A Detailed Review of Help Scout Features (+ A Better Alternative)

Julien Marcialis
October 12, 2020
Looking for an in-depth review of Help Scout features and how to know if it fits your needs? You’ve come to the right place.

Let’s get one thing straight. 

Gorgias sells help desk software. We’ve developed a dedicated ticketing system for ecommerce merchants. It’d be dishonest of us to pretend that’s not the goal of this page. 

Having said that, we don’t want to force you to choose us over Help Scout. Rather, we can’t do that.

The reason is simple: Help Scout and Gorgias are different in many ways. Which one you should choose totally depends on your needs. 

But among thousands of online merchants switched from Help Scout to Gorgias, they once shared a problem: making Help Scout work for their online store. 

They chose Help Scout just because it’s much cheaper than other customer service software like Zendesk. It’s not because they understood the helpdesk and its features. They soon ended up looking for Help Scout alternatives

That’s why we created this post—to help you understand Help Scout features, its drawbacks, and why ecommerce merchants prefer Gorgias than Help Scout

Before going into details, it’s worth covering some basics. 

What is a helpdesk ticketing system?

Both Help Scout and Gorgias are ticketing systems that aim to help you provide great customer service

A ticketing system is the support software designed to manage customer support requests. It converts all the requests into tickets and stores them in one central place. Those requests can come from email, live chat, SMS, phone calls, or social media.

A ticket is a support request submitted to the helpdesk by a user or a customer. It’s labeled with a number (called ticket numbers). It could be about anything—a shipping problem, an order, a technical error, or a billing question. 

There are about 80 helpdesk tools out there. Each of them is useful in their own right. 

But now matter which software you choose, ensure your help desk is your best employee. It should help you offer great support to your customers and increase customer satisfaction. More importantly, it should be as easy to use as possible. 

Any tool that complicates your workflows and forces you to take time to learn may not be the right choice. 

Now you’ve got a basic understanding of a help desk ticketing system. Let’s move to the next section to learn about Help Scout.

What is Help Scout?

Help Scout is a simple HIPAA-compliant help desk mainly focused on email. It offers customer support, knowledge base, customization, email integration, satisfaction ratings, mobile apps, and more.  

Unlike Zendesk, which is popular among medium and large companies, Help Scout is a favorite choice of small businesses and SaaS startups. 

Help Scout features

Here is an overview of Help Scout features that facilitate customer service.

1. Shared inbox 

Help Scout’s shared inbox is a good alternative to a distribution list, group Gmail or Outlook mailbox. It allows your team to work together easily and deliver exceptional email support. 

  • Use separate mailboxes to organize all customer conversations (a.k.a support tickets) across different teams, email addresses, and brands. 
  • Collaborate with teammates using private notes, collision detection, saved replies (a.k.a canned responses), and tagging. 
  • Provide templates that look like a regular email. 
  • Access customers’ full profile, including their account histories and quick links to other internal systems. 
  • Manage phone, chat, email conversations from a single mailbox.
  • Set up two-factor authentication to increase security. 

2. Customer service CRM 

You can use Help Scout to store and manage customer data. Here are its CRM functionalities:

  • Find, sort, and manage customer profiles.
  • Auto-update customer data. 
  • Connect with +50 integrations or build your own app. 

Regarding CRM, a worthy note that you shouldn’t consider HelpScout as a Salesforce or Zendesk alternative. It’s because Help Scout is more about managing emails through a shared-inbox.  

3. Live Chat

Help Scout offers you an embeddable widget called Beacon to add to your website. With Beacon, you can:

  • Give customers recommended content based on the page they’re viewing.
  • Handle escalation by assigning a conversation to others. 
  • Choose one of three different modes: self-service, neutral, and ask first to customize customer experience.
  • Use Beacon JavaScript API to make it smarter. 

Note that you need to install a third-party tool to use live chat in Help Scout.  

4. Help desk reporting

Help Scout provides you with six different types of reports: email, chat, phone, company, happiness, and docs.

  • Filter data by mailbox, tag, folder, customer fields, or conversation type. 
  • Add or edit views at any time while reviewing a report.
  • Check key metrics like response and resolution metrics. 
  • Updated reports in real-time.
  • Share report link with another Help Scout team member. 
  • Export reports to CSV or XLSX files. 

Help Scout provides Android apps and iOS apps for mobile devices (iPhone, tablet, etc.). It supports over 80 integrations, including Slack, Salesforce, HubSpot, Zapier, Jira, and more. 

Help Scout pricing has three plans: Standard, Plus, and Company. Prices start from $25 per user per month with a 15-day free trial. 

Help Scout reviews: What's its problem?

Let’s think about this: Gmail has a simple interface. When you open Gmail, you see your Inbox showing new emails right in front of your eyes. 

Most of us have been familiar with it for over 10 years. 

So, if there's any Gmail alternative, it should do better than Gmail in terms of interface and simplicity. 

Help Scout can be somehow better than Gmail, but it’s far from a great (not perfect) help desk ticketing system.

Read Help Scout reviews on review sites, and you’ll find common feedback: somehow, Help Scout complicates a process that could have been simple. 

1. Easy to use, but not for everyone

Ease of use is what many users mention when talking about Help Scout.  

