This article describes the features and functionality available for the Slack Direct Messages channel for Zendesk messaging.
With the Slack DM channel for messaging, end users can create Support tickets by sending a direct message to a handle within Slack. These tickets are then managed by teams in Zendesk, as with other messaging tickets, using triggers, automations, and macros. This feature supports both internal help desk use cases and business to business conversations.
This article includes the following topics:
About the Slack Direct Messages channel
You can perform the following actions when the channel is created:
- Internal users can send a direct message to a handle and raise a Support ticket within Zendesk.
- Reply to the ticket from the Zendesk Agent Workspace
- Continue a conversation with an end user after a ticket created through Slack DMs has been closed
- Inspect an existing Slack Connect integration in Admin Center
- Use automations, macros, and triggers on a Slack Direct ticket, as you would with other messaging tickets
Requirements and limitations
The Slack account you are integrating must have Require App Approval enabled.
To use the Slack Direct Messages channel with Zendesk messaging, your Zendesk account must meet the following requirements:
- Zendesk Suite OR Support + Chat (Team plan or above)
- Zendesk Agent Workspace is enabled. See Activating and deactivating the Zendesk Agent Workspace.
- Zendesk messaging enabled. See About messaging.
- At least one Chat-enabled agent. See About Staff roles in Zendesk Admin Center.
In addition to the messaging limitations described here, the following limitations apply to this release:
Slack DM as a channel is intended to support 1:1 requests. Currently, one to many (multi-conversation) is not supported.
- Thread conversations are not supported for this iteration, this means replying within a thread in the direct message will not come over to Zendesk.
- Sending a direct message to the Slack handle, while logged in as the handle, will not create a live message in Zendesk (to prevent echoing).
- @replies to the handle within a channel will not start a messaging conversation in Zendesk.
- By default, five file types are supported as attachments (.pdf, .png, .jpeg, .gif, and .txt) when file sending is activated. Other file types can be added to the allowed list.
Creating a dedicated Slack handle
Before creating the Slack DM channel, you’ll need to create a dedicated Slack handle, or user, to use with the channel. The handle can be named for its intended use – for HR Services, customer on-boarding, or anything you want to associate with the Slack Direct Messages channel.
This handle is created in Slack. See the Slack article Getting started for new Slack users for instructions.
Any agent or admin signed into Slack with the global handle can see and participate in the conversation. However, Slack does delete conversations after a certain number is reached. A conversation deleted in Slack still remains available to agents and admins through the Agent Workspace.
Adding the Slack Direct Messages channel
When your Slack handle has been created, you can add Slack Direct Messages as a messaging channel.
To add the Slack channel to the Agent Workspace
- Sign in to your Slack account, using the Slack handle you want to add.
- In Admin Center, click Channels in the sidebar, then select Messaging and social > Messaging.
- Click Add channel, then select Slack.
- Enter a Channel name that will allow users to easily identify your account.
- If your account has multiple brands, select a Brand to associate with the channel.
- Click Next, then click Link workspace in Slack .
- On the approval page, click Allow. If the Allow button is not active, make sure you have enabled Require App Approval on the Slack account.
Your Slack account is now an active channel in Zendesk.
You can now finish the setup process:
- Set up your workflows. Configure any triggers, automations, and views you want to associate with the Slack channel.
- Prepare your agents. Make sure your agents are familiar with and have access to Agent Workspace and Slack.
Using the integration
Slack Direct Messages can be used in two ways:
Internal help desk support
You can set the Slack handle linked to the Slack Direct Messages channels as IT support, HR services, sales, or any internal workflow that may need its own channel for conversations.
Any direct message to the handle will come in as a messaging conversation to Zendesk via Slack. This allows you to set up triggers to assign messages to groups, and have an agent directly support your employees using live messages. Groups can then use Macros and other support apps to serve your employees and help them get the support they need.
