Skip to main content

Create a bot that serves knowledge base content with Ada's free plan

Ada's free plan is a great way to test out how Ada uses AI to answer chatter questions, completely with content sourced from a Zendesk knowledge base. Your organization can create a free bot with Ada and integrate it with your knowledge base so you can start automatically resolving simple inquiries, and passing on other queries to human agents, right away.

How your free plan bot works

Once you've set up your free plan bot, it will seamlessly integrate with your existing Zendesk web and social messaging channels. Your Ada bot will then reply to chatters through all of your preconfigured channels.

When chatters ask your bot a question, your bot searches your knowledge base for an answer, and writes a response back using generative AI. If it isn't able to generate a helpful reply, your bot suggests links to related articles in your knowledge base for your chatter to review instead - or the chatter can ask to speak to a human agent instead.

The free plan bot represents just a fraction of how Ada can help your organization automatically resolve chatter inquiries. Paid bots allow you to take advantage of much more advanced functionality, including:

  • Manually create multi-step content to guide chatters through

  • View detailed reporting about your bot's performance

  • Collect chatter information with variables, so you can serve customized content to different audience segments or send it to support agents for context when a handoff occurs

  • Create customized API calls to serve relevant information to chatters faster

  • Use a variety of integrations with tools that can help chatters connect to support, track their shipments, schedule appointments, and more

  • Support multiple languages so you can resolve chatter inquiries worldwide

If you're interested in upgrading, go to our Upgrade page and submit your email so you can get in touch with our customer support team.


Before setting up your free plan bot, make sure you have the following:

  • A Zendesk Admin account

  • Access to the Conversations API in the Zendesk Admin Center


There are some limitations with your free plan bot that you should also be aware of:

  • Your free plan bot can only reply to chatters in English.

  • Your bot can serve a maximum of 1000 conversations per month. This limit resets on the first of every month.

    After your bot has reached this limit, it will automatically hand off any additional conversations to support agents.

  • You can only have one Ada bot installed and replying in one Zendesk instance at a time, and vice versa.

    This means that you can't install multiple Ada bots to reply in any one Zendesk instance, and that you can't connect multiple Zendesk instances to any one Ada bot.

    However, this doesn't apply to the Zendesk Guide knowledge base you connect with your Ada bot. If your organization hosts its knowledge base and chat in different Zendesk instances, you can connect the knowledge base from the first instance, and serve Ada chat content through the other.

Understand how handoffs from your free plan bot work

When you integrate your free plan bot with your Zendesk account, you also enable handoffs from your bot to your support agents. When your bot hands a chatter off to an agent, it automatically includes a transcript of the conversation to give the agent context about the chatter's inquiry.

In this example, the chatter's window is on the left; and the agent's window, which contains the conversation leading up to the handoff, is on the right:


After the chatter has been handed off to an agent, the chat window is reserved for their conversation with the agent. Only the agent can disengage the conversation by marking the ticket as "solved." After this, depending on your organization's trigger settings, Zendesk automatically marks the ticket as "closed." Until the ticket is marked as "closed," any messages the chatter sends go to the agent, not the bot. The chatter has to wait until the ticket is closed to be able to send messages to your bot again.

Set up your Ada free plan bot

  1. To get started, sign up to get on the waitlist for Ada's free plan. Your Ada team will be in touch to get your bot set up.

  2. To set up your bot, you have to connect it with your Zendesk knowledge base.

    On the onboarding page, follow the prompts to start setting up your knowledge base. When you click Connect knowledge base, the Connect Zendesk Guide window opens. Under Zendesk subdomain, enter your account's subdomain.

    Generally, your subdomain appears in your knowledge base URL (e.g., Make sure you only enter your subdomain, and not any other part of the URL.


    Your Zendesk knowledge base needs to be publicly facing for Ada to consume its content. If your users have to log in to read your articles, Ada can't integrate it with your bot.

    Be sure you use your actual Zendesk subdomain, and not a custom domain name if you have one.

  3. Click Connect. Your bot imports the article content in your knowledge base and displays your content. Double check that you've imported the correct knowledge base. You can either click Looks good! to continue, or click I need a different knowledge base to enter a different subdomain.

