Zendesk is a software for customer communications, based around a ticket system introduced in 2018. It combines messages from social media, e-mails, live chat, and other forms of correspondence into a Dashboard or a user panel. Its user interface, to provide user-friendliness and a neat look, strongly resembles an e-mail client. Moreover, users must provide their e-mail addresses, regardless of how they choose to communicate. For that reason, customers, representatives, and Zendesk itself often use the terms “tickets” and “e-mails” interchangeably. With that said, let’s get into how to recover deleted emails from Zendesk.
1. Recover deleted emails from Zendesk as an agent
Here are 5 ways to recover erased emails from Zendesk as a support team agent:
1. Undo a ticket deletion quickly
While this one won’t work right now, it can prevent further disasters. Whenever you delete a ticket, there’s a pop-up message notifying you: “Ticket #number successfully deleted.”. It lets you click on Undo to revert the action within a couple of seconds.
2. Check whether the email was even deleted
One common source of missing (but not deleted) emails is them being hidden by accident or by another agent. To check, do this:
- Open your Activity feed.
- In the top left corner, click on Displaying X activity types.
- Note. X represents their number.
- Make sure there’s a checkmark in front of Emails.
3. Check the Deleted tickets category
Before we start, know that emails i.e. tickets cannot be deleted by just about anyone. Instead, organization leaders must grant permission to individual Customer Service representative accounts to do so. If you determined that you could, follow these instructions to recover deleted emails from the Zendesk Deleted tickets section:
- Open the Zendesk Dashboard.
- In the left sidebar, click on the Views icon.
- Click on Deleted tickets.
- At this point, you can only see the ID, Subject, time of erasure, and who deleted it, but not the contents of the email.
- Put a checkmark in front of the emails you want to recover.
- Click on Restore X ticket in the upper right corner.
- Note. X represents the number of selected emails.
- The tickets are back in the regular Tickets section, where you can see them fully.
- To see it in e-mail form, hover over the ticket comment.
- Switch to HTML or Source tab, and optionally, click on Download source or Download HTML.
One thing to note
Many agents run into the following error: “Suspended ticket could not be recovered: Failed recovering suspended ticket ID: X”. The problem lies in one of these 2 things:
- The account that sent the e-mail was suspended. You must unsuspend the user account first.
- The person who sent the email did it from a support address, e.g., [email protected]. You must individually recover the e-mail, or change their e-mail address to a non-support address first.
How long are tickets stored?
If the email was sent over their ticketing system, or as part of the Zendesk Sell service, the company stores it on their servers for 40 days. However, if it’s part of live chat, it remains on their servers for up to 120 days. Keep in mind that this applies to structured data, i.e. data viewable to subscribers during the active service. For unstructured data i.e., data only viewable on the back-end, as part of search indices, backups, or logs, emails remain in storage for 90 days both as tickets or live chat. Manual backups can extend this period for up to 130 days but are only accessible to organization leaders.
4. Download ticket data
Zendesk keeps Archived tickets for 120 days after they’re marked as Closed. We’re saying this because larger companies often leverage AI to close tickets automatically. Ergo, the email you need might not be deleted; the system merely filed it away. Best of all, the following data will contain both deleted and archived tickets, so you’ll get results regardless. Follow these steps to leverage Zendesk REST API to retrieve erased emails:
- Click the Admin icon (cogwheel) in the left sidebar.
- Go to Manage, then Reports.
- Click on the Export tab.
- You now have 3 data export format options: JSON, CSV, and XML.
- Click on the Request file next to the desired option. Choose either JSON or XML, since CSV doesn’t include erased tickets.
- A background process will begin. You’ll receive an e-mail notification and a download link at the end.
- The download link is valid for at least 3 days. However, you can generate a new one instantly by clicking on Latest beside the option you chose in step 5.
5. Reinstate your account
While a Customer user account cannot be erased with pending tickets, deleted ones don’t affect the process. Zendesk will store all data for 90 days, upon proving the ownership, either export it for you or help you reactivate the account. Best of all, there’s a multitude of ways to contact the Zendesk Customer Advocates team.
2. Restore erased emails from Zendesk as a customer
As a user of Zendesk services, you’ll primarily rely on Zendesk agents. On top of that, your actions can make things worse, such as if you delete (not deactivate) your account. In that case, all email conversations are wiped, and an agent must use one of the methods we mentioned above to retrieve them. Therefore, you have 2 main options to restore erased Zendesk emails as a customer:
Check your e-mail provider
Like we mentioned, entering an email address was a mandatory field, whether you sent a real-time message or an asynchronous one. It’s unlikely that sent messages are preserved unless you sent a direct e-mail to the Zendesk support email address. Fortunately, a copy of the representative’s replies likely will. Ergo, you should log in to the e-mail client and rummage through your Inbox.
Reach out to the company’s Customer Support
While deleted tickets do not appear in “Insights” and “Explore” reports (by default), ticket ID is remains noted in the company’s “Reporting overview”, even if the contents are missing. In other words, if you act within the time constraints we mentioned, Customer Service representatives for the organization might restore the ticket and forward a copy to you.