How to Get Prepared for Zendesk Import
Either your brand is a company, a product, a service, or it works with businesses or individuals, the secret sauce to success is the experiences. The customer support should craft these experiences and make your customers delighted. Why? Because those people determine the meaning and value of your brand. Let’s say your company runs a customer satisfaction strategy, loyalty program, help desk software, and experienced support agents team. Thus, you still lack the big picture of how to make all the puzzle pieces fit together.
The thorniest question in brand strategy is how to keep it growing. The success (or failure) in business depends on dozens of factors. A help desk solution and its value to the company's end-users, support agents are on that list. The issue of framing starts every journey problem. Here it is a change (or adoption) of the help desk software. The migration to a new help desk comes out as a juncture: you might continue to perpetuate the past errors and import data or set up a new stage for the optimized business performance.
Don’t get upset if it seems that you are pursuing the wrong tasks. That draws a rather blurred picture of data migration and all accompanying procedures (preparing database, business processes, and the team for the changes, setting up a destination help desk, and the like). Besides, you might also feel insecure about what should be the next steps.
Before we dive into the guidance on how to plan, execute, and check the results. How about analyzing the data import and migration from an unusual perspective? Have you heard about the five steps of the Air Force Risk Management process? No? Let’s fix it. So, the steps are the following:
- identify hazards;
- analyze risk control measures;
- assess risk levels;
- make risk decisions;
- plan risk avoidance.
How does this relate to switching help desk platforms? Think about it this way. In case you are enjoying this reading, you have passed the first step. From now on, you have already detected the weak spots in the current help desk. The second step is also done. You decided that Zendesk is the help desk solution that is suitable for meeting the company’s requirements.
This guide will help you to cope with the third, fourth, and fifth steps. Here the assess-risk-level step is covered by explaining the peculiarities of data import and data migration. The offered information will provide you with a background for making decisions and creating a plan that will allow avoiding risks. Simply put, you will learn:
- how things will go;
- what issues might occur;
- how to deal with all this stuff efficiently.
Once you concluded that it is time to hit the road and set up your organization import to Zendesk, remember: proper planning is halfway to success. Apart from knowing the destination, don’t avoid the ever-pressing issue of budget and spend.
Also, let’s not forget about a well-documented plan. Ensure that it is available for every department or team of your organization. What should be included in this plan? Answer the three questions:
- Who is responsible for a Zendesk data transfer? The change of a help desk platform will impact the whole company. Some departments will get affected more compared to others. Either way, the migration should have a responsible manager who will be there to answer questions and dispel concerns.
- What information is going to be migrated? Start off with reviewing and refining the help desk data. Often times, companies don’t need all their records on the new platform. A new help desk is like a blank canvas, so make sure you only take what matters.
- How much time is the process going to take? Time is a precious commodity. When you have a clear deadline, you can plan all the processes and do your best to prevent any deadline postponing (or even the budget overspending).
Coming up next is the crux and hallmark. You need to choose which method to apply: a third-party migration service or a Zendesk import tool. On the tech side, you would require the developer team that shares the same understanding of the tasks and can handle processes properly.
During data import, you will need to export the company database in CSV files, and that brings you much more work with the old help desk software. On the flip side, a data migration service will handle the process of delivering your help desk records to Zendesk, and you will have to order and pay to get the result.
Specific aspects of data import
- If you plan to onboard Zendesk by importing backup data from the current platform, you might need to change the file structure or reimport the records.
- When importing records from one platform to another, you may need to upload them in a particular order to preserve the relationships.
- Data import, usually, allows uploading custom entities.
- During data import, you can’t use multiple files - you import one file per time.
- The quality of data in Zendesk depends on the data you have extracted from the previous help desk.
Specific aspects of data migration
- The data migration allows applying multiple record sources.
- During data migration, you can transfer custom entities and fields if the destination help desk has the same corresponding entities and fields.
- The API-based migration helps to save time and securely switch data between the help desk solutions.