But the look and feel is a bit different from Gmail. Those who are too familiar with Gmail may have some difficulties getting to know Help Scout’s dashboard. That’s not to mention you need to do initial configurations to make the tool work. 

2. Unnecessary new terminologies 

Help Scout introduces new terminologies that you may need to take much time to learn. 

For example, it replaces “support ticket” with “conversation” or “canned response” with “saved replies.” 

Also, despite a widget, the name “Beacon” can make users confused. You possibly don’t know what it is the first time you log in to the app. 

3. Other Help Scout’s drawbacks

  • Time-consuming set-up process. You have to create an auto-forwarding rule to receive all your incoming emails in Help Scout mailbox. Then, you have to repeat this process for all your team members.
  • Poor spam filters and search features. You may not get all the corresponding results for a search query. 
  • Lack of clarity between internal and external messages. Both of them appear on the same thread, making a beginner misread and send the wrong message to the wrong person. 

To summarize, Help Scout is just a better version of Gmail. It’s not an ideal choice if you’re looking for a ticketing system that helps you streamline workflow and build a strong relationship with your ecommerce customers.   

Enter Gorgias

Help Scout is good. Gorgias is better for Online Stores. Here’s why

Gorgias is an online helpdesk tool specifically built for online business owners. It provides robust integration with ecommerce platforms like Shopify,Magento and BigCommerce. Every feature is meant to help you deliver excellent customer service.

Our goal is to simplify the support process so you can focus on closing orders, promoting your products, and making more money.

1. Automation rules and macros

In Gorgias, you can use automation rules to automate boring tasks. Easy to set up automatic tagging and automatic replies, and close tickets automatically. Now you can save time for those customers who require a personal touch. 

Want canned responses? Macros are everything you need to respond to your customers faster.

With macro variables, you can add custom variables from your ecommerce platform into any message:

2. All tickets at one place

Gorgias’ main screen shows all the unassigned tickets with options. You can easily sort and filter the requests, assign a request to others, and even perform “bulk” operations without leaving the page. The ticket list updates in real-time. You don’t even need to refresh the page. 

This is the screen you’ll look at for the most part of your workday, so we want to make it straightforward and intuitive as much as possible. 

Want to Deliver an Outstanding Support Experience?

Start using Gorgias helpdesk to reduce first response time, increase shoppers satisfactions and boost sales!

Want to Deliver an Outstanding Support Experience?

Start using Gorgias helpdesk to reduce first response time, increase shoppers satisfactions and boost sales!

at
Want to Deliver an Outstanding Support Experience?

Start using Gorgias helpdesk to reduce first response time, increase shoppers satisfactions and boost sales!

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Want to Deliver an Outstanding Support Experience?
Want to Deliver an Outstanding Support Experience?

Start using Gorgias helpdesk to reduce first response time, increase shoppers satisfactions and boost sales!

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Want to Deliver an Outstanding Support Experience?
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Start using Gorgias helpdesk to reduce first response time, increase shoppers satisfactions and boost sales!

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3. Everything is neatly organized 

When you click an individual ticket, you see all the details on a single page. The entire conversation, customer emails, tags, notes, etc.

4. It’s dead simple

We know how hard it is to run an ecommerce store these days. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas—all the biggest holiday events of the year are around the corner. Also, you may have been dealing with hundreds of tickets every day. 

That’s why we created a help desk tool that simplifies everything rather than making it more complicated. 

What you see is what you need and want to see. We don’t bombard you with a lot of settings the first time you access Gorgias. Of course, the settings are there, but they won’t get in your way until you actually open them. 

5. Powerful tags 

We understand your workday involves a lot more than just writing replies to customers. You need to move support requests around, merge, and link them together. 

Tickets are being assigned to “tags.” They aim to help you organize things up a little. You can easily edit, delete, search for tickets, and more. 

In case you don’t know: Gorgias offers the facility to create a simple rule to tag tickets using customer sentiments. These sentiments show you how a customer feels so you can understand how to improve their satisfaction.

6. Helpdesk reports

Our reports make it easy to keep an eye on your support team performance. You’ll know where they do best and where they need to improve. 

“Metrics?” 

Yes, they’re at your fingertips. Response time, resolution times, tickets closed, messages received, to name a few. 

The best part is Gorgias also gives you revenue statistics. Converted tickets, conversion rate, total sales from support—we’ve got you covered! 

7. Built-in live chat and multichannel support 

Using Help Scout, you need to integrate with third-party apps for live chat, social media, and SMS. 

Gorgias eliminates the need to do that. Our built-in live chat and multichannel support features let you immediately connect your customers for real-time and personal support. Your customer experience is way better.  

The choice is yours!

The Help Scout support team is fantastic. So is Gorgias’.

But...

If you’re looking for a shared inbox app that also offers some ticketing features, Help Scout can be a great fit for you. 

But if you’re looking for an eCommerce-focused, dedicated helpdesk ticketing system, Gorgias can help you bring your customer service to the next level. 

Are you a Help Scout user looking to switch? If you’re ready, join our buyout program to get full access to premium features and prepare for your most profitable BFCM ever.

Looking to switch your helpdesk to Gorgias but locked in a contract?

Don't wait until the new year, try it out at no cost to you.

Join the 

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