Zendesk and Slack Integration with Thena [Ultimate Playbook]

September 27, 2022

Are you using the Zendesk platform as the ticketing support tool, but your B2B customers are on Slack? Is this creating unnecessary friction and frustration for your customers and support agents? Worry not; there’s a solution—the Zendesk and Slack integration.

Integrating both platforms can pay off immediately, allowing you to leverage the powerful customer service capabilities of Zendesk with the real-time communication of Slack.

So, if you’re wondering how to integrate Slack and Zendesk, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we'll delve deeper into the benefits of this integration, particularly in terms of in-context conversational ticketing. We'll also discuss the drawbacks of native integration solutions and how to overcome them using Thena. Finally, we'll provide a step-by-step guide on integrating Zendesk and Slack with Thena.

Overview of Zendesk and Slack Integration

Slack-Zendesk integration is a process that connects two platforms for easier and faster customer management. By combining the communication capabilities of Slack with the ticketing and support features of Zendesk, teams can efficiently collaborate and manage customer inquiries in real time.

Four Benefits of Zendesk and Slack Integration

1. Enhanced Customer Experience

Your customers are already on Slack. So, it makes perfect sense to manage them via this channel while your agents stay on Zendesk. If both sides are happy, it’s a win-win, right?

Managing your customers on Slack means you can provide more immediate support. According to a survey by HubSpot, 90% of customers expect a fast response when they have an issue.

Thus, by integrating Zendesk and Slack, customer-facing teams can communicate more effectively, leading to faster response times, increased productivity, and higher customer satisfaction. The integration enables seamless team collaboration, resulting in a more positive overall customer experience.

2. Increased Support Productivity

Another benefit is that the integration can streamline the support process, significantly increasing support productivity. How? It’s simple. 

The integration allows you to automate manual tasks and provide a centralized platform for customer support. This way, teams can handle more inquiries in less time.

3. Improved Cross-Department Collaboration

One study found that 40% of US companies struggle to improve customer experience due to poor interdepartmental collaboration.

That said, Slack-Zendesk integration is a perfect solution that enables cross-department collaboration. Teams can take accountability for customer requests, redirect inquiries to the appropriate members, and follow up on unanswered customer messages. All of this can foster a team mentality, becoming a daily routine for all customer-facing team members.

4. Ownership of Customer Requests

Finally, integrating Zendesk with Slack can also foster a sense of ownership among customer-facing teams by enabling them to take charge of customer requests and follow up on them efficiently. Handling all inquiries via Slack equals more visibility, ensuring no customer requests go unanswered.

So, what's the best way to integrate Zendesk with Slack, you may ask? 

You have the option to utilize built-in integrations or explore third-party solutions, both of which entail their own nuances. Below, we’ll examine these in further detail.

Common Problems with Native Integrations

Naturally, companies that seek to integrate Zendesk with Slack will first explore native solutions. In this case, it’s the Zendesk App for Slack. Nonetheless, they are likely to encounter (or have already encountered) several challenges with it, which we outline below.

1. The Bi-directional Integration Does Not Exist

One of the issues businesses face with the Zendesk App for Slack is that they want their support team to be in Zendesk and their customers to remain on Slack. This requires a deep bi-directional integration which includes rich text, bullets, gifs, and attachments. None of these are supported in the native Zendesk app for Slack. 

2. No Capability to Configure and Automate Support Requests 

There is also no capability to configure and automate support requests to go directly to Zendesk.

3. Tricky White-labeling

Setting up a white-label branded portal is another difficulty many companies encounter. What's worse, the consumer feels like a bot is responding rather than a human.

4. Noisy

It is also impossible to configure Zendesk to be silent and come on only when you want it to.

5. Severely Restricted Natural Language Processing Capabilities

The Zendesk App for Slack offers extremely limited Natural Language Processing (NLP) features for ticket creation and the ability to flag potential requests.

