Help Scout Review: The Platform Could Be Better

How many customer service software have you come across that actually make things easier for the users?

Almost a decade ago, there were hardly any customer service portals around that worked on customer-centric values. This Help Scout review will help you understand how customer-centric values have changed the way business is done now.

Help Scout was created for businesses for changing customer service into an effective marketing tool, a step up from the competitor’s, and a foundation for the brand and its relationship with its customers.

Every business had a help desk center that only tackled problems or issues in terms of technicalities rather than looking at them as an opportunity for growth. This made it difficult for businesses to develop a long-term relationship.

But with the introduction of Help Scout, customer-centric businesses and organizations around the world started being more considerate towards their customers. Help Scout believes that doing right by the customers can never go out of style and that is the best and the only way of doing a business.

 

 

What is Help Scout?

Help Scout is a popular cloud-based help desk software that is used by businesses both small and large for better managing their customer relationships. As a cloud-based help desk software, a lot of its features and functions are typical of a help desk service, but with the additional support of offering a more personalized customer experience.

Customers aren’t supposed to be a number on a bulky ticket portal. They need to be looked at as opportunities to enhance your relationship with the public. Pushing them around is not going to be of help. Help Scout provides that playfield which allows collaboration for support whenever a customer requires it.

At the same time, Help Scout tries to eliminate any complexities that help desk software often bring along with them. The major aim of Help Scout is to be able to manage customer relationships more effectively while being able to raise the standards for user experience and offer better satisfaction to the customers when they interact with the organizations.

Isn’t it the best help desk software in the market? Well, let’s check what this software is best for.


Best Used For

Help Scout Best Used For

  1. Used for Discovering Resources: For organizations that are founded on the basis of knowledge sharing and learning, the success of the students becomes the first priority. In such a case, having a help desk that can provide major insights into students’ conversations is important.Even though Help Scout has centralized access to any frequently asked questions through the knowledge base, it becomes difficult to access that information. The platform is quite difficult to navigate for the customer service agents themselves. There are resources for data science and data analytics but they are of no use if you can’t access them easily.
  2. Easy Onboarding:In order to grow, and automate things while growing, organizations need to scale up their efforts. They need to make their customer service systems more powerful. The systems should be such that they help the teams in making things easier for their clients and not make things difficult for themselves.The limited customization options and a limited number of integrations don’t do much for the companies after the onboarding. The customer service system is quite good, but to make it really powerful, it is important that you offer enough customization options along with app integrations that can be useful for your customers.
  3. Customer Retention: Over the years, Help Desk has managed to merge with CRM solutions of many companies. Companies were provided with solutions that helped in maintaining the high standard of responsiveness required to maintain good customer relations.With a focused offering, Help Scout easily manages to attract customers and clients. But after a certain point, it becomes difficult to retain these customers and clients.  A focused offering can only manage to solve a limited number of things. In order to retain customers after attracting them, you have to be open to opportunities and offer something for which customers will definitely come back to you.In addition to this, the pricing is such that for once a customer will give it a shot, but after realizing the lack of options along with the expensive plan, these customers wouldn’t want to stay for long.

Product Details

Help Scout is a really good help desk software that is ideal for organizations of all sizes and can easily support companies with larger teams or clusters to manage. It is good to use Help Scout for clutter-free features that can easily manage teams of any size.

In addition to an integrated knowledge base, robust API, several app integrations, Help Scout has a free iPhone app for being able to support its users. The comfort and convenience offered by the tool allow you to focus on your patron and their immediate needs.

Help Scout was founded in 2011 and the company headquarters are based in the United States. It has been a trusted source for keeping patrons happy for more than 10,000 companies in over 130 countries. Companies like Pocket, MixMax, Reddit, Litmus, and Basecamp have been using Help Scout for quite some time now and it has helped them in offering their patrons a delightful experience.


Help Scout Features

Help Scout Features

  1. Shared Inbox:

    You can now make use of separate mailboxes for organizing all your customer conversations beyond different teams and email addresses. With features like Private Notes, Saved Replies, Collision Detection, and Tagging, all the team members share the information easily and make sure that everybody is on the same page.

  2. Knowledge Base:

    Almost everyone has the freedom to help create content for customers on the Docs editor. You can customize any categories, articles, or related SEO details in one place, but there are some limitations to it.

    The Docs article needs to be embedded on any web page to feel more like a part of your website. There is also an auto-generated sitemap for your knowledge base and SEO options for every article which should be a little easier to configure compared to the current one.

  3. In-app Messaging:

    With the help of a Beacon, you can send a message from any website, blog, app, or store. This can allow you to reduce support requests.

    With an additional line of JavaScript, you can create your own logic and trigger messages. In addition to this, there will be Ratings, Reporting feature, and Mobile SDK Support coming to the in-app messaging feature.

  4. Customer Management:

    Help Scout makes all the previous conversations and activities from other apps available for reference at any time you are solving a customer support query. Each of your customers you have talked through Beacon will have a profile on Help Scout.

    You can integrate or build your own custom app and integrate your customer database to Help Scout. It doesn’t allow your employees to have people feel like numbers.

  5. Reporting:

    Reports help you in evaluating your team’s volume channel through all the communication channels like conversations, Chats, Docs, Customer Happiness Report, Email, Phone, and Company. You can also sort out your data with advanced filters.

  6. Live Chat:

    With the Live Chat option, you can get rid of overwhelming chat volume and frustrated customers who are left to wait. All the help content is presented to the customers easily through Beacon.

    Beacon also makes sure that the live chat window is not shown to any customer unless someone is actually present to chat with them. Beacon also offers customization options like Self Service, Neutral, and Ask First, which allows you to guide the customers through the initial screening process.

