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Following Our Best Practices (and Going Off Script)

We work hard to understand what's works best and what doesn't. But if we become too rigid in our practices, we miss opportunities to grow - and to learn more.

Improve Your Customer Support By Breaking Your Own Rules

As teams grow, it’s natural to add processes and guidelines. Standards create a smoother experience for customers and agents alike, and help teams avoid past mistakes. But don’t get too comfortable—there are places where making an exception can delight customers and improve your company, without bringing on disaster.

Why We Must Continue to Improve Our Products and Services

As the providers of a service, we can choose whether we want to continuously improve or remain as we are. But we can’t forget that our customers are seeking to continuously improve, as well.

Applying Agile Techniques to Help Desks

Scrum, Kanban, and a host of less well-known agile processes have taken over (and improved) software development recently. Just which parts of Scrum and Kanban can be beneficial for a help desk team? Let’s look at nine agile practices that can help.

Adapting Your Approach to Different Customers

I’m constantly studying how we all can better serve our customers. This weekend I read, “How To Put Some Emotional Intelligence Into Your Customer Service Scripts,” contributed to Forbes by Mark Murphy of Leadership IQ.

How to Effectively Use Thank You Pages to Convert Subscribers into Paying Customers

See how you can optimize your thank you pages to turn subscribers and new followers into paying customers.

When Business Decisions Create Customer Service Problems

Each new change you make to your product or business opens the door to questions or complications you didn’t expect and are not experienced in addressing.

Voice of the Customer: The Treasure Hidden in Customer Support Tickets

There is a stage in the life-cycle of any successful business when the contribution to growth shifts gradually from marketing and sales functions toward customer service and customer success. See how customer support tickets can provide insights to help drive this service and success.

Using Personal Experiences to Drive Your Product Roadmaps

You know what you would want as a business owner. You have a sense of what your customers need or want, because they’ve told you. But would you want, if you were the customer?

Customer Channels Should Match Customer Circumstances

Talkdesk COO Gadi Shamia tells a personal story of a customer service interaction and what it made him realize about contact center channel strategy.

Moving Your Business Forward With Less Waste

In our workplaces, we’re constantly faced with opportunities to move our businesses forward while reducing waste. What do you waste, and how can you reduce it?

HelpSpot 4.7.6

Bug fixes

How to Surpass the Competition with a Competitive Analysis

If you want to surpass the competition this year, you need to use their data strategically. Here are six tips to help you leverage your competitor’s data to dominate your market.

HelpSpot 4.7.5

Fix for audio file handling, cleaning of filenames and php upgrade for Windows installs.

Customer Interactions: Interruptions or Opportunities?

If customers are interacting with us to for solutions and answers, are we already failing them? Maybe. But on the flip side... Is eliminating conversations with our customers in our best interest? Is that what we want?

How to Gain a Competitive Edge by Updating Your Customer Service Culture

In this article, we take a look at how you can give yourself a competitive advantage and get closer to meeting customer expectations by updating your customer service culture.

Technology: Interrupter & Opportunity

We share some thoughts on time, technology, and what we have the opportunity to do for customers when we provide great customer service.

HelpSpot 4.7.4

Security enhancements, new API features, new automation live lookup action, PDF inline viewing and bug fixes

Building a Followup Automation in HelpSpot

You may want to delay certain actions or requests in HelpSpot till a specific date when action is needed. In this tutorial we're going to build a custom field and automation that allows HelpSpot to automatically reopen requests on a given date.

Share Your Expertise with the HelpSpot Community

At HelpSpot, we want our community members to have the opportunity to teach (and learn from!) one another. We have recently made changes to the HelpSpot blog, and today, we invite you to join us as a guest contributor!

New Feature: Adding a Subject Line and CC Email Addresses to the Portal

HelpSpot 4.7.2 added the ability to enable both subject lines and cc email addresses in the customer portal. In this post, we will walk through how to enable these features and how to use them in your custom templates.

HelpSpot 4.7.3

Refinements to the portal CC processing

HelpSpot 4.7.2

Important Security Update. New portal features and bug fixes.

HelpSpot 4.7.1

Fix for reporting tags display issue.