Advantages of Using Thena’s Zendesk Integration

Given the limitations of native APIs, it becomes clear that businesses should explore third-party solutions. And that’s where Thena comes in.

Thena not only overcomes the obstacles mentioned above but also enables seamless integration of Zendesk tickets with Slack—all to empower agents to provide high-touch conversational support via customers’ preferred channel of communication (Slack).

Take a look at the video where Jared Gaynes from our GTM team discusses the Zendesk Slack integration.

Let’s unpack some of the main Thena’s benefits.

Easy Ticket Creation

When your customer asks a question in Slack, a Zendesk ticket gets created within Slack at the click of a button. If you forget to create a ticket, the Smart Inbox function leverages Intent Recognition models and ensures the message is highlighted as a suggested request.

Streamlined Management of the Entire Ticket Lifecycle

The fully functional Slack-Zendesk integration enables support agents to handle the whole ticket lifecycle within one platform—Zendesk.

Thena facilitates the ticket lifecycle (Open>Pending>Close, for example) and allows for escalations and sharing of rich text, attachments, gifs, bullet points, and hyperlinks. Therefore, you no longer have to worry about the communication flow between Slack and Zendesk.

Straightforward Tracking of a Customer Request

As a customer-facing representative, you can stay in Slack and track the progress of a customer request (or across past customer interactions). If you need to escalate a request internally, Thena can also accommodate that.

Kanban Board for Visual Organization of Support Tickets

Thena also supports the Kanban board function, which lets you see all Zendesk tickets at the customer or organization level. In addition, the customer is also tagged in Zendesk.

CSAT Feature

Thena also has a CSAT function. This means that when you interact with your client through their preferred tool (Slack), they are more inclined to provide feedback.

CSAT response collection directly in Slack

Noiseless and White-labeled

Thena is set up to be noiseless and does not let the customer know that the reply is coming from an app. Instead, your support agent’s name and image appear normal, so you can give your customers the white-glove treatment they deserve.

Enhanced Configuration Capabilities

Thena offers enhanced configuration capabilities for your Zendesk and Slack integration, including white-labeling, support agent response customization, and user notification preferences.

Request Escalation

Want to bring everyone on board to solve a customer problem? Thena’s escalation feature allows a customer or team to escalate a request in Slack. Subsequently, the escalation can be visible on Zendesk. Thena will also highlight the action items and send them to Zendesk.

Your CSM is Always in the Loop

Thena simplifies the task of tagging your CSM in Slack when a ticket is created by others, ensuring your CSM stays informed. After all, your CSM is critical to ensuring your customers achieve their desired outcomes with your product and have an exceptional experience with your business.

How to Integrate Slack with Zendesk Using Thena

You’ll be happy to know that Thena’s Zendesk to Slack integration is straightforward. Here’s a step-by-step process on how to set it up.1.

  1. First, sign up for Thena and add it to your Slack workspace.
  2. Once you’re in, navigate to the ‘Settings’ section and click ‘Integrations.’
  3. From the integrations list, select Zendesk.
  4. On the next screen, you’ll see various configuration preferences, including enabling the bi-directional flow of messages and setting an initial default response. Choose the most appropriate settings for your use case.
  5. Once you’ve configured your preferences, click the ‘Save’ button.

For more detailed instructions, you can visit Thena's knowledge base.

Best Practices for Using Slack-Zendesk Integration

As you’ve seen, integrating the two platforms through Thena can offer several advantages. However, to ensure a successful implementation and an optimal experience for both your customers and internal teams, it is crucial to follow best practices.

So, we suggest paying attention to the following settings:

  • Customize the appearance of replies from Zendesk support agents in Slack. You can choose between the agent's personal or company profiles.
  • Establish an initial default response to automatically acknowledge customers’ inquiries on Slack.
  • Use the CSAT feature to gauge customer feedback and enhance your customer service operations.

