Getting started with Zendesk

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Learn how to integrate Zendesk with Klaviyo. This integration allows you to:

  • Track and target customers based on their interactions with your support team by syncing Opened Ticket and Resolved Ticket metrics from Zendesk to Klaviyo.
  • Respond to SMS messages from within Zendesk. When a customer replies to a text sent via Klaviyo, a new ticket will be created in Zendesk. When your support team responds to the ticket in Zendesk, the reply will be sent to the customer via the original Klaviyo phone number. 

You can use the Zendesk/Klaviyo integration to sync support ticket information, or to sync both ticket and SMS message information. You cannot use the SMS functionality without syncing support ticket information.

Before you begin

The following applies if you are planning to sync SMS conversations:

  • If you already integrated Klaviyo with Zendesk before June 22, 2022 and wish to enable our newly released SMS conversation sync, check the Sync SMS Conversations setting, and then update your settings. 
  • If you plan to use Zendesk to respond to SMS, you must have previously set up SMS in Klaviyo. If you haven’t already done so:
    1. Navigate to Account > Settings > SMS
    2. Click Set up SMS for free
  • This integration only works when recipients are in the US or Canada, as UK and Australian phone numbers cannot receive text messages.
  • If your Zendesk account has multiple brands, SMS tickets will be created in the default brand in Zendesk. The metrics synced from Zendesk to Klaviyo (Opened Ticket and Resolved Ticket) will sync for all brands. 
  • Additionally, make sure to set up custom subscribe keywords for any prompted responses from customers, in order to set automatic replies and add those customers to specific lists. Any custom subscribe keywords sent by customers will not prompt ticket creation in Zendesk. 
  • Make sure that you’ve reviewed our best practices for two-way messaging, including your auto-responder setup.
  • This integration is within the 'Support' agent workspace in Zendesk. It utilizes the Ticket API to create and comment on tickets and does not need the Zendesk ‘Talk’ call center workspace to function.

Obtain your Zendesk API token

For security reasons, Zendesk will only show you your full API token once, during the initial generation.

If you've previously created an API token with Zendesk and stored it securely, you can copy that token and use it. 

If you've never generated an API token with Zendesk, or need to generate a new one, follow the instructions below.

  1. Make sure Token Access is enabled 
    1. In your Zendesk account, click the Admin icon on the sidebar and navigate to Channels > API 
    2. Click the Token Access toggle to enable API token access
      Zendesk Token Access setting showing green enabled toggle
  2. Generate an API token by navigating to Channels > API and clicking the + button next to Active API Tokens 
  3. Enter a name for the token
  4. Click Create to generate the token, which will be a long string of letters and numbers, and display it in a popup
    API token in Zendesk blurred out with button reading OK, I've copied my token with black background
  5. Copy the token and save it in a secure place, such as LastPass or 1Password, for later use
  6. Once you're done, exit the popup by clicking the OK, I've copied my token button 
  7. If you need assistance with the sync, or run into issues, check out the Zendesk guide on generating a new API token

Set up the Zendesk integration

Follow the steps outlined below to integrate Zendesk with Klaviyo: 

  1. Log in to your Klaviyo account
  2. Navigate to the Integrations tab
  3. Click All Integrations
  4. Search for Zendesk
    Klaviyo integration search showing Zendesk card and text reading Add Integration
  5. Click Add Integration 
  6. Enter the following information:
    • The email address associated with your Zendesk account
    • Your Zendesk API token
    • Your Zendesk URL
      Zendesk settings page in Klaviyo showing settings including Email Address, API Token, and Zendesk URL, with Sync SMS conversations box checked
  7. If you want to reply to inbound SMS messages, check the box next to Sync SMS conversations 
  8. Click Connect to Zendesk

Outcome

You've now set up Klaviyo's Zendesk SMS integration. Read on to learn more about how the integration works and what metrics are synced between Klaviyo and Zendesk.

How the Zendesk SMS integration works

After the SMS integration is set up, Klaviyo automatically creates a ticket in Zendesk whenever both of the following are true: 

  1. A consented SMS subscriber texts a phone number associated with your account.
  2. The text message does not contain a keyword (i.e., one of the subscribe words listed in your SMS Settings page in Klaviyo). The two exceptions to this are HELP and INFO, which will both create a ticket. 

SMS messages from anyone in the UK or Australia are not shown, as alphanumeric sender IDs (the only number type available in these countries) cannot receive inbound messages. 

Any replies in the ticket from a Zendesk agent will send an SMS message to the customer. Responses from within Zendesk will also appear in Klaviyo. 

If the ticket’s status is Open, a new customer message will be added to the ticket as a comment. If the ticket’s status is Resolved, a new customer message will reopen the ticket and add the message as a comment. If the ticket’s status is Closed, a new customer message will create a new ticket. 

Replies from Zendesk are sent via a phone number associated with your Klaviyo account; this sending number will be the one to which the inbound message was sent. 

