Building guide for Basic Zendesk Bot Template

Are you going to integrate your chatbot project with Zendesk, Zendesk Chat, and Zendesk Guide? You can get from zero to hero with our Basic Zendesk Bot Template.

To access the Template, please navigate to the Certainly Platform and select the Basic Zendesk Bot Template from the "Create new bot" menu at the top of the Bot List page.  

After setting up your bot, it will search your Help Center for relevant articles based upon your end users' questions and offer them additional support either through tickets or chat. Here is an overview of its capabilities:

  • Uses metadata from your Zendesk widget pre-chat form
  • Presents relevant articles from your Help Center
  • Measures CSAT and offers additional support
  • Facilitates handover to support by ticket or chat
  • Understands end user's needs with the help of AI

In this article, we will cover the following: 

Step-by-step walkthrough of building a Basic Zendesk Bot

Here, we've provided a step-by-step walkthrough of building a Bot from the Basic Zendesk Bot Template. 

  1. Find the <md>Read me before getting started: Building Guide for Basic Zendesk Bot Template Module. Hover over the Module – a menu will appear. Click on the checkbox on the right side of the menu, titled “Test flow from here”. This article is linked there - please read the other sections below to gain an overview of this Template's features. You can close the chat when you’re finished, then continue to step 2.

  2. On the canvas, find the Module titled <md>Welcome module. By double-clicking on it, you open the Module for editing. Change the Bot Messages to your desired greeting, and click “Ok” when you’re done. Learn more about how to edit a Message in a Module

  3. Save your changes by clicking the Save button in the Navigation bar (Shortcut Ctrl + S / ⌘ Command + S also works).  

  4. Now, change the name of the Bot. Next to your Bot Avatar in the Navigation bar, there's currently a placeholder (“Basic Zendesk Bot Template Clone”). Click in this box, delete the placeholder, then type in your desired name. The name is internal, so it will only be visible to you and your team. 

  5. Create any additional Modules you need. There are three different ways to create a new Module: 
    • From the canvas: 
      • Right-click on the canvas > Statement; or
      • Right sidebar menu > Add new Module > Statement 
    • Within a Module: 
      • When setting up the Go-to Connection > Select Module to go to > Create New Module. Screenshot_1.pngPlease disregard the “Collector” option while creating new Modules for now. This is a more advanced feature, and we will get back to it during our workshops. Do not forget to save your changes. Learn more about Module Connections.

  6. Then, learn how to use Custom Variables. Setting up a Flow that stores the End user's name and/or message would be a practical exercise. As an example, a Custom Variable is set up to be created in the <md>CTA: Help center search Module. This Custom Variable is then printed in the <md>Create ticket with preliminary question Module.  

  7. Read about KPI tags - touchpoints that measure the number of End Users who have been through the different paths of the Bot. Take a look at the canvas – several Modules are already marked with the following tags: “Start”, “Webhook”, “Fallback”, “Handover”, “5”, “6”, and “7”. 

  8. Prepare your Zendesk account for integration. Watch the tutorial and integrate your Chatbot with Zendesk.  

  9. Then, configure the “Contact Customer Support” Flow with the help of our article on checking agent availability. Don’t forget to save your changes! 

  10. Navigate to a Module with the Webhook tag: wh_icon. You have 6 of them:  

    Module name

    Contains a Webhook

    CTA: Help center search


    Create ticket with preliminary question


    Create ticket with new question


    Update ticket


    Check chat availability


    Agent available


    In the Connections tab of each of these Modules except the first one (“CTA: Help center search”), you’ll see a Webhook. Read more about Webhooks. 
    Return to the canvas and navigate to the Webhook Builder found in the drop-down menu on the left side of the 
    Navigation bar. There you have a list of Webhooks assigned to your company - they were generated automatically when you created your Bot from a template. Open each of them, read their descriptions, and make any necessary adjustments
    Save changes, if you made any, then go back to the canvas (Navigation bar
    Section menu > Bot List) and test your Bot. To better understand the use of Webhooks in this step, refer to our article on Zendesk Support ticket creation. 