Zendesk, Slack, and Merge: The Ultimate B2B SaaS Formula

In today's cutthroat B2B SaaS world, keeping customers and providing top-notch support is key. Luckily, blending Zendesk, Slack, and makes a winning formula. This mix boosts customer care, smooths out processes, and provides deep insights. Here's a quick look at what each brings to the table and how ramps up their combined power:

Zendesk: The Hub of Customer Service:

  • Central Hub for Tickets: Zendesk shines as a one-stop shop for juggling all sorts of customer interactions, from emails and calls to social media and now, even Slack. It's all about making life easier with smart ticket sorting, handing them off, and keeping tabs on progress.
  • Self-Help Treasure Trove: Zendesk boosts businesses by letting them craft detailed help archives. This means customers can quickly solve their puzzles without always needing a live person, cutting down on the queue for help desks.
  • Stats and Insights: With Zendesk, companies get a clear picture of the nuts and bolts of customer service - from how fast tickets are closed and how happy folks are, to how the support team is doing. It's all about using numbers to make things better, bit by bit.

Slack: Unleashing Teamwork

Slack, the go-to app for teamwork. It streamlines communication, making collaborations seamless. A powerhouse for projects, it connects everyone effortlessly. It's where ideas flow and tasks get done. Simple, yet mighty.

  • Real-time Communication: Slack facilitates seamless real-time communication within teams and across departments through dedicated channels, voice and video calls, and instant messaging. This fosters collaboration, information sharing, and faster problem-solving.
  • Improved Internal Visibility: With dedicated channels for specific Zendesk queues, teams gain real-time visibility into ongoing support activities, allowing for better coordination and resource allocation.
  • Cultural Enhancement: Slack's informal and interactive nature can foster a more open and collaborative work environment, potentially boosting team morale and engagement. Your AI Boost: smoothly connects with Zendesk and Slack, adding a smart layer that boosts their functions with features designed for B2B SaaS firms.

  • Ticket Automation: turns Slack chats into Zendesk tickets with zero manual effort, making things smoother.
  • Understanding Moods: It gets the vibe of customer chats, helping teams spot and sort out the urgent ones feeling the heat, aiming to flip frowns upside down.
  • Chat-based Tickets: With, ticket talks happen right in Slack, keeping it chill and friendly for chat-savvy customers.
  • Smart Sorting: has a knack for sending questions to the right help desk hero, based on what they know, how busy they are, and their track record, speeding up solutions.
  • Ready-made Routines: It's got a toolbox for the usual customer hellos, collecting the basics, or tagging the right team tag, cutting down on the click-work.
  • In-depth Insights: Beyond usual stats, dishes the dirt with deep dives into team vibes, customer paths, and brainy forecasts for stepping up the game.

Merging Zendesk, Slack, and lets B2B SaaS firms build a strong system. It boosts top-notch customer service, eases chat and teamwork, and offers key lessons for ongoing betterment. This smart mix helps companies stand out with great customer journeys. It leads to better customer keeping and steady growth in a tough B2B market.

Pros of Zendesk Slack Integration for Customer Success Teams using Zendesk:

Supercharge Customer Experience:

  • Effortless Help: Answer customer questions right in Slack, their go-to channel. This way, there's no hopping between apps or waiting on emails. Responses come quicker, making everyone happier.
  • Stop Problems Early: Use sentiment analysis (thanks to to catch when customers start feeling frustrated in Slack chats. Addressing concerns early keeps small problems from blowing up and shows you're paying attention.
  • Help Customers Help Themselves: By linking your Zendesk knowledge base with Slack (with, customers can sort out issues on their own. This lightens your team's load and lets them tackle the trickier stuff, all while customers learn to be more self-reliant.
  • A Personal Touch: Pull up detailed customer history and context straight from Slack when answering questions. This means each reply feels tailored specifically to them, strengthening your connection with customers.