Responses from within Zendesk will also appear in Klaviyo, but responses sent within the Klaviyo Conversations tab will not appear in Zendesk. For this reason, we recommend that you only reply to customers from one platform. Campaign and flow SMS messages sent by Klaviyo will also sync to Zendesk.

Messages from Zendesk count toward your SMS billing plan like any other message.

When the integration syncs 

The integration syncs in real time. As soon as an SMS subscriber texts you, that message will appear in Zendesk. Opened Ticket and Resolved Ticket metrics also sync in real time. 

Note that there is no historic sync. SMS conversations won’t appear in Zendesk if a subscriber texted you before you set up this integration. However, all further messages will sync. If a subscriber texts you once before you enable the integration and once after, the message that comes in after you set up the integration will show in Zendesk, 

If a customer sends an image or GIF with a text message, the image will not be displayed in Zendesk (or in Klaviyo). Similarly, you cannot send MMS messages from Zendesk. 

Metrics synced between Klaviyo and Zendesk

Klaviyo tracks two Zendesk metrics: Opened Ticket and Resolved Ticket. The metrics appear on an individual’s profile page and can be used in segments and flows. 

Opened Ticket

This event is tracked when a new ticket is opened in Zendesk, and includes the following information about the new ticket:

  • Assignee_email
    email of the support agent assigned to the ticket in Zendesk
  • Assignee_name
    Name of the support agent assigned to the ticket in Zendesk
  • Channel
    Information about the channel that the ticket came through, (e.g. email, web portal, SMS), populated when available
  • Description
    The body of the first message in the ticket
  • Fields
    Any custom fields from Zendesk
  • Group_name
    Group field from Zendesk
  • Priority
    Priority field from Zendesk
  • Subject
    Subject of the ticket from Zendesk
  • Tags
    Tags associated with the ticket in Zendesk
  • Ticket_id
    Ticket ID from Zendesk
  • Type
    Type field from Zendesk
  • Via
    Information about the source of the ticket, populated when available
  • Zendesk_url
    URL of the ticket in Zendesk
  • Status
    Status of the ticket in Zendesk
  • Brand
    Brand associated with the ticket in Zendesk

Resolved Ticket

This event is tracked when a ticket is marked as Closed in Zendesk. When a ticket is marked Resolved in Zendesk, no event is sent to Klaviyo. Klaviyo's tracking of this event includes the following information about the resolved ticket email:

  • Assignee_email
    email of the support agent assigned to the ticket in Zendesk
  • Assignee_name
    Name of the support agent assigned to the ticket in Zendesk
  • Channel
    Information about the channel that the ticket came through, (e.g. email, web portal, SMS), populated when available
  • Description
    The body of the first message in the ticket
  • Fields
    Any custom fields from Zendesk
  • Group_name
    Group field from Zendesk
  • Priority
    Priority field from Zendesk
  • Subject
    Subject of the ticket from Zendesk
  • Tags
    Tags associated with the ticket in Zendesk
  • Ticket_id
    Ticket ID from Zendesk
  • Type
    Type field from Zendesk
  • Via
    Information about the source of the ticket, populated when available
  • Zendesk_url
    URL of the ticket in Zendesk
  • Status
    Status of the ticket in Zendesk
  • Brand
    Brand associated with the ticket in Zendesk

Set up a view in Zendesk for Klaviyo SMS

We recommend creating a view in Zendesk in order to organize your Klaviyo SMS tickets.

This view will filter on the tag ‘SMS’. Note that if you have tickets other than Klaviyo SMS with this tag, they will also be included in the view.

  1. From your Zendesk Admin Center, click the Workspaces dropdown
  2. Select Views under Agent tools
  3. Click Add view
  4. Name your view, add a description, and select who has access
  5. Under Tickets must meet all of these conditions to appear in the view, add Status > Is not > Closed
  6. Under Tickets must meet all of these conditions to appear in the view, add Tags > Contains at least one of the following > SMS
    Zendesk view labeled Klaviyo SMS Tickets with conditions Status is not closed and tags contains at least one of the following SMS

  7. Edit any formatting settings to your specifications
  8. Click Save

You’ve now created a view to organize your Klaviyo SMS tickets. 

Use cases for Zendesk metrics

Here are a few ways you might consider leveraging metrics synced from your Zendesk integration:

  • Exclude users with open tickets from certain flows and campaigns, so your company doesn't risk seeming out of touch by sending promotional emails to those with pending issues

  • Proactively track customers in Klaviyo based on their interactions with your support team using your Zendesk data; for example, you can customize an abandoned cart email if you know someone didn't complete their order, but did open a support ticket

  • View trends around open and resolved tickets, including a cohort analysis, by using the detailed analytics reporting Klaviyo provides about the Zendesk metrics you've synced

  • Tweak your email strategy to reduce support tickets and increase lifetime value; with all your data in Klaviyo, you can build segments to view correlations and gain cross-metric insights

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