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Easy 9-Step Guide to Change Help Desks

Easy 9-Step Guide to Change Help Desks

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Switching help desks is about as enjoyable as a root canal, right? Well, it doesn't have to be that way. Your decision to switch could be the best thing you've done for your company, if you approach it systematically.

It's more than just flipping a switch; it's a strategic move that can redefine your customer service experience. That's why we've put together a comprehensive 9-step guide that provides a roadmap for this transition.

This guide is designed to assist you in making an informed, effective transition to a new help desk system, one step at a time. Intrigued?

So, why not stick around and find out how this guide can serve as your compass for this exciting journey?

Key Takeaways

  • Familiarizing yourself with the new help desk system is crucial for a successful switch.
  • Properly organizing and transferring data is significant for a seamless transition.
  • Customizing and managing your Help Scout Inbox is important for efficient customer support.
  • Configuring email and ticket sources correctly ensures all tickets are directed to the new system.

9-Step Guide to Switching Help Desks

When you're ready to switch your help desk, there are key steps to follow that will ensure a smooth transition and improve your customer support. This step guide to switching help desks is designed to assist you in navigating the process.

Firstly, you'll need to familiarize yourself with your new help desk system. Learning to log in, collaborate with your team, and experiment with features is imperative to a successful switch.

The next step involves preparing for data migration. You'll need to maintain your support email address, organize conversations, and manually transfer rules, macros, and saved replies.

Setting up your inbox is the third step. It involves customizing and managing your Help Scout Inbox.

Following this, you must change your email and ticket sources. You'll learn how to switch email forwarding, configure outgoing email settings, and other ticket sources.

The final step is initiating the migration process. Understand the steps, provide feedback, and involve your team members. Remember, switching help desks isn't a solitary task. By involving your team, you ensure a smoother transition and enhanced customer support.


Switching to a new help desk system, such as Help Scout, can seem daunting, but with proper preparation and understanding, you'll find the transition smoother and more manageable. This introduction aims to simplify the process of switching help desks by providing a strategic 9-step guide.

Firstly, it's essential to prepare your team for the change. Ensure the support channels are in order and ready for a smooth transition. Plan for a systematic data migration, which includes organizing conversations, importing tags, and transferring rules.

Setting up your inbox is the next critical step. Customize settings, create an auto-reply, manage inboxes to ensure a seamless switch. Also, you'll need to shift email and ticket sources, which includes updating settings and ensuring tickets are directed to Help Scout.

Once these steps are well in place, you're ready to initiate the migration. Visit the import page and follow the steps to import data. After a successful switch, you're not done yet. Engage your team and clients, provide adequate training, and take time to assess the new system.

This introduction to switching help desks aims to make this complex process straightforward.

Step 1: Get Your Team On Board

To ensure a smooth transition to a new help desk system, it's crucial to get your team on board from the start. You're not just changing a support system; you're making a strategic move that can enhance both your team's productivity and the quality of customer service.

Start by clearly explaining the project goals and benefits of the new help desk. Align your team's vision with the switch and make them understand the necessity of the change.

Next, address the pain points of your current support system. Open discussions about the challenges faced can help your team realize the limitations of the existing system and the potential of the new one.

Showcase the possibilities that the new tool brings. Whether it's increased efficiency, better reporting, or improved customer interactions, highlight these benefits. Stress on the long-term advantages over any short-term inconvenience that could be encountered during the transition.

Lastly, gain support from those team members who might still be skeptical. Address their concerns, provide reassurances, and emphasize the positive impact the new help desk system will have on their daily work. Remember, your team's support is integral to a successful transition.

Why involving your team is crucial for a successful help desk switch

Involving your team in the process of a help desk switch is key, not only for their buy-in but also for their invaluable feedback and input, ultimately paving the way for a smoother transition. When team members actively participate in switching help desks, they can identify their pain points, ensuring the new solution addresses them. This leads to improved satisfaction and productivity.

Beyond addressing immediate needs, your team's involvement can also highlight the long-term benefits of the switch. When they see the potential for improved efficiency and customer service, they're more likely to actively support the transition.

Additionally, team members can play a crucial role in evaluating and testing new platforms. Their hands-on engagement enables early identification of potential issues or concerns. This allows for timely resolution, reducing the risk of disruption when the switch goes live.

Moreover, when employees are actively involved in such a significant process, it fosters a sense of ownership and commitment. This can be a significant driving force towards a successful help desk switch.

Step 2: Review Customer Support Channels

Having secured your team's active participation and buy-in, your next move should be to thoroughly examine your current customer support channels. This involves identifying all methods of customer communication, including email, portals, and forms. Your aim should be to ensure a seamless transition, and this requires a comprehensive understanding of all customer touchpoints.

