Overcoming Common Challenges of Data Migration to HelpSpot: Pro Tips

Written by Ian Landsman · 06.16.2023

Like most help desk systems, Zendesk is a cloud-based solution. This falls short if you need on-premise hosting to take full control over your data storage. That’s where HelpSpot steps in as a Zendesk alternative. HelpSpot comes in both cloud-based and on-premise versions, and you can customize it to meet your business needs no matter the size of your team.

If you’re contemplating the switch, but the daunting prospect of data migration is holding you back, this article is for you. We’ll discuss available tools that simplify your data migration journey to HelpSpot, from data mapping to downtime reduction.

First, let’s talk about the common challenges you might encounter during a Zendesk-to-HelpSpot migration.

Common Challenges When Migrating from Zendesk to HelpSpot

As you transfer data from Zendesk to HelpSpot, you might struggle with some general issues common to data migration.

You need to plan for the following HelpSpot import challenges to avoid irreversible mishaps.

Data incompatibility

When migrating data to a new help desk solution, you’re likely to encounter incompatible data structures.

We recommend thoroughly comparing the source and the target platforms to identify and correct inconsistencies, such as missing fields. If done manually, this task can be quite time-consuming. You also have to be extra careful when matching up fields with similar functions but different labels.

Compromised data integrity

Migrating data to a new help desk involves analyzing, organizing, and moving large datasets.

Given the scale of this task, you run the risk of mishandling data and losing its original structure. Data is only as valuable as the insights it provides, and this means you could lose business-critical assets if you fail to retain the structure that made your data meaningful.

Service disruption

Data migration can prevent your support team from using the source platform, resulting in downtime.

For some businesses, a few hours of service disruption could easily turn into a tarnished reputation and profit loss. According to research by Infrascale, 37% of SMBs reported losing customers and 17% losing revenue because of downtime.

Security and compliance issues

The migration process could expose your data to security risks, compliance violations, and contractual breaches.

It’s essential that you subscribe to strict encryption and cybersecurity protocols as you transfer to your target platform. You must also ensure you are not transgressing data privacy regulations as you move to the new location. A proper migration strategy is key in both cases.

As you can see, data migration can be a complex and risky process. Fortunately, you can find HelpSpot migration tools that automate most processes, greatly reducing the workload and mitigating the risks.

Expert Tips to Overcome Data Migration Challenges

Let’s dive deeper into the ways you can overcome data migration challenges.

Choose the right migration tool

A successful help desk migration starts with the right migration tool.

One fantastic option is our partner Help Desk Migration, a third-party migration solution that meets all your migration needs and comes with a user-friendly interface called Migration Wizard. It goes beyond the basics, offering tools to share the migration process with your colleagues or customers, label separate migrations, and run the data transfer in intervals.

All of the tips in this section will work well with Help Desk Migration, and we’ll show you how to leverage its wide range of tools.

Develop a comprehensive data migration plan

Proper data migration planning that considers your unique needs and complex requirements is paramount.

A solid data migration plan will help you choose suitable data for the transfer, tailor the target help desk’s configuration to your needs, and pick an optimal time for your migration to minimize downtime.

Run a thorough data audit

To speed up migration, you need to clean up data on the source help desk software. Unnecessary data can slow down the transfer and make migration more expensive.

Start with identifying duplicate tickets and historical data that has long been idle. Note that you won’t be able to delete user or agent accounts on Zendesk if they still have unresolved tickets — be sure to close the tickets first. But if you want to keep a record of unassigned, deleted, and inactive agents on the target platform, you can place them under the Default Agent category. 

Second, delete or update invalid or irrelevant details. Finally, identify obligatory fields on the target help desk software, and fill out missing information on the source platform.

Ensure systems compatibility with a mapping tool

Even though Zendesk and HelpSpot have slightly different data structures, Help Desk Migration will help you map the data so it arrives at the right destination on the target platform.

The tool ensures a seamless transition of the following data entities from Zendesk to HelpSpot (the platforms label categories differently):


Plus, you can migrate ticket attachments, private and public notes, knowledge base content, images, tags, and the dates tickets were created, updated, or closed.

Plan for downtime

Help Desk Migration lets you minimize or even avoid downtime using Delta Migration. The feature will allow you to keep using your old help desk even as the migration is ongoing. Your agents can continue creating and resolving tickets. They can even upload articles to the knowledge base.

Delta Migration later steps in to transfer all the newly added and revised data to the new help desk. You won’t have to worry about duplicate data as the tool is designed to identify and migrate only the newly created data.

Test thoroughly

The best way to check if your configuration works is by actually running it. Fortunately, you can do this without risking your data.

Simply run a Free Demo to test-drive the transfer of twenty random tickets and twenty knowledge-base articles. To test thoroughly, you can re-run the same migration using different settings as many times as needed. You may also go for a one-time Custom Demo (also free of charge), which lets you choose which tickets to migrate.

Deliver maximum data security

Help Desk Migration follows strict security protocols that ensure maximum security for your data. It prevents unauthorized access with a 2FA authentication policy and provides three layers of business data security, covering the data hosting equipment, network, and application. It also meets industry-standard regulations, including HIPAA, CCPA, PCI DSS Level 1, and GDPR.

As you can see, Help Desk Migration has got everything covered. Data migration is no longer as complex as it used to be.

Transfer to HelpSpot Automatically

Switching from Zendesk to HelpSpot might be a smart business move for you. If so, it’s time to get the ball rolling with a trial migration.

The task of transferring data can be simple with the help of a service provider like Help Desk Migration. They provide all the essentials for your data migration journey, from straightforward data mapping to reducing downtime, all without needing any coding skills!

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Ian Landsman
Ian founded HelpSpot in 2005 with the goal of making every interaction with your customers simple and efficient.
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