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Help Scout Review: Your Guide to Help Scout

In today’s Help Scout review, we’re looking at a popular solution for cloud-based help desk functionality. This comprehensive software solution provides a portfolio of tools to make teams more effective at customer service. You’ll get a knowledge base tool, email-based customer support, and even an embeddable search/contact widget for customer service.

Launched in 2011, Help Scout has become a popular choice for help desk management alongside the likes of Buffer, and Basecamp. Currently, the cloud-based help desk solution has more than 12,000 customers, including a host of small businesses and agile teams.

Today, we’re going to be taking a closer look at Help Scout, and what it can do to help your business thrive in an age where customer service is key.

What is Help Scout?

helpscout homepage

Help Scout is a simple all-in-one platform for managing customer conversations and relationships. The foundation of the solution is a shared inbox, where business employees can keep track of service requests and other conversations with leads and customers.

Voted one of the “best ROI” tools on G2, Help Scout provides a convenient customer support platform which looks and feels similar to a personal email inbox. There are no complicated components to learn how to use, which makes this tool an excellent choice for small and remote teams who might not have a lot of time for in-house training.

The service promises everything you need for world-class support in an omnichannel environment. This means you can connect with customers through live chat, email, help centers, proactive messages, and more.

Though perhaps not as complex or feature rich as some of the more advanced help desk and customer service platforms on the market, Help Scout benefits from being wonderfully convenient and easy to use. It’s a great choice for the small business market it serves.

Help Scout Pricing

As with many ticketing system tools and services for great customer support, you’ll save money on your Help Scout subscription if you commit to annual prices.

However, Help Scout user features aren’t limited specifically to higher plans. You still get a lot of advanced information technology features within the Standard package too.

Options for pricing include:

  • Standard: $20 per user per month: 2 mailboxes 1 docs site, live chat, in-app messaging, live chat, the Beacon help widget, custom reports, customer properties, automated workflows, APIs and 50+ integrations.
  • Plus: $35 per user per month: All the features of Standard, plus 5 mailboxes, 2 docs sites, no user limit, custom fields, Teams, advanced permissions, advanced API access, unlimited reporting, HIPAA compliance, and enterprise security, as well as integrations.
  • Company: $60 per user per month: All the features of Plus, as well as unlimited mailboxes, unlimited Docs sites, no user limited, enterprise security, HIPAA compliance, concierge onboarding, API rate limit increasing, and a dedicated account manager.

You can also get special pricing for startups, or if you’re a non-profit organization, by reaching out to the Help Scout team. As an added bonus, the certified B corp plants a tree every time a new team joins their community.

Help Scout Features

As mentioned above, Help Scout is a customer support platform designed to give growing companies the flexibility and power they need to grow at a rate suitable for their audience. The all-in-one environment looks similar to a personal email inbox, with no complex case numbers or ticket numbers to manage. Business leaders can simply create multiple mailboxes for shared email addresses, to create convenient hubs of service across departments.

The Software as a Service (SaaS) solution combines a variety of elements for customer support with tools for customer relationship management, so you can develop a better understanding of your target audience and leave a lasting impression on potential customers.

Features include:

  • Shared inbox
  • Live chat
  • In-app messages
  • Knowledge base
  • Reporting
  • Integrations

Help Scout’s state of the art feature selection covers the functionality of a range of different customer service tools in one app. This ensures your teams can spend less time moving between tools, and more time delivering great service. Let’s take a closer look at each component.

Shared Inbox

The shared inbox is at the heart of the Help Scout solution. In today’s business environment, customers expect to be able to communicate with their favorite brands through any channel of their choice. Managing all of these channels separately would be practically impossible. With Help Scot, companies can empower their teams to work together and start responding to emails in minutes.

You can also access a host of organization, automation, and collaboration tools within the inbox to make life easier. Some of the features include:

  • Assignment: Simple assignments to get emails or messages to the right agents.
  • Private notes: Private notes to help agents find solutions before responding to emails.
  • Saved replies: Searchable libraries of potential answers to frequently asked questions.
  • Tagging: Tag customer conversations automate various workflows and requests.
  • Customer profiles: Everything you need to know about your contact is in the sidebar when you’re answering a message, including previous conversations and activity.
  • Speed: Toggle between a host of chat and email conversations in seconds and see when new requests are added to the queue in real-time.
  • Automation: Create automated workflows to support your team and complete repetitive tasks so agents can focus on crucial projects.
  • Omnichannel: Live chat, shared inbox, and knowledge base software in one tool.
  • Collision detection: Real-time indicators to show when someone is replying to a request.
  • Keyboard shortcuts: More than 75 shortcuts to speed up your team.
  • Advanced search: Find what you need with various filters and bulk actions.
  • Mobile apps: Android and iOS apps for use on the go.
  • Notifications: Instant updates in your email, mobile device, or browser.
  • Satisfaction ratings: Collect reviews and comments from customers in seconds

Help Scout also comes with fantastic, advanced security features built-in, including 2-factor authentication, and potential access to SSO/SAML.