- If you don’t cleanse the company’s database before the migration, you will get poor quality records on Zendesk.
Whether you’re just getting started with the preparation for Zendesk import or you’ve been running the initiative for some time, check out these tips and best practices on the data import, as well as the data migration, to ensure that you’re on the right track.
The more touchpoints with customers you offer, the more happy and returning clients you get. The help desk software (or ticketing system) organizes the customer queries, facilitates customer-company communication, and tracks customer satisfaction statistics. Such channels as email, phone calls, live chats, social media messages are routed into a single place. That’s clear.
The scenario familiar to many companies: the customer base keeps growing, and your support agents spend more time on routine tasks. The current platform can’t cope with business requirements. This is how organizations decide to change the software. Zendesk has a reputation and provides a toolbox to fulfill the needs and expectations many companies have.
First off, this help desk platform was designed to drive customer interactions. Zendesk Support puts all customer support interactions in a single place for seamless and personal communication: productive agents and satisfied customers. With the Zendesk product family, many businesses will get opportunities to scale and meet the changes smoothly. The list of the add-ons looks like this:
|Zendesk Chat||creates a personal connection (via the web, mobile, and messaging) with customers, who come for help without interrupting their experience|
|Zendesk Talk||is a built-in call center solution that helps agents to resolve complex issues faster and deliver personalized support|
|Zendesk Guide||is a tool for building a customizable help center, online community, and customer service portal for better customer self-service|
|Zendesk Connect||leverages that information across all channels to design the customer journey when you offer more ways to help|
|Zendesk Explore||integrates the data from every channel, so you can measure how customers interact with your brand without losing the thread|
Note: The separate apps of Zendesk have their own pricing. So, ensure that you test out your end-to-end solution completely and get a price quote that includes every tool you are going to use in the future.To understand how Zendesk helps to solve tough customer support challenges, let’s check out briefly how the key tools work.
Zendesk Menu Overview
There are the following items on the left side:
- home button (provides access to the dashboard and shows the current configurations);
- views section (holds information about the unresolved tickets);
- reporting section (delivers details about tickets, agents, customers, and the like);
- the last button (will link you to the Admin homepage).
On the top right corner, you will find the search box, a menu to select between the Support section and the Help Center. Once you click on the avatar, you will open Profile Settings.
- The email system represents one of the mediums of gathering customer feedback. When the client sends an email to your support service, it is automatically converted into a ticket with all communication details. For the outgoing emails, you can use Zendesk templates or customize them to the brand preferences.
- The ticket view delivers a set of functionality for the support agents. You can add internal or external notes to the open tickets via the Main Ticket view. The support representative just needs to click on “Submit as Solved” to close the ticket, and this ticket will get marked as completed. The navigation panel allows opening several views: Recently Solved Tickets, Recently Updated Tickets, and Pending Tickets.
- Business rules are a savior for a support agent. They trigger and automate the repetitive tasks according to preconditioned events. A simple example: you can assign a specific type of ticket to a support agent who is an expert in this question or problem. Additionally, you can add macros when responding to repetitive issues.
- The reports deliver you the analysis on the set conditions about the activities of customers, support team, and every agent, in particular; as well as about the SLA agreement, the first reply time, the average reply time, the resolving time, and the like. However, there is one condition: the more expensive plan you bought, the better analytics you are going to have.
Note: Zendesk has updated its DPA (data processing addendum) to provide its customers with contractual commitments regarding compliance with applicable EU data protection law and implemented additional contractual provisions required by the GDPR.
Zendesk Support offers five pricing plans.
#1 Essential from $5 per agent/month
There are three aspects when this plan might fulfill your needs, if:
- you are launching a customer service;
- you have low ticket volumes;
- the ticket volume isn’t enough for a dedicated support rep.
Nevertheless, in case your company growing fast, you will outgrow this plan within a short time frame. The plan supports:
- email and social media channels;
- basic help center (it includes FAQ);
- website and mobile app integration.