Your customer support team plays a crucial role in this stage. They're the frontline soldiers who interact with your clients regularly, so they can provide valuable insights during this process. Engage them in conversations and discussions to identify any potential challenges and opportunities.

The switch to a new Service Desk shouldn't affect the quality of support your customers receive. It's crucial to maintain a high level of customer support throughout the process. This means preventing any loss of communication channels with customers and ensuring your user base is well taken care of.

In essence, when you review customer support channels, your objective is to understand the current landscape thoroughly. This will help you devise an efficient strategy for the transition, ensuring that the switch to a new Service Desk enhances your customer support function.

Identifying where your customers ask for help and how to optimize those channels

You're now ready to identify where your customers are seeking help and explore ways to optimize these channels for better support and communication. Start by pinpointing the preferred channels of your customer base. These could range from email and phone to live chat, social media, and self-service portals.

It's crucial to optimize these channels for a seamless transition during the migration process. Consistency is key; ensure each platform offers the same level of support. Automation and self-service options can also be leveraged to enhance the user experience.

To identify areas for improvement, gather feedback from your customers and analyze the performance of your support channels. This data will guide you in making informed decisions about channel optimization.

Your support teams play a vital role in implementing strategies for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of customer support. Consider integrating tools for unified communication and offering multi-channel support.

Lastly, remember that channel optimization isn't a one-time task. It requires continual monitoring and adaptation based on customer feedback, support team insights, and industry best practices. This ongoing process will ensure you're always delivering the best possible customer experience.

Step 3: Plan Your Data Migration

As you dive into the planning stage of your data migration, it's critical to identify the necessary fields, user profiles, and ticket history that need to be transferred to the new help desk system. This step is crucial to ensure a smooth transition, so take the time to evaluate your current help desk system to identify its strengths and weaknesses.

When you plan your data migration, make sure to select the right help desk partner or tool. Your chosen help desk should align with your specific needs and objectives, whether that's faster response times or a more user-friendly interface.

Communication is key throughout this process. Make sure to convey your migration plan to all relevant stakeholders. Transparency won't only promote understanding of the process but will also foster better cooperation, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Ensuring a smooth transition of your valuable customer data

After carefully planning your data migration, it's crucial to focus on securing a seamless transfer of your valuable customer data to the new help desk system. Ensuring a smooth transition when switching help desks largely depends on diligent preparation and thorough testing.

Firstly, export all customer data from your current system in a compatible format. This step is critical, as it forms the foundation for your data move. Then, validate the integrity of the exported data. Conduct comprehensive checks for any discrepancies or missing information, ensuring the data is accurate and complete.

Next, establish a clear plan and timeline for importing the data into the new help desk system. This strategy should aim to minimize disruption to customer service. It's equally important to verify that all custom fields, tags, and labels are accurately transferred. This maintains data organization and categorization, preserving the utility of your customer data.

Step 4: Educate Your Team

Once your data is securely transferred, it's crucial to turn your attention to educating your team about the new help desk system. It's not just about introducing a new tool, but about ensuring your internal teams can effectively use it to improve customer service.

Comprehensive training is vital at this stage. Familiarize your team members with the system's features, such as adding a note or assigning a conversation. This will help streamline their workflow and improve communication within the team. Encourage them to attend live classes or watch pre-recorded sessions, deepening their understanding of the platform.

Consider assigning certain employees as software experts. These individuals should have an in-depth understanding of the system, ensuring they're prepared to help others navigate it. Before the migration, get your team hands-on with the new system in a test mode. This gives them a chance to explore and familiarize themselves with its functionalities.

Training your team on the new help desk system and its features

To ensure a seamless transition to the new help desk system, you'll need to thoroughly train your team on its various features. This includes the addition of notes, assignment of conversations, and the use of @mentions for collaborative purposes. Understanding these new features is crucial to maximize productivity and maintain top-level customer service.

Changing redirect settings is another vital part of training your team. This will optimize workflow and enable effective user management. Consider enrolling your team in live classes or have them watch pre-recorded sessions on Help Scout Classes. This will deepen their understanding of the new help desk system and its functionalities.

Provide early access to the new system and offer comprehensive training. This includes understanding the system's features, functionalities, and best practices. Encourage your team to actively participate in the transition process. This will help address any concerns or questions they may have, ensuring that they feel confident and ready to use the new system effectively.

Step 5: Educate Your Customers

As you transition to the new help desk system, it's essential to educate your customers about the changes and improvements. The best customer service hinges on clear communication. Start by informing your customers in advance about the transition. This will allow them sufficient time to adapt to the new system and its features.

Next, provide your customers with resources to help them understand the new system better. This can include FAQs, tutorials, or a dedicated customer service line. These resources will assist your customers in navigating the changes and ensure they continue to enjoy excellent service.