Aside from the shared inbox, you also get a CRM solution in the form of Help Desk customer management. This makes it easy to track activity of individual users across multiple environments and develop an in-depth understanding of your audience. You can collect order history information, and pull in contextual data from dozens of integrations like HubSpot, Jira, Salesforce, Shopify, and Slack.

The customer management solution makes it easy to develop a better understanding of your target audience within the ticket management environment, while enhancing ease of use.

Live Chat

Customers are increasingly demanding more fast-paced and convenient ways to communicate with the brands they love. With live chat, you can deliver the experiences your clients are looking for in seconds. You can start in seconds by installing the “Beacon” app on your website and collaborate with team members while you respond to messages.

With Help Scout, you can chat on your terms, when your team members are available, and use tags and customer profiles to provide more personalized help to every customer.

The Live Chat solution from Help Scout also provides all the information you might need to answer customer queries within the app itself, so you can respond to customers quickly. There are recommended answers included on a page, and you can view the pages your customers are looking at in real-time. Plus, customers can access tools to help themselves.

When customers can’t find an answer, they can start a chat with your team in the same place where they were looking for self-help. Features include:

  • All in one support: Direct customers to your email queue when people aren’t available to answer Live Chat queries.
  • Create custom modes: Create a range of modes from self-service to customer-service first solutions to suit your target audience.
  • Instant installation: Add the Beacon instant chat feature to your website in seconds to start offering excellent customer service straight away.
  • The convenient user interface and customization options with templates make the live chat functionality an excellent solution for companies of all sizes.

In-App Messages

In app messages are another fantastic feature from Help Scout which allow companies to offer a more proactive level of support. With these tools, companies can promote new products, invite customers to reach out for extra guidance, and build rich messages with links, images, and CTAs.

You can use customer properties and events to reach customers at just the right time with your message, and track clicks and views on messages over time to learn more about your audience. There’s also a dedicated messages dashboard to give you a more comprehensive view of all your messages, reporting, and monthly usage.

The Messages service comes with 2k free for every Help Scout plan, then you can set a monthly spending limit, paying only for who you reach. As with your support tickets and other features from Help Scout, the messaging solution comes with various reports for tracking team performance, and helping to optimize your support people.

Knowledge base and Workflows

The help scout help desk software comes with a host of valuable tools to empower your support team, including a knowledge base for storing any valuable docs for self-service. You can create articles at rocket speed with text, hyperlinks, tables, and videos, and deliver instant answers with the Beacon messaging app.

Companies can also embed answers to common questions within popover popups, modal, and sidebar content, to help deliver the exact insights clients need when they need it most. You can even design your own help center website, which works on any device and comes with a built-in SSL, for more peace of mind.

The knowledge base environment gives you a branded space where you can answer customer questions quickly, reducing the pressure on your staff. At the same time, the Docs report comes with insights to help you learn more about the customer journey.

Outside of providing self-service, another way to support your team is to build automated workflows. Workflows in Help Scout ensure businesses can automate repetitive and critical tasks for your team members, so they can focus on more of the tasks that matter.

You can use workflows to meet SLAs, and create different automations in seconds, with convenient and easy-to-use building blocks which make it clear when an issue needs to be prioritized, escalated, or redirected to the right person.

Unlike most customer experience and CRM solutions, Help Scout provides access to crucial metrics and automated tools on the standard plan, so everyone can improve their response time. The knowledge base and workflows can adapt according to your individual needs, so you can access everything you need to really impress top customers.

Help Scout Review: Final Verdict

Achieving high levels of customer satisfaction is one of the most important things any business can do today. Companies who can serve their audience through the right live chat, FAQs, and self-service solutions will always stand ahead of the competition.

Help Scout offers a comprehensive help desk and ticketing solution, with built-in CRM functionality to transform your customer service strategy.

Competing with the likes of Zendesk and Hubspot, Help Scout combines exceptional ease of use with a feature rich toolkit, even for people on standard (less expensive plans).

You can access fantastic Help scout support whenever you need assistance with your service, and unlock the power of countless reporting and analytics tools for tracking critical metrics about your customer satisfaction levels.

With extra tools like single sign-on available for security, Help Scout can adapt to suit the needs of a wide range of companies, freelancers, and business leaders.

If you’re looking for a convenient and comprehensive way to supercharge your support plan, Help Scout could be just the technology you’ve been searching for. With a free trial to get you started, there’s nothing to lose by putting the technology to the test.

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Catalin is a blogger and a big fan of ecommerce. He also loves mindfulness and matcha tea!

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