Boost Team Productivity and Collaboration:

  • Workflow Zen Achieved: Cut through the noise by handling Zendesk tickets, teaming up with colleagues, and chatting with customers right in Slack. Saves time and amps up productivity.
  • Tickets Made Easy: Turn Slack chats into Zendesk tickets without the manual hassle. Lets agents dive into solving problems, not paperwork.
  • Quick Fixes with Smart Routing: Use smart routing (even smarter with to get tickets to the experts. The right hands tackle the issues, speeding up solutions and making customers happier.
  • Team Harmony: With mentions, notes, and sharing files, collaboration is a breeze. Keeps the team tight, solving problems faster and making smarter moves together.

Enhanced Visibility and Communication:

  • Real-time Awareness: Gain instant notifications about new tickets, updates, and customer messages directly in Slack. This ensures your team stays informed of critical issues, allowing for faster response times and improved customer satisfaction.
  • Holistic Customer Journey: View all customer interactions (Slack and Zendesk) in one centralized location. This provides a holistic view of the customer journey, empowering your team to personalize interactions and predict customer needs effectively.
  • Improved Team Awareness: Keep your entire customer success team informed about customer issues and progress through real-time updates and discussions within Slack. Foster strong team spirit, knowledge sharing, and collaboration, leading to more effective support strategies.

Unlock Additional Power with

  • Streamline with Automation: Cut down on routine tasks in Zendesk through automation, like instant canned responses or field updates courtesy of It gives agents more room for key projects and complex chats.
  • Magic with Macros: Whip up custom macros via for swift task automation in Zendesk, letting agents tackle complicated steps in a click. It smooths out the workflow, pushing agent productivity.
  • Insight through Data: Leverage live data and analysis (boosted by for a peek into customer patterns, agent output, and team success. Spot improvement opportunities, refine strategies for customer triumph, and up your service game.
  • Chatbots with AI: Tackle simple questions and cut down on ticket numbers by integrating AI chatbots in Slack for straightforward customer queries and needs (thanks to This lets agents zero in on intricate problems and tailored interactions.
  • Ready-Made Ticket Templates: Employ preset templates (from for usual customer concerns, trimming down on initial data input and quickening resolution pace.
  • Tailored SLA Management: Customize your Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for varied ticket urgencies with, ensuring fast replies and fulfilling diverse customer issue expectations.
  • Auto Reminders for Follow-up: Stay on top of things with automatic reminders (from for tickets lagging behind or pending customer reactions. This maintains dialogue flow and guarantees timely issue resolution.

Cons of Using Zendesk Without Slack for Customer Success Teams

Zendesk's platform excels at handling support tickets. Yet, linking it with Slack can boost your customer team's efficiency and performance notably. Here's what your team could be overlooking:

Reduced Customer Satisfaction:

  • Delayed Replies: Sole reliance on email or phone might slow down responses, irking customers awaiting swift solutions. Slack paves the way for instant chats, ensuring quicker issue sorting.
  • Dull Interactions: Exchanges over email or phone can come off as distant. Slack, on the other hand, promises lively, back-and-forth conversations that boost customer happiness.
  • Limited Ahead-of-time Issue Handling: Spotting possible customer issues through email or phone talk is tough. However, with's sentiment analysis, now part of Slack, you can catch problems early, preventing bigger headaches.

Decreased Team Productivity:

  • Workflow Bottlenecks: Switching between Zendesk and other communication platforms can disrupt workflow and reduce agent productivity. Slack integration allows centralized communication within a familiar interface.
  • Manual Data Entry: Manually creating tickets from emails or phone calls is time-consuming. Slack integration with Zendesk (both native and can automate ticket creation, freeing up agent time.
  • Limited Collaboration: Internal communication regarding tickets might be slow and cumbersome without Slack. Features like mentions and channels facilitate seamless collaboration within your customer success team.

Restricted Visibility and Communication:

  • Choppy Customer Insight: Without Slack's ties, piecing together customer talking points (be they emails or calls) becomes a challenge. This muddles the path to grasping the full customer experience.
  • Risk of Knowledge Cages: Crucial bits of customer knowledge risk being locked away in emails or call records, out of reach for the team. Slack bridges gaps, ensuring all are clued in.
  • On-the-Back-Foot Customer Help: Without a pulse on customer convo trends via immediate data, pinpointing shifts is tough. Integrating with Slack for sentiment checks shifts support from reactive to proactive, using live feedback.

