The more you think your business can work without a help desk the more you realize how they helpful can be. The industry full of different options and not all of them provides the same level of assistance. Yet, one tool is set to deliver all this and more at a reasonable cost. The name of this tool is Front and it is made by a pretty talented team under the bright directive of brilliant minds that are Laurent Perrin and Mathilde Collin.
Thus, to make things easier for both the eye and the mind, we decided to stack the system against Help Scout. Why Help Scout you ask you might reason? Simple, they are very comparable and aim for the same price segment. So, without any further delay now, let’s see what Front is all about and why people vouch for it.
What is Front?
Let’s start our look at Front by covering what the tool is all about and what it is its main objective as a support system. So, the short version is that the Front was designed with efficient email management in mind. All modules are there to help you do less and gain more but this is just the short version. The full story is a long one but we will do our best to cover all the important aspects.
Front interface with various support channels and separate team inboxes. Source: FrontApp
You see, Front is a solution that encompasses a wide range of channels you can bridge together. It allows you to work both locally and remotely under the same roof. What does it mean? It means that all your staff, including remote agents, can operate as if they were in the same room. It sounds complicated, we know, but that is what Front offers. Whether it is SMS, Facebook PMs, or Twitter DMs, Front will make sure that all your stuff is consolidated in one convenient place. This ability alone will help you achieve greater satisfaction and communication rates, which is arguable, better customer support. And this is the longer version. Now let’s take a look at the features.
What Features Front Has?
Now if you take Help Scout and look at its core feature set, you’ll immediately notice that the system is best known for providing a wide range of collaboration functions. The same can be said about Front.
Collaboration & Communication
Just like Help Scout, the system allows you to designate internal dialogs around external communication channels (i.e private notes). But unlike Help Scout, this feature is not limited to just your website. Front allows you to link this function to just about anything that has an API. Whether it’s Github or Salesforce or heck, even Help Scout itself, you can make your communication more organized, more efficient, and more accurate.
Create internal discussions with one or more colleagues to collaborate faster. Source: FrontApp
With Front, you can also assign messages to team members for pinpoint accuracy. Another feature that is not only cool but very helpful is the fact that you can synchronize your staff behind the scene. They don’t need to send or copy anything as everything can be automated and scheduled.
One of the collaboration options is the ability to share drafts with other agents. Everyone you invite to the current version of your file will also have the ability to redact it directly from their Front account. Source: FrontApp
Moving away from collaboration, you have the works here too. Comments, canned answers, reminders, and other productivity features are all here and accounted for. To sweeten the deal, you also have a mobile app. A fully-featured companion that will surely come in handy during on-site operations. And speaking of operations, you can track their success with the built-in analytics module. From learning about time-to-reply to resolution rates, you can follow all these various performance metrics without the need to configure anything thanks to the included templates.
Use keyboard shortcuts while working in Front to save time. You can also change them in the relevant settings section. Source: FrontApp
The tool is quite simple to use and requires only a handful of hours to master advanced functionality. Now it doesn’t mean that you will be able to propel your business instantly, it will allow you to gain more data than usual but we digress. The tool allows you to configure keyboard shortcuts and even set up business rules that can help your agents. Also as part of the group is the automation system. Whether it is automatic reminders or automated actions that meet predefined criteria you seek, Front has all these and more.
Front pricing is, as we already mentioned, comparable to the Help Scout pricing scheme. And by the term comparable, we mean the actual price. To get the most out of the tool, you will have to pay $29/$40 for the Premium and the Enterprise plan respectively. The company also allows you to test the system prior to doing any transactions and in case you need assistance, the team over at Front got you covered. Overall, for the money, you get a decent set of functions that will surely boost the average number of served customers.
Now that you know that Front is quite similar to Help Scout, it is time we take a moment and discuss the key differences. Or more specifically, key disadvantages as for many of you, this will be the deciding factor. So, first thing first, Front is not as refined as Scout. Help Scout has been on the market for years and they have a pretty solid foundation Front just doesn’t have. While Front is being worked on every day and bugs will be ironed out, you might want to skip on it if you are looking for a highly polished system.
Secondly, Front lacks seamless integrations, especially in comparison with Help Scout. You do have the ability to connect to Jira and Slack but more obscure stuff is out of the question. There’s no Zapier or Atlassian Marketplace to help you gain the missing connections either so keep this in mind.
Also, returning back to performance, it starts to drop frames when more than 50+ staff members start scrolling through a ton of mails. Nothing from the realm of unusable but it does impact the speed of operations. The tool is also paid only and there is no such thing as a Freemium plan, something many vendors offer, including Help Scout. Lastly, unlike our comparison point, Front takes a while to set up. Not everything is streamlined and there are things you need to handle manually. It does save time in the long run but Help Scout manages to guide through all of that in a more efficient manner.
Which One Is Better?
We like both as each offers something unique and powerful to your business. This is what makes them so special. They don’t follow the flow and try to introduce things we’ve not seen before. Sure, sometimes the feature is kinda limited but they never stay in one place and constantly evolve things.
What you can do is opt to test them. It doesn’t cost anything and you will get the oh-so valuable first-hand experience. And to end all of this, we are calling you to action. Yes, if you have settled on one of the platforms and want to move your personal stuff, our specialists can help you with this. Be sure to drop us a message and we’ll get you running in no time.
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