Administrators are agents with additional privileges to manage and customize your Zendesk. Administrators can be assigned tickets like agents but they may also do the following:

  • Access all tickets (not just the tickets they are assigned to)
  • Create new business rules (automations, macros, SLA service targets, triggers, views)
  • Access and edit all business rules (automations, macros, SLA service targets, triggers, views)
  • Access and edit all extensions (widgets, targets, etc.)
  • Create reports
  • Edit all reports
  • Access settings pages (account, security, channels, etc.)
  • Access all forums with moderator privileges
  • Add and manage end-users, agents, and administrators
  • Promote agents to the administrator role
  • Create groups and organizations
  • Assume another user's identity
  • Create custom agent roles


This is a Zendesk Enterprise agent role. Advisors manage the workflow and configure your Zendesk. They create or manage shared automations, macros, triggers, and views. They also set up the service level agreements, channels, and extensions. Advisors don't solve tickets, they can only make private comments. For more information, see Custom agent roles.


Agents are the bulk of your support staff. They are assigned tickets and interact with customers as needed to resolve support issues. The agent's role and privileges are defined by administrators and may include the following:

  • May be added to more than one group (must be added to at least one)
  • Add end-users
  • Add public or private comments or both to tickets
  • Create and edit their own macros
  • Moderate and manage articles in the forums
  • Access tickets in one of the following ways:
    • All tickets in your Zendesk
    • Only tickets assigned to the group or groups to which they belong
    • Only tickets received from the organization to which they belong
    • Only tickets that they are assigned to

Agent collision

Agent collision is a feature that alerts your agents when another agent is viewing and possibly updating the same ticket. When this happens, an alert is displayed at the top of the ticket (this alert is also displayed in views that are formatted as tables). This helps prevent agents from trying to make updates to the same ticket at the same time. See Managing your tickets in the Zendesk Agent Guide.

Agent signature

An agent signature is a standard text signature that can be appended to all public comments made by agents. Agents can customize their signature on their profile page.


Assignee is the agent assigned to a ticket. Assignee is used in macros, views, automations, triggers, and reports to refer to or set the assigned agent. See Understanding Zendesk user roles.

Assignee stations

This is the number of agents who have successively been assigned to a ticket. This is used as a condition in triggers.

Assuming a user

Administrators can sign in to the help desk as another user. This is referred to as assuming a user. This allows administrators to see another user's view of your Zendesk. See Assuming a user.


Automations are similar to triggers (see Trigger below) because both define conditions and actions that modify ticket properties and optionally send email notifications to customers and the support staff. Where they differ is that automations run when a time event occurs (from one hour to 28 days) after a ticket property was set or updated, rather than immediately after a ticket is created or updated. For more information, see Streamlining workflow with time-based events and automations.


The blacklist is used to suspend email received from domains and addresses that you specify. It can be used along with the whitelist to, for example, suspend an email domain while also allowing one or more specific email addresses from the same domain to be accepted into your Zendesk. For more information, see Using the whitelist and blacklist to control access to your Zendesk.

Bulk import

Rather than add users manually one at a time, you can add many users in a bulk import. To do this, you create a CSV (comma separated values) file that contains the user's data. You can also import organization data. For more information, see Bulk importing users and organizations.

Business hours

Business hours are the days of the week and times of day that your help desk is available to respond to requests. By enabling business hours for your help desk, you can include business hours in triggers. See Setting your business hours.

Business rules

Business rules is used to refer to the Zendesk features that enable you to customize and manage the ticket workflow: automations, macros, SLA service targets. triggers, and views. More information about business rules can be found here: Managing your support workflow.

Business rules analysis

In the Enterprise version of Zendesk, you can view and analyze all of your business rules to see how they are being used. For more information, see Analyzing your business rules.


Categories are used to organize forums into groups. They are the top level organizing element in the forums. Categories contain forums and forums contain articles. You can create an unlimited number of categories and order them on the forums page as needed.