Using the Slack Direct Messages channel as an internal help desk, you can:
- See the full conversation history between the employee and the Slack handle and create a complete history of that employee's records with this group
- Link the employee user profile to any existing profile for a full and complete record of your employee
- Report from Explore on groups performance and see a full history of support provided to employees from the designated Slack handle
- Manage all of your channels in the Zendesk Admin Center
Partnership support via Slack Connect
Slack Direct Messages allow you to create a partnership integration viaSlack Connect. This lets you invite partners and contractors to collaborate with the Slack handle via a Connect channel. Utilizing this approach you can set up your handle to support onboarding new customers with premium support or marketing collaborations and a lot more.
To configure your handle to support customer onboarding
- Create a Slack Connect channel with the handle and invite the collaborator.
- Now that the connection has been made between your workspace and the collaborators, inform them that they can directly message the handle at any time.
- Direct messages with the handle will come across to Zendesk, much like the internal employee support allowing you to manage and support these partnerships.
- Zendesk user profiles are automatically created for end users who send direct messages.
- Explore reports allow you to gain insight into these collaborations.
Set this up on one of my channels but it does not do any workflow when people @mention me on the channel. Does it not work in a specific Channel?
Seems like this really needs to support threading to be effective? Nobody wants a whole channel of back and forths for one issue?
Thank you for reaching out, Slack Direct Message currently supports direct message support and not channels, this is something we are looking at in the future. As direct messages are normally on 1:1 bases, this solution would not have the noise of a whole channel.
In the future when we look at channel support we will be looking at how to manage the noise level and also be supporting threads.
Please feel free to sign up for the EAP and provide more feedback on the current solution.
HI Christopher Wooten
Thanks for signing up for the EAP and using the solution.
Your feedback has been amazing so far. I know we spoke about this in email so wanted to bubble a response up here in case other users had these questions as well.
We will be looking at better channel support in the future, but at the moment we have been focused on the direct message and will build out the solution and more features that will benefit the whole community, we really look forward to working with you on this functionality and making it a awesome feature for all.
Hi Chris Drylie
Will this feature allow you to have a side conversation with a specific slack user rather than a Slack Channel.
We want to be able to use Slack to send Side Conversations to specific individuals
While not as efficient and as a workaround, you can always @mention a user using their slack memberID if you want to send a direct message from a Zendesk side-conversation.
I tried to set up an automatic for slack direct messages response by:
- chat triggers
- public comment
Both of them didn't work, is it normal?
In a multiband instance, adding slack channel option greys out after adding a workspace for a brand. Is there a limitation of one channel per instance?
Really frustrating trying to get this setup. I've managed to get a new account created to use on the slack side (let's call it HelpBot@abc.com), but because we use SSO on both Zendesk and Slack, its impossible to configure the integration without also adding the account to Zendesk as an admin, something we don't want to do.
Next step to try is to use the non-sso login for Zendesk and the SSO login with the correct account for the Slack integration, although I'm having issues with non-sso login (lets me log in but won't let me access admin settings). Have reached out via the support bot for assistance.
Would prefer an integration that didn't require an account.
Multiple handle support will be coming this quarter along, with a new tagging option that will allow you to tag each handle individually and creation automation and triggers based around this.
Stanley We are working with the side conversations team to look at this as a future enhancement for messaging as a whole.
Raphael - Officers Péguet Thank you for reaching out, like a lot of our new messaging channels, facebook, and Instagram. We do not yet have the capability for these to use chat triggers. However, with that being said, we will be adding away for you to utilize ticket triggers for individual handles with our multiple handle release in November.
Can us use ticket triggers at the channel level now, much like the example below:
We hear your frustration and are looking into bot scopes for the future and will allow admins to choose their setup path, I would love to reach out to you and work with you directly as a stakeholder in the project moving forward.
Chris Drylie that would be great, thanks.
If anyone would be interested in being part of our stakeholder program for this please feel free to sign up with form here
I am attempting to setup a chat trigger using the template for first reply and setting the channel to messaging. I cannot get the auto-reply to send back to a user in slack when configuring this....
The link in this line doesn't work.
The broken link is now fixed. Thanks again.
Just wanted to loop back and let you know that we have released multiple handle support along with a new way to manage your messaging channels, allowing you to better track where messages are coming from, for more info check out the links below:
Announcing - Channel Name as a trigger condition for messaging
Announcing - Slack Direct Messages Multiple Handle Support
Thanks, Chris. Will be testing it.
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