HelpSpot 4.7.0

"Bug fixes and enhancements"

Automating Common Problem Solutions

In todays article we will put together a trigger to automatically send customers a resolution based on their form inputs. For todays example we’ll use a common problem, a forgotten password.

HelpSpot 4.6.10

This release includes enhancements to response search, new filter columns and several bug fixes.

Integrating HelpSpot with Microsoft Power BI Reporting Tools

HelpSpot includes a powerful set of API endpoints that can be used for a variety of purposes. API endpoints can be leverages to extract data for external reporting. This article will walk through how to Connect HelpSpot with Microsoft Power BI Desktop.

3 Ways to Merge Requests In HelpSpot

HelpSpot includes the helpful request merge function which allows staff members to combine multiple requests into one request id. This can be helpful if a customer contacts you more than once about the same issue, or if a custom reopens an issue with a new request ID. There are several ways to merge requests in HelpSpot. We’ll cover each in the this article.

Use Reporting Tags to Make Your Request Data Richer

Reporting tags in requests allow you to add additional data about the nature of a request beyond a simple category selection.

HelpSpot 4.6.9

Full text database search bug fixes

Request History Views

The request history recorded for each request in HelpSpot provides a comprehensive record of all actions taken on a request. Sometimes this comprehensive view is perfect. At other times you may want to filter this history down. HelpSpot provides several different views of the request history.

HelpSpot 4.6.8

Updates, bug fixes, and skipping versions for super-good reasons that definitely make sense.

Getting Started With Business Hours In HelpSpot

When you begin using HelpSpot there are a number of Admin settings that are great to setup for your specific organization. One of these settings is Business hours. Business hours allow you to configure your helpdesk's hours of operation. Business hours are important to configure because HelpSpot uses these settings for calculations such as First Response Speed and Resolution Speed. In addition these settings can be used to control when triggers and automations are in effect.

New HelpSpot Training Videos

Helping customers get the most out of HelpSpot is one of our favorite things to do. We're excited to announce new self-service video training for both agents and administrators. These video resources provide bite-size chunks of information on specific HelpSpot topics. You can view each video individually or watch an entire series as a playlist.

Spam Filter Whitelists and Blacklists

The SPAM filter in HelpSpot includes a Bayesian filter that is trained by marking requests as spam. With training, this is a very powerful way of filtering email. However, there are times when you may want to make sure that a particular sender or email header is always marked as spam or always marked as not spam. In HelpSpot we call this the Whitelist (not spam) and Blacklist (always spam).

Writing a Customer Service Resume: A How-To Guide

All too often, job applicants put together a "general" resume that they use to apply for every job with little to no modification. Unfortunately, general resumes don't tend to be very successful—especially for customer service positions.

HelpSpot 4.6.6

Message HTML/Markdown handling bug fixes

Custom Request Status Setup

HelpSpot's status field allows users to select the current state of a request. During initial setup we populate the HelpSpot database with several default status types. You don't need to stick with these defaults. The status types in HelpSpot are customizable to meet the needs of your business processes.

Version 4.6.5

Includes several bug fixes and enhancements to external message actions.

5 Customer Retention Techniques To Try Today

These days, you're not the only lemonade stand in town – in fact, you might not even be the only lemonade stand on the block. To stand out, you have to differentiate yourself from the competition any way possible. How do you do that? By improving customer satisfaction! You don't need to reinvent the wheel, but ​when it comes to customer retention, you may need to give it a spin every now and then to make sure it's still working.

The Importance of a Customer Postmortem

You've lost a customer. It's okay. It happens. Now, take a step back. This is why it's critical you look back at the history of the client relationship and do a postmortem.

Version 4.6.4

Stable release of version 4.6

Version 4.6.3

Stable release of version 4.6

How to Retain Your Delightful Customer Service Team

Your customer service team is your first line of defense when establishing relationships with new customers, and your last line of defense for maintaining unhappy customers. A good customer service employee is valuable – too valuable. Without a retention strategy in place, what’s to stop your best employees from going elsewhere? The answer is nothing!

