Free vs Paid Data Migration Tool: should you go with Help Scout or HDM?

If you’re looking to import your data to Help Scout then you should already know that they offer a few free import solutions. At the same time, there are also paid tools like Help Desk Migration that provide complete solutions for seamless data transitions. What’s the difference?

Today, we decided to compare our Migration Wizard and Help Scout importer to give you the idea of how paid and free solutions differ in practice. We’ll take a concrete situation and compare them in terms of data migration from Zendesk to Help Scout. So, without further delay, let’s get started with the Help Scout and HDM migration tools comparison now!

The Basics

Help Scout allows importing your tickets and other data from, Zendesk, and UserVoice. If you’re looking to migrate from a different platform then you can either use API or a third-party data migration tool.

The Help Desk Migration service also allows migrating data from, Zendesk, and UserVoice. On top of that, our automated migration tool can also transfer your data from popular platforms like Freshdesk, Freshservice, Jira Service Desk, Kayako, Salesforce Service Cloud, Intercom, Hubspot Service Hub, Solarwinds, Zoho Desk, and many more!

What data can you move?

We’ll start with the entities as it’s an essential point in any data migration. That’s because if you can’t transfer some information automatically but still need it to continue customer support, you’ll end up adding it up manually. That’s a waste of time, so make sure that the solution of your choice can move everything you need to a target help desk.

As we’re comparing Help Desk Migration tool and the native solution of Help Scout, let’s take a look at the data they can move automatically:

Entities possible to migrate from Zendesk to Help Scout

Help Desk Migration serviceHelp Scout migration tool
  • Tickets with Attachments, Public, and Private Notes;
  • Contacts and Organizations;
  • Agent profiles and Groups;
  • Custom Fields;
  • Help Center Articles with images and attachments
  • and Tags
  • Tickets with Attachments, Public and Private replies
  • Agent and customer profiles
  • Help Center articles with images
  • And Tags


As you can see, HDM tool enables moving more entities to your Help Scout account that is important to maintain the exact structure of relations between your help desk records.

The Setup

Now, let’s see how simple and safe is the setup process for both tools. One of the key benefits of automated solutions is that they significantly decrease the amount of effort you and your company input in the data migration process. We have two critical matters in these terms:

1. Connecting Zendesk and Help Scout.

We use oAuth to connect Help Scout and Zendesk to our service, which is not only a faster but more secure way of protecting access credentials and your data.

When using our Migration Wizard, all you need to do is choose Zendesk as a source help desk and provide the URL for your account. The system will then transfer you to the login page to confirm the authentication with HDM service and allow the tool to access the data for the migration.

Help Desk Migration setup

Then, you’ll have to choose Help Scout as a target, provide your Docs API, and authorize Help Desk Migration service in the same way as with Zendesk.

Help desk migration tool setup

In the turn of the Help Scout tool, it requires an API key from your source help desk as well as the email address. Although, finding your API key will take a little bit more effort and time to get. So, here’s another aspect where HDM helps you save some precious time and effort.

2. Configuring your data migration.

Help Scout migration tool aims to make this stage as convenient as possible. For instance, users can map agents out-of-the-box as well as create or delete agent profiles in case they haven’t done it beforehand.

With our Migration Wizard you have to create all the necessary agent profiles before the import. Once that’s done, our tool will be able to automatically match up tickets with the right agents.

However, what Help Scout doesn’t have (but we do!) is the ability to reassign agents during the migration setup as well as map ticket fields in the way you need. Help Scout also provides information neither about the ticket fields you can move from Zendesk nor about the way they actually move to the system.

Now, let’s see how data mapping works with Help Desk Migration.

Zendesk to Help Scout Migration

During this stage, we offer an out-of-the-box picking the records you need to transfer from Zendesk to Help Scout. Then, you can click the “Map fields” button to see more opportunities for configuring various default and custom ticket fields. You can change the field mapping however you like if needed to preserve the correct object relations.

Zendesk to Help Scout data migration mapping

Other differences in functionality

There are many smaller differences that we decided to classify as the last aspect of the Migration Wizard merits. Here they are:

  • In case you want to re-import records from the same Zendesk instance, you can do that with our Migration Wizard. Help Scout’s native tool doesn’t offer such functionality and can only migrate data that haven’t been to this exact instance before.
  • Some users also want to unify their data from several Zendesk domains into a single one in Help Scout. There will be no troubles with such a requirement if they’ve picked our migration tool. Unfortunately, Help Scout’s tool doesn’t allow such an experience.
  • HDM service enables conducting as many test migrations as you want without creating any duplicates. With the Help Scout tool you can take only one shot.
  • Both our service and Help Scout’s tool have a ready-to-use code to transfer data between the platforms. However, what only our service does is offer customization options. Yes, if you have some special requirements for your data migration to Help Scout, you can just inform us, and we’ll do everything in the best way.
  • Our last but (definitely) not the least benefit is the ability to save progress. With our service you can begin the setup, save settings and come back later to continue.

The reading list

Consider reading articles mentioned below to be 100% ready for the future data transition:

  1. If you still haven’t decided between Help Scout and HDM migration tools, we recommend reading an article about picking the right data migration solution and the must-have features that identify a great tool.
  2. Also, remember that data migration is a complicated process that requires thorough preparation, even if you’re switching automatically. Check out this guide on making your own help desk migration project plan to be fully prepared for the transfer.

The Conclusion

So, that’s it for a detailed comparison of the Help Scout and HDM migration tools. Now, it’s your turn to consider all the info mentioned before and finally answer the question: is it a free or paid solution that will suit your needs best?

Anyway, you can always try out our tool at any comfortable time. Just set up a free demo migration or leave us a message and we’ll get you started in no time! See you in the next article!

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