Switching to Intercom from Zendesk is easy. With simple setup, and handy importers you’ll be up and running in no time, ready to unlock the Support Funnel and deliver fast and personal customer support.

First, here’s an overview of how concepts you’re familiar with in Zendesk map to Intercom. 👇

From tickets to conversations (with ticketing workflows 😉)

As a Zendesk user, you’re familiar with tickets. In Intercom you’ll support your customers with conversations instead. This gives your customers a delightful, messenger first experience, just like the way they chat to their friends and colleagues, but with all the power and automation behind the scenes for your team to work efficiently.

Let’s take a look at some of the most useful features of a conversation in Inbox:

  1. The conversation title — Summarise the specific “issue” or “case” that a teammate is dealing with, so it’s easy to understand at a glance, or scan in a list of conversations.

  2. Assigned team and teammate — Conversations can be assigned to a team and a teammate at the same time. This gives you persistent context on where a conversation originated from – and ensures it stays with the right team until it’s resolved.

  3. Conversation data attributes — Create the attributes that work for you, to group and report on conversations by type, status, urgency or anything else important to your business. Conversation data can be provided up front by customers for automated triage, or set automatically by rules.

  4. Conversation ID — A unique and unchanging identifier for the conversation, useful for referring back to it.

  5. Related customer information and apps — Your inbox is customizable with over 100 different apps. These apps bring in additional context about your customers and let you automate workflows, not just in Intercom, but the rest of your tech stack too.

Tagging your conversations

You’re used to tagging your conversations with Zendesk. Tags are similar in Intercom - they add context to conversations and help you gather valuable data.

To tag and keep track of feature requests and bugs, for example, just hover over the right hand side of a conversation, select the drop-down menu and create a tag from there:

You can quickly search for, or report on all conversations with a specific tag whenever you like:

You can also automatically tag conversations with rules, based on the content of the messages, where the conversation was started and more:

Use Conversation data in place of ticket fields

In Zendesk, when a user submits a ticket, they can be prompted to provide additional data about the request, or your team may fill out these fields while handling the ticket. In Intercom, you have conversation data attributes:

You can collect conversation data from customers when they start a conversation, update them manually as you handle the conversation, or set them automatically with Inbox rules and Custom Bots.

Conversation data attributes can then be used to filter your reports, or build customized views of your inbox:

To learn more about custom Inbox views, read this article.

From triggers to inbox rules

In Zendesk, you had triggers. With Intercom, you can automate your support workflows with inbox rules. These let you:

  • Tag conversations.

  • Assign them to the right team or teammate.

  • Mark them as priority.

  • Set SLA targets on each conversation.

  • Set or update conversation data attributes.

Inbox rules are triggered exactly when you want them to be. At the start of a conversation, after each reply, or after a customer has been waiting a while:

Bring over your macros

When you switch from Zendesk, you can also create dynamic macros to speed up your response time to common queries, like feature requests and bug reports. If you’ve already set up macros in Zendesk just copy and paste them over.

From Answer Bot to Resolution Bot

If you used Zendesk’s ‘Answer Bot’ add-on to suggest articles to your customers, you’ll get the same functionality included by default when you switch your Help Center to Intercom Articles. 👌

For even more support automation, Intercom’s Resolution Bot can answer common questions when customers start a new conversation, then close the conversation when successful - so it never reaches your team.

Resolution Bot will resolve 33% of your customers’ common questions (on average), create a better customer experience, and save your team hours each week:

Reporting in Intercom

Intercom’s customer support reports let you dive deep into:

  • Your team’s workload.

  • The issues your customers are facing.

  • How quickly conversations are resolved.

  • The effectiveness of your team and your self-serve and automated resources.

  • Your customers’ satisfaction.

  • And much more.

Importing Zendesk data into Intercom

Import your users

Just export your users as a CSV list from Zendesk, then import the list to Intercom:

Import and improve your help content

You can import your help content from Zendesk in just one click. Just visit ‘Articles’ in Intercom, click ‘Import articles’ and enter the URL of your Zendesk Help Center:

When you import your articles from Zendesk, we’ll retain your organizational structure for you. We’ll even flag any content you need to review and give you advice on how to fix it.

Note: If you have multiple languages in your Zendesk Help Center, you'll need to add them in your Intercom Help Center settings, in order for the imported translations to be visible.

Import your conversation history to train Resolution Bot

After switching to Intercom, you can start training Resolution Bot right away by importing your historic data from Zendesk. Resolution Bot will use your history to recognize and suggest common questions to create answers for.

Customizing Intercom - getting started

Finally, to start supporting your customers in the right way, we recommend:

When you switch from Zendesk, you can still stay integrated with your favorite tools like Salesforce, Slack, Facebook and Twitter. These integrations help you support your customers from one platform and resolve their issues faster:

  • Integrate with Salesforce to see your Intercom user data and conversations inside your Salesforce account and contact pages.

  • Integrate with Facebook and Twitter to route your social media messages to your team inbox - from here, you can read, manage and respond to messages you receive.

  • Integrate with GitHub to keep Intercom conversations and GitHub issues in sync so your support team and development team can work together to resolve issues.

Check out our app store for over 100 other ways to connect Intercom to your existing tech stack.

Everything you need to know to get your workspace set up

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Does Intercom support localization?

Can I install Intercom to talk to customers on my mobile app?

Yes, you can install the Messenger on your iOS or Android app so customers can get in touch from your mobile app.

Can I support multiple brands with one Intercom account?

Yes, you can support multiple brands or businesses from a single Inbox, while ensuring the Messenger is a perfect match for each of your different domains. This article explains how to set up multiple brand styles in the Messenger.

Stay integrated with Zendesk

If you're not ready to make the full switch to Intercom just yet, you can integrate Intercom with your Zendesk account. This will provide live data on who your users are and what they do in your app. And you can turn any Intercom conversation into a Zendesk ticket.


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