Version 4.6.2

Stable release of version 4.6

4 Ways To Say "Thank You" To Your Customers

In the U.S. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It's a great time to say "thank you" to your customers and let them know just how much you appreciate them. Here are 4 ideas on ways you can do just that!

Why A Customer’s Poor Planning IS Your Emergency

Your customers' planning may not always be sufficient. How you help solve their problems will go a long way in defining your customer relationship.

5 Interview Tips for a Customer Service Job

The customer service industry is predicted to grow faster than average between 2014 and 2024. With new opportunity and competition, what can you do to get in on the action and land a coveted customer service job in 2016? We share 5 tips.

Knowledge Base Organization Techniques

Knowledge bases can be extremely helpful in both reducing the number of times that customers need to contact your support staff and as valuable reference resource to your support staff. Today I'll break down a few different techniques for organizing your knowledge base and point out the advantages of each. </p>

How To Manage A Customers’ Complaint About Pricing

How your customer service team manage customers' pricing concerns will go a long way toward reassuring customers of your value and retaining your customers in the months and years to come.

Version 4.6.1 - Beta

PHP 7 Support and Lots More

Changing Your Customer Support Procedures as Your Business Grows

When companies experience growth, especially rapid growth, it is the customer service segment that often has trouble keeping pace. You are so focused on expansion that you lose sight of what got you here -- servicing and wowing your customers. It was once easy to respond to customers at a lightning-fast pace. Now, you’re embarrassed to admit it could be days, if not a string of days, before you get around to hitting reply on a customer inquiry. Something has got to change.

4 Types of Customers and How to Serve Them

In this article, we cover a few types of customers you’ll come across, with tips on how to engage with them.

Hold, Please: Managing Your Customer Service Wait Time

No one likes being placed on hold. Consumers wants quick, uncomplicated answers, but holds happen. As a business obsessed with delivering delightful customer service, how can you create a pleasant hold experience for your customers? One that gives you the time you need to properly handle their request, but doesn’t make them feel put off or like they’re being herded around like cattle?

5 Things You Didn't Know the HelpSpot Text Editor Could Do

HelpSpot recently received a refreshed WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) editor. There are several new and enhanced features in this editor that might not be immediately apparent. We'll highlight 5 of these goodies on the blog today.

The Dos and Don'ts of Chatting with Customers

By following these tips, you can help avoid awkward situations while providing enjoyable and personable experiences to your customers.

HelpSpot 4.5: Filter Color Tags

The HelpSpot grid is a powerful view that can display a lot of information about requests in your help desk on one screen. At times it can be helpful to create some visual separation between various requests in a particular grid view. Filter color tags, a new feature in HelpSpot 4.5, provide an easy way to visually sort requests.

The Importance of Customer Contact

In honor of Customer Service Week, we are asking you to look at how often you communicate with customers and to question whether it’s enough. Are you being a responsive company that cares about your customers’ needs, or are you the friend they only hear from when you need a ride to the airport?

Clever Ways to Escalate Your Support Request

To get the support issues you have resolved quickly, you may need to think outside the box and navigate your way around the regular communication channels.

Believe It or Not: The Customer Service Industry Is Growing

Today’s customer service professionals are not only in demand, they’re demanding respect. As more and more organizations rely on service representatives to build satisfaction and increase retention, customer service has transitioned from a thankless job to one rich with opportunity.

HelpSpot 4.5: Introduction to the Comparison Matrix

HelpSpot 4.5 has introduced a new report format that provides even more ways to visualize your help desk data. The comparison matrix report is a super flexible, super powerful report.

Version 4.5.11

Fix for resetting default outgoing email password

Version 4.5.10

Added password confirmation field when adding/editing Email Mailboxes

Version 4.5.9

Small internal fix for cloud server creation.

Version 4.5.8

This release addresses a few small bugs and improves the password field handling on email mailbox setup.

When & How to Complain About Bad Customer Service

What makes customer service complaint-worthy? And how do you complain about it in a way most likely to get you a satisfying resolution? Let’s cover some of the top times it’s reasonable to complain, and then we’ll cover what to do.

