Quick Start Guide: Set up Desk.com in 1 Hour

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This quick start guide walks you through how to configure the key productivity tools in Desk.com. Within this guide, there are links to other articles that show specific steps and offer more information to customize your setup to best fit your organization. If you prefer reviewing this content alongside a video, we've included links to recordings of our Admin I and Admin II webinars which cover a variety of Desk.com administration and set up topics to help you get started.

Add Users

Agents are your customer support reps. Within Desk.com, you can add Agents, define their permission levels, and organize them into groups. For this setup, the permission levels we'll use are Agent and Administrator. 

An Agent runs your day-to-day support such as responding to Cases. An Administrator configures Desk.com such as defining roles and privileges, creating Filters, and managing the Support Center.


  1. Go to AdminTeamUsersAdd User
  2. The Add New User popup appears where you configure details for the new agent.

To learn more about Agent permissions, see Access Levels.

Pro-tip: Once you've added a user, that user will receive an email from Desk.com encouraging them to log in and set their password. If you would prefer to configure Desk.com first before having users login, you can return to this step at any time to add the rest of your users.


Admin PanelTeam > Groups

You can organize team members into Groups within Desk.com to classify Agents how you see fit. Groups allow you to incorporate workflows that take actions on multiple Agents at once. Let's say for example you want your frontline support to handle all "lost password" Cases. You will create a Group called "Frontline" and add your frontline support Agents as members. Diving deeper into this example, you can have a setup where all Cases created and labeled with "lost password" or contain the keywords "lost password" will be designated to the entire frontline support Group. For this setup, we won’t be adding any additional groups because there are already default groups in Desk.com for you.

Whenever you create groups, make sure to add your Agents to the group.

Add Channels

You can add different channels such as Email, Facebook, and Twitter to Desk.com. Once connected, you can track interactions from these Channels as Cases in Desk.com.


Admin Panel > ChannelsEmailInbound Mailbox 

We issue a dedicated Desk.com mailbox when you sign up as part of your subscription. It has the domain @yoursite.desk-mail.com but you can change that to your domain. Emails sent to this address will create Cases and you can reply using this address. You can add both your support@yourdomain.com and sales@yourdomain.com directly to Desk.com by adding a new inbound mailbox. Or, you can set up email forwarding on these mailboxes to direct all mail to support@yoursite.desk-mail.com.



Admin PanelChannelsFacebook

Connect your Facebook to Desk.com to create Cases from new messages, wall posts, and comments. This gives Agents the ability to respond to all wall posts and direct messages via the Agent Desktop. With Desk.com, Agents can easily see a customer’s Facebook post along with their other Cases in the customer’s history.


  1. Go to Admin > Channels > Facebook
  2. Click Add Facebook Page
  3. You will see a list of the Facebook pages that are linked to your account. Select the Facebook Page that you want to bring into Desk.com by selecting the checkbox. You can also select if you want to bring in the current posts on your page by checking the “Import Old Posts” box.
  4. Click Add Facebook Pages


Admin PanelChannelsTwitter

Connect your Twitter to Desk.com to turn your tweets into Cases. Customer tweets will also be in their history so Agents can better understand the full context of an issue when replying. This gives Agents the ability to track all incoming and outgoing tweets directly from their support site.


  1. Go to AdminChannelsTwitter >Add Twitter Account
  2. Next you, you must authorize the Desk.com app with Twitter. If you're already logged in to Twitter, the Authorize app button will appear. Confirm that you're authorizing the correct Twitter account. If you're not currently logged into your Twitter account, you will be prompted to log in as part of the authorization process.
  3. Once you've authorized the Desk.com app, you'll be taken back to your Desk.com account to finish the process to add your account. The final prompt gives you the option to enable or disable the Twitter account for Desk.com


Admin PanelChannelsPhone

Track your phone conversations in Desk.com and add them to your customer’s Case history.


  1. Click the "new case" button in the top pane.
  2. Select the phone option and search for a customer by name, email, or phone. Click Create Case.
  3. In the bottom right of the Log Call box, select whether it's an outbound or inbound call.
  4. If the customer does not exist, create a new customer. Once you’ve filled out the information for the customer, click the “Create new phone call case for this customer” button.
  5. Capture all the case information in the response box to summarize the conversation you had with the customer, and update the case.

Note: If you'd like to add a Phone Integration, this article outlines the requirements and supported partners and platforms.

Labels: Categorize Your Cases

Admin Panel Cases > Labels

Labels are a great way to tag Cases with important information.