#2 Team from $19 per agent/month
When you run a rather small company and have a steady stream of ticket volume, then this plan will be good for you. It offers:
- business rules (trigger creation);
- performance dashboard (basic analytics with limited details and no option to customize);
- third-party application integration.
#3 Professional from $49 per agent/month
In case your company is ready to dive into data-driven customer service, this plan tier might be just the job. Here you will get:
- CSAT (customer satisfaction surveys and track support reps’ performance);
- custom reports and dashboards;
- multiple languages.
#4 Enterprise from $99 per agent/month
If you run a medium or large size organization with complex customer service processes, then this plan is the right place to land. It includes:
- agent roles (light agent, staff, team lead, or administrator, you can create custom roles);
- multiple brands (customized help desks and contact forms managed from one location);
- multiple ticket forms;
- personalized Zendesk support during the platform launch;
- satisfaction prediction (analyze data to predict customer satisfaction and detect successful action).
#5 Elite from $199 per agent/month
The usual customers of this plan are the big companies and large enterprises. The peculiarities are the higher security and priority in support from Zendesk. It also comes with:
- unlimited light agents (see and comment but can’t be assigned to the tickets);
- 99,9% uptime (thus, this uptime level is at all plans);
- an hour service level objective (support agents will get the answer to their question from Zendesk within an hour);
- advanced encryption and security;
- data center location can be selected (in the US or the EU).
Do you remember about the add-ons? The free trial gives the potential customers a light version of each. Why are these products offered for a separate price? Well, many companies prefer to use other tools instead of Zendesk native ones. From this point of view, this help desk has an original feature: you only choose what is needed and search for the other tools in the App Marketplace.
The market drives a lot of choices. There is a bunch of help desk platforms that attract customers and create competition for Zendesk. Check out short head-to-head comparisons.
Zendesk vs. Freshdesk
The principal function of the help desk is to enhance the process of customer support, as well as make it more effective and timely. When comparing Freshdesk to Zendesk, each platform has some advantages and drawbacks. Here is a couple of features to illustrate the benefits of Zendesk:
- the collaborative workspace advanced the quality of support service and boosted agents’ productivity;
- the extensive content filtering to get the required information;
- the filters applicable to views help to prioritize tickets and respond faster.
Zendesk vs. Help Scout
While Zendesk ticketing is based on the Views, Help Scout resolves customer issues by the channel they come in a separate mailbox. The tickets within one mailbox can be sorted into folders and visible for the entire mailbox or chosen users. This folder organization is rather inflexible and less convenient. A customer may come from various channels for resolving the same issue, and a support rep will struggle a little bit to get the interaction history. Zendesk allows creating various ticket views on a series of conditions.
The automations in Help Scout are called workflows. They are mailbox specific and can’t be divided by function. There is no global automation due to the mailbox scheme. In Zendesk, you can automate processes employing triggers, automations (timed event rules), SLA, and macros.
The reporting in Help Scout is based on the Views tool. It works as a filter where you can add a search field (type, tag, folder, and custom fields). There is no option for scheduling report emails. In Zendesk, there is a range of various customizations to get the required information and schedule its delivery, and share across the company.
To conclude: in Help Scout to Zendesk comparison, Zendesk looks like a winner.
Zendesk vs. Jira Service Desk
Atlassian's Jira Service Desk is a strong competitor to Zendesk. Both solutions offer ITIL processes. Thus, Jira is certified and enables it on a full scale, while Zendesk is partly adhering to it. The difference between them in the primary use cases: Jira is useful for managing the software development process, Zendesk is good for end-user communication.
If to talk about the help desk strong points, Jira Service Desk has multiple activities feeds (at a project, team, issue, and user levels) and reporting tools. Concerning Zendesk, this would be automations, two-way communication, and a knowledge base.
In terms of deployment, Zendesk requires a little setup to start while Jira Service Desk takes time on training and adaptation (if you didn’t use any of Atlassian’s products before).
