Import your Zendesk history into Front


If you previously used Zendesk, you can import your history into Front.

How it works

We will import:

  • Inboxes

  • Contacts

  • Conversations and messages

  • Attachments

  • Comments

  • Conversation assignments

We will not import:

  • Tags

  • Teammates


Part 1: Input your API key

Step 1

Click the gear icon on the top right of Front and into the Company settings tab, and select Imports from the left menu.

Step 2

Select Zendesk from the list.

Step 3

Log into your Zendesk account, and go to the Admin Center. Click the Apps and integrations icon in the sidebar. Then select APIs, and click Zendesk APIs.

Step 4

Click the Settings tab, and make sure Token Access is enabled.

Step 5

Click the Add API token button to the right of Active API Tokens. The token will be generated and displayed.

Step 6

Enter an API token description (e.g. companyname_export) and copy the API token.

Note: Once you close this window, the full token will never be displayed again. If you ever forget it, no worries, just create a new token.

Step 7

Go back to Front, and paste the token that you copied from Zendesk into the API Key field. Enter your subdomain in the Zendesk Subdomain field.

Step 8

Click Next.

Part 2: Configure your import

Step 9

Select a workspace to import your Zendesk history to, and select a default teammate. The teammate you choose under Select Default Teammate is the Front teammate to which messages and comments will be attributed to, in the case there is no matching Front teammate for the Zendesk Agent.

We need to do this because comments and messages need to have an author in Front. In case the Zendesk Agent does not exist in Front, we will fallback on the teammate you selected in this step.

Step 10

Match Zendesk Agents to your Front teammates.

  • If Use default is selected in Match Zendesk Agents to Front Teammates, the teammate specified in Select Default Teammate will be used.

  • Ensure all teammates are members of the team used for Select Workspace, otherwise the import will not start.

  • If the Zendesk Agent does not exist in Front, there is an option to invite them to Front and all tickets/conversations authored or assigned by them will be imported under their name.

Step 11

Match Zendesk Groups to your Front inboxes. You will have a few different options in how to map over the Zendesk Groups:

  • Match to an existing Front inbox: Ensure the inbox is part of the Workspace you selected in the Select Workspace dropdown. The import will not start if the existing inboxes do not belong to the selected Workspace.

  • Skip Group: All tickets for that group will be ignored.

  • Create new Inbox: A new shared inbox will be created in the Workspace selected.

Note: If you have multiple Workspaces in Front, and inboxes are in different Workspaces, you can repeat the steps above for each Workspace.

Step 12

Click Next and the import will begin.  

You will see a status page that tells you the status of the import. The different statuses are:

  • Searching: The importer is determining the total number of groups and tickets to be imported.

  • Importing Groups as Inboxes: We are importing groups from Zendesk and creating inboxes for them.

  • Importing Teammates: We are creating new Front teammates, using the Zendesk Agent’s email and name.

  • Importing Tickets as Conversations: We are importing tickets and conversations from Zendesk and creating conversations, messages and comments for them. The assignee, status, and attachments will be respected when ported over to Front.  Note: We will try to import as much history possible. There is no hard limit.

  • Done: All done importing!

Important to know

  • Do not delete inboxes related to this import in Front while the import is running or else the import will stop.

  • In general, every 3000 Zendesk tickets equates to about 1 hour of import time to Front.

  • Tickets are imported in two batches:

    • First batch: Front will first import tickets from the timeframe [3 months prior to the import start date] to [current date], starting at 3 months ago and working up to the current date. The current date updates to match today’s calendar date, so the import will continue to run until we stop receiving new messages from Zendesk during this timeframe.

    • Second batch: Front will then import tickets from the timeframe [beginning of your Zendesk history] to [3 months prior to the import start date], starting at the beginning of your Zendesk history.

  • Zendesk unassigns deactivated Zendesk Agents from any tickets they were assigned to, so when Front imports a Zendesk ticket where the historical agent is deactivated, in a majority of cases they are imported as unassigned.

  • Zendesk tickets with a status of Pending, Hold, Solved or Closed at the time they were imported should be imported into Front as "Archived" conversations. Zendesk tickets with New or Open statuses should have an "Open" conversation status in Front.

  • We do hit edge cases since some of Zendesk’s data is not consistent with the docs. There may be cases where there’s still an assignee but no matching Zendesk Agent, or the agent was deactivated. In this case the ticket gets assigned to the default assignee, which is a value you will configure when running an import.