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Intercom Data Migration Checklist

After thousands of data migrations conducted, we can safely say that switching between help desks is no piece of cake. However, it’s not that scary if trusted to professionals, of course. Indeed, data migration involves a lot of headwork, but the results will definitely be worth all the hassle.

As to the process of migration itself, you don’t have to worry at all. Help Desk Migration service will help you migrate the data over to virtually any help desk with little to no effort on your side. Moreover, we offer high-level automation, an intuitive interface, affordable pricing, and constant agent support. We handle all the technical details as well, meaning you’re not required to have any data migration expertise whatsoever. Pretty good deal, considering you only pay for what you migrate – nothing less, nothing more.

However, you’ll still have to deal with the preparation side on your part to mitigate the possible risks. So, we’ve put together a guide that includes all the essential things you should and shouldn’t do before, during, and after the migration. This multiple-step checklist will not only help you make the switch smoother but will guarantee the best possible experience. Without further ado, let’s dive into the Intercom data migration plan.

Keep in mind that this checklist is exclusive to Intercom, with all its features and limitations, and is not suitable for other platforms.

Before we get into the guide itself, we’ll start by mentioning all the entities we cannot import to Intercom. This way, you will get a full picture of what to expect from the migration. For Intercom, you can’t import:

  • Groups
  • Inline images
  • ‘Created at’ date for tickets and comments
  • KB attachments
  • Comment Authors
  • Tags
  • Custom Fields
  • CC in Tickets

While the list seems pretty extensive, we can reassure you that all the core data can still be imported over to Intercom. However, if you see something here that you’d really want to preserve, feel free to contact our support team and discuss the possibility of personalized transfer. We will then look deeper into your case and see what we can do to help you out.

Note: When importing your Knowledge base into Intercom, its dates will change from the original ones to the dates of data migration itself.

Before You Set up the Migration

So, you’ve decided on data migration - great! But it’s merely a drop in a bucket, considering the number of other steps you should take. It’s a good thing we prepared this checklist that covers every nook and cranny of the migration process. With nothing else left to say, let’s start.

1. Choose a date for migration

While it sounds like something that shouldn’t be your first instinct, deciding on a date is vital for data migration success. It’s not that easy to pick a date since you can’t just open the calendar and choose the first day you lay your eyes on. There are several factors that you have to consider, and based on our experience, many have a hard time coming up with the final cut-off date.

  • Give your team enough time to prepare. The premigration stage is probably the most time-consuming part of the whole process. Actually, even if you get to cut corners and get help from your agents, it may still take up to several days. There are a lot of things to be done (which we will mention later) and it’s important to take things slow to ensure the integrity of your data is preserved.
  • Be ready to face downtime. The data migration may last up to 24 hours as well as downtime. It all depends on the amount and quality of data you want to import. We recommend aiming for the day with the smallest amount of help desk-related work possible to minimize the loss.

Now you see why we mentioned it first. A good start – is half the work.

2. Speak to your team

You definitely don’t want to catch your agents off guard with the data migration. They will have to do a lion’s share of work during the preparation stage, not to mention the 180-degree turn to their normal workflow. That’s why, as soon as you’ve decided on the migration and picked the date, you should gather a meeting and invite everyone whose work will be affected by the transfer. We advise making a plan to talk through and delegate responsibilities, like closing tickets before the transfer. Depending on the number of unresolved tickets you have, it can take quite some time, so the sooner you give notice to your team – the better.

A tip from the HDM team: Set a reminder a day before, to prevent someone from accidentally continuing work on your current help desk. It can be an email, a group call, a calendar event, or whatever works for you the best.

Not only your agents will be affected by the transfer, the customers will be, too. If you have a blog, it would be great if you could inform your clients about the downtime. This way, they’ll be more lenient to you on the cut-off date, as well as after, when you’ll still be figuring out how to use Intercom to the fullest.

3. Clean up your data

Can you think of a single person that would be excited to transfer the messy data from the source help desk and work with the same messy data in Intercom? We can’t, either. So, if you want to have a neatly organized space upon the migration, you’ll have to take the time and go through all of your current data and get rid of unnecessary things. You’d be surprised how many duplicates, unassigned ticket conversations, outdated profiles, and invalid emails you can find in the process. Also, feel free to get rid of some old weight – from the years of experience we’ve learned that if you haven’t used certain records for more than a year, the chance that you’ll use them again is close to zero.

A tip from the HDM team: Ask your agents who deal with the data on a daily basis to go through the records and decide what to keep and what can be left out. We’ve mentioned it above already, but our service charges per migrated record, so the less entities you migrate – the less you’ll have to pay.

However, depending on the amount of data you’ve compiled over the years, this step may take up to several days. We understand that not everyone has that much time on their hands, that is why we made it possible to automate the process of data filtering. You can just tell us the criteria you want your data to be filtered with, and we’ll do the rest for you. This option is not free; however, it can save hours or even days of manual work on your side.

4. Prepare Intercom for the transfer

Just like you need to prepare your data for the transfer, you should also prepare your new help desk to receive that data. For Intercom, you’ll have to manually create Teammates (agents). Intercom doesn’t allow us to create Teammates automatically, so you’ll have to do it yourself. Keep in mind, that email of agents in source and target help desk must be an exact match. To create agents in Intercom, click on the Profile icon > Settings > under General select Teammates > Add new teammates.

how to add teammates in intercom

how to add teammates in intercom

5. Consider the peculiarities and limitations of Intercom

Studying the main features of your new platform is equally important as any of the steps described here. Knowing what makes Intercom unique will help you avoid any unexpected surprises. So, Intercom has the following peculiarities:

  • If no contacts are connected to the Organization, it will not be visible on Intercom;
  • If the comment has more than 5 attachments, another comment will be created with the rest of attachments;
  • All the tickets will be created with the data migration date;
  • If the ticket is requested by the agent, a new contact with the same email will be created. In such a case, all the comments in that ticket will be displayed on the behalf of the agent's profile. The contact with the same email will just become the ticket requester.