Channels are the ways that you can engage with your customers (how they create support requests and how you communicate with them). All channel communication is recorded on tickets. You choose and configure the channels you want your help desk to support. Channels include:
  • Email
  • Web portal
  • Twitter
  • Chat
  • Voice
  • Zendesk Feedback Tab
  • Zendesk API


Similar to MSN Messenger, AIM, Google Talk, or Facebook Chat, your customers can text chat with your agents. Zendesk Chat is available when submitting a support request via the Feedback Tab or when an end-user is logged into the Web portal and viewing a ticket. The text of the chat session is added to the ticket. See Setting up your Chat channelSetting up your Chat channel.


When a ticket request is submitted it contains a subject and a description. All follow-up communication on the ticket is contained in comments. Agents and requesters can add comments to the ticket. Comments can also be added by automations, macros, and triggers. There are two types of comment: public and private. Everyone, including those CC'd on a ticket, can see public comments but only support staff can see private comments.

CSS customization

To more closely match the look of your company's web site, you can modify the default elements and styles in your Web portal using CSS (cascading style sheets) code. You modify the look of your Web portal using CSS widgets, which can be added by an administrator. For more information, see How to customize your Web portal using CSS.

Current user

Current user is a reference to the last person who updated the ticket, which is not necessarily the same person who is assigned to the ticket. The current user (whoever updated the ticket last) changes whenever the ticket is updated. And, the update may have been made by the assignee, the requester, or someone who was CC'd on the ticket. See Understanding Zendesk user roles.

Custom agent roles

In the Enterprise version of Zendesk, you can define your own agent roles and assign those roles to any agent in your Zendesk. This allows you to define agent roles that suit your own organizational structure and workflow. For more information, see Custom agent roles.

Custom ticket fields

You can add custom fields to tickets and they can be visible to agents only or to both agents and end-users. Your visible custom fields appear on your support request form in the Web portal and in the Feedback Tab. Custom fields are typically used to gather more information about the support issue or product or service. You can add the following types of custom fields: drop-down list, text, multi-line text, numeric, decimal, checkbox, regular expression. For more information, see Adding and using custom ticket fields.


This is often used interchangeably with end-user. See End-user.

Customer satisfaction rating

Your end-users (customers) can provide feedback about their support experience by rating their solved tickets. For more information, see Using customer satisfaction rating.


A dashboard is an area of the Zendesk agent interface that displays summary information and vital statistics for the user. For example, the agent dashboard is displayed at the top of the home page when an agent logs in and it contains vital statistics such as the number of open tickets assigned both to the agent and the agent's groups.

Dynamic content

In the Plus and Enterprise versions of Zendesk, you can create dynamic content that can then be referenced via a placeholder in automations, macros, triggers and by many of the system generated messages such as those sent in email notifications when a user creates an account. Dynamic content is a powerful tool for streamlining your multiple language support because the appropriate version of content is automatically displayed to users based on their language. For more information, see Using dynamic content to provide multiple language support.

Email forwarding

When you set up your Zendesk account, a default email address is created that customers can use to submit support requests. Many accounts prefer to use their own email addresses rather than use the Zendesk provided address. You can use email forwarding to accept email at your own address (for example, and then forward it to your Zendesk address ( You can also forward any prefix to and then set up triggers and automations from there. See Forwarding email from other email providers.

Email notifications

Email notifications can be generated via a trigger or automation when a ticket is updated. Common notifications include a new public comment added to the ticket or a change to the ticket status. You can customize your email templates to match your branding and to modify the wording. See Customizing your email templates.

Email-only support

Many companies prefer to offer their customers support via email only. They provide the same level of service, but their end-users don't have access to the Web portal to view or track their requests. For more information, see Setting up to provide email-only support.

Email pass through

When forwarding email from external email addresses or using an external email domain for outgoing email, the Reply From address (the address that end-users see in email responses to their support requests) can be configured to use the same email address that was used to submit the request. For more information, see Setting up email pass through.


End-user refers to people who generate support requests from any of the available support channels (Web portal, email, Twitter, etc.). End-users do not have access to any of the administrator and agent features of your Zendesk. They can only submit and track tickets and communicate with agents publicly (meaning their comments can never be private). End-users may also be referred to as customers. For more information about user roles, see Understanding Zendesk user roles.


