Move From Zendesk to Help Scout

Help Scout's built in Import2 feature allows you to import your entire ticket history (and the customer profiles associated with those tickets) from Zendesk into Help Scout. Before you start an import, we recommend reviewing this article and sharing with your team to make sure you're ready to move! 

In this article

Things You Should Know

A few various bits of information that your team will find helpful as you make the transition.

Help Scout terminology is different than Zendesk.

Tickets are called Conversations in Help Scout, Docs is our knowledge base manager, and Beacon is our embeddable widget that can serve up Docs articles, allow your customers to reach you via email or live chat, and offer up targeted proactive Messages in your website or web-based app. 

Saved Replies are what you'll create in Help Scout which are similar to Macros at Zendesk, and our automation tools that are like Zendesk's Triggers are called Workflows

Reach out to us if you have knowledge base articles to import before you do anything else.
Both forum articles and help center articles created by Admins or Agents in Zendesk can be imported to Help Scout Docs, but the built in Import2 tool does not include the knowledge base data. Reach out to our team before you take any further action and we'll switch the tool for your account to one that can import Docs articles in addition to tickets and customers from Zendesk, and we'll also send you a different set of instructions to complete your import. 

Note: Do not start an import with Import2 if you need to import knowledge base articles as this can result in duplicate imported data. 

Ownership of articles created by deleted Zendesk Agents will be re-assigned to the Help Scout Account Owner during that import.

You'll likely use the same support email address as you do in Zendesk.

Most likely you had set up an external address (for example, to forward to your Zendesk address (something like As a part of your move to Help Scout, you'll change the forwarding at your email provider to forward to your Help Scout Inbox ( You'll find more help on forwarding settings in the guide you'll reference during the import process. 

Help Scout does not have a web portal.

Beacon offers identified visitors a view of Previous Conversations that can allow your customers to see their past interactions with you within our widget. If your website is on WordPress, there's a third-party WordPress plugin that you might want to try if you truly need a portal: Help Scout Desk by Sprout Apps. If you use Joomla, there's also an option for that: Joomlashack and Help Scout

Beyond that, we don't offer a more traditional portal that your customers can use to access their existing support requests.

Zendesk tags associated with tickets will be imported to Help Scout.

You'll see the same tags on the same tickets, of course. You can clean up or merge tags after the import if needed. See Create and Manage Tags for more on how tags work in Help Scout and tag management. 

Zendesk custom fields will not be imported to Help Scout.

Custom fields in Zendesk are different in form and function to Help Scout's Custom Fields feature and there is no method to include them in the import. More about Help Scout Custom Fields here: Work With Custom Fields

Help Scout does not have a ticket "type" field.

We're unable to maintain the problem-incident ticket relationship seen in Zendesk. Although those tickets will be imported, they will not be linked together in Help Scout via the ticket type.

Before You Move to the Next Step

Make a plan for these things before you start your import:

Put together a list of all of the sources of your incoming tickets and be ready to switch them over.

This includes any external integrations you've used with Zendesk that can create tickets, website or app based forms that may be submitting directly to Zendesk's email address instead of your own domain, any email aliases you have also forwarded to Zendesk in the past, etc. Prepare to make changes to the routing for all of those sources to funnel to the appropriate Help Scout Inbox just before you start the import.

Make a note of your Macros and Triggers at Zendesk.

These will not be imported. If you want to try and replicate your Zendesk configuration in Help Scout, you'll need to create Saved Replies and Workflows to match. 

Take a deep breath and know that we're here for you!
If you have any questions or need any help as you're planning or executing the switch, just give us a shout

Starting the Import

If you're ready to get started importing tickets and the customer profiles, and don't need to import any knowledge base articles, head on over to Import Tickets or Emails Into Help Scout to get started!

If you do need to import knowledge base articles, reach out to our team so we can get you set up for the tool that will bring those over too! 

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