6. Contact HDM team

After you’ve completed all the steps in this category, reach out to our team to discuss all the definitive details of the upcoming data import to Intercom. Our super friendly support agents will answer all of your questions, share the tips and coordinate your further actions.

You’re almost ready

1. Turn off notifications

Turn off Email Notifications and other triggers that may have the negative impact on the process of migration. It will take only a few minutes to disable these, but will prevent all end-users and admins from receiving a number of unnecessary emails. To disable notifications in Intercom, click on the Profile icon > Your account > Notifications > uncheck all the necessary Notifications > click Save.

how to disable notifications in intercom

how to disable notifications in intercom

2. Run a demo migration

From years of experience, we’ve learned that people are more likely to venture to a Full Data Migration if they can experience a free sneak-peek into how things will look like upon the transfer. That’s exactly why we offer a demo migration, so you can test things out free of charge.

Demo is the process that fully mirrors the Full Data Migration, but on a smaller scale. During this trial, we take 20 random tickets and transfer them over to Intercom. This process should not last more than 5 minutes. If something doesn’t line up after the demo, you can go back, do the needed adjustments and repeat the demo.

However, due to the Intercom’s peculiarities, the tickets will not be deleted automatically after each demo. So, to prevent having duplicates on your help desks, you’ll have to manually get rid of that test data.

After the Demo Migration

1. Check the result in Intercom

To make sure that the Full Data Migration will go as planned, you’ll have to carefully check the results of the demo migration. We kept the test portion of data (20 tickets) intentionally small, so you can examine the demo results in no time.

During the examination, pay attention if:

  • all comments got migrated, and if the authors of the comments are the same;
  • the tickets are assigned to the correct Teammates;
  • all the custom fields got migrated;
  • the customers and companies are migrated correctly;
  • the attachments are migrated.
Note: It’s crucial to check each ticket, primarily its location and quality features, to detect any issues right away.

If you’re looking for a detailed step-by-step explanation on how to check the results of demo migration, take a look at this guide.

If you’re completely satisfied with the results, proceed to the next step. However, if during the examination you notice something out of place, contact us immediately. Our agents will then look deeper into the issue and talk you through the solutions.

2. Request a custom demo

If you have some tickets with more replies, attachments, or notes than your usual ones and want to see how they migrate over to Intercom, feel free to request a custom demo - we’ll transfer the specific ticket IDs that you want. Simply contact our team to discuss the peculiarities of customized demo migration.

Before Full Data Migration

1. Keep in mind the basics

We understand that there may be several reasons for data migration. Some are simply looking for an upgrade, the others just moving separate teams. No matter what drives you, we always advise running the Full Data Migration on a day with the smallest number of incoming requests. If needed, you can still work on your source help desk during the transfer. However, the records created or updated after the start of the Full Data Migration will not appear in Intercom automatically.

Speaking about the Full Data Migration, you don’t have to sit in front of the computer the whole time – just check on the transfer from time to time or ask your agents to do so. Our team will keep a close eye on the process of migration and if something seems out of place - we’ll contact you right away.

2. Initiate Full Data Migration

As you can see, we didn’t exaggerate when we said there will be a lot of headwork. With all of that behind, you’re now ready to initiate the Full Data Migration. Just press the ‘Start’ button and from that moment all of the records will start transferring one by one over to Intercom.

Note: The migration will only begin after:

  • The payment is confirmed. It may take some time, that’s why we highly recommend you to pay in advance. Speaking about time, you can also take advantage of our ‘schedule’ feature - all you have to do is choose time and day. Yes, it’s that simple.
  • You agree to the checklist. To ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible, we made a checklist with the main requirements that have to be met prior to the transfer. Just click on the corresponding link to open the checklist, go through all the points, and if everything looks good put a tick into the checkbox.

3. Don’t change anything

Depending on the amount of data you want to move over, the process of migration may take up to 24 hours. There’s a high chance that you might notice something you would like to alter. But, it’s better to leave things as they are, at least until the end of the transfer. Interfering with the process of data migration may lead to inevitable changes, requiring hours to be solved, and considering all the efforts put into the import, it’s not worth it. Remember, most of the things can be done afterwards. And if you notice something out of place, drop us a line and our agents will look into the issue and try to resolve it. When it comes to something like data migration, it’s better to leave things to the professionals.

After the Import is Done

1. Examine everything

The migration process is now over. However, just like you did with the demo, you’ll have to examine the results of transfer to ensure everything went as expected. Depending on the amount of migrated data, the proper examination can take hours, or even days, so it wouldn’t be a miss to turn to agents for help.

Remember that you shouldn't only check the number of migrated records but make sure they are readable and in place. A proper inspection right after the Full Data Migration leaves a place for a correction on our side if noticed right away (within five days after the migration date!) free of charge. So, if you notice something out of place, get in touch with our team as soon as possible.

2. Set up a new platform

Your new help desk is almost ready to be up and running. All you’re left to do is to enable all the notifications that you had to turn off, and set necessary settings. Don’t forget to update the Knowledge Base links and you’re good to go.

Wrapping it Up

And that covers the whole process of Intercom data from A to Z. Just follow the guide precisely and you’re set to succeed. And, with a team of professionals behind your back, it can’t be any different.

If you still have some questions about the data migration to Intercom, our support team is always ready to help. Click on the chat icon and get to talking.

More data migration checklists here.

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