Help Scout is an ideal application for those who need to manage a "catch-all" kind of email address such as a contact@, support@, etc. Basically, the organization could forward all incoming emails from that address to their Help Scout address. From there, Help Scout goes to work. Help desk tickets can be created, automated responses can be managed and "canned responses" can be created so the organization can quickly and effectively service their customers. The emails and tasks that come into Help Scout can be assigned to users and teams can see if another team member is already replying to a customer email so that there are no duplicated efforts. Help Scout can also act as a Customer Relationship Manager tool in that it builds customer profiles and also scours the Internet's public records to pull pertinent information about the person (business, title, even available photos). Help Scout also manages the previous conversations with an individual so anyone from a service team can respond right where the last team member left off. Help Scout can integrate with many email platforms including Outlook, Gmail, Mail and more. Finally the application offers a number of reporting and analytic tools so organizations can ensure that they are responding to their customers in the most manageable and profitable way.
Help Scout was developed and is managed by Brightwurks. They are also the creators of an application called Feed My Inbox as well. Help Scout launched in February 2010. The Brightwurks team is based out of Boston, Massachusetts and is a team of three individuals: Denny Swindle, Nick Francis and Jared McDaniel. Brightwurks is all about building web-based products that help their customers to become more productive.
Help Scout is different from other services in that it is extremely easy to deploy and does not require much time to be invested in customizing templates or feeding the application a lot of information. Since Help Scout has fewer features than some other apps, it can be deployed to more industries and uses. The most important thing that Help Scout can offer is a very competitive price point. It is considerably cheaper than the similar services such as ZenDesk, Desk.com, Tender and UserVoice.
Help Scout has a very nice graphical user interface that is quickly understood and mastered. Teams of remote users can quickly be provided the credentials for this application and they can jump in right away and begin helping customers. There won't be any "stepping on toes" since Help Scout makes it so team members can see what one another is doing in the Help Desk community. Help Scout is geared towards inboxes that are managed by teams of 2-20 individuals. Additionally organizations that are interested in providing a personalized and world-class customer service experience to their clients are the ideal kinds of customers for Help Desk.
Help Desk allows users to register by visiting: https://secure.helpscout.net/members/register/7/
From there users can sign up for a free Help Scout trial. Help Scout requests the following information in order to get started: Company, First Name, Last Name, Phone #, Email Address and Password. This provides users with the Standard Help Scout plan which accommodates up to 5 users and unlimited emails.
Help Scout does offer a free plan which allows for access for 2 users and 150 incoming emails per month. This is a nice way to try out the services to see if the application would work in one's organization. For more functionality, Help Scout offers a Basic plan for $20 per month. This plan accommodates 2-5 users and unlimited emails. The next step up is their most popular plan which costs $75 per month, accommodates 5-10 users, and includes unlimited emails, reports and white labeling of the application (removes reference to Help Scout on replies, etc.). Finally, there is a Business plan for $180 per month. This plan accommodates an unlimited number of users, unlimited emails, reports and white labeling.
Help Scout is ideal for service organizations that man inboxes with team of more than 2 individuals. To ensure that work is properly assigned, divided and addressed, Help Scout is a perfect tool. Although it is not free and may not offer as many features as some other Helpdesk applications, it offers the primary functions that most desks need to be effective, and it cuts out the fluff. Overall, this is a solid offering with plans to meet many purposes and organizations.