Use Case

Empowering support agents to resolve customer complaints

Empowering support agents to efficiently resolve customer complaints with seamless processing of refunds, replacement orders and quick retrieval of product information, all from the Zendesk Agent workspace.


Many customer-centric retailers are determined to elevate their customer support experience, no matter the type of customer query. They want their customer support team to be able to efficiently handle common customer complaints, execute refunds, create replacement orders, and retrieve accurate product information without leaving the Zendesk Agent Workspace. The Zendesk Developer Platform presents the perfect opportunity to create a custom app that solves these common customer queries.

Empower Support Agents


Acme Ltd, an online electronics retailer, has found that customers are getting frustrated with the time taken to resolve complaints and requests related to product replacements and refunds. As a solution, Acme wants agents to handle complaints by processing replacement orders and refunds independently and as efficiently as possible. Each agent will be assigned a threshold for approving replacements or refunds themselves. They should strive to do this during the first point of contact by a customer, in real-time, to minimize customer wait and time resolution.

The ideal solution is to embed an app inside Zendesk Support, so the agent can see the relevant order, product and refund information while working on a customer ticket, without leaving Zendesk Support.


  • Improve customer satisfaction by providing agents access to all the information they need in the context of the customer ticket and therefore acting to resolve the situation more quickly.
  • Enhance CX with refunds being initiated directly from the customer's support ticket, removing the need for customers to navigate to different platforms and engage with multiple teams to resolve their request.
  • Gain operational insights that will benefit your business by centralizing all refunds are within Zendesk. Insights could include common refund reasons and related patterns, which may play a pivotal role in making informed business decisions.
  • Increase agent efficiency in your workflow as refunds are issued directly within the Agent Workspace, eliminating the need for agents to navigate between Zendesk, an eCommerce system, and inventory management system. This efficiency also extends to agents handling a higher volume of cases in less time, enhancing overall efficiency and productivity.

What you’ll use

  • Zendesk Apps Framework v2 powers the development of the app, which will reside in the ticket sidebar in Zendesk Support
  • Zendesk Garden for the styling of the app
  • APIs for the eCommerce system (for example, Shopify) used for managing orders and issuing of refunds



Determine the core functions that the app should deliver to support agents in order to empower them. This might include:

  • Data to be displayed in the app, such as different forms depending on the type of complaint
  • How data will be looked up in the external system, whether this is dynamically retrieved based on a match of a pre-set criteria or a manual look-up can be done by the agent
  • Actions to be performed from the app, such as being able to create a refund or issue a replacement product, look up existing refund or replacement status

Design the user interface

After you determine the required functionality to get your agents the information they need within the Agent Workspace, you can design the custom app interface. This might include various screens and information related to complaint handling and resolution. For example:

  • basic customer information
  • product information
  • create refund or product replacement
  • view complaint resolution status
  • additional modals to allow agents to view more information in a larger interface

Develop your custom sidebar app

Build your app using your standard development process, leveraging the Zendesk Apps Framework and the guidance provided here.

Test and deploy app

You can use the ZAT tool to run your app locally for testing purposes. Make sure your app's functionality, design, and data retrieval are working as expected. Once your app is working correctly, package it using the ZAT tool. Install the app in your Zendesk account or a Zendesk sandbox environment and test it within Zendesk Support.

Publish and distribute (optional)

Consider submitting your app to the Zendesk Marketplace, which will allow other customers to discover and install your app to solve similar use cases.

Post-Implementation agent experience

Following the implementation of your custom sidebar app in Support, agents can:

  • Understand customer complaint: A new ticket may be from a customer complaining about their recent electronics purchase not working as expected. Along with the context provided in the ticket, the agent can utilize additional data from the new sidebar app to understand the customer’s complaint history, previous refund requests, and information regarding the electronic product they purchased.
  • Resolve complaint and issue customer refund: Agents use the app to offer the customer a choice of replacing the product or giving them a refund on the spot. With both options, the app’s workflow will walk the agent through the relevant information required to resolve the complaint as the customer requested.


Zendesk Apps Framework - Getting started with ZAF
Learn how to build an app for Zendesk - Zendesk App Quick Start
Zendesk command line - Using ZCLI
Support app locations - Sidebar apps in Support