Sign up for a free TestBox account
If you haven’t already, the first thing to do is sign up for a free TestBox account. During the onboarding process, we’ll ask you which platforms are on your shortlist and set up your sandbox environment so you can test them side by side.
We currently support Zendesk, Freshdesk, HubSpot, Help Scout, Dixa, Gorgias, Zoho Desk, Intercom, and Trengo. We’re adding new platforms all the time so if there’s a platform you want to test but it’s not available, get in touch and let us know.
Test your shortlisted platforms in TestBox
If this is your first time using TestBox, I highly recommend you read Let’s talk about TestBox in a nutshell. This post offers a quick summary of all the TestBox features and how to use them. For example, you can learn how to switch between software products in TestBox, add notes, and view pre-configured use cases.
Next, it’s time to dive into testing.
Try things out on each of your shortlisted platforms. Get a feel for changing settings, viewing and replying to tickets, and working with other users — all the things you’ll need to do day-to-day in your new platform. Ask your stakeholders to provide details of their impressions and explain their ratings. Because you can add notes and rate features directly in TestBox, you won’t need a spreadsheet to keep track of everything.
Check your Notebook and see how you’ve rated the various features in each platform. You can also use the open field section of the Notebook to add additional notes.
Note that in a future TestBox update, you’ll be able to add and rate your own custom use cases so your testing matches your real-world scenario as closely as possible.
Narrow it down—which are your top two?
Sometimes there’s a clear winner and you can stop there. But if you’re undecided, take the top two platforms and have a conversation with your stakeholders. What does everyone think? Do they have a preference? You might also ask your stakeholders to vote and have them explain their choice. Make sure none of their reasons conflict with the overall project or each others’ needs. What about other non-feature requirements, such as pricing, great support, an account manager, and security/data compliance?
If you still can’t identify a clear winner, do some further testing. There are probably specific areas of contention, so have all your stakeholders focus on those areas in your top two products. This can help break any ties or point the team toward the best fit for your needs.
At this point, you may also find it helpful to talk to the salespeople from your top platforms. In TestBox, you can click the “Ready to buy” button and request to be introduced to specific vendors. (Don’t worry, clicking this button just triggers an introduction between you and the vendors – it doesn’t automatically confirm a purchase.) You want to have a good idea of any incentives or discounts they’re offering. If two platforms are neck and neck but one is significantly more affordable, that may help sway you one way or the other.
Make your decision
It’s decision time. Take this last chance to weigh the features, the price, the overall experience, your future wants and vision for the software, and the stakeholder votes. Make the best decision you can. No matter what, any platform that made it to this final round should have everything you need and most of what you want.
You’ll need to write up your decision, including the costs, to present to your management. This might require some further back and forth with your chosen platform’s sales team to better capture what the pricing looks like or further conversations with your stakeholders.
When it’s time to present, having two or three of your stakeholders join you can be a powerful way to show that this new tool will benefit people in different functions across the company. The stakeholders can also back you up if management has any specific questions or concerns.
Celebrate—and start planning the implementation
After you’ve got management on board, you’re done. The choice is made and it’s time to celebrate!
It’s also time to start the process of setting up the new platform. This might be something you hire out or you could choose to do it in-house, depending on the complexity of the implementation. You’ll have to configure the new platform to meet your needs and if you’re switching platforms, you’ll have to create a migration plan.
You have a lot ahead of you but take a deep breath. This first part is over and you have your solution. Enjoy your accomplishment and stay tuned for future posts. In the meantime, you can also find out more about each platform’s implementation offerings. If you’re looking for implementation support, TestBox can also help point you in the right direction.