Missing Out on's Advantages:

  • Basic Automation Only: Zendesk has simple automation tools. goes further, offering automated workflows and macro automation to cut down on repetitive tasks, boosting agent efficiency within Zendesk.
  • Lacks AI Support: brings AI-driven chatbots to the table for handling straightforward questions and reducing ticket numbers, allowing agents to focus on more complex issues. Zendesk, on the other hand, needs an extra step to integrate chatbots.
  • Fewer Self-Service Choices: Zendesk lets you create a knowledge base, but takes it up a notch by linking it with Slack for seamless access, giving customers a better chance to solve their own problems.
  • Limited in SLA Management: For advanced SLA management, Zendesk might fall short, requiring more tools., however, lets you tailor SLA creation to fit various ticket priorities.
  • Manual Follow-ups Required: Zendesk depends on the traditional method of manually following up on late tickets., in contrast, has an auto follow-up feature to prompt responses and maintain the flow of conversation.

Side-by-Side Comparison: vs. Zendesk Features for Ticket Management

Automatic Ticket CreationFrom various channels (email, chat, etc.)Limited; primarily manual creation
Sentiment AnalysisAnalyzes customer communication for urgency and frustrationNot available
Smart Routing & AssignmentRoutes tickets to most qualified agentsBasic routing based on pre-defined rules
Automated WorkflowsTriggers actions based on ticket criteriaLimited workflow automation available in higher plans
AI-powered ChatbotsHandles basic inquiries and deflects ticketsRequires integration with separate chatbot platform
Self-Service Knowledge Base IntegrationSuggests relevant articles to customers and agentsKnowledge Base creation and management included, but integration features may require add-ons
Collaboration ToolsBuilt-in chat, notes, and mentionsCollaboration tools available, but may vary by plan
Real-time Reporting & AnalyticsProvides insights into ticket trends and agent performanceReporting and analytics available, but may require add-ons for advanced features
Pre-filled Ticket TemplatesOffers pre-defined templates for faster creationLimited templating options
Macro AutomationAutomates repetitive tasks within ZendeskLimited macro functionality
Customizable SLA ManagementSets SLAs for different ticket prioritiesRequires add-on for advanced SLA management
Automatic Follow-up RemindersTriggers reminders for overdue ticketsRequires manual intervention or custom development
Customer Satisfaction SurveysCaptures post-interaction feedbackRequires integration with separate survey tool

Key Insights into Zendesk and Slack Integration via

1. How does enhance communication between Zendesk and Slack? acts as a bridge between Zendesk and Slack by:

  • Converting Slack chats to Zendesk tickets.
  • Providing real-time updates in both platforms.
  • Enabling collaboration features within Slack.
  • Automating repetitive tasks across both platform

2. Can automate tasks within Zendesk and Slack?  

Yes, automates tasks in Zendesk (canned responses, field updates) and triggers Zendesk actions (ticket creation) based on Slack events.

3. Are there customization options for notifications in Slack via    

Yes, offers features like workflows and channel routing that suggest customization options for notifications in Slack.

4. Does support real-time updates from Zendesk to Slack?

Yes, real-time updates are supported.

5. Are there any limitations to the types of Zendesk tickets can handle? should work with all standard Zendesk ticket types. Limitations might arise with:

  • Custom Zendesk features requiring extra configuration.
  • Advanced workflows needing a paid plan.

6. How does the integration improve team collaboration?  

The Zendesk-Slack integration with improves team collaboration in several ways:

  • Direct Chats on Tickets: Updates and chats about tickets happen right in Slack channels. No more separate chats or lost information.
  • Easy @Mentions: You can quickly bring in teammates (@username) into Slack threads for help or advice.
  • File Sharing in Threads: Share files and resources needed for the ticket straight into Slack threads. This makes working together easier.
  • Live Updates for All: Ticket progress and conversations are visible to everyone in real-time in Slack channels. This keeps things transparent and everyone up-to-date.