Disconnect your free plan bot from your Zendesk account

If you ever need to disconnect your free plan bot from your Zendesk account, go back into these settings by going to Channels > Bots and automation > Bots in your Zendesk settings, and then click Disconnect beside Ada.

Make sure you don't uninstall your free plan bot from Zendesk instead of disconnecting it. If you do, if you want to reconnect your bot again, you'll have difficulty reinstalling your bot via your Ada dashboard.

If you need help re-installing your bot, in your Ada dashboard, click Chat with Ada to launch your Virtual Assistant. There, you can send a message to support so you can get help reconnecting Ada and Zendesk again.

Control whether your free plan bot can create content from individual articles

After you've imported your articles, they appear in the Knowledge Hub, sorted so the articles that were most recently updated in your knowledge base appear first. If necessary, you can exclude content from individual articles from appearing in answers your bot generates.

  1. On the Ada dashboard, go to the Knowledge page.

  2. Under Articles, click either the Enabled or Disabled tabs to display the articles in each category. Your bot only suggests articles on the Enabled tab to chatters.

    If you want to see any of your articles in more detail, you can click an article's name to open it in a new tab.

  3. To move articles to the other category, select them using the checkboxes beside their names. At the bottom of the list of articles, you can also change how many articles to display at a time, or move between articles. Even if you change the articles onscreen, the dashboard remembers the articles you've already selected.

  4. At the bottom of the page, click either Disable articles or Enable articles, depending on which tab you're on. The articles then appear in the other tab of the Articles list.

Create your free plan bot's persona

When your bot creates responses to send to your chatters from your knowledge base content, it can write them with a personality consistent with the rest of your organization's branding.

Upload a bot avatar

Your bot avatar appears next to messages your bot sends to chatters. Under Avatar, you can upload an image file (any type, except .svg) to represent your bot.

Choose your bot's personality

When you use any of Ada's content AI features, like rephrasing text content or creating message variations, your bot can also apply an extra layer of personality to it.

  1. On the Ada dashboard, go to the Persona page.

  2. Under Personality, choose one of the following options:

    • Friendly

    • Plainspoken

    • Playful

    • Sophisticated

  3. Click Save Changes. Your bot saves the personality you chose to use in automatically generated content.

Control your bot's emoji usage

You can choose which emoji your bot is allowed to use in its messages.

  1. On the Ada dashboard, go to the Persona page.

  2. Under Emoji Usage, turn the Use emojis toggle on or off, depending on whether you want your bot to serve emoji to chatters.

  3. If you set the Use emojis toggle to on, under Only use these emojis, you can enter the emoji you want it to use. If you put emoji into this field, your bot will only use those emoji in generated messages.

    If you leave the field empty, your bot will use any emoji that seem to match the content it's generating.

Preview your bot's personality

In the speech bubble, you can type in a text sample, like a message from your bot, so you can see how your bot would rephrase it using the settings you chose.

After entering in your own content, you can click Generate Preview to rephrase it using your current settings at any time. Or, if you change any of your settings, the preview automatically updates for you.

Test your free plan bot

Now that you have your content and persona set, you can test how your bot responds to chatter questions. Then, if you want to further refine your bot's responses, you can go back and either change which knowledge base articles are enabled for your bot's responses, or further refine your bot's persona.


The test bot only tests Ada's generative content creation, so it isn't connected to Zendesk. As a result, you can't test handoffs in your test bot.

  1. On the Ada dashboard, go to the Test & Launch page.

  2. In the chat window on the screen, chat with your bot. Send the kinds of questions you anticipate chatters asking, and see if the responses you get are what you want.

  3. If you need to refine your bot's responses, you can go back and enable or disable individual articles in your knowledge base, or refine your bot's persona.

  4. To give your team members a chance to test your bot, click Copy Test Bot Link for a link you can distribute. Your team can use that link to test your bot, without having to create accounts with your bot first.

Launch your free plan bot

Ready for your chatters to start using your Ada-powered bot? Launch your bot so you can help chatters across your existing Zendesk web and messaging channels, and hand them off seamlessly to your support agents.


Integrations with other tools can get tricky. If you run into problems launching, or need to get more information about your Zendesk account, use our contact form to get help from the Zendesk team.

  1. On the Ada dashboard, go to the Test & Launch page.

  2. In the Launch card, click Launch to Customers. The Launch to Customers window opens.

  3. The first screen of the window opens to make sure that you have the items listed in the Requirements section of this page.

