A few months ago, I wrote about Finding The Right WordPress Support System in which I laid out my points for what I’d look for in a support system. The post ended up generating a lot of really good feedback, and – as of last week – I officially chose Help Scout as my WordPress support system.
Obviously, it’s been about three months since I originally published that post so I clearly took my time (read: evaluated services after the responsibilities of my day job) deliberating on which service I to use.
As with any more decision, there were a number of factors that contributed to this decision.
Help Scout For WordPress Support
I should preface this post by saying that over the past few years of self-employment, I’ve learned a lot and have worked hard to focus my efforts on areas that I’m genuinely passionate about.
As such, I’ve been slowly working through the process of renaming the business (filing all of the usual paperwork), and giving a lot of thought as to what I want to offer both service-wise and product-wise.
A couple of years ago, I dabbled with offering a couple of premium WordPress plugins both of which did okay, neither of which I was excited to maintain so I simply killed them off.
There’s obviously much more to this story, but for the sake of this post, I digress.
Simply put, one of the things I want to get back into doing is offering premium WordPress plugins; however, I want to make sure that I do it right this time, and part of that is making sure that I use a support system that fits my existing workflow.
So here’s what ultimately attracted me to Help Scout:
1. The Pricing
Since I’m just starting to get back in the game of offering premium plugins, I didn’t want to drop cash into a service prior to this part of the business actually making money.
Help Scout offers a free plan for up to three users and one mailbox which works perfectly for my currently needs. Fingers-crossed, as I begin to offer more plugins, I’ll be able to easily scale up to one of their paid plans.
Ultimately, I’m not a fan of paying for something that I don’t need under the assumption that I may need it in the future. There’s no guarantee there – but there is a guarantee that free is something I can afford for what I’m planning to offer :).
2. The Ease of Use
Quite simply, if you can use email, you can use Help Scout. Essentially, it’s an extraordinarily powerful, elegant, and straightforward ticketing system that works just like email.
The main difference is that although tickets are sent to an email address, they are managed within the context of the Help Scout application.
For those of you who have been reading My Day-To-Day series, you know that email and how I use it – as is true for most of us – is detrimental to getting things done during the day. I didn’t want introduce something new that would completely disrupt the way I get work done.
3. The Simplicity
As mentioned above, Help Scout is essentially an email service specifically designed around support and they have done an excellent job keeping it that way.
Although this will require that I have to login via the web interface – which some may argue is yet-another-thing – the simplicity of how the service works coupled with some of the features such as rules, filtering, and so on will make it trivially easy to manage any incoming tickets.
4. The Documentation
Finally, I hate spam and unsolicited email as much as the next person. Truth be told, I unsubscribe automatically from almost any email that enters my inbox that I didn’t explicitly sign up for.
For whatever reason – and this is probably for a personal issue more than anything – it’s infuriates me, but that’s a whole other post, I think :).
That said, Help Scout periodically sends emails introducing new features. The emails are incredibly simple, too. They include their logo, a video of the new feature (which averages probably two minutes – just enough for anyone’s Internet-attention-span), and a link to the page on the web.
It’s so well done, looks so good, and doesn’t require that much time to keep up to date that I actually enjoy seeing what it is they are introducing.
So far, they’re batting 1000 when it comes to impressing me with features.
There’s More To Come
Obviously, I haven’t shared a lot of what it’s like using Help Scout – this is primarily because I won’t be releasing my next plugin until the next couple of weeks, because I’ve got a rebrand happening, and because there are a few other things that I have to put in place before I’m ready to completely go live with everything.
Anyway, I did want to go ahead and share what I’ve settled on as I’ve begun to build up (or re-build) this part of the business if for nothing else than the sake of being consistent with my past posts.
There will be more to come as I use Help Scout for WordPress support over the next few months.