Limiting Team Permissions in HelpSpot

Often departments need to keep their requests separate both for privacy reasons and to keep operations and request organization clear. In this article we'll walk through the steps to set up two separate departments in the same HelpSpot instance

Act It Out: Customer Service Training Ideas Inspired by Acting Class

It so happens that customer service and acting have a lot in common. Today, we invite you to check out some acting practices and standards that can help you build a powerful and highly effective customer service team.

How to Create Realistic Customer Service Guidelines

Have you armed your team with the customer service guidelines they need to be successful, or have you left them flying without a net? In today’s post, we look at how to create realistic customer service guidelines that provide procedure and support for your team.

Customer Support by Email: Dos and Don’ts

Customer service through email is critical today, especially as the cost to acquire a new customer is much more expensive than the cost to retain a customer. We dig into some key email dos and don'ts.

Version 4.5.7

Small bug fixes

Version 4.5.6

Reattachment Bug Fix

Version 4.5.5

Bug Fixes and Updates to HelpSpot

Should I Take a Customer Service Job?

If you’re asking yourself “Should I take a customer service job?” here are a few things to consider before you decide.

The Relationship Between Service & Upsell Opportunities

How and when you upsell is critical, especially when it comes to merging customer service conversations with upsell opportunities.

Version 4.5.4

Important fixes to Windows Installer and update process for MySQL Users.

New in HelpSpot 4.5: Request Pinning

We have a ton of new features in HelpSpot Version 4.5. Today we will be highlighting a feature that will make your request history even more useful.

Version 4.5.3

Important fixes to triggers and the Matrix report.

Version 4.5.2

A number of small fixes for the WYSIWYG editor and sphinx search.

HelpSpot 4.5 Released.

We are so excited to release HelpSpot 4.5 this week. We've been working on this release for several months and it introduces some great new enhancements to HelpSpot designed to make your team more productive. I will walk through some of the main features at a high level.

Version 4.5.0

A major new release! Version 4.5 adds new reports, features, and more.

Version 4.5.1

Small color picker fix.

5 Phrases Every Customer Service Rep Should Know (and Use)

To build trust with customers, arm your team with these key customer service phrases they should remember on a daily basis.

How To Effectively Survey Your Customers

Your customer survey only works if it’s written well, people complete it, and you learn something from it. We’ll cover those points today.

Auto Closing Requests in HelpSpot

Having resolved requests remain open in your helpdesk clutters your workspace and skews your reporting. Often times you may be waiting on a reply from a customer that never ends up responding. Today, I'll show you an easy way to automatically close these requests and get to the requests that need your attention.

How To Measure Customer Service

How do you assess your customer service efforts? There’s no perfect science, but we have a few ideas to help evaluate if your service is driving new and repeat business, along with long-term engagement and brand awareness.

Cut Support Requests in Half by Optimizing Navigation in Your SaaS App

An increased amount of support requests, especially repeating ones, is a big warning sign that you need to pay attention to your UI/UX.

Episode 11: New HelpSpot Pricing

I discuss the new HelpSpot pricing model.

Understanding "Tone" & Its Impact On Conversations

In today’s post, we cover what tone is, why it’s so important, and how tone can dramatically shift how a conversation proceeds and a message is received.

8 Tips for Delightful Social Media Customer Service

We have 8 tips to help you ensure you’re providing delightful customer service on your social media accounts.

Version 4.0.30

Small bug fix and prep for upcoming changes

5 Little Apps For Better Customer Service

If you've been working in customer service for a while you have probably found a few go-to apps that make your day easier. Today, I'll highlight a few apps that I've found especially helpful!

Who Are You Supporting? Defining Buyer Personas

Understanding buyer personas, and being able to quickly identify which segments new customers fall into, is critical to offering the right product or service to them. It’s a key part of the initial sale. It’s also incredibly helpful for customer support, as well.

Getting Start With The HelpSpot - Zapier(Beta) Integration

As part of the upcoming HelpSpot 4.5 release we will be rolling out Zapier Integration to all of our customers.

The Big "S": Adapting to Stress in Customer Support

As a customer service and support professional, stress is part of your job description. Let's look at the origins of stress and how you can adapt in the workplace.

