hands and heart

Using Webhooks

Written by Ian Landsman, published on 08.15.2015

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. While these connections were always possible using the HelpSpot API, webhooks make it easier to do and allow for the connections to occur in real time.

So what is a webhook? It’s simple a way to have your HelpSpot installation call a server when a set of conditions are met.

For example, perhaps you’d like your CRM to be updated every time a customer creates a new request in HelpSpot. Previously this could be done by polling HelpSpot via the API and checking for new requests for that customer (or any customer).

With with webhooks, HelpSpot can simply send an HTTP POST to any URL you specify in real time. From there, you can take the data sent in and update your CRM or other systems. Send emails, do whatever sort of custom notifications or updating you need.

HelpSpot sends all the information it has about the request to the URL you specify, including the customer, the note body, custom fields, and more. You can use something like http://requestbin.com to play around with what’s sent or just have it post to your own script and see what’s sent in. Everything you’d expect is there including the request ID, customer info, request history, category, custom fields, and more.
Webhooks can be initiated by Triggers, Automation Rules, or Mail Rules. This gives you great flexibility in how to initiate them. A few ideas:

  • Trigger: Every new request to the CRM
  • Trigger: Updates on requests marked urgent *
  • Trigger: Custom field X changes state *
  • Auto Rule: Requests not answered for more than a day.
  • Auto Rule: Requests in category X older than Y assigned to Z
  • Mail Rule: Emails from VIPs calls script which sends a fax!

As with all of HelpSpot’s automation, there’s practically limitless ways to use it. Connecting HelpSpot to your other enterprise systems is one of the best ways to improve support staff efficiency and webhooks are another tool in that box. Let us know how you like them!

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