Extensions are tools that extend the functionality of your Zendesk. For example, you can add CSS and JavaScript widgets to customize the look or functionality of your Zendesk or you can enable integrations with cloud-based software applications and services such as Salesforce, Google Analytics, and Constant Contact - just to name a few. Extensions can be configured by agents with administrator permissions.

External email domain

You can change your email address to an email domain other than, making it appear that it originated from your own email address ( For more information, see Using an external email domain.

Feedback Tab

The Feedback Tab provides quick access for your end-users to search your knowledge base, submit a support request, or chat with an agent. It's displayed as a tab placed along the edge of the Web browser. The Feedback Tab can be added to your Zendesk or any other web site (such as your company web site). This feature used to be referred to as the Zendesk Dropbox. See Setting up your Feedback Tab channel.


Forums, when not used in the general sense, refers to the second level of organization after categories. Forums contain articles. Each forum can be assigned to only one category. You can assign viewing permissions to forums. For example, forums can be viewable by everyone, only logged in users, only agents, or only specified organizations. You can also control moderation, forum content types (articles, ideas, and questions), and who can contribute content.

Forum analytics

In the Plus and Enterprise versions of Zendesk, you can closely monitor how active your knowledge base and forums are using the Stats dashboard. For each category and forum, you see activity data for the last 30 days. This includes the number of new topics created, how many users have viewed the topics, and the total number of votes, subscriptions, and comments. For more information, see Analyzing forum activity.


Groups are used to create collections of agents. How you define groups is entirely up to you. You might create groups by skill (software vs hardware) or to reflect the organizations they serve (for example, a support group might serve only customers in a certain region or time zone). Agents can belong to more than one group. End-users cannot be added to groups, only organizations. For more information, see About organizations and groups and Creating, managing, and using groups.

Group stations

This refers to the number of groups that have successively been assigned to a ticket. This is used as a condition in triggers.

Host mapping

Host mapping (also referred to as domain mapping) is the ability to map your default Zendesk domain URL to a different URL. For example, rather than using you may want your help desk URL to contain your company's name, like this: You need to configure this with your domain provider.

Knowledge base

Knowledge base is often used interchangeably with forums (see Forums). The Zendesk forums allow you to create topics and arrange them into forums and categories. You can use the forums to create a knowledge base of support information for your products and services. Your end-users may be allowed to comment on topics or new create new topics themselves.

Legacy agent

This is a Zendesk Enterprise agent role. If you upgrade your account to the Enterprise version, this role is used for all agents who have not been assigned to one of the other Enterprise roles. Each agent's permissions are the same as they had previously on the plan you upgraded from. If you assign all your agents to Enterprise agent roles, this role will disappear. You cannot select this agent role, it's only used to designate agents not yet assigned Enterprise roles. For more information, see Custom agent roles.

Light agent

This is a Zendesk Enterprise agent role. Zendesk Enterprise provides you with unlimited internal usage in the form of light agents. Light agents can be CC'd on and view tickets, add private comments to tickets within their groups, view reports, access and create topics in private, agent-only forums. They cannot be assigned to or edit tickets. You can add an unlimited number of light agents at no charge. For more information, see Custom agent roles.

Liquid markup

Liquid markup is the templating language we use to enable placeholders (Using placeholders). You can also use Liquid markup to customize how this data is selected and displayed as output in ticket comments and email notifications. For more information, see Using Liquid markup to customize comments and email notifications.


A macro is a prepared response or action that agents can use to quickly respond to support requests that can be answered with a standard response or to modify a ticket. Macros contain actions, which can be updates to ticket properties. Agents manually apply macros when they are creating or updating tickets. Macros can also be organized into categories to help agents quickly locate them. For more information, see Creating ticket handling shortcuts with macros.

Multiple brand Zendesk

In the Enterprise version of Zendesk, you can manage support for multiple brands by linking separate branded Zendesk accounts to a central Zendesk account. Support requests are received by the branded Zendesk accounts and are automatically shared to the central Zendesk, which contains the support agents who resolve the requests. One team of agents supports all of your brands. For more information, see Setting up to manage multiple brand Zendesk accounts.