From Complaining Customer to Loyal Customer

No, getting a complaint doesn’t feel all that great. But complaints have tremendous value. The actions you take in response to a complaint can be the building blocks of a long-term relationship. Here's how.

Face to Face

When was the last time you were face–to–face with your customers? For some people reading this the answer is never. For the rest of us it's rarely.

Meaner Behind A Screen: Exploring Customer Behavior In-Person and Online

Today, we’ll review some thoughts behind why people are “meaner” on the Internet - and what it means for your customer service efforts.

3 Ways to Personalize Your Customer's HelpSpot Experience

Adding a personal touch to your support experiences is extremely important. Personalization can make your customers feel extra cared for and supported.

A Challenge: Sell Features, Not Benefits

Focusing your marketing copy on benefits not features is pretty much considered common knowledge these days. Let me push back on that idea a bit.

The Top Personality Traits for Successful Customer Service Associates

Building a reputation for great customer support requires having employees who reflect the key characteristics necessary to be excellent customer service associates.

Version 4.0.29

Fixed email subject line bug and secondary portal configuration bug.

Version 4.0.28

Added index for sessions table, updated CSV export for greater compatibility with Excel, a bug fix to round robin assignment and other fixes.

The Preferred Methods of Customer Interaction: Survey Results

In a previous post, we sought to answer the questions on how people felt about the use of various automated, digital and traditional customer service mechanisms. We asked a few questions recently, and you answered. Here are the results.

What To Do When You are Out of the Office

Making sure that nothing falls through the cracks while staff are out of the office can be complicated. HelpSpot includes tools that can make this task easier for you and clearer to your customers.

Don’t Wait For The Complaint: Proactive Customer Service

Providing a great customer service experience doesn’t just start when you pick up the phone to answer a client question, or when you respond to a live chat message. It’s proactive. How?

Version 4.0.27

Bug fixes and enhancements to Responses.

ABC #9: Rogue One

Taylor Otwell and I discuss the first Star Wars Rogue One trailer.

Ep 10: Matt Stauffer TextExpander Throwdown

Matt and I attempt to be mad at each other while discussing the TextExpander controversy.

The Search for a "Live Person" in Customer Support

Think automated customer service is more efficient? Or would you rather speak directly to a human at all times? We discuss striking the right balance in customer support - and ask your opinion.

Version 4.0.26

Revert a change from 4.0.25 which impacted Triggers.

Version 4.0.25

Bug fixes and small enhancements.

ABC #8: Inside HelpSpot Vault

Get the skinny on our new little project HelpSpot Vault. What it does, how it works, how it connects with building our own business systems and HelpSpot's marketing goals.

5 Tips For Communicating Clearly With Your Customers

Communicating clearly with customers can be challenging especially if your support delves into technical details of your product. Here are a 5 tips that you can use to get your point across.

Good, Great, Excellent and Exceptional… And The Emotions They Evoke

Let's talk words today. Consider if you asked "What does great customer service mean?" to fifteen people you know. Fifteen of your customers.

What Does Great Customer Service Mean To You?

When it comes to customer service, it’s possible to overthink it.

ABC #7: Should You Build Your Own Business Systems?

Conventional wisdom says you shouldn't build your own business systems like CMSs, stores, etc. Listen to why I think sometimes it's OK to give in to NIH (not invented here).

Version 4.0.24

Small fixes in subscriber user notifications and custom fields.

The Path to Delightenment: The 5 Fundamentals of Exceptional Customer Service

By now, you’ve heard how bad customer service can cost businesses billions of dollars each year. You’ve probably heard that bad customer service is a leading reason why customers take their business to competitors. You’ve definitely heard that the customer is always right. So… we’re not going to talk about all of those points anymore.

Keyboard Shortcuts in HelpSpot

Keyboard shortcuts can be an incredible time saver. This quick guide will show you some common shortcuts that can speed up your workflow in HelpSpot.

5 Filter Recipes For Super-charging Your HelpSpot Workflow

Follow this guide to learn 5 filter recipes to speed up your workflow and make your team more efficient.

