We’ve been using Help Scout since January of 2013. In today’s world, nearly two years with one SaaS provider is more or less a lifetime. We’ve dated. We’ve moved in together. They know about my bad habits and have learned to keep me around in spite of them.
Every single day there’s a new flavor of the month cropping up with one more feature, or one more integration that makes switching to a new service seem like the right move.
I mean, they have a free trial. What could it hurt to at least start talking to another vendor, right?
Since we started using their help desk software there was one week out of ninety where I haven’t been blown away by their software, their commitment to excellence in everything they do, and their laid back feel in a space full of high strung individuals.
Even during our little rough patch it wasn’t as terrible as it could have been. It was a period of slow performance and some rolling outages. It was slowing our team down and hurting our rapport with customers, but even during that rollercoaster period Help Scout assured us that everything would return to normal shortly, and I never doubted them for a minute.
Help Scout Doesn’t Halfass Anything
Really, they don’t.
From their content creation, to their messaging, to their branding, to their fantastic software, there’s never been any indication that they didn’t pay attention to every detail of what they were building, writing, revising, or improving.
Let me show you some examples.
Their Blog is The Best I’ve Ever Seen
I’m not going to link to it right away because then you’ll be stuck there and won’t be able to come back and finish reading this article.
It’s that good.
25 Lessons from 25 Months of Marketing is one of the most comprehensive articles I’ve ever read about content strategy and what works. Clearly it’s not just hype either, cause the numbers clearly show how effective they’ve been in not only growing organic traffic, but bringing in targeted potential customers through organic channels.
Every single backlink is more money they save on their customer acquisition costs. Is Help Scout doing content marketing right? Yes, yes they are.
They Believe in Their Company Mission
Our mission is to help you build a company people love.
That’s the Help Scout mission. They want to empower their own customers to build companies that people love.
Let that settle in for a minute.
When you get into the nitty gritty of what that actually means, and you take into account the fact that they’re building customer support products, it shows that they truly believe that customer service is the way to win over clients and make them love your company.
Take a look at their company about page Do you have any idea what any of their employees do? Well, other than champion their customers? Nick is one of the co-founders, but still lists “customer champion” right their in his title. All fourteen of the employees on the Help Scout about page list “customer champion” as their title, and based on my experience interacting with them, it isn’t just another marketing game.
I truly get the impression that even when things aren’t exactly as I’d hope they were, their primary concern was either a) making it right, or b) letting me know they wished it was something they had more control over, or would discuss further internally.
When Things Go Wrong, They Own It, and They Make It Better
Back in July they had a short stretch of time where their software was either unstable, or completely unavailable. When that impedes conversations and communications with our customers, that’s definitely not cool. Not cool at all.
While I was swearing and getting entirely worked up about this “horrible software” I got an email from one of the founders. Here’s an excerpt.
We understand that issues with our service not only impact our customers, but they impact your customersas well. Our team has worked extremely hard to achieve 99.99% uptime for the last 12+ months including scheduled maintenance, but today we clearly let you and your customers down.
On behalf of the whole team, I’d like to express my sincere apologies for not providing you with a reliable service today. We have all hands on deck trying to make sure these challenges do not persist, and that tomorrow we can get back to normal.
The email was nice enough, and by the next day everything seemed to return back to the snappy app that we’d come to know and love, but what’s happened since has been even more impressive.
They sent out a full technical explanation of what went wrong, and what they did to remedy that persistent issue.
They’ve also put up a new and improved status page that not only shows whether or not the services are available, but what the response times are and what the overall uptime for the app has been.
Talk is cheap, and sending out a nice email can easily become lip service, but owning a mistake and investing time and money into not only fixing it, but improving that part of your business shows a commitment that’s rare in service and software providers.
WARNING: Proceed with caution. This next section will seem over the top but I promise to bring it all back together.
We have an internal joke that makes us all seem like we’re members of some kind of Help Scout cult. We frequently ask ourselves, and each other, “What Would Help Scout Do?”
I told you it was over the top.
They’re just doing so many things right that it makes them hard to ignore. I haven’t even addressed their actual software and have given you over 1,000 words about how they’re winning in the customer service space. Their excellent product would make it that much easier to write several more articles like this one.
Every movement they make, at least from a customer’s view, is totally in sync with their core values, and their desire to grow as a business. Never do I recall reading a blog post, an email, homepage sales copy, or even a reply to a support request that felt out of place to me.
Consistency like that takes time. It takes culture. And it takes great people. If any of those three components are missing, chaos ensues.
As we continue to build Flagship and WP Site Care, we’re going to continue to ask ourselves what Help Scout would do, and then we’ll go out on our own and make decisions that reflect our values and what we want to accomplish. We’re a long way from perfect but we know where we want to be, now it’s time to buckle down and execute.
Do you have a company you look up to? What do they do right that you love? We’ll get some conversation rolling in the comments below.
P.S. I know this is a new blog, and I have work to do to, but if you can share out this article, or subscribe to the email list to help get this thing off the ground, I’d seriously appreciate it.