Non-restricted agent

A non-restricted agent is an agent who has access to all tickets. In other words, they have not been restricted to only the group or groups to which they belong, the organization they belong to, or to the tickets they have been assigned to. The ability to refer to these agents may be useful when creating triggers. See Understanding Zendesk user roles


Organizations are collections of users (agents and end-users). How you set up your organizations is entirely up to you. Agents and end-users can be added to only one organization. Once you create them, you can use organizations throughout your Zendesk to define views, as criteria for assigning tickets, as conditions in automations and triggers, to define access to forums, and in your reports. For more information, see About organizations and groups and Creating, managing, and using organizations.


The account owner is a type of administrator. The account name is associated with this person's name, usually the person who created the account. There can only be one account owner; however, account ownership can be reassigned by the account owner to another administrator if needed. The account owner has access to areas of your Zendesk that other administrators do not, such as invoicing, payment options, and benchmarking for the account. See Understanding Zendesk user roles.

Personalized email replies

The email address used in replies to end-users can be configured to show the agent's name as the friendly name rather than your Zendesk account name. For example, "Claire Grenier <>" instead of "MondoCam Support Center <>". For more information, see Enabling personalized email replies.


Placeholders are references to ticket and user data that you include in the subject and text of email notifications. Without placeholders it would be impossible to create automatic notifications. You'd have to manually enter this data for each ticket. Placeholders are contained in double curly brackets, like this: {{}}. You can view the list of available system placeholders when creating macros (for example). Custom fields can also be referenced as placeholders. For more information, see Using placeholders.


Each ticket is assigned a priority. There are four values for priority: Low, Normal, High, and Urgent. The ticket priority is used throughout Zendesk to generate views and reports and it's also used as conditions and actions in automations and triggers and as actions in macros. See About ticket fields.

Remote authentication

Remote authentication is one of the two Single Sign-On services available in Zendesk. The other is SAML. See Single Sign-On.


Reports are detailed snapshots of collections of tickets within a time period. You can use many of the ticket properties to define the types of tickets that you want to monitor with a report. For more information, see Using reports to monitor ticket activity and agent performance.


Requester refers to the person who made the support request. Requester is used in macros, views, automations, triggers, and reports to refer to the person who generated the support request. See Understanding Zendesk user roles

Restricted agent

The term restricted agent is used for agents whose ticket access has been limited to one of the following:

  • All tickets (can also add, modify and assume end-users)
  • Tickets requested by users in this agent's organization (also can't see forums restricted to other organizations)
  • Tickets assigned to this agent only

An agent's access can be restricted via their user profile. See Understanding Zendesk user roles


Secure Assertion Markup Language (SAML) is one of the two Single Sign-On services available for remotely authenticating users, the other is Remote Authentication. SAML allows you to provide Single Sign-on (SSO) for your Zendesk using enterprise identity types such as Active Directory and LDAP.

Shared organization

A shared organization refers to allowing all users within an organization to see all of the organization's tickets and, optionally, allowing those users to comment on each other's tickets. An administrator can set up shared organizations (it's an option available when creating or editing an organization). You also have the option of granting this privilege to select end-users instead. You set this up in the user's profile. See Shared organization for end-users.

Single Sign-On

Single Sign-On refers to a security option in Zendesk that allows you to authenticate users remotely, which means that it is handled outside of Zendesk. You can use remote authentication or SAML authentication. When users attempt to sign in to Zendesk their request is routed to a remote authentication or SAML service to authenticate the user's credentials. When verified, users are redirected back to Zendesk and logged in.

SLA (Service Level Agreement) service targets

Service Level Agreements, or SLA’s are typically an agreed upon measurement of the average response and resolution times that your support team delivers to your customers. Providing support based on service levels ensures that you are delivering measured and predictable service, and have greater visibility when there are problems. SLA Service Targets in Zendesk can be defined so you and your agents can better monitor your service level performance and meet your service level goals.

Staff agent

This is a Zendesk Enterprise agent role. A Staff agent's primary role is to solve tickets. They can edit tickets within their groups, view reports, and add or edit personal views and macros. For more information, see Custom agent roles.


Each ticket is assigned a status. There are five values for status: New, Open, Pending, Solved, Closed. The ticket status is used throughout the help desk to generate views and reports and it's also used as a condition in automations, macros, and triggers. The status can only be changed to closed via automations and triggers (not manually). See About ticket fields.