    If you're missing anything in the list or need help checking what your organization has access to, use the above link to contact Zendesk for assistance. Otherwise, click Continue.

  4. Follow the steps to install Ada in Zendesk.

    1. In the Launch to Customers window, click Log in to Zendesk, then sign into your Zendesk account. A separate browser tab opens to your Zendesk account.

    2. If necessary, log into your Zendesk account.

    3. When you get prompted to allow Ada to access your Zendesk account, click Allow. A screen appears to indicate you have

    4. Close the browser tab and go back to your Ada bot.

  5. Follow the steps to create an API key in Zendesk Admin Center and add it to your bot.

    1. In the Launch to Customers window, click Zendesk Admin Center. A separate browser tab opens to the Conversations API page of your Zendesk account.

    2. Click Create API key. The Create new key window opens.

    3. Enter a name for your API key, then click Next.

    4. In the Copy shared secret window, use the Copy buttons next to the Key ID and Secret key fields so you can paste them into Ada.


      You can only copy the Secret key once. If you no longer have access to an existing key, you have to create a new one.

    5. In your Ada bot, paste the Key ID and Secret Key into the corresponding fields.

    6. Click Save.

  6. Follow the steps to activate your Ada chatbot.

    1. In the Launch to Customers window, click Activate Ada in Zendesk. A separate browser tab opens to the Bots page of your Zendesk account.

    2. Beside Ada, click Connect. A confirmation window opens. Click Connect in that window. The confirmation window closes, and the original button changes to say Disconnect.


      If you ever want your Zendesk bot to stop serving Ada content, you have to come back to this window in your Zendesk Admin Center and click Disconnect beside Ada. For more information, see Managing third-party bots in Admin Center at Zendesk's documentation.

    3. Close the browser tab and go back to your Ada bot. A confirmation window appears to verify that you have successfully launched your free plan bot in your Zendesk channels.

Measure your free plan bot's performance

Your bot offers a few ways of helping you measure how your bot has been able to help chatters:

  • Track your bot's containment rate

    On the Home page of your Ada dashboard, you can see a graph of how many chatter inquiries your bot was able to resolve without handing off the conversation to human support. That proportion of conversations, out of all conversations the bot had, is called the containment rate.


    This graph only contains data for the 1000 conversations your bot can serve per month. If you go over this number and your bot starts handing off every conversation to human support, your bot won't count those additional handoffs here.

    By default, the graph shows you data for the last 7 days, but you can click the Last 7 days dropdown to change the timeframe. If there's enough data, your bot can compare the containment rate between the current timeframe and the one that preceded it (e.g., this week vs. last week).

    Additionally, the homepage lists the number of conversations that resulted in a handoff to human support as a raw number for your selected timeframe, and helps you track how many conversations out of your 1000/month are remaining.

  • Read chatter conversations

    On the Conversations page of your Ada dashboard, you can search through and read conversations that chatters had with your bot. You can search these conversations by keyword, filter them by when they happened, and view automatically generated conversation summaries to save you time.

You can set your time zone in your user settings to ensure your data corresponds with the correct dates.


You may notice discrepancies in your Monthly Active User (MAU) count between Zendesk and Ada. This is because Zendesk can track returning chatters, while Ada's free plan bots forget users after 24 hours. As a result, your MAU count will be inflated in your Ada analytics data when you compare it to your Zendesk data.

Manage team members in your free plan bot

You can give your colleagues access to your bot so they can help with its administration.

  1. On the Ada dashboard, go to the Team page.

  2. Under Invite Member, enter the Full Name and Email for your team member.

  3. Click Send Invitation. Your bot sends your team member an automated invitation email. The email includes a signup link that expires after 24 hours; afterwards, they can set their password using the "Forgot Your Password?" link on the login page.

    The new user appears in your list of team members.

If you ever need to remove a team member, click the Remove user button delete-user-icon.png. In the confirmation message that appears, click OK. The user's name is removed from your list of team members.

Manage your user settings in your free plan bot

If required, you can change your name, photo, password, and time zone in your user settings. To do so, click your name at the bottom of the left navigation bar. The Your Profile window opens, where you can make changes and click Save. If required, you can also log out from this window.