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Guide to understanding user types and interfaces

We're actively rewriting our user guide, so check back for improved coverage.

Welcome to your Kayako helpdesk! You’re on your way to delivering amazing support to every one of your customers. This guide is designed to help you get familiar with the basics and hit the ground running.

First, let’s make sure you know what you’re working with. By the end of this section, you’ll know how Kayako is organized, where to find each tool and section, and what to do there.

In this section

Meet the user types

There are three (3) types of user in Kayako: admin (that’s you), staff and the end user. Each has their own home:

User type

Their area

Where to find it

Administrator user

Admin control panel

Staff user

Staff control panel

Your customers (end users)

Support center

An admin user is a staff user, but with admin privileges, which means they can access the admin control panel.

You’ll set up most of your helpdesk in the admin control panel. Then you’ll head over to the staff panel to begin handling your customers and resolving tickets.

Meanwhile, your customers can use the support center to browse self-service content, submit new tickets, review their previous tickets and start live chats. The support center is not the only place your customers can reach you, but we’ll get onto that later.

The areas of your helpdesk

Admin control panel

This is where you set up your helpdesk.

An admin user is essentially a staff member with additional privileges. In the admin control panel, they can:

  • Add new teams and staff
  • Create new departments
  • Set permissions, restrictions and rules
  • Customize the support center
  • Add custom statuses, priorities and types
  • Manage rules, workflow and automations

Staff control panel

This is where the magic happens.

Anyone in your team who needs to talk with customers and manage the helpdesk needs a staff user account. Not all staff members are created equally, though. As an admin, you can set rights and restrictions for other staff members.

In the staff control panel, your team can:

  • Correspond with your customers
  • Create tickets (send emails to customers)
  • Manage and resolve tickets
  • Manage customer accounts and organization profiles
  • Publish self-service content to the support center
  • Review live chat transcripts and call recordings
  • Run reports

The support center

This is what the helpdesk looks like to your customers. 


The support center is the customer-facing touchpoint of your helpdesk. In the support center, your customers can:

  • Submit new tickets
  • Track and update their existing tickets
  • Start live chats
  • Get answers from your self-service content

Using the support center is optional: you do not have to force your customers through it. Customers can reach you via the helpdesk through email, live chat widgets and phone without needing to use the support center. Some Kayako customers prefer to make the helpdesk transparent to the customer, others prefer to use the support center and provide a go-to support portal for their customers.

The apps

Kayako Desktop

Kayako Desktop is a Windows application which your team uses to connect to the helpdesk and use Kayako's real time support features: visitor monitoring, live chat and voice.

At this time, Kayako Desktop is available only for Windows, but we are working on Kayako Desktop for Mac. In the meantime, your team can still handle live chats using their favorite IM apps with the Chat Gateway (more below).

Download Kayako Desktop

Kayako Mobile apps

Manage the helpdesk on-the-go with Kayako's native mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android, Android tablet, Windows Phone and yes - even Blackberry.

Get Kayako mobile for your device

Chat Gateway

Your team can use the Kayako Chat Gateway to connect to the helpdesk to handle live chats using their favorite IM client. Nothing else to install, just punch in your helpdesk login details and you can start chatting to customers in real time.

You’ll need this to live chat with your customers on your favorite IM client.

Find out more about the Chat Gateway

Getting help and support

Your account manager: If you are in a trial, you'll already have an account manager whose job is to make sure you're getting the most out of Kayako as quickly possible, and help answer you questions. If they haven't been in touch already, they will be very shortly.

From the team: You can get in touch with our team at any time by email, live chat and of course, the helpdesk ( We are available all day during the week and offer limited support by email over the weekend. 

Community forums: Posting on the community forums ( is a great way to talk to and learn from hundreds of other customer service pros and helpdesk admins. Official support (i.e. responses from the Kayako team) are not guaranteed here. If you want support directly from the Kayako team, please contact us directly.

Where to go next

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  1. Varun Shoor

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