Support request

This term is used to describe what end-users create, via the Web portal or any of the other channels such as email and Twitter, when they request support. Support requests become tickets in your Zendesk. To end-users, a ticket is a support request and this is the term used in the Web portal (for example, Submit a request and Check your existing requests).

Suspend a user

Users can be suspended, which means that they are no longer able to sign in to your Zendesk and any new support requests you receive from the user are sent to the suspended tickets queue. For more information, see Suspending a user in the Zendesk Agent Guide.

Suspended ticket

Based on a number of factors (such as an email being flagged as spam) some of the email coming into your help desk may be suspended or even rejected. Email messages that are suspended are added to the suspended tickets queue from where they can be recovered or deleted. For more information, see Managing suspended tickets and spam.


To help you categorize, act on, or search for tickets and forum articles, you can add tags. Tags can be added to tickets automatically based on the words in the request, manually by agents, or via triggers, automations, and macros. Once added, you can create views by tags, search for tags and the tickets in which they are included, and use tags in your triggers, automations, and macros. For more information, see Using tags.


There may be times when you want to notify an external system about a new ticket or an important state change to a ticket (for example, send a message when a high priority ticket has not been resolved after a specified amount of time). By setting up external targets you can communicate with many cloud-based applications and services (such as Twitter and Twilio) as well as HTTP and email. For more information, see Notifying external targets.

Team leader

This is a Zendesk Enterprise agent role. Team leaders have greater access to your Zendesk than staff agents. They can read and edit all tickets, moderate forums, and create and edit end-users, groups, and organizations. For more information, see Custom agent roles.


Support requests received from any of your channels (see Channels) become tickets. Each ticket is assigned to an agent to solve and all activity related to solving the support request is captured as details within the ticket. Ticket data includes Subject, Email, Description, Status, Type, Priority, Group, Assignee, Tags, and any other custom fields you create. Each ticket requires a subject, email address, and description. See About ticket fields.

Ticket sharing

Tickets can be shared between Zendesk accounts so that you can collaborate on solving tickets. You establish sharing agreements with other Zendesk accounts and specify the terms under which sharing can occur, and how shared tickets are managed. For more information, see Sharing tickets with other Zendesk accounts.


Creating or updating tickets in Zendesk generates events. You can use these events to automatically modify tickets and send email notifications. For example, when a new ticket is created Zendesk sends an email confirmation to the person who generated the ticket (the requester). The mechanism that enables this is called a trigger. Using triggers, you can also automatically assign a ticket to a specific support agent or support group based on the email address it was sent to, the organization to which the requester belongs, or keywords contained in the request message. For more information, see Streamlining workflow with ticket updates and triggers.


Each ticket is assigned a type. There are four values for type: Question, Incident, Problem, Task. The ticket type is used throughout the help desk to generate views and reports and it's also used as a condition in automations, macros, and triggers. See About ticket fields.

User tagging

Tags can be added to users and organizations and these tags can then be used in business rules to manage the ticket workflow and to restrict access to forums. For more information, see Adding tags to users and organizations.


Views define a collection of tickets based on a set of criteria (expressed as conditions). Views can be formatted to be displayed as lists or tables and you can specify who can access them. You create and use views to define collections of tickets such as "My open tickets" or "Recently solved tickets" for example. For more information, see Using views to manage ticket workflow.


The Voice channel integrates live telephone support into your Zendesk. Agents make themselves available to receive calls and their conversations with customers are recorded and added to tickets. When agents are unavailable, customers leave voicemail messages that automatically become tickets containing the voicemail recording and a transcription. For more information, see Setting up Zendesk Voice.

Web portal

This refers to the parts of your Zendesk that are available to end-users to submit tickets, track their support requests, and access your knowledge base and forums.


The whitelist is used to allow email to be received from specific email domains and addresses. It is used along with the blacklist to, for example, allow email from a specific address in a blacklisted domain to be accepted into your Zendesk (and not suspended). For more information, see Using the whitelist and blacklist to control access to your Zendesk.


A widget is a small application that extends the functionality of your Zendesk. You can add widgets into your Zendesk for a number of popular cloud-based applications and services such as Salesforce and Google Analytics or you can create your own custom widgets.