Written by Ian Landsman in

7 Things You Didn't Know HelpSpot Can Do

Because of its ease of use and low barrier to entry, many customers jump right into using HelpSpot which is great! As time goes by though the hustle and bustle of busy support days, you never get a chance to fully explore all that HelpSpot can do for you. So let's take a look at some of the more overlooked but incredibly useful features.

1. Out of Office

If you're going to be away you can set yourself as out of office (or an admin can do this for any agent). This is in the 'prefs' menu under your name in the top right corner of the header.

HelpSpot's out of office is unique. It doesn't send the customer a reply, rather it automatically re-routes request assignment. For example, you may have rules or triggers which auto assign to an agent. No need to change those, just tell HelpSpot that anything which was going to be assigned to agent Kevin, should be assigned instead to agent Tina.

At larger help desks we find one agent is usually unaware of other agents current status. So, when they go to assign a request to the person who normally handles that type of request, the request will automatically be assigned to the proper covering agent.

2. Notify on New Unassigned Requests

Ever wish you could get an email when a new request comes in that isn't already assigned? You can! This setting is also in the top right name menu preferences. A simple checkbox will allow you to get updated on every new, unassigned, request.

When used in conjunction with HelpSpot version 4's new 'reply by email' option, you can more quickly respond to the customer, all right from your email client. A win for staff and customers alike!

3. Use Responses To Set Custom Field Values

Responses are traditionally used as a time savings tool for agents typing responses. Did you know you can do a lot more with responses than just fill in the body of the email reply?

Among the many options responses include is one to set a custom field value. For example, let’s say every time you send the password reset reply for Product X you select Product X from your products custom field drop down. You can have the response do that for you. It saves you a step and can even be used with multiple custom fields simultaneously to make replying to requests quicker and easier.

4. Customize Email Templates Per-Mailbox

You're probably aware that you can completely customize the formatting of emails in Admin->Customize->Email Templates. In many cases you may want to include custom information or formatting on a per-mailbox basis.

This is easily done in Admin->Email Mailboxes. Edit your mailbox and near the bottom you'll see the 'Email Templates' box. There are a number of templates you can customize, most commonly edited is the 'Auto Reply' template and the 'Public Notes to Customers' template.

These let you control the formatting of replies to customers. It's a great way to create a unique experience for each mailbox, allowing each brand or department to have it's own distinct identity.

5. Show Filters Above the Inbox

Sometimes you have a filter or series of filters that are more important than the general inbox. In this case, having those filters not at the top of the Workspace left navigation can be annoying.

In the 'options' tab of every filter is the checkbox option to 'Display filter above Inbox in left navigation'. Check that box and the filter will always appear at the very top of the navigation, above the inbox.

6. Group Within Filters

By default, filters are lists of requests that match your criteria. While you'll often have different filters for different groups, or segments, sometimes it's handy to see your requests grouped within a single filter.

Again, in the filter 'options' tab you'll find 'Group Requests By'. In the drop down select the data point to group on. Everything from who's assigned to category or different date/time options is available. Once selected, all requests in the filter will be grouped together by that field first.

7. Filter Management

Under Admin->System is the 'Filter Management' screen. Admins can view every filter in the system from here. Beyond that, you can see who created it and also the execution speed of the filters.

This allows you to identify poorly defined filters that may be slowing down your installation or cleaning up outdated filters.

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About the author

Ian Landsman of UserScape

Ian is the founder of HelpSpot and also podcasts at Bootstrapped.fm.

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