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Article 4 min read

5 Things to do before you switch solutions

By Brianne Kimmel

Last updated September 21, 2021

Adopting new software can be complex, time-consuming, and if you’re not careful, a total nightmare. So why switch solutions? Because according to a recent study by Forrester, if the switch is to Zendesk, it’s worth it.

The report found that the ROI of switching to Zendesk includes:

  • Improved agent productivity: Organizations reported a 15-second improvement in average call length each year.
  • Deflected customer interactions: Self-service interactions reached 20% of total interactions and for each self-service deflection, approximately $15 per interaction was saved.
  • Improved agent experience and retention: Customers reported a reduction in agent turnover of more than 15%.
  • Avoided maintenance costs of previous platform: Consultants were no longer needed to support the previous agent platform, resulting in an average savings of $150,000 per year.

Like any major decision, research and vendor evaluation takes time. So we’ve pulled together 5 things you should do before switching support software solutions that can help streamline the process.

1. Evaluate at least one vendor based on what matter most to your business
You should identify at least one vendor that can meet your organization’s needs and preferably, at least one viable alternative to keep the process competitive.

Not all vendors will be able to meet your demands, so make sure every vendor can provide the answers you want to the most important questions to your organization.

We’ve created a handy cheat sheet that outlines the most important questions you should ask the vendor.

Helpful tip: Review each section of the scorecard based on what matters most to your team. Make a list of “must haves” such as security and compliance requirements, or analytics and reporting capabilities.

2. Write a list of any applications or widgets that you’re currently using
By making a full list of your existing tech stack, you can ensure your new solution can help you connect to the tools that matter most to your organization.

Some examples include Jira, Salesforce, and Slack.

For a full list of Zendesk integrations, visit our apps marketplace.

3. Create a transition schedule
Communication is key for any major change, so work with all key stakeholders on a transition schedule. Pick a specific transition date. It’s OK to be ambitious, but make sure to choose something realistic.

Start by mapping-out major milestones, such as days for training, data migration, and post-mortems.

Making the decision on whether to migrate your data or not should involve almost as much thought and research as the migration effort itself. There are two factors that influence the decision to abandon or migrate any of the historical data from your help desk system—the value of the data and how much of it there is. It’s best to work with your new solution to size up the migration work required.

Helpful Tip: A new system provides an opportunity to audit your data quality and business processes. Ask your new vendor for best practices on how to refresh your legacy processes and future-proof your customer support.

4. Develop a training and adoption plan
Of course, it’s not enough to simply create a schedule; you’ll need to effectively communicate it as well. Let agents know why you’re switching, and highlight features that will benefit them the most. People can grow accustomed to even the clunkiest software, so you’ll want to help them understand the long-term benefits of switching, and how to make the most of the new software.

Helpful tip: Call on your power users to assist with training and empower your agents to find answers they’re looking for by sharing helpful resources with your team.

Use knowledge management software to create an internal knowledge center to empower your team to self-serve with all the information they need.

5. Make a post-migration plan
Your help desk migration project doesn’t finish when the last ticket is imported.

If you’ve also migrated your knowledge articles, you’ll have to run a link audit to update and rebuild any macros that link to the previous knowledge base.

Your newly imported open and pending tickets may also have deprecated links that need to be fixed. Before shutting down the old system profile your data again. Run the required reports from the new help desk system this time to ensure all stakeholders are getting the information they need.

It can be helpful to compare the before and after reports side-by-side to guarantee consistent data.

If you’re starting to evaluate customer support software solutions, we know the process can be overwhelming. Let’s schedule some time to review this list together.

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