“It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages” - Henry Ford.
First-class customer service is that one thing on which the whole business depends. Business owners of both small companies and large enterprises pay attention to customer experience and for that reason often use a help desk to provide the top-notch customer support.
A reliable help desk that facilitates outstanding customer support and employee productivity is essential. But with the growth of the customer base and the company itself, the software can become a drag.
When the decision to change an old help desk platform is made, there is one more question to answer. What should you do to migrate successfully? People often don’t know what the process of data migration is, so they expect it to be quick and effortless. However, migrating data is definitely not an easy task, and a professional and responsible approach is not just highly recommended - it is indispensable. Only on this condition will your data be successfully transferred without any changes or loss.
In this article, we’re presenting a detailed help desk migration project plan for you to know what to do before, during and after the transfer for the best result.
Before the Migration
A successful help desk migration requires certain preparation and time. Below are the things one should do before initiating the migration.
What are the options for transferring data?
To begin, there are 3 ways to move your data from one help desk to another:
- Manual data export.
- Migration via API.
- Professional data migration service.
Now let’s have a look at each option in details.
Manual copy-pasting / exporting data to CSV file
This option may seem very attractive because it is free of charge and you can control the process yourself from beginning to end. However, be ready to spend about a couple of days to a week or even more switching between your help desks in order to migrate all the necessary data. During this tedious and lengthy process, the productivity of your team may drop significantly because of the continuous multi-tasking. And there’s always a risk of losing or misplacing some data because of the human error.
If you want to go an easier way an export data into a CSV file then note that not all platforms allow exporting the data. Moreover, not all platforms have an out-of-the-box CSV import tool.
Hiring a professional and using the API to migrate
The API offers more opportunities for data migration, but this method requires a very high level of technical expertise. Professional help is needed in this kind of data transfer, which means spending extra money or involving an IT team (if you have one).
It takes some time to figure out the peculiarities of the API, the platform, writing and testing the code. And because not all vendors make their API documentation easily accessible, you might need to contact them in order to get it. Which again, delays the migration.
Using a professional automated migration tool
Help Desk Migration is a robust data migration tool. It requires no coding or other technical knowledge and minimum efforts on your side. You just hand us all the work and enjoy the results later. By the way, you don’t have to pay anything in advance as you can set up a Free Demo Migration, check out the results and only then decide if you want to proceed to the full migration. This is the simplest way of transferring the important valuable sections of your help desk to the new platform.
How to choose the right platform?
So, you’re sure that it’s time to change your help desk software to something more powerful. But what exactly does “powerful” mean? Here’s what you should do in order to avoid confusion when choosing a new help desk.
Start off by defining what great customer service means for your company. You can ask yourself two questions: “What type of support do our customers expect?” and “What kind of experience do we want to offer to our customers?” Depending on the answers, you should define the essential features of the help desk that can accommodate the needs of your business.
You should also think of the reasons why you have decided to quit the old platform in the first place. That’s how you will know the must-have tech specs of the future help desk.
Maybe you would like to be able to access the platform wherever you go, using a mobile app? Consider points like these and once you have a couple of favorites, go on a test drive.
Note: the platform you choose may affect your help desk migration project plan in the part of data preparation.
How to get your data ready?
Whatever the reason for your help desk migration, you should stick to a developed help desk migration project plan. There are a few steps in your data preparation process:
- The first thing you should do is decide whether you need all of the data in the new help desk or not. Ask your agents if they ever refer to old records. Maybe there is no need to transfer all of the tickets.
- Compare the structure of the source and target systems. It’s a no-brainer that, for instance, what you now call conversations in your help desk will be called cases in the new software. Apart from that, help desks often take a different approach to how they structure the data. So, consider this to make the import easier.
- Select the date when you want to start the migration. The best variant is to find a quiet time when the stream of the customers’ requests is the least intense, because the process may take up from several hours to several days, depending on the volume of your data. Why is it important? Chances are that after the migration you’ll need to re-key some tickets that were funneled in the old system during the migration.
- Document all the settings. Settings are impossible to migrate from one help desk to another, so document them for future reference.
Data is a vital part of the whole migration, so take this preparation seriously to ensure yourself against potential problems.
Don’t forget to prepare the staff
The support team is obviously an indispensable part of the customer service which will be affected by migration in the first place. So you need to get them prepared for the switch and make it the least inconvenient for your agents.
Sometimes it’s the employees who request changing the platform, as the old one doesn’t provide them with all the necessary tools and opportunities to guarantee the best customer service.
When it’s you who offered to move to another help desk, try to involve the support team into the process, as they, in particular, will work with the new software. Let them see and evaluate the options.
There are also a few things you can do when the future help desk platform is already chosen:
- Educate responsible employees about the new software
- Give all the employees access to an account on the future platform so they can test it before the migration
- Organize and record a training about the new help desk
- Make a list of new support team contacts for quick replies during the first weeks
Encouraging team members to participate in the change and providing all the necessary education will help to smooth out all the inconveniences.
When you are ready
So the preparation process is over and you are ready to migrate. If you decided to turn to our Help Desk Migration service, don’t miss a short guide on how to migrate using our Migration Wizard:
1. Create an account on our website.
2. Click “Start Migration”, choose the current and future platforms and provide the required information.
3. Check the data to be moved from the list and do the mapping.
4. Run a demo migration and carefully check the results. Our system will migrate a random small part of the data you indicated to show what it will look like on the target platform.
5. If you are happy with the results of the demo migration, set up the full migration. As soon as the migration has begun, you can close the browser window. When the migration is complete, you’ll receive an email notification and will be able to evaluate the outcome.
What to do after?
- After the import is complete, go through the transferred data and check if all the records have been moved to their destinations successfully.
- Let everyone involved know that the new help desk is up and running.
- Redirect your support channels from the old to the new help desk. Activate triggers, automation rules, etc.
- You are very welcome to share your experience with us by leaving feedback.
Migration from one help desk to another may be a challenging experience, especially when done for the first time. There is a lot of work to cope with throughout the whole process: from deciding on the future platform to checking the final results. However, if you follow a help desk migration project plan step by step, you can make your help desk migration a great experience with more than satisfactory results.