  11. Next, set up a help center search. Complete your <md>CTA: Help center search Module by setting up the required Webhook. Create a Webhook from a Template based on the wh_iconZendesk Guide: Search Help Center Articles Webhook Template. Follow the instructions in the description at the top when you open the Template. If you decided to go with Dynamic Cards rather than Text and Links, look here for more information.  

  12. Go back to your Bot and finalize the help center search by setting up the necessary connection in the <md>CTA: Help center search Module - you can open up the other Modules that contain Webhooks and use their connections as an example.   

  13. Now, set up Global Connections. These connections evaluate the End user input and send the End user to a corresponding Module, regardless of which Module they are currently in. In other words, the Bot would be able to recognize a specific topic at any point during the conversation. 

You've now worked through the key elements of the Basic Zendesk Bot Template - great work! As you continue to customize your Bot, remember that you can always refer back to this guide for assistance. 

Groups color framings

On the bot building canvas, you will find several Modules in different color framings. Each color stands for a specific Module category or Group. The overview of the color framing can be found on the left sidebar. From here, you can manage the visibility of selected Groups

Color Module Category (Group) Explanation
mceclip0.png Start Introduction to the bot conversation followed by a CTA that encourages end users to ask a question.
mceclip12.png Help Center

Modules that are triggered after the bot performs a Help Center search upon the end user's preliminary question.

If any articles are found, the bot will display the most relevant and then ask for feedback.

mceclip1.png Fallback Modules that are triggered when the bot cannot understand the end user's input. Learn more about Fallback Modules.
mceclip1.png Fallback ticket

If end users request ticket support, this flow will create a ticket with their preliminary questions and meta-data collected from the pre-chat form.

If any comments need to be added, the ticket can easily be updated.

mceclip1.png Fallback chat

If end users request live support, this flow will check agent availability and perform a handover if possible. Read more about Bot takeover in Zendesk.

mceclip15.png Exit Any Module that relates to the end of a specific conversation.


KPI tag indications

You can find Key Performance Indicator (KPI) tags assigned to specific Modules. 

  • Webhook KPI tag: Indicates all Modules in which a Webhook must be implemented in Module Connections. 
  • Start KPI tag: Shows the Starting Module. It is important that the checkbox "Make bot start message" is ticked in this Module's Message tab. 
  • Handover KPI tag: Points to Modules in which a transfer to a real person happens. This transfer can either be connected to live chat or create a message to be received by human agents. 
  • Fallback KPI tag: Marks Fallback Modules triggered whenever the bot does not understand the end user's input.
  • KPI tag 4: Set for Module categories that contain organization-specific content. You may cluster this content following the Domains you have defined for your bot. 
  • KPI tag 5: Find out how many visits lead to a feedback rating
  • KPI tag 6: Analyze how many users rated an answer as helpful (positive feedback)
  • KPI tag 7: Analyze how many users rated an answer as not helpful (negative feedback)

We can now take a closer look at some Module configurations.

Selected Module configurations

To ease your platform navigation, use Ctrl+F (or ⌘ Command+F on a Mac) to look within your bot's canvas for the specific Module titles as listed below. 

Module nameDescription
Starting Module

The purpose of this Module is to collect your chatbot visitors' meta-data from the pre-chat form, which is set under connections.

When using the Zendesk Widget, your bot does not start unless it is prompted by the end user - read more about sending the first message in the Zendesk widget.

If you do not use the pre-chat form to collect end users' names and emails, we suggest adding Modules to your bot that collect these.

Welcome Module

The chatbot visitor is welcomed and introduced to your chatbot.

Setting clear expectations is essential, which is why the bot says that short and straightforward visitor messages are preferred.

CTA: Help Center search

The chatbot visitor is asked to phrase the question, which will be used to perform a search in your help center.