Version 4.0.23

Small enhancements and a number of important bug fixes including changes to notification emails.

Version 4.0.22

New command line tools to delete requests and spam plus bug fixes.

Team Inboxes in Helpspot

Some larger organizations may want to split their inbox up into multiple "inboxes" based on what team should be handling the request. Team members can then "take" requests from their specific team inbox without having to sort through unrelated requests. This type of configuration is possible in HelpSpot through the use of HelpSpot's powerful filter system.

Tricks For Smarter Follow-up With Your Customers

Request follow-up is a critical part of creating happy and satisfied support customers. We've compiled a few techniques that will help you be smarter about how you follow-up with your customers.

Nexus And Your Software Business

Every state has it’s own determination of nexus. Yes, every state. So, if your business is like mine and operates in a few states (5 for us) you’ll have to figure this out for each and every state.

Version 4.0.21

Improvements to single name emails, plus other enhancements and bug fixes.

SaaS That App

If you sell on-premise software like we do, SaaS can be a daunting idea. Do you move your software to The Cloud? How? What should you do about your pricing? What technical changes are required? Is it worth the effort?

Version 4.0.20

Enhancements and bug fixes

Designing Custom Forms in HelpSpot

HelpSpot has many different channels to receive new requests. Email, API Request, Widgets and Forms on the support portal. Email is a great way to quickly collect requests. However, sometimes you would like customers to included more detailed information about their requests. This can be achieved through customizing forms on your support portal.

Version 4.0.19

Bug fixes

Version 4.0.18

Enhancements and bug fixes

Version 4.0.17

Enhancements, bug fixes, and a security patch.

Version 4.0.16

Enhancements and other fixes.

Version 4.0.15

Enhancements and bug fixes.

Version 4.0.14

Bug fixes and a security patch.

Version 4.0.12

Bug fixes

Version 4.0.10

Bug fixes and improvements

Version 4.0.11

Small bug fix release

Using Webhooks

A bit of a geeky new feature in HelpSpot version 4 is webhooks. Webhooks are a great way to help connect your HelpSpot installation to other systems.

How to Get Hired at a Startup

A practical guide on what to do and not do in your cover letter and resume.

Survey Forms in HelpSpot

Let's look at how we can send survey's to requests after they're closed

Version 4.0.0 - 4.0.9

Major release to HelpSpot 4.

How We Use Live Lookup

Equipping your agents with all the information they need to answer support is important. This not only includes seeing customers past requests, but also being able to view items like their co-workers, purchase history, and even the company they work for.

7 Things You Didn't Know HelpSpot Can Do

Let's take a look at some of the more overlooked but incredibly useful features.

Work Smarter Not Harder With Responses

I've found that most customers think of the "Response" feature to be standard "canned email replies". In reality, they do much more than that and can assist you in a speedy and efficient workflow.

Managing Email Signatures

HelpSpot offers a number of ways to manage your email signatures. Depending on the needs of your organization, these may be used individually or in combination.

Custom Where SQL Conditions

A word of warning up front. Custom where conditions are an advanced feature and potentially dangerous to your installation if not used properly. So let's learn how to use them!

The New Search Engine

Have you ever searched for a request, but just couldn't find it? You knew the words used in the request, but no matter what variation you tried, your search came up dry! We certainly did, and so we set out to improve search in HelpSpot.

HelpSpot Automation Explained

Over the last decade of developing HelpSpot, we've added a number of ways to automate the system. Automation lets you work faster, get the right tickets to the right people at the right time, and can remove some of the manual aspects of working customer support.

The Exclamation Point

Most of the customer support we do these days takes place through email. While email has many amazing traits, properly conveying meanings and emotions is certainly not one of them.

A Guide to Support Ticket Categorization

Categories are the basic building blocks used to organize your help desk. Choosing the wrong categorization strategy will have repercussions throughout your help desk, from inefficiencies in assigning requests to inability to accurately report on the types of requests you’re receiving.

Everyone Makes Mistakes

Take a deep breath and repeat after me. “Everyone makes mistakes. My customers will make mistakes. I will make mistakes. And that's okay.” Doesn't it feel better to just say that?