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The Tiledesk Web Widget provides by default an anonymous identity to his users through the anonymous authentication feature. This means that the first time the widget starts on the end-user’s browser it will assign to the user a unique, random user-id, that will last until the browser cache is cleared.

This temporary, random identity provides many benefits, first of all the option to immediatily install and use the widget on your web site or application, without any configuration. When a user is anonymously authenticated you can provide “more strong” identity to him by enabling a “prechat form”, asking for some data like email/fullname, so you can subsequently identify him with those data.

While “anonymous authentication” mode provides immediate and easy deployment of the Tiledesk widget, sometimes you would like to give your Tiledesk end-users a persistent, recognizable identity.

This is especially true when, for example, your end-users already have a certified identity into some other company’s Identity Provider. For example, when a user is already authenticated into your shop website or into your backoffice application, you already know everything about your user. What would like to achieve in these cases is to have them already recognized by Tiledesk (and your agents) every time they ask for some support. You don’t want them to provide arbitrary identities with wrong or mispelled emails or fullnames using prechat form.

Tiledesk provides the option to authenticate your end-users with a custom, certified identity, using JWT authentication, a very easy and market proved authentication technology.

We just wrote a tutorial about custom authentication where we provided a complete example on how you can successfully setup a custom JWT authentication for your Web Widget end-users.

If you want you can try the tutorial’s application live. It’s a good start point to understand how the custom authentication works. If you create a conversation the Tiledesk Widget automatically saves it in the recent conversations list available on the Widget’s home. The same user will always get the same last conversations history. With anonymous authentication, if you open the same web page in an anonymous browser instance (or if you simply move from one browser – i.e. Chrome – to another – i.e. Firefox) your user will change (you get a new anonymous user token) and you will get an empty conversations history (because you are effectively new).

With the tutorial’s app this doesn’t happen. You will always get the same history, also if you change your browser, or you repeatidly open the page in new anonymous browser’s instances. You are always the same user and you will always get your last conversations. Just make a try. Open your web page in Google Chrome. Create a conversation, just as an excuse to get a conversation history. When you go back to widget home you’ll get a conversation history. Now open the tutorial’s page in a new anonymous browser instance. You will get the same conversations list. Change your browser (i.e. Firefox), you still get the same history. Because you are the same user.

About the agent experience with authenticated visitors

We’ve just seen what happens from the end-users point of view. But what happens from the agents’ point of view? Well, the experience is good enough to let everyone very satisfied 🙂

The Tiledesk dashboard and chats automatically recognise the user with strong authentication (yes, cutom authentication is “strong”) by placing a shield on the user icon, as for example in the queues’ monitor:

The shield indicates that the user is strong authenticated and you can trust his identity as coming from the Company’s Identity Provider. If you move your mouse on the user icon you get a clear message 🙂

If you move in the conversation detail (or you open the chat) your agents will get a detailed explanation in the side panel. Open the chat corresponding to the conversation to get details about trusted info “as you chat”…

All the “trusted” metadata coming from your external Identity Management are available just exploding the “Trusted info” section.

Create a free account and use Custum Authentication today.

You can find a live example app here that demonstrates how JWT custom authentication works.

You can learn how to add Custom Authentication with this tutorial in the developer zone.