If you head over to any search engine and type “the best help desk”, there is a huge possibility that you will stumble on Help Scout. Indeed, there is a huge amount of Help Scout reviews and most seem to agree that the tool is underrated and needs more attention. But what makes the tool underrated and unique in the first place. Well, this is exactly what we are trying to figure out today.
Yes, today we will talk about Help Scout, about what makes the tool unique, what features it has, and of course the pricing. Thus, sit tight and enjoy our Help Scout review!
Help Scout - The Basics
We’ll start our review by talking what is Help Scout, what is the main objective of the system, and what you can do with it. So, to begin with, Help Scout is help desk that was designed with both, small businesses and freelancers in mind. Although, despite it being made for small scale businesses, it will work just fine with medium size enterprises.
So, the key functionality of this system revolves around the shared inbox. This inbox allows you to collaborate, share all kinds of info, resolve tickets, etc. Outside of this, it also eliminates the complexities that come with most help desk systems and enables a better and faster workflow.
Also as an added bonus, the tool has a very convenient integration module. It means that you can easily connect the system to just about anything you like. The developers of Help Scout made sure that you aren’t limited to just a predefined list of connects and have opened their API.
Here are some quick tech details about the tool you should know. We only listed the key ones meaning that it only covers just enough. If you want more details about the system, keep reading.
- Mac OS
- Only English
Type of business supported
Reasons to Use Help Scout
The tool brings a wide range of different benefits to the table. Some of them are direct functions, others are secondary, or in other words, passive benefits. Among the most prominent ones are the following:
Swift Communication — While simple on paper, this feature is pretty hard to implement correctly. Thankfully, the team behind Help Scout did a fantastic job. Not only the system is fast but allows for some heavy customization. What this means for the users, is that you won’t be stuck with the same menu flow because everything can be customized to your liking. Another part of this system is that it supports a number of different channels. And you can gather messages from across different platforms as well. This will not only benefit you but will make sure that your customers don’t have to wait hours in queues.
Easy To Learn — As the benefit implies, the tool is quite easy to learn, and frankly, to master. After a brief tutorial section, you will be rocking the tool as if you knew how to in the first place. While true that some modules are more complex than others, you will be prompted to undergo some sort of tutorial or video.
Robust Collab System — The tool is a great collaboration tool as it allows your agents and customers to consult each other. No need to worry that your install base will be left unhandled or given bad advice. Also, in case you are wondering, the tool will do wonders if you have a bad ticket resolution rate. It will automatically prioritize and assign tickets that other agents didn’t resolve to more capable staff.
Rich Knowledge Bases — Help Scout allows it’s users to create and manage high-quality knowledge bases. Said bases can be equipped with interactive FAQs, video tutorials, surveys and many more. You can also establish a self-service portal. Thus, your customers can help each other in case they don’t feel like calling support.
Unique Features To Consider
Now that we’ve covered all the benefits this tool has, it’s time we discuss the features it has. Suffice to say, there aren’t that many of them but those that are there, are not only of high quality but will transform the way you do business. Thus, among all features Help Scout, these are the best:
- Resembles a standard email. While this might seem like an artistic decision, in all honesty, it was designed that way from the get-go. You see, what makes this feature so great is that everyone has a personal email and know how to use one. This means that you don’t have to spend extra time demonstrating people how to use the tool. Also, since it looks like an email, it means that will sort, prioritize incoming emails because the tool understands the context. That’s right, it will understand what is a question and what is a complain and will assign each request to the correct inbox.
- 35+ integrations with 3rd party apps. The tool allows you to easily connect to anything that has an API. It means it does have a ton of integration options that do not require any kind of coding. Yes, you can connect the system to all your Facebooks, Twitter accounts, and Instagram profiles just by pressing a few buttons prompts. This is a huge benefit for companies that do not have a dedicated IT support team, as well as for those that operate in a fast-paced industry where every second count.
- Real-time reporting. The tool is equipped with a really powerful gathering system that draws information from various sources. Whether you sell through Facebook or your own personal website, the system will track each visit, each interaction, and each bounce.
- Multi-brand support. There are many help desk systems that allow for multi-brand support, yet none come close to the functionality Help Scout offers. What we mean is that you don’t need to create separate accounts or additional pages to manage your second brand. You have all this functionality in one place and the best part of it, it’s just a few buttons away. No intricate menus, no convoluted redirects, no strings attached. A very powerful module that deserves the attention it gets.
Keep in mind that there are many more small little features that are just as polished. It’s just listing them all would take forever, and some of them can be found in other help desk systems, meaning they aren’t as unique.
The tool comes in three tariff plans that have more features the higher the tier. Here’s what are our thoughts regarding each plan and why you should avoid the starter pack:
Standard — As we already stated, this isn’t the best plan in the world. In fact, it’s quite generic in its feature list. For $20 user/month, you will get access to 1 docs website, 5 mailboxes, reports with full history, automated workflows, an open API with 50+ integration out of the box, and finally, beacon with live chat. Keep in mind that the latter is the latest addition to the plan. For the price, there are far better options with more features. A good example would be Freshdesk where you get all the same and SLA management, collision detection, and a tad more automation options.
Plus — Unlike our previous plan on the list, this one is the exact opposite as it adds some very nice functions to the list. For just $32 user/month, you get everything that was in the Standard plan. Additionally, you get 25 mailboxes, 5 docs sites, Salesforce, Hubspot, and Jira apps, HIPPA compliance, custom fields and teams, and finally SSO/SAML authentification. If you plan on using the tool, we suggest you start with this plan. It’s only $12 more and you won’t get the same feature set from Freshdesk for the price.
Company — The last one on the list is a mystery in terms of pricing. But at least we know what it has to offer. Thus, for an undisclosed amount of money, those who opted for the Company plan will get everything you get in the Standard and Plus plan. Also, you'll get an unlimited amount of mailboxes and docs sites, dedicated account management system (and manager), concierge onboarding services, enterprise security and SSO, flexible users for lower prices.
There are quite a few alternatives to Help Scout and some of them come quite close in terms of a number of features. Here are some of the better ones:
Zendesk — Generally speaking, the tool offers practically the same amount of features as Help Scout. The quality is also the same with the only difference being that it’s a bit more expensive. Also, the tool will work better in enterprise level companies as it was built with scale in mind.
Dimelo — The tool is quite good for what it is. It offers the standard suite of features a system has and adds a few interesting features such as customer conversation tracking and incident response notifications. A good match for those of you what are looking for a cheaper alternative.
Use Response — While not a traditional help desk system, it does have everything you might ever need to provide proper support line for your customers. It’s a nice tool for companies that already have a sub-brand and need to cooperate remotely because it has all the functions you might ever need.
Looks like our Help Scout review has come to an end. To recap everything we’ve learned, it’s clear that Help Scout is a very good system that has the potential to be an industry favorite. It’s true, it does lack some functionality but those features that are there will surely meet your expectations. We suggest you give this tool a shot and in case you have trouble figuring out what plan to choose or how to set up the whole thing using your old data, drop us a message. We’ll gladly help you out but for now, see you in our next review.
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