Helpscout Review: How we use Help Scout to support customers

Help Scout is the help desk software we use at Jeffalytics. It helps us organize and respond to all communication with our current and future customers. And it’s working quite well!

What do we use it for? Mainly to respond to customer emails, track, troubleshoot and escalate support tickets, and to stay in front of our customers as we expand our business.

Why add a help desk? Because I’m aware that the business behind Jeffalytics can’t expand if I am a bottleneck in the business. That includes talking to customers through my normal email inbox. So I set up Help Scout about 2 years ago, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made for the business.

A one-man support bottleneck

Previously, all support requests went into my personal inbox. That meant I had a mix of customer support requests alongside all other forms of communication. Things got lost, and customer service suffered as the business expanded.

Now we have Help Scout, which my entire team can use to view and respond to customer support tickets.

It has reduced my need to answer support requests personally by about 90%. We’re at the point where the bulk of the tickets don’t need my personal attention and my team can handle them. And Help Scout has been an amazing tool to help us get there.

I love many things about Help Scout. From their own great customer support, to their development roadmap. I recommend it as a go-to tool for anyone looking for a web-based help desk solution.

How a piece of software can improve your life by 5x

Have you ever felt like you’re losing control of your communication methods? Have you ever experienced email overload? Have you ever felt like you just can’t find anything that was sent to you? Are you the bottleneck of your business or organization?

If you answer yes to any of these, then you’re a lot like me… 12 months ago. Less so now.

But that was then. Organizing communication with my customers  has become 5 times better since. And you probably guessed it already, a help desk was the solution to the communication chaos.

My experience is not unique. I wasn’t the only one who’ve had this communication upgrade since installing Help Scout.

In January of this year, I received this email from one of my good friends, Tommy Griffith. The email showed his appreciation for introducing Help Scout to him. He also uses Help Scout for customer support, and it’s also made his life 5 times better.

So yes, a helpdesk software can transform your life for the better. It does so by centralizing all your communications. And here’s how the magic happens.

How we use Help Scout to support customers

Every business has a different need for a help desk, based on the structure and needs of the business.

For Jeffalytics, we set up 4 different mailboxes within Help Scout. Each of them corresponds to one of the 4 websites we maintain: Jeffalytics, PPC Course, Analytics Course and Agency Course. Each of these entities has a separate support email address, and we keep emails in separate mailboxes in Help Scout.

This allows us to have a single point of communication with our customers, which has improved our response rate and efficiency.

Any email sent to our support email addresses is automatically forwarded to Help Scout. This also applies to any visitors who requested help using the support beacon on our websites.

Our Help Scout-Slack integration will then send a note to our Slack channel to notify our team of new support requests. Once we see the support request come through on Slack, we can go into Help Scout and respond to the support tickets.

That’s the general use case for Help Scout. Now it’s time to get specific. Here are some of our favorite features about Help Scout and how we use them.

Assign support tickets to team members

From this single point of communication, we assign support tickets to team members. We assign support tickets based on the areas of expertise of each team member. When each of the team members log into their Help Scout account, they can easily see the tickets that have assigned to them.

Use notes for internal communication

We can add notes to a conversation thread to clarify issues or mark for follow-up. These notes are only visible internally by all the team members, and not by the person we’ve having the conversation with.

Develop saved replies for efficiency

We can develop saved replies in Help Scout to answer common questions. These templates have variables, like the first name of the recipient. They help us standardize our responses and improve our efficiency. When replying to a ticket, we can simply select the template we want to use from a dropdown menu.

Add tags to sort and organize tickets

We can use the Help Scout’s internal tagging system to help us sort and organize our tickets. We have tags like pre-sales, post-sales, testimonials, and bugs to help us quickly work through the tickets.

Develop documentation and FAQs

For questions and requests we receive frequently, we can develop documentation on how to respond to them. Some of the most common requests we get are about resetting student account details. This usually means changing usernames, passwords, or email addresses.

We have different approaches and processes for each of these items. For example, updating email addresses means updating this address in multiple external systems.

So, to make sure that all our team members can handle requests correctly (or customers can self-service their support request), we develop a step-by-step guide on how to do these common tasks. Each mailbox in our account can have different sets of documentation.

Receive ratings from customers

In all our outgoing emails sent from Help Scout, a simple “rate-us” CTA is attached to the email signature. Anyone receiving responses are able to rate us by clicking on the “Great”, “Okay”, or “Not Good” options. They can also attach a note to explain why they think we deserve that rating.

Help Scout shows which team member received a rating kn the dashboard.

And for the past year, we’re pretty happy with the service we’ve been providing. More than 90% of the ratings received have been “great” responses. Nice work team!

Integratation with Slack

Help Scout stores everything in one place. And it comes at a fantastic price as well.

But my favorite thing about it is that it integrates with other systems.

We use Slack as our main internal communication hub (and not email!). So, all our team members will be quickly see within the app when customer support requests come in. With this integration, we’ve seen an increase in the speed we respond to requests. Everyone gets notified on Slack, and they can respond if they have time.

Integrates with Facebook Groups (via Zapier)

Help Scout integrates with Facebook Groups via Zapier. We use Facebook Groups for our community of students, but Facebook is terrible at notifying us of activity. With this integration, we get notified of activities, especially comments, in our Facebook Group. The task to maintain and moderate these groups is greatly improved with this integration.

Before we had Help Scout installed, we would miss comments posted in the Facebook Group every now and then. Nowadays, when someone posts a comment, we’ll get a notification on Slack immediately.

This is the benefit of having a single communication point. When our customers ask us a question or need help, it all goes into one place.

Integrates with WooCommerce

Help Scout also integrates with WooCommerce to pull in data about our customers. We have information about customer purchases right inside the interface. We don’t need to dig through other systems to look up customer information, because Help Scout displays the information neatly in a profile snapshot on the right sidebar of the support ticket.

These are just a few of the many things we love about Help Scout.

That’s our Help Scout review: 5 stars all the way

Simply put, we love it! Help Scout has made my life 5x better. And if you’re looking to up your communication game, then you should definitely consider Help Scout.

Do you use any help desk software? How do these Help Scout features match up to your solution?


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About the Author

Jeff Sauer is an independent Digital Marketing Consultant, Speaker and Teacher based out of a suitcase somewhere in the world. Formerly of Minneapolis, MN and San Francisco, CA.