Encourage your customers to provide feedback. Their input can be crucial in identifying any issues or concerns, which you can promptly address. Remember, this is a learning process for everyone involved, and open dialogue will be beneficial.

Lastly, emphasize the benefits of the new help desk system. Ensure your customers understand how the changes will improve their service experience. By effectively educating your customers, you'll ensure a smoother transition and maintain the high level of customer service they've come to expect from your company.

Communicating the switch to your customers and providing necessary guidance

Having thoroughly educated your customers about the impending changes, it's now crucial to clearly communicate all the details of the new help desk switch and provide them with the necessary guidance for a seamless experience.

Transparency is key in this process: proactively notify them about possible downtime during the migration and keep them updated via various channels like email, in-app messages, blog posts, and social media.

It's important to offer resources that assist in understanding the new software's benefits and features. Prepare PR materials, blog posts, and self-serve resources such as a knowledge base and product guides. Offer Q&A webinars to answer any queries and concerns they may have during the transition.

Consider giving your high priority clients early access. This not only showcases the value of the new system but also helps in getting valuable feedback for improvements.

Step 6: Pick a Quiet, Well-Staffed Day

Choosing a quiet, well-staffed day for your help desk transition is crucial in ensuring a smooth and efficient migration process. When switching help desks, disruptions can be minimized if you carefully pick a day when your team isn't swamped with customer queries. This allows your team to focus solely on the transition, without compromising on your customer service delivery.

Consider coordinating with other departments. This ensures that there are minimal distractions and everyone's attention is fully on the migration process. A new help desk system can present unforeseen technical issues. Hence, it's essential to select a day when your IT team is fully available to provide immediate assistance.

Also, take into account the workload and availability of key team members. You need to ensure that they aren't only present but can fully commit to supporting the migration process. Remember, a well-staffed day is more than just having bodies present. It's about having your team fully prepared and available to handle any hiccups that may arise during the implementation of the new help desk.

Choosing the right time to minimize disruptions during the transition

After ensuring a well-staffed day, the next step in your help desk switch is to pinpoint the optimal timing to lessen disruptions. When choosing the right time, consider off-peak hours or less busy periods. This strategy aids in minimizing disruptions during the transition and allows your team to focus on the crucial aspects of switching help desks.

Communication is key in this phase. Make sure to inform your team members and clients about the upcoming change. Advance notification gives everyone adequate time to prepare, which helps to smooth the transition process.

Planning the migration in detail well ahead of time can help you anticipate potential challenges. This foresight enables you to address disruptions proactively, reducing the likelihood of last-minute hiccups.

To ensure a smooth transition, get your team involved. Active participation can help mitigate inconveniences and facilitate a more effective changeover.

Lastly, provide your team with the necessary educational resources. This aids in onboarding them onto the new help desk quickly and efficiently, further minimizing disruptions. Remember, the goal is a seamless transition that enhances your customer support, not hinder it.

Step 7: Handle Active Conversations

When it comes to handling active conversations during the transition, it's crucial to prioritize them based on urgency and importance. As you're switching help desks, remember that every interaction is a chance to build trust and rapport.

Continuity is key in the migration process. To ensure that, use @mentions to bring in specific team members. This way, they can directly partake in ongoing conversations, ensuring a smooth transition and continuity. Keeping an eye on the status of conversations is also paramount. Prompt responses are a part of good customer service and can prevent problems from escalating.

Next, encourage your team to proactively engage and resolve active customer conversations. This not only speeds up the resolution process but also showcases your commitment to customer satisfaction, even during transitions.

Lastly, make good use of internal notes and assignment features. They can greatly enhance your team's ability to collaborate on active conversations. Efficient collaboration can help you handle active conversations effectively, thereby easing the switching process. With this step, you're one step closer to a seamless transition to your new help desk.

Strategies for managing ongoing customer conversations during the switch

To ensure you're effectively managing ongoing customer conversations during the switch, it's crucial to adopt a strategic approach. Remember, communication is key when switching help desks. Clearly inform customers about the upcoming changes, emphasizing the benefits and new features that the new software brings.

Offer your high-priority customers a sneak peek into the new system. This showcases the value of the transition and can help foster acceptance. Prepare to proactively address potential downtime issues during the switch. Use multiple communication channels such as emails, in-app messages, blog posts, and social media to provide regular updates.

Create PR materials and blog posts that explain the reasons for the switch and how it will improve customer support. This transparency can help alleviate any concerns or apprehensions customers may have. Finally, consider utilizing automated data migration to ensure a smooth transition and maintain high-quality customer service.