Note that a feature called variation is used here, as the chatbot visitor is likely to come back to this Module. By using the variation feature, you give the bot answers a more human touch.

The Modules in the welcome flow are separated so that they can be triggered individually later on.

Necessary Webhook:
Find the <wh>Zendesk Guide: Search Help Center Articles Webhook Template on the Webhook Marketplace. Decide between illustrating the results as Cards (<wh>Zendesk Guide: Search Help Center Articles - Show Results as Cards) or as a List (<wh>Zendesk Guide: Search Help Center Articles - Show Results as Text and Links).

Follow the instructions provided at the top of the selected Webhook template. Then, insert the Webhook between this Module's existing Connection and Fallback (learn more about creating a Webhook from a Webhook Template and how to use Webhooks in the canvas).

Help Center search results

If results are found in your Help Center, these will be displayed in accordance with the Webhook you chose above.

If no results are found in your Help Center or end users report the displayed results as not helpful, human support is offered.

Fallback 1/3, 2/3, and 3/3

End users can be sent to the Fallback Modules if the welcome flow search query is not understood or if it's set as the fallback on individual Modules.

Note that the Fallback Modules are not showing a dotted line in between. The reason for the missing line is that each Fallback Module is connected with the following one by being part of the previous Module's Fallback:

  1. Fallback 2/3 is the Fallback Module for Fallback 1/3 
  2. Fallback 3/3 is the Fallback Module for Fallback 2/3

Looking at each Fallback Module's Connections will make this configuration clearer.

Create ticket with new/ preliminary question

If the user prefers support through a ticket, one will be created. This passes the preliminary question from your chatbot to the Zendesk environment. If no preliminary question exists yet, it will be captured in the Module <md>Create ticket with new question.

Necessary Webhook:
Find the <wh>Zendesk Support Create Ticket Webhook Template on the Webhook Marketplace and use it in the Modules <md>Create ticket with preliminary question and <md>Create ticket with new question.

Follow the instructions provided at the top of the Webhook template.

Update ticket

In case end users wish to add comments to the newly created ticket, it can easily be done in this Module.

Necessary Webhook:
Find the <wh>Zendesk Support Update Ticket Webhook Template on the Webhook Marketplace and use it in this Module.

Follow the instructions provided at the top of the Webhook template.

Check chat availability

For end users who prefer chat support, a webhook will first check if any agents are available. If true, the bot will perform a handover to your chat department.

Necessary Webhook:
Find the <wh>Zendesk Chat Agent Availability Webhook Template on the Webhook Marketplace and use it in this Module before the chat handover.
Follow the instructions provided at the top of the Webhook template.

Agent available

If any agents are available, the end user will need to confirm the chat before the handover is triggered.

Necessary Webhook:
Find the <wh>Zendesk Chat Handover to Agent Webhook Template on the Webhook Marketplace and use it in this Module's first connection.
Follow the instructions provided at the top of the Webhook Template.

Bot takeover

When an agent ends the chat, you can set the bot to jump back into the conversation and take over by following these simple steps:

  1. Open Bot Settings via the right sidebar menu on your canvas and click Bot Takeover.
  2. Create a connection that "If the ClaimEnd value sent by the API to give back the control to the Bot" exactly match HumanAgentExit go to Bot Takeover.

To check if the Webhooks have been executed correctly, we recommend you insert "Real Fallbacks". Read the article "Real Fallback" for Webhook Failure to learn more.

Global Connections configuration

If you are in doubt about the general functionality of Global Connections, learn more about it in our article "Basic insights on Global Connections".

Note that in the Support Bot Template, Module Connections are preferred over Global Connections. This means that Global Connections are triggered if no Module Connection applies to the input provided by the specific end user or system (in case of third-party integrations).

The Basic Zendesk Bot will understand the following basic Intents at any point of the conversation if Global Connections are not deactivated:

  • "Goodbye"
  • "Hello"
  • "Speak to a Human"