  7. Integrations:

    There are several apps be it an Analytics, Communication, CRM, Marketing, or eCommerce app, each can be integrated with Help Scout. You can integrate almost any tool that you love and use for your business operations or customer support in addition to Help Scout and make the process easier for your employees.


Pros

  1. Customer-Centric:

    The entire working and philosophy of Help Scout are designed around customer service. They do not see customers as ticket numbers that will be solved with saved replies. This mirrors the approach of many companies. When a platform like this comes to the rescue of the companies, exceptional customer service is delivered at each level.

  2. Ease of use & Set up:

    Almost all the team members love how easy it is to set up Help Scout. It was also easy to use on a daily basis, which simplified a lot of things for the users. When a tool is so easy to set up and use, you are not required to provide extensive training.

  3. Support Tickets and Chats:

    Help Scout looks at support tickets as conversations and opportunities to improve things. Customers are not seen as case numbers, but actual opportunities for change having this outlook changes the way you do things. They also have the Beacon that can help the customers depending on which page they are on.

    With the Beacon, Help Scout is not only providing Live Chat, it goes a few steps further by bringing together real-time chat and knowledge base.

Help Scout Pros-Cons

Cons

  1. Lack of integrations:

    Even though they have several app integrations available at this point, there are some important ones like Salesforce. Not all companies have the same integration requirements or use the same apps.

    In order to satisfy that demand, Help Scout needs to be more open to popular integrations that are usually in demand among customer-centric companies.

  2. Limited customization options:

    Help Scout aims to be simple and straightforward with a single goal of customer satisfaction. But at times, such tunnel vision can block out a lot of other things that a platform is required to do.

    Even though it is simple and easy to use, it requires more customization options for different teams and users. Even the layout and styling for the knowledge base require improvement according to some users.

  3. Overpriced messaging feature:

    A company might also feel that the messaging feature that Help Scout offers is a bit overpriced in terms of its uses and when compared to other options that are either available at a cheaper rate or free of cost.

    When a messaging feature in a customer satisfaction platform is found to be expensive, it will not be accepted by a lot of teams and companies that try to provide maximum customer satisfaction by incurring fewer costs.

  4. The Docs section:

    The Docs feature is an important part of the overall Help Scout experience for better ease of use and offering a better help desk solution to your clients and vendors.

    Even after several updates and developments over the past few years, users have felt that it might still lack certain features. The Docs feature was also found to be outdated at times by team members.

  5. Focused Offering:

    As mentioned earlier, Help Scout works with a tunnel vision of only satisfying customers, in which the platform often overlooks other important needs.

    Having a simple to use and understand tool will mostly work in favor of the company, but a focused offering will always have its own disadvantages, in which case, Help Scout needs to be slightly more open in its offerings.

  6. A bit pricey:

    For every organization, maintaining a budget is important, be it for marketing or customer support. A team working for customer support always gets a limited amount of budget allotted to it.

    So having Help Scout, which proves to be a bit pricey, considering the focused and limited features it has to offer, organizations will be quick to jump on to options that offer more at the same or lesser price.


Pricing Overview

With each of its monthly pricing options, Help Scout offers a 15-day free trial. Here are the details of the packages:

  • The Standard package is at $25 per month for each user and it covers Messages, Beacon with Live Chat, Reports, 50+ integrations, 3 mailboxes and 1 Doc site.
  • The Plus package is available at $40 per month for each user and it covers all the features available in the Standard package along with some additional features like Custom Fields and Teams, Jira, HubSpot, Salesforce Apps, Advanced features, and reporting for teams.

At such a monthly plan and only limited to one person or user, companies will find it a bit expensive. Customer support teams are large with different small teams covering different parts of support requests.

In that case, a monthly plan as offered by Help Scout can prove to be costly for many companies. In their reviews or opinions, the major reasons for many companies shifting to a different platform were the value for money.

Value for money is an important aspect for each business, no matter what part of the business they are focusing on or what product they are trying to sell. Help Scout Pricing might prove to be more expensive to medium-sized companies or businesses with 11-50 employees.


Is There a Better Alternative?

After taking a look at the cost and the limited or focused features offered by Help Scout, you must be wondering if there are any alternatives to it.

There are several other software that is focused on customer satisfaction and help companies in managing their knowledge source by keeping their employees and clients in mind. The Cloud Tutorial is one such alternative.

Help Scout Alternative
The Cloud Tutorial is a knowledge management software that helps customers find what they are looking for without having to wait on long calls. It also allows you to customize your help center depending on your industry. Here are some unique points of The Cloud Tutorial platform:

  • With the AI-powered FAQ section, your teams tend to spend less time answering repetitive questions and focus on other important tasks. With the real-time data and knowledge base, the FAQs can be easily updated, categories and subcategories can be created, and keeping the workflows up to date.
  • What makes The Cloud Tutorial a perfect solution is that it can cover almost any company size and any kind of team can benefit from this software.
  • Even companies with 11-50 employees or medium-sized organizations can also find that The Cloud Tutorial is able to offer them value for money by being one of the best Help Scout alternatives. This will be evident in the team performance that you get to see.

Conclusion

There are many customer service apps or software available out there, but the one that works well for your company is the best. In this review, we have tried to cover all the features and uses of Help Scout, along with talking about the pain points that need to be addressed.

The review is based on actual Help Scout reviews by clients of the software. Help Scout clients range from health wellness and fitness companies to vet companies and even individual pet owners.

A bigger company size might benefit from Help Scout, whereas The Cloud Tutorial can cater to all kinds of organizations. User review is key to deciding the quality of the interface, the way the software can be helpful and whether or not it offers value for money.

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