Get Started: Beacon with Live Chat

Learn more about the new Beacon and live chat.

In This Article

What’s New in Beacon

Live Chat

Customers only see a chat interface when they’re connected with someone on your team. 
Live chat is available in Beacon on a current Standard or higher plan. Legacy plans and Basic plans do not include live chat. Your Account Owner can upgrade to a new plan at Available Plans if you would like to add live chat to your Beacon. 

Custom Fields

Custom Fields help categorize and prioritize conversations in the mailbox. You can now show your custom fields on the Beacon contact form, allowing customers to categorize their support requests. Custom fields work alongside Workflows, reports, and the API right out of the box. Custom Fields are available on the Plus plan.

Beacon Sidebar App

We made improvements to what the “identify” method can do in Beacon. Fields saved using the identify method appear in the customer sidebar, and they’ll show up when you load customer conversations. It’s a great way to get valuable customer context into the sidebar, without having to build a custom app. Eventually these fields will be actionable by Workflows, Report Views, etc.

Beacon Builder

We’ve built a new UI for customizing all of the Beacon settings in Help Scout. You don’t have to mess with JavaScript code to make changes. When you update a Beacon in the UI, changes are pushed to your live Beacon embed right away.

Customer Support History

Beacon includes a basic and secure way to authenticate your customers using a single line of JavaScript and a little server-side code. Your customers will never have to worry about logging in. As soon as they open Beacon, they’re a click away from their support history.

Suggested Content

Suggested content lets you surface specific articles to customers as soon as they open Beacon. For example, if your Beacon is on a pricing page, you might want to show pricing specific help articles right away. You’ll see suggested articles on the Beacon welcome screen.

In-app Notifications

Customers receive a Beacon notification when there's a new chat or email message. They can click the notification to open the conversation in Beacon, taking them to the latest reply.

JavaScript API

Control your Beacon programmatically with the updated Beacon API.

Mobile SDKs

SDKs (software development kits) allow you to add Beacon directly to your mobile apps. Customers can browse your knowledge base, send an email, or start a live chat through the Beacon SDK on mobile platforms.
Both the Android and iOS SDKs support Docs search and the Beacon contact form currently. Live chat support is available in the Android SDK now, and live chat support for our iOS SDK is due in a future release. Send us a message to be kept in the loop when more information is available.
Please note: The Beacon SDKs do not support React Native at this time.

Notable Changes

Here are a couple of differences between the original Beacon and the new Beacon.

Retired: Topics

Beacon no longer supports the Topic field and associated tags. Customers on the Plus plan, or customers using the Collaboration add-on can show custom fields on the contact form using the new Beacon.

Retired: Modal Version

We no longer support the modal version of Beacon. We wanted to get the self-help and chat experience just right, and we felt that the pop-over embed was the way to go.

Beacon Feature List

Read through the full line up of Beacon and chat features here: Beacon Feature List. This article covers everything that's available in Beacon today, and lists out a handful of features that are on the roadmap.

Switching to the New Beacon

Use the Beacon builder to design an embeddable that matches the look and feel of your website. Changes you make to Beacon using the builder are synced real time to your Beacon.

Create a Beacon

Head over to Manage > Beacons to create a new Beacon.

Once you’ve created a new Beacon, you need to replace your original Beacon embed code with the new Beacon embed code. Add the code before the </body> tag on pages you want Beacon to appear. As soon as the new embed code is in place, you're good to go.

Learn More
Create a New Beacon
Customize Beacon
Translate Words and Phrases
Manage Docs Settings
Support History Security Options

Turn On Live Chat

Chat is Beacon specific, and only shown to customers when a User is available to chat. If no one on your team is around, Beacon falls back to a contact form so customers can get in touch via email.

  1. Head over to Manage > Beacons
  2. Decide which Beacon you want to offer chat through and click on it
  3. From the left side menu, click Contact.
  4. Flip the Chat toggle on under Messaging.
  5. Hit the Save button and you’re all set.

Learn More
Get Started with Live Chat
About the Chat Interface
Chatting with Customers
User Availability and Maximum Chats
About Chat Notifications
About the Options Menu
End a Live Chat

Common Questions

What happens to my original Beacons?
Your existing Beacons will continue to work until January 29, 2020. See Updates to Legacy Beacon for more details.

Do I need to remove the original embed code?
Yes. You’ll want to remove the original embed code from your website, then replace the code with the updated embed code for your new Beacon.

Is there a limit to the number of Beacons I can create?
No. You can create as many Beacons as you’d like. Each Beacon must be linked to a mailbox but we do not limit how many Beacons can be linked to a mailbox.

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