Customer Properties

Customer properties allow you to collect and display the information about your customers that matters to your team. You define the properties you want to keep track of, manually or programmatically add the details to Help Scout for each of your customers, and then your team can see each customer’s information in every conversation. This feature is available to current Standard, Plus, and Company plans. 

In this article

Create and Edit Customer Properties

Creating and editing customer properties is available to Account Owners and Administrators. You can add up to 100 individual customer properties. Properties are global across all mailboxes in your Help Scout account and will be displayed in the customer sidebar profile in each mailbox that person has contacted. 

Head to Manage > Properties. If you're creating your first property, click Create Property to get started. When you come back to Manage > Properties after creating the first one, you'll find a New Property button if you want to add more. A modal form to create your property will show. 

Name

The property name is the label for the field as it appears in a customer profile or in the sidebar of a conversation. The name can be up to 100 characters, including spaces and special characters.  

Property ID

The property ID will automatically generate and prefill based on the name you specify, but you can override that if you prefer to use a different format for the ID. Property IDs are case sensitive and support the use of hyphens and underscores (no other special characters or spaces are allowed). 

Type

You can choose from 4 available data types for each property you create.  

  • Text - Free-form text entry field
  • Number - Numeric characters only
  • URL - Addresses entered here will be displayed as a clickable link on the conversation sidebar
  • Date - Customer profile will show a calendar to manually enter the date
  • Dropdown - Dropdown list with an option to select one choice. You can define your choices and drag-and-drop to order them

Click Create when those fields are all set, and you'll find yourself back on the Manage > Properties page. From here, you can edit the display name of any property. The field type and ID are not editable. 

Click on the Property ID to copy that to your clipboard for quick access. 

How to Populate Properties

Once you've created the customer properties you'd like to track in Help Scout, you can populate them manually from the customer profile or, with the help of your development team, programmatically via Mailbox API and Beacon's JavaScript API. 

Populate properties manually on a customer profile

Head into any customer profile, and your customer properties will show under our default fields, in alphabetical order. Click into any property field to edit it. 

Programmatically add properties via the API

To create a bulk import or set up an ongoing sync of your customer data into Help Scout properties, grab your developer team and point them over to the Mailbox API 2.0 documentation.They'll want to dig in to the Customers endpoints — specifically, they can use the Update Customer Properties endpoint to fill in properties for your customers. 

Programmatically add properties using Beacon identify

If you use Beacon to offer support to your customers, you can also sync customer property data via Beacon Identify. Details such as name, email address, and property information can sync from an external data source — such as your billing system or customer account manager — to the customer's profile each time they open Beacon. 

With help from your development team, you can install Beacon on your website or in your app and connect it to Properties in two quick steps: 

  1. First, head to Manage > Properties to create your customer properties and take note of the property ID for each. 
  2. Next, you'll want to install Beacon on your website or app and use the Identify method to identify the visitor that's interacting with Beacon and pass along the relevant property information.

    The following code snippet is an example of an identify implementation that's would add the customer's name, email address, plan name, and billing frequency to that person's profile in Help Scout.  planName and billing-frequency are the IDs for properties Plan Name and Billing Frequency, respectively: 
Beacon('identify', {
  name: 'Steve Jones',
  email: 'steve@jones.com',
  planName: 'Standard',
  billing-frequency: 'Annual',
})

Already using Beacon Identify to track custom data attributes in Help Scout?

You can connect Properties to your existing Beacon code simply by creating a corresponding Property for each custom attribute and ensuring that the new property ID is an exact match for the existing identify attribute key. Property IDs are case sensitive and support letters, numbers, hyphens, and underscores only. 

If your existing Beacon identify code uses an unsupported character (such as a space), you will need to create the property and ID using supported characters, then update your Beacon code to use the new property ID. 

Delete a Property

Head to Manage > Properties, select the property you'd like to permanently delete, and click the Delete link. A confirmation model will remind you that deleting the property will remove all of its data from Help Scout — keep in mind that this deletion is immediate and there is no method to restore the deleted property or individual customer data before you confirm! If you're sure you want to delete all of that data, click Delete to confirm. 

Note: There is no method for you to restore a deleted property and its data; creating a new property with the same ID will not restore the previous data. 

Examples and Inspiration

Customer properties are best suited for collecting details that are specific to a certain customer. Some examples of information you might want to have available in properties at the customer level are: 

  • Customer details: Customer/User ID, their local timezone, pronoun preference, or birthday
  • Subscription details: Plan ID, billing status, or a list of what promotions they have
  • Account details: Company or account name, account ID, their account admin, or the date they became a customer

To track and categorize conversations by information that's situational and pertains to a single conversation with your customer — the type of question that they contacted your team with, for example — we'd recommend using Custom Fields

Common Questions

Can I search for properties, or use them in workflows or saved replies?
Not yet! These are future additions that are on our roadmap though. You can go ahead and start populating the data now, and it will be ready for you when you'll be able to take action with it. 

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