Help Scout Review: How I Use Help Scout As A Project Management Tool

I migrated my help desk away from Groove last year with a deep heart, it was great, but the mobile support was shocking.  Here is my Help Scout review.

If my team and I were not on a desktop it was almost impossible to update tickets.

I thought it was time to write up a review about the replacement system I now use Help Scout.

Why I Use A Help Desk

I’ve tried a number of solutions to manage the work at WP Dude. Project management software like Basecamp and Trello, email systems like Sortd, task managers like Asana, but I found that the nature of the work we do does not lend itself to that type of software.

We do small technical support jobs and maintenance, I don’t want my clients signing up for software they will not know how to use, and probably never use again.  I want what we do to appear seamless, I want it to look like we are exchanging emails, no signup required.

I’ve got a team of three so we need to co-ordinate and share work between us.  Our work cannot be stuck in someone’s email account, everything needs to be in a central place.

The last reason I use help desk software is that I can build in processes via canned responses (more on that later).  We have a standard way we work, I have built a project management system using a series of canned responses.

If you raise a technical support project via my gravity form or, if you are a maintenance client and send me an email at support@wpdude.com , it will land in our help desk.

Canned Responses

The most useful thing about a help desk is that we can create a process for our clients via canned responses, Let me step you through it.

A new project request hits my help desk …

  1. Do I want the project? If not I send a polite “no thanks” canned response
  2. Is there enough information to send a quot? If not send “ask for more information canned response”
  3. I want to take the project, send a “quote” canned response
  4. When the quote is accepted, send “get login details & deposit payment” canned response
  5. Just before starting work send “starting work” canned response
  6. Once the work is done send “project complete” canned response
  7. “Close project” canned response when everything is done

I have others but as you can see I have a process built into the help desk so we handle all projects in the same way.

click for full size image

Gravity Form Support

Help Scout has support for gravity forms, which is great for me, all of my contact forms are powered by Gravity forms.

When a client submits a request it is automatically added into Help Scout, previously with Groove I had to create an integration using Zapier.

Assigning Tickets

A great feature of Help Scout is the ability to assign tickets to team members and have it drop off my queue.

There is a lot of psychological baggage with a huge, long list of to-do items, when I assign a ticket to a member of my team it goes into their queue and off mine, until they need to pass it back to me.  That feels like a load off my shoulders.

Once assigned I get an overview of who is doing what and who is available for new tasks.

Mobile App – Woo Hoo!!

Help Scout has a great mobile app.  I can work when I’m not at my desktop.

Using the app and canned responses I can reply to clients, assign to team member and keep things running when out of the office

Huge Number Of Integrations

Help Scout has a huge number of integrations https://www.helpscout.net/help-desk-integration/

I integrate with Freshbooks so I have an overview of a clients financial account next to a ticket

I integrated with a number of chat software solutions such as Chatra so chat history was raised as a ticket.

I use the beacon software from Help Scout on my WordPress site (see the question mark icon bottom right) so people can ask my pre-sales questions and that is sent into Help Scout automatically.

Internal Knowledge Base

Help Scout has a knowledge base that you could use as a client facing self service solution, but I don’t use it that way, I have my processes and procedures in a private knowledge base for team access.

I also have a library to technical how to documents on how to fix common WordPress problems that my team can tap into.  I add new ones as issue occur.

Cost

Help Scout is charged per seat.  The current cost is $20 per seat.

Downsides

With groove I was able to add a star to a ticket and it made it sticky and bubbled that ticket to the top of my queue, these tickets were the ones I was currently working on.

I like to do that because I often send a project back to clients for review and there can be some time between communications I can start and un-star as a ticket is worked on or waiting for a response.

There is no calendar, this is not a Help Scout issue but a help desk software issue, I would love to be able to add a calendar event to a ticket to say when we are working on that project, and to have a calendar view.

Wrap Up – Help Scout Review

I only recommend software I use all the time and help scout is at the core of my business, all client communication flows through Help Scout.  All delegation of work is through Help Scout.

This gets a big thumbs up from me.

No affiliate links were harmed during the filming of this Help Scout review. This Help Scout Review needs more keyword exposure for SEO 🙂

Photo Credit: SSAVE w/ over 7.5 MILLION views THX Flickr via Compfight cc

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