Overall, streamlines communication and information sharing within Slack, promoting a more collaborative environment for your customer support team.

7. How does deal with Slack's conversational threads? uses Slack threads to its advantage:

  • Captures full threads for context in Zendesk tickets.
  • Analyzes sentiment across the entire conversation.
  • Links tickets back to Slack threads for better collaboration.

This helps agents understand issues better, prioritize effectively, and work together seamlessly within Slack.

8. Can the integration prioritize certain Zendesk tickets in Slack?

Yes, the Zendesk-Slack integration with can prioritize tickets in Slack.'s smart routing ensures critical tickets reach the right agent quickly, and notifications for these tickets can be directed to designated Slack channels for faster team awareness. Additionally, sentiment analysis can help prioritize tickets based on urgency reflected in customer conversations within Slack.  This prioritization happens indirectly within Slack, but allows your team to address critical issues first.

9. Are there any cost implications for implementing the integration?

Implementing with Zendesk and Slack likely incurs costs through a subscription and potentially additional Zendesk add-ons for advanced features. However, consider the potential return on investment - increased efficiency, improved customer satisfaction, and cost savings from faster resolutions - might outweigh the initial cost.

10. Why merge Zendesk with Slack?

Boosts reply speed, enhances teamwork, smooths operations

11. Can Zendesk tickets start from Slack?

Yes, use native or for message to ticket conversion

12. How to route Zendesk alerts to specific Slack channels?

Set up rules to match notifications with ticket details, works with native and

13. Is chatting within Slack about Zendesk issues possible?

Direct replies might need Zendesk access, but supports in-Slack chat

14. Searching Zendesk tickets in Slack?

Yes,, let you search tickets within Slack

15. Zendesk-Slack connection limits?

Free editions could restrict features or data amount

16. How to ace Zendesk via Slack?

Map out processes, use ready-made messages, push for team play Integration Specific:

1. What sets apart in the Zendesk Slack combo? 

While Zendesk-Slack integrations exist, goes beyond the basics. It leverages AI to automate complex tasks within Zendesk based on triggers from both platforms.'s advanced sentiment analysis goes beyond text, identifying potential frustration in Slack conversations for proactive customer support. It seamlessly integrates Slack features like mentions and file sharing, fostering collaboration. Customization options and a focus on customer experience through features like chatbots and pre-filled templates solidify's position as a powerful Zendesk-Slack integration solution.

2. Can juggle Zendesk tickets from more than Slack? 

Yep, emails, chats, you name it,'s on it.

3. How's sentiment analysis a game-changer in's ticket handling? 

Spots the urgent from the chill, avoiding customer meltdowns.

4. and self-help knowledge: A good match? 

Indeed, sneaks helpful articles to customers and agents alike.

5. How amps up teamwork in Zendesk? 

Chat, notes, shout-outs included.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Occasionally, users may encounter challenges when attempting to connect Slack to Zendesk.

For instance, certain users have reported difficulties in receiving hyperlinked text on Slack when sending messages via Zendesk or experiencing errors with the appearance of their support agent profiles.

Thena was designed with flexibility in mind, meaning it can adapt to various use cases and configurations. However, it is still possible for certain issues to arise due to the complex nature of software integrations.

To help users troubleshoot and resolve common problems related to the integration, we have created a dedicated FAQ page. This resource answers frequently asked questions and may help you overcome obstacles during the integration process.

The Bottom Line

As your organization grows and the demand for meeting your customers where they are (Slack) becomes commonplace, your support teams must be set up for success. 

Using Thena’s integration with Zendesk, support teams are empowered to act as Thena adapts to their internal processes. 

Unlock your team’s productivity now!

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