Zendesk vs. HubSpot Service Hub
The new shiny thing isn’t always better. This similarity is applicable to HubSpot Service Hub. The solution is new and offers significant functionality (ticketing, live chat, automation and routing, knowledge base, reporting, email templates, and the like) other help desk software provides as well.
In the drawbacks list, you will find one level pricing ($400/mo for five users), report add-on (for $200 per month), each additional user will cost $80 per month, and API access comes at $500 per month.
It is hard to say that HubSpot Service Hub is a competitor to Zendesk, as the solution is new and the feature set may change in the future after they receive feedback.
The changes in business are both inevitable and necessary. That’s why the switch from email to help desk software is an expected change. This is a step to maximizing the efficiency of customer support processes, improve the product or service quality, and reduce the support agents' workload. Thus, people are intimidated by the changes. The staff buying into the help desk implementation comes out as another business challenge.
Quite often, the changes are met as the least popular things, so the initiative of Zendek import should be understood and reinforced by the action among the team. If you want to create the organizational “buy-in,” then your goal is to get support for this innovation. There is no problem ever insurmountable, and there is a couple of things to ease this process.
#1 Become a Change Expert
First, you need to learn as many details as possible about the organization import and the platform - in our case, about Zendesk. You should be ready to answer a lot of questions when it comes to asking for supporting a change. And, perhaps, the most important, you must see the change as the opportunity yourself; otherwise, no one will be convinced of its merits.
#2 Let the Change Discussion Be an Early Bird
Apart from minimizing the impact, the early discussion aids in getting a mutual understanding of the change value. Besides, people become more supportive if they have a feeling of being involved in the decision-making process. Get prepared for the resistance and be open to feedback.
#3 Prove the Actual Value of the Change
When talking with the support service team, ensure that you have explained to them the benefits of the help desk platform, and they understood them. In case it gets challenging to prompt the change, you can discuss some past issues and show how they could be fixed with the help desk solution.
#4 Know Your Audience
While delivering your point, don’t forget about the audience. If you want to gain their support, follow the three aspects:
- use communication style of your audience;
- discuss at the time suitable for them;
- choose a place where your team feels comfortable.
#5 Confirm Support
After you have discussed a change, answered questions, and received suggestions, it is time to confirm support. Don’t accept the vague responses. You need a clear answer: yes or no. If the answer is no, then you should start over again with the third point of this list.
Few Ideas to Prove the Value of Help Desk Software
“It is impersonal!” The classical answer of those who are refusing to use the help desk software. Explain to your team that there are three reasons why the ticket system is valuable:
- tracking issues;
- bringing efficiency to the staff workload;
- eliminating the problems and records falling through the cracks.
Follow up on how the process of getting on with the change goes. Within Zendesk, you can create an internal forum and use a knowledge base to train new support reps. It will be useful to communicate interesting tips or some downloadable resources to help people learn and advance their skills.
Praise and reward your team for using the help desk and improving their proficiency. Make them feel valuable to the company, so they would be more loyal and satisfied with the job. Adopt the gamification approach and set badges for achieving a certain number of closed tickets.
There is no easy way to become better. It takes time and effort to bring the help desk solution into the daily routine of a support team. The structured support service will do a great thing for your company and for the team too. In simple English, a help desk platform is one of the components that bring your company towards the goals.
Either you are getting lost “How to start import customer support data?” or need some quick reference, this checklist will help you. At this point, you should have finished your pre-import assessment: done the thorough data audit, analyzed the processes, and defined the scope of work:
- set timelines for every stage and inform the data import team about the tasks and deadlines;
- the objectives and goals have detailed descriptions, and the team has a shared understanding of the upcoming project;
- create the communication plan to keep the team, company departments, the boss, the stakeholders (if it is necessary) on the same page about the progress;
- audit the organization data and check the quality of the records. Search for duplicates and delete the redundant records (if you find such);
- develop training documentation (with the new terms, roles, and the like) for a support service team to make the transition to Zendesk easier.