Why I Gave Up Using E-mail and Started Using Help Scout for Online Business

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Jay Dillon

Director of Strategy and Creative at Inbound Experts
Jay is a digital marketer and producer whose creative and technical skills have developed digital brand strategies and sales campaigns using a range of complex internet applications from stand-alone websites through to Facebook API integrations.
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Help Scout for Online Business

Providing the best customer service possible is a key factor for the success of any online business. This means having the right tools to manage the flow of information online (e-mails) in an efficient timely manner. So for all you project managers out there, if you haven’t already tried Help Scout, my advice for this week is to get on it (you can thank me later). Here’s why:

Unlike the more commonly known and relatively decent software Zendesk, which took the traditional help desk and put it on the cloud, Help Scout has upped its game by providing a much more personal customer service (meaning, no more ticketing systems). With Help Scout, the customer experience now feels like exchanging direct, personal emails rather than the impersonal ticket numbers. This is great for customers, but the next big plus is the fact that Help Scout has practically re-vamped the user experience of a help desk system. For the support agents like myself, it feels much simpler to use, like sending an e-mail rather than having to wrestle with tickets.

With Help Desk, you have a simple efficient Dashboard where you can set up several mailboxes, assign e-mails, flag them as active, pending, closed or spam, create tags with automated workflows (awesome), integrate notes into e-mails that only other support agents can view…these are just a few of the many great features of Help Desk. Here’s a quick visual, and as you can see, the red-bubbled numbers are new customer e-mails that have yet to be read and to the right you have a snip-bit of the latest Help Scout updates to stay on top of what may work better for you and your business:

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 10.24.25 AM


Overview of a specific mailbox:


Another plus is the smart automated integration, so that when a customer sends in a support request, their latest contact information is updated and if anything needs to be modified it’s just a quick click or two. This is shown in the customer profiles to the right of any e-mail you open. Yes, Help Scout automatically adds public information about your customers and “no manual data entry is required.” Right below each profile you also have the option to see previous conversations with that customer. See below:

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 10.53.40 AM

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 10.56.43 AM

It’s quick and easy setup process and you have the option of a 15-day trial or a free account that limits you to 3 users and 1 mailbox or a $15 per user a month account that provides you with unlimited mailboxes, reports, workflows, API access (no regrets here in spending those $15):

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 10.52.56 AM

Once you’re setup on Help Desk, you can see in real-time when a member of your team is looking at or replying to the same conversation you’re viewing (avoid double responses). And as mentioned before, you can assign conversations to members of your team but still see how the conversation is going, which means you won’t have to forward e-mails anymore. And yes, Help Scout integrates your favorite email applications (Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail) which enables any member of your team to update a conversation over email (No more having to BCC someone to get them to help out on a ticket). As I am a Freshbooks and Mailchimp user, i also have recent invoices with their status visible for each client and can add and remove them from mailing lists on the fly.

You might think this is just one team’s review on this software but trust me, we’re not the only ones who have come to value Help Scout.

Customer service can sometimes make it or break it, because products or services can easily be improved but building a strong rapport and maintaining a relationship with customers in real-time can be time-consuming. So why not use a help desk software that helps you do that? It’s even in the title, Help Desk. So if you’re like most businesses, and probably have just one “catch-all” inbox for support requests, my suggestion would be to try out Help Desk’s 15 day trial and most likely you’ll end up just like me, giving up regular E-mail and letting Help Desk make life easier for online business.

*Disclaimer: Help Scout is not compensating me in any form for this post. While your experience may vary, this post is based on my team’s actual experiences. Inbound Experts is NOT affiliated with the trademark owners of any of the companies mentioned in this article.


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