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Search your knowledge base quickly and easily with Algolia for Zendesk

We’re excited to announce the release of our new Zendesk integration as a part of our community package. This integration adds as-you-type search to your help center in just a few clicks and can be integrated at no cost.

Why do you need a help center?

To quote Zendesk, you need a help center to:

1. Increase customer satisfaction by providing better service and meeting the needs of customers who prefer self-service.
2. Reduce costs and increase efficiency by eliminating repetitive costs so agents can focus on more strategic tasks.
3. Grow your business community and build deeper connections between your company and customers.

6 Tips for Building a Thriving Help Center by Zendesk

What if we told you that with this release, we can help you with both 1 and 2 on this list?

The Algolia Zendesk usecase

At Algolia, the whole technical team handles support because it gives us more insight into the frequently recurring questions and forces all of us to acknowledge our user’s pain points. By sharing their pain, we end up doing everything we can to help them find answers as quickly and easily as possible. Every email not written to support because the users were able to find the answer on their own is a win, for us and for them.

That’s why our documentation and FAQ are both searchable. We even embedded them in our Need help? widget that’s accessible from anywhere on the website.

Why is knowledge base search important?

When users visit your help center, they rarely want to browse it. Instead, they want to find answers to their question(s), as fast as possible. And a good search is an obvious way to help them achieve this. Zendesk’s own help center has a huge search bar to invite you to search before opening a ticket. Unfortunately, with a “type-keywords-press-enter” strategy, you often have to try multiple times before finding the answers you’re looking for.

That’s where Algolia comes into play. By providing as-you-type results, Algolia gives your users instant feedback on the keywords they’re currently typing, allowing them to quickly and easily narrow their search and find the information they need. Reducing friction for your users not only makes them happier but also helps your agents by reducing the number of repetitive questions they have to answer.

How to get started

The Algolia Zendesk integration is easy to install and only requires a few clicks and one copy/paste.

The integration automatically exports your Zendesk articles into your Algolia account and keeps them up-to-date. Not a single line of code needed!

On the front-end side, it adds:

Autocomplete to every search field in your help center

Algolia for Zendesk's autocomplete

Instant capabilities to your search page

Algolia for Zendesk's instant search

But don’t just take our word for it, try it live!
And just in case you missed it the first time—this integration is available for free!

Going further

This integration is actually creating an Algolia index and keeping it up-to-date, which means you can easily add an autocompletion menu using this data anywhere in your website/app without having to manage the indexing.

Finally, the whole code (crawler, JavaScript library and community website) is open-source under the MIT license. Your contributions are very welcome!

Related links:

Get started

  • Sandi Lin

    Love it! Thanks for explaining the advantages over the default Zendesk search. We are going to install this right now.

  • Azuredesk.co

    Our helpdesk http://www.azuredesk.co offers all our customer out of the box Algolia search in the customers portal as well as internal search.

  • Vladan Jovic

    Could I remove algolia from the Search page but leave autocomplete on this page?
    Tip from docs doesn’t work for me.
    ‘We do not index community forums for now. If you’re using them, you’ll probably want to disable instantsearch by setting enabled: false and just use the auto-complete feature.’

    • Matthieu Dumont

      Hi Vladan, you’re right, we had a small bug here, still disabling the autocomplete on the search page when instantsearch.enabled was set to false.
      The new version is now released (see https://github.com/algolia/algoliasearch-zendesk/blob/master/CHANGELOG.md )
      Can you try clearing your cache and trying again ? 🙂

      • Vladan Jovic

        Will try that, thanks!

  • Vladan Jovic

    One more question please. On the Search page on the left aside bar we have list of categories. Could I here put sections instand of categs (have only one category)?

    Thanks!
    Your plugin rocks on ZD!

    • Matthieu Dumont

      Hi again Vladan,
      I thought you wanted to disable our search page on your Help Center ? 🙂
      Have you noticed that by clicking on the Category, you’ll have the sections list displayed?

      We can actually use this to our advantage here. This setting is saved in the URL when you select an option, but this also means we can redirect to an URL with this Category refined:


      if (window.location.pathname.match(//search$/) && window.location.search.indexOf(encodeURIComponent('hFR[category.title][0]')) === -1) {
      var param = encodeURIComponent('hFR[category.title][0]');
      var value = encodeURIComponent('FAQ');
      if (window.location.search === '') {
      window.location.search = '?' + param + '=' + value;
      } else {
      window.location.search += '&' + param + '=' + value;
      }
      }

      Put this in your Document Head template before the call to algoliasearchZendeskHC for instance, and replace “FAQ” by your actual category name.

      • Vladan Jovic

        Hey, sorry for confusion! 🙂
        I’m ZD dev and works with many ZD accounts. Thanks for the reply, will try that!

        #Have you noticed that by clicking on the Category, you’ll have the sections list displayed?#
        – I didn’t :0 , perfect, thanks!

        • Matthieu Dumont

          Awesome, I’m glad you like using it! Don’t hesitate to contact us on our new Discourse https://discourse.algolia.com/ if you have other questions, we don’t check out Disqus as much. 🙂