Manage Beacon Contact Settings

Beacon comes with a handful of settings that let you control how your customers get in touch. You might want to use a Beacon with Docs only, just a contact form, or with chat and a contact form. Whatever works best for you, these settings let you configure what you need. 

In This Article

Basic Contact Options

Connected Inbox

Choose an Inbox to connect to your Beacon. Chats and contact form submissions from Beacon will appear in this Inbox. 

Show Contact Form 

Use the contact form to allow your customers to email you right from Beacon. If you disable the contact form, your Beacon will only be serving Docs. 


Hit the toggle switch to enable live chat in your Beacon. The option to chat will only show to customers when there are Help Scout Users who are online and available to chat. See User Availability and Maximum Chats for more on chat availability. 

Note: When chat is enabled the contact form cannot be disabled, as it is the fallback option when you have no Users available to chat.

Contact Form Options

Ask for a name

Ask visitors to provide their name when they use the Beacon contact form. If you’re using the Beacon JavaScript identify feature, the name field is automatically hidden. 

When you enable this field, it is a required field on your contact form. 

Support history security

The Support History feature allows a customer to see all of their previous conversations. This includes Beacon contact for messages, chat transcripts, as well as direct email history. Beacon uses the Basic security option out of the box, which limits history to the customer’s browser session and device. 
  • Basic: We use a device ID and browser local storage to recognize the visitor, and they will see the support history tied to that device. If your customer clears their browser history and cookies, they will no longer have access to this history.  
  • Advanced: This requires a secure key to implement, and little work on your end, but includes your customer’s full support history on all devices for that customer. 
Support History Security explains this feature in more detail. 

Ask for a Subject

Ask customers to provide a subject when they use the Beacon contact form. You can pre-fill the subject line automatically by using the Beacon JavaScript API

When you enable this field, it is a required field on your contact form. 

Allow attachments

Allow customers to upload images or attach files when sending a message through the contact form. The maximum file size for any single attachment is 10MB. Customers can attach up to 3 images or files per message. 

Show Custom Fields 

Customers on the Plus plan, or customers with the Custom Fields add-on, can show up to five custom fields on the Beacon contact form. We use the same field names you see when viewing a conversation in Help Scout. If you display custom fields to customers, we’d recommend using customer-friendly field names. 
If a custom field is required in the Inbox, it is required on the Beacon contact form. 

Check out Create a Smart Contact Form for some additional help with this feature! 

Show photos

Enable Show photos to choose and manage which of your Help Scout User's profile pictures show in the Ask screen in Beacon. You can specify up to 5 Users to feature. Toggle this option off if you'd rather not show any. 

If you have less than 5 Users selected here, click the + sign to choose to add more. Only Users that have access to the Inbox that is attached to your Beacon that also have a User profile photo will be available to choose. 

To remove a User profile picture, hover over the picture and click the X

Reorder the photos by clicking and dragging them into the order you want them to appear. 

Chat Options

Satisfaction ratings

Customers will be given the option to rate the chat interaction when the session ends.

Email transcript

Choose to have an email transcript emailed to the customer when the chat has ended. 

Require email?

Disable Require Email to allow your visitors to initiate a chat anonymously. Help Bot will not ask for an email address before starting the chat. The Help Scout User who accepts the chat will have the option to add an email address while in the chat session. Enable this feature to require an email address before a chat session begins. 
No email transcript will be sent if an email address has not been entered before the chat session has ended, even if the email address is added to the transcript conversation later. 

What Information Your Visitors Can See

When you enable the Contact and Chat features, you will be sharing some data about Users in your Help Scout account with visitors to your Beacon.   


When visitors toggle the Ask screen, Beacon will check to see which of your teammates are present. The response will include the initials and profile photo URLs for your Help Scout Users. This response is not visible on the Beacon interface, a visitor can view this information if using browser dev tools or some other method to inspect the traffic when the Beacon is loaded. 

The Ask screen will display up to 5 user photos of Users that have access to the Inbox that your Beacon is connected when Show photos is enabled. See Show photos for more details on configuring the photo options. 


A customer connected to a chat session will see the Help Scout User's profile photo, first name/last initial, and title (if set in their profile). If no profile photo has been set for the User, a placeholder image with that User's initials will show instead. 

Previous Messages

The Help Scout User's first name/last initial and profile photos will show next to their replies in the Previous Messages.  

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