Recommended Label

  1. FAQ Candidate - If an Agent notices that customers are having the same issue, they add the “FAQ Candidate” Label. An article to answer these commonly asked questions should later be added to the Support Center.

Pro-tip: Review your “FAQ Candidate” Labels weekly as a support team and prioritize what content to add or update. This will help you identify new content to add to your Support Center.


Filters: Customize your View

Admin PanelCases > Filters

Filters help Agents organize their work. Think of them as work “queues” for different teams or groups. Your Desk.com site comes with several default Filters and the ability to add new ones.

Filters consist of two main parts: “All Conditions” and “Any Conditions”. For a Case to appear in a Filter it has to meet the criteria for every "All Condition" and at least one "Any Condition".

Recommended Filters

Now you've been introduced to Filters, let’s build out some you’re going to need:

  1. Group’s Queue - This is a “dynamic” Filter that shows all New, Open and Pending Cases assigned to your group but not assigned to an Agent. These are Cases that an Agent needs to work on but are not yet claimed by any Agent in the group. This will also be the primary Filter that your Agents will use.

  1. My Queue - This is a personalized Filter for each Agent. Think of it as an inbox that shows all Cases assigned to that Agent. When an Agent responds to a customer the Case will be assigned to them. If the Customer replies back it will re-open the Case and show up in this Filter for the Agent to then respond back. This is the second Filter that your Agents will use.

  1. All Cases - This Filter shows all Cases in Desk.com. When sorted with the most recently updated Case at the top, Agents can easily go back to the Case they just worked on.

For additional instructions on adding filters, click here

Rules: Automate Your Support

Admin PanelCases > Rules

Rules are the automated part of your workflow. You set them up once rather than performing repeated actions over and over. Rules are based on some type of action taking place in the Case. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of Rules in Desk.com:

  1. Inbound Interaction - This runs when an interaction comes into Desk.com. It could be an email from a client, a tweet, a reply, etc.
  2. Outbound Interaction - This runs when something is outgoing from Desk.com, such as replying to a customer.
  3. Case Created - These run when a new case is created.
  4. Case Opened - These run when a case status changes from New to Opened.
  5. Case Reopened - These run when a case status is changed from Pending or Resolved to Open.
  6. Case Updated - These run whenever there is any update to the case.
  7. Case Pending - These run when a case status is changed to Pending.
  8. Case Resolved - These run when a case status is changed to Resolved.
  9. Case Closed - These run when a case status is changed to Closed.
  10. Time Rule - These run every 15 minutes and are based on time intervals. So, for example, you can have a case status change to Closed 3 days (72 hours) after it’s set to Resolved.

Rules run in the order they’re displayed. Follow this link to learn more about setting up Rules in the Admin Panel.

Recommended Rules

Now that you know how Rules work, let’s build out the ones you’re going to need:

  1. Re-open Pending or Resolved Cases (Inbound Interaction) - This Rule will set the status of a Case back to Open if a customer replies. The Case will then go back into the Agent’s Filter so they know that the customer has more questions.

  1. New Interaction Notification (Inbound Interaction) - This Rule will send a Notification to the assigned Agent when a customer replies. We only recommend that you create this Rule if your Agents are using Desk.com part-time.

  1. Assignment Notification (Case Updated) - This Rule will send a Notification when an Agent assigns a Case to another.

  1. Aging Cases Notification - 48 Hour (Time Rule) - This Rule will send a Notification and add a Label to a Case if it goes 48 hours without being updated.

  1. Aging Cases Notification and Timeout (Time Rule) - The purpose of this Rule is to notify the entire group if a Case has not been responded to in 72 hours. The Rule will also unassign it from an Agent so that it goes back into the group Filter for anyone to respond to.



Congratulations! You made it through the Quick Start Guide! Now you are ready to start supporting customers and exploring the other features to maximize the power of your Desk!

A few considerations:

  • As customers reach out to you through your enabled support channels, the customer and company record objects will be created. If you need to import your customers, review the options suggested here.
  • If you'd like to streamline how your agents reply, check out how to build Macros, which can increase your team's consistency and efficiency on Desk.com. 
  • If you'd like to add additional fields to the case, customer, or company records, learn more about creating custom fields.
  • Want more information on the Agent's point of view? Check out our Agent Console Visual Guide here.
  • Additional customizations are covered in more advanced articles, for example you can customize your email templates or your support center.

As a next step, check out the information on how to use more of Desk's features in our Single Team Setup Guide or Multiple Team Setup Guide.