface. All the standard fields (requester, assignee, tags, organization, etc.) will be on top of any custom fields no matter how you sort them in each forms.
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