When I first bought my Pebble smartwatch, I was so excited that I never took it off. I’d wear it wherever I go, pair it with whatever clothes I wore, and go to sleep with the watch securely strapped around my wrist. A year later, when Fitbit bought over Pebble, it announced that in three months it would stop its operations, sales, and support. This meant that if my watch got buggy or crashed, I would not find help. There would be no updates and it would be running on a stale software. It would only be a matter of time before my Pebble smartwatch turned into just another digital watch.
An obsolete helpdesk is no different from my Pebble smartwatch. I’m sure if you’re a Desk.com customer, you’ll know what I’m talking about. With Desk.com shutting down in 2020, there is a lot at stake for businesses using the help desk software. For whatever reasons, when a software is being discontinued, these are some of the changes that you can expect.
- There are no software updates. Desk.com hasn’t added any new features and most likely there won’t be any updates after this. The tech team is spending lesser time trying to fix bugs in the product.
- Customer support will be limited. Their support team will not be as responsive as they used to be when you reach out to them for help with migrations.
- Access to data might be restricted. There is no information on until how long after March 2020 you will have access to all your data in Desk.com.
- Feedback cannot be shared. Searching for Desk.com redirects you to Salesforce. Any feedback you have about Desk.com will reach nobody’s ears.
- Migration of data isn’t easy. Most importantly, migrating from Desk.com will take longer than you think, thanks to Desk.com’s outdated APIs.
With such high-impact changes taking place so quickly, it is important for you to act now and transition to a new helpdesk software. This will ensure that your support operations are not disrupted, there is no data loss, or your customers are not impacted in any way.
Why is it Important to Transition Early from Desk.com?
Any kind of software transition takes time. It isn’t just about moving data from one software to another correctly. Your support agents should be able to adopt and use the new help desk efficiently. You also need to make sure that your existing support processes are in line with the new helpdesk software. Considering Desk.com has a lot of outdated APIs this might be quite the challenge. And as mentioned earlier if you wait until Desk.com is discontinued, you might not even have access to any technical support from them. Transitioning early gives you enough time to iron out any issues that might arise from moving to a Desk.com alternative. And if I were you, I wouldn’t wait until the last minute to come up with an action plan. If you don’t have a plan already, here’s one I put together for you.
4 Things to Consider When Evaluating a Desk.com Alternative
If Freshdesk is on your mind, you will have nothing to worry about as our experts will hand hold you through the migration. However, there are a lot of things you need to consider when switching from one helpdesk software to another. With Desk.com there are four key things you need to factor in when you are evaluating an alternative.
It’s important because Desk.com is often used by organizations that use Salesforce and have integrated the two systems. Since Desk.com will be soon gone, you need to be able to integrate Salesforce with the new helpdesk software.
Will moving from Desk.com burn a hole in your pocket or will it help you save money? If you are a heavily invested customer, will your subscription money be refunded? Think about the costs that you will incur when you are moving from Desk.com and switching to a new help desk. Also look for hidden costs and fine prints. You don’t want to use a helpdesk that isn’t straightforward about its pricing.
Moving to Freshdesk has its perks. For Desk.com users moving to a Freshdesk annual plan, 2018 is on us.* There’s also a help article that details the costs and terms of the offer.
You can also sign up for a Freshdesk plan equivalent to the one you are using in Desk.com. If you are not sure which Freshdesk plan you will need, one of our in-house experts can help you with that information.
How easy will it be to migrate all your data from Desk.com considering they have so many outdated APIs? You need to look for a helpdesk software that makes data migration both seamless and easy. Some help desks have a scorched earth policy where you might end up losing data. However, most help desk will either have a native feature or third party app integrations to assist you with the migration. And to move data from Desk.com to Freshdesk, you can use Import2, our most trusted migration app.
You need to ensure that the helpdesk software has features and functionalities that are GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) complaint. It would be ideal if the helpdesk software hosts its EU customers’ data on EU data centers or servers.
Migrating from Desk.com
Let’s say you’ve decided to move from Desk.com to Freshdesk, here’s what you’ll need. You need to start planning the migration as soon as possible now.
#1 Set up a Team
First, you need a good mix of people from different functions to help you with the migration. This includes people who know how your support functions and what processes the organization follows. Here’s a list of people you need to have on your team.
Project Manager — to spearhead and manage the project of migrating from Desk.com to Freshdesk and to keep the team on track. Their responsibilities include—
- Manages project timelines.
- Sets timelines and milestones.
- Coordinates with other members in the team to get the tasks done.
- Is up to date on the status of the project at all times.
Customer Support Team Manager — to understand the support requirements and processes and be able to communicate the same to the rest of the team. Their responsibilities include—
- Represents your customer support team.
- Is completely aware of the support processes and the team’s requirements.
- Is able to make decisions related to the support processes.
IT Representative — to provide technical expertise and manage IT-related tasks and integrations. Some of their key responsibilities are—
- Can execute IT-related advanced requirements.
- Manages integrations and other customized components.
Salesforce Admin (only if you are a Salesforce user) — to help navigate Salesforce. The core responsibilities of this team members includes—
- Independently executes project requirements.
- Or is able to work closely with a Salesforce partner.
- Helps with maintaining the Salesforce component.
#2 Map Your Project Out in Two Phases
Though it may seem ideal to move all of your data in one go, it is best to do it in at least two phases. What are the support channels you currently offer? Is this a good time to simply migrate or do a bit of data clean up as well? Do you want to implement partly first and then implement the rest? An easy way to handle this is to find out which aspects of your help desk you want to migrate first. And then after a month or two, you can transition the rest to Freshdesk.
Here’s a ready-to-use checklist of items that you need to move—
- Email channel
- Phone channel
- Chat channel
- Social media channel
- Customer fields
- Email notifications
- Multi-channel routing
- Online forum
- Online community
- Knowledge base
- Data (contacts, accounts, tickets)
Pro Tips for a Smoother Data Migration
- Make a list of all the support channels that customers use to reach out to you. Ensure that all support entry points are intact because there is a high chance that some of them can be broken during a help desk data migration.
- Keep your support teams in the loop. Provide them with the required access or permissions to begin using the tool well in advance. This will help your support agents get familiar with the help desk software so that the transition is easier for them.
- Inform your customers of the change if the migration is going to affect them in any way. This could include a change in support email alias, links to the knowledge base or help docs, terminology, process, etc.
- Don’t rush your migration as it involves plenty of data and process changes. If you have large data, then it is better to move them in smaller chunks to avoid the risk of data loss.
- Keep in mind the end of your subscription with Desk.com. Begin the migration well in advance to avoid any confusion. If the migration doesn’t go as planned, you will have enough time to get it back on track.
- During the time of migration, there will be active customer conversations that need to be handled. Since you will begin your migration soon enough, you will have time to respond and resolve those customer queries.
There you go! You now know everything you need to know to make a smooth transition from Desk.com. If you have any questions specific to your business type, support process, or use case, let me know in the comments here. Or better yet, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and help will be on its way even before you know it. As for my smartwatch, I switched to Moto 360!