How to import your Zendesk history into Front

If you were using Zendesk previously, you can import your history into Front. We will import inboxes, contacts, conversations, messages, comments, attachments, and conversation assignments. We will not import tags and teammates.


Step 1

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

Step 2

Click on Imports, and choose Zendesk.

Step 3

Log into your Zendesk account, navigate to Profile Settings and copy your API Key.

Step 4

Go to the Admin Center, then the Admin tab (gear icon). Scroll down the sidebar to Channels and then select API.

Step 5

Enable Token Access.

Step 6

Click the + button to create a new API token — Provide a name (i.e companyname_export) and copy the API token. If you ever forget it, no worries, just create a new token.

Step 7

In Front, input your API Key and Zendesk subdomain. For instance, if the full URL is www.frontapphelp.zendesk.com then the subdomain is frontapphelp

Step 8

You will now configure the specifics of the import into Front.

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 this teammate selected.

Step 9

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 Team, 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 10

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 team selected. The importer will not start if the existing inboxes do not belong to the selected team. 
  • Skip Group: All tickets for that group will be ignored.
  • Create new Inbox: A new team inbox will be created in the team selected.

Note: If inboxes are in different teams, you can repeat the steps above for each team.

Step 11

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. Zendesk will allow a maximum of 30000 tickets exported
  • Done: All done importing!

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • We do hit edge cases, since some of Zendesk’s data is not consistent with the docs, 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.
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