Strategies for managing ongoing customer conversations during the switch aren't just about maintaining service quality. They also play a crucial role in fostering acceptance of the new system among your customers.

Step 8: Update the Whole Company

While managing customer conversations is vital, it's equally important to keep your own team in the loop. When switching to a new help desk, it's essential to update the whole company. Communication is key during this transition period. Ensure everyone is aware of the upcoming changes and provide training sessions as necessary. Make it a point to familiarize all employees with the new system, making them comfortable, confident, and ready to assist customers.

Remember, feedback is crucial. Encourage your team to share their thoughts, concerns, or questions about this switch. Addressing these won't only make them feel valued but also help you identify any potential issues with the new help desk system.

You'll also need to revise company-wide processes and procedures to align with your new system. This step might seem daunting, but it's a necessary one. It ensures consistency across the board and prevents potential miscommunications or inefficiencies.

Lastly, ensure ongoing support and resources are available for your team. Adapting to a new system can be challenging, but with the right support, your team will be up to speed in no time.

Keeping everyone informed about the help desk switch and its benefits

Keeping your team informed about the benefits of the help desk switch is a crucial step in ensuring a smooth transition. By highlighting the long-term benefits, you can help your team understand how switching help desks will improve the overall workflow and customer support experience.

Communication is key in this process. Make sure to discuss the benefits of the new system, such as enhanced efficiency, better customer satisfaction, and improved data analytics. Show how it offers scalability and flexibility. This will help everyone see the value of the help desk switch and its benefits.

You should also provide examples of how the new system will address existing pain points and streamline processes. Sharing success stories or case studies of other companies that have successfully switched can also be powerful.

Step 9: Test and Optimize

After you've made the switch, it's crucial to thoroughly test your new help desk system to confirm it meets your team's needs and expectations. This step in our 9-step guide to switching help desks is about ensuring that your new system isn't just functioning, but functioning optimally.

Begin by testing different features and workflows. Make sure they align with your team's processes and enhance efficiency. It's not just about replicating your old system's functions, but improving upon them. This is where the 'optimize' part comes into play.

Next, gather feedback from your support team. They're the ones on the front lines, interacting with the new system daily. Their insights can identify any issues or areas for improvement, crucial for enhancing the user experience.

Based on the feedback, make necessary refinements to optimize the performance and usability of your new help desk. Remember, optimization is an ongoing process, not a one-time task.

Lastly, continuously evaluate the system's performance. Keep seeking feedback for further optimization. This will ensure that your help desk continues to evolve and improve, delivering the best possible service to your users. So, don't just test and forget. Test and optimize.

Testing the new help desk system and continuously improving its performance

To ensure your new help desk system's peak performance and user satisfaction, you'll need to implement regular testing protocols. Testing the new help desk system isn't a one-time event. Make it part of your routine operational processes. This way, you're not just spotting potential problems; you also get to uncover opportunities to enhance the system's performance.

Collect and analyze feedback from your team members and customers. Their insights are crucial in identifying areas that need improvement. Remember, continuously improving its performance is essential for the longevity and efficiency of your new system.

Monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) is another crucial step. These metrics will tell you how well the new system is performing and whether it's meeting your service delivery and customer satisfaction goals.

Regularly measure the success of the help desk migration against your predefined objectives. If there are discrepancies, don't hesitate to make necessary adjustments. Your goal should always be optimizing the new system to its fullest potential.

Lastly, never underestimate the power of ongoing staff training. Your team needs to be fully equipped to maximize the potential of the new help desk system effectively.


As you reach the conclusion of your help desk migration, it's essential to evaluate its success by assessing whether you've achieved your set objectives. Following our 9-step guide to switching help desks, you've hopefully navigated the process smoothly, but it's now time to take a step back and objectively analyze the results.

Gather feedback from your customers and support staff. Are they finding the new system intuitive and efficient? Is the service delivery improved? If not, identify the issues and address them promptly. This feedback is invaluable for making necessary adjustments and further optimizing your help desk system.

Monitor your key performance indicators (KPIs). Are they showing a positive trend since the switch? If not, it's time to revisit your strategy.

Get Started with Your Help Desk Switch Today

With the evaluation of your migration success complete, let's jump into getting started with your new Help Desk today. Following the 9-step guide to switching help desks, you'll first need to log into Help Scout. This platform allows you to collaborate with your team, optimizing your ability to provide support.

To get started with your help desk switch today, head over to 'Manage Users' and add your team members. Once they're set up, experiment with the features. Try adding a note, assigning a conversation to a teammate or changing the status of a conversation. The @mentions functionality is particularly useful for ensuring the right person sees your message.

Next, change the redirect settings on 'Send Reply' or 'Add Note'. This allows you to steer the workflow in a direction that best suits your team's needs.