Changes to Docs Contact Options

As we focus on bringing all of your customer data closer together, we are integrating Beacon into Docs to replace the contact form that's currently a part of the Docs product.

The Docs contact form will be deprecated as of April 1, 2022.

This guide will explain the changes and help you and your team make the transition to using a new built-in Beacon for your customers to contact you right from the website. 

In this article

What’s Changing and When

Docs' built in contact form will no longer be available after April 1, 2022. The changes you'll see will depend on what your Docs contact form settings are currently.

Contact Form Sends to Help Scout Mailbox

If you currently have the Docs contact form set to send emails directly to a Help Scout mailbox, we will automatically replace that contact form with a Docs site Beacon after April 1, 2022. 

Here’s what will change on your Docs site:

  • The Contact link in your top navigation bar and Contact Us links in the footer of your articles will open the Docs site Beacon.
  • Any links to the contact form or modal that you manually added in your articles will no longer function. 
  • Any visitors to the unique Contact page (https://yourdocsite.com/contact) will load a page with the Beacon opened for contact.

Contact Form Sends to External Email Address

If you currently have the Docs contact form set to send emails to an external email address, your contact form will be removed after April 1, 2022. 

Here’s what will change on your Docs site:

  • The Contact link in your navigation bar will be removed.
  • The Contact us link in the footer of your articles will be removed.
  • Any custom contact form links in your articles will not function. 
  • Any visitors to the unique Contact page (https://yourdocsite.com/contact) will load a page with the Beacon opened for contact.

If you have questions about your current settings and what changes are coming to your specific Docs site(s), please reach out to ask!

Benefits of Beacon

Beacon is an embeddable widget you can add to any website or mobile app that allows you to give your customers quick access to Docs and/or to email or chat with your team. It’s already a part of your Help Scout service — take a look at our Beacon Jumpstart Guide to learn more about that feature in general. 

Using a Docs site Beacon makes it easier for your customers to get in contact with your team and makes it easier for team to understand your customer’s entire journey within Help Scout. 

Beacon offers you some additional options that the Docs contact form could not offer:

  • Offer live chat directly on your Docs site (available to Standard and higher plans)
  • Seeing what page your customer was looking at when they reached out to your team
  • Create a smart contact form using Custom Fields (available to Plus and Pro plans)
  • Customers can see their conversation history with you in Beacon

In addition, the Beacon contact form is less susceptible to autogenerated spam submissions. 

Update Your Docs Settings

Docs settings are available only to your Help Scout account owner or administrators. See User Roles and Permissions for more information on permissions. 

Contact Form Sends to Help Scout Mailbox

If your contact form currently sends requests directly to a Help Scout mailbox, no action is required to replace your contact form in Docs. The links in your navigation bar and in the footer of your articles will open the new Beacon.

You will need to update your Docs articles and settings if you: 

  • Have links to the contact form or modal in the body of your articles. See Use a Link to Open Beacon below for help to add a link to your articles that opens Beacon instead.
  • Redirect any website traffic to the standalone contact page (yourdocssite.com/contact).

Note: Your Docs site Beacon will initially be set with the default English language labels. Beacon offers a Translate setting to use any other language or terminology. You will need to set those labels after this transition. See Translate Beacon Words and Phrases for help there. 

Contact Form Sends to External Email Address

If your contact form sends requests to an email address outside of Help Scout, you need to update your contact settings before April 1, 2022 in order to ensure you have a contact option on your Docs site. This will require you to connect your contact form to a mailbox. 

If you have no mailbox set up yet, you will need to set one up for your Help Scout account: Create and Manage Mailboxes in Help Scout

Follow these steps to connect your contact form to that mailbox:

  1. Head to Manage > Docs 
  2. Choose your Docs Site
  3. Scroll down to find the Send Emails To setting
  4. Select the mailbox you created (replacing the Use a different email address option)
  5. Click Save 

Any customer contact will now go directly to your Help Scout mailbox, and we will migrate that contact form to a Beacon for you in April 1, 2022.

Then you’ll need to update your Docs articles and settings if: 

  • Have links to the contact form modal in the body of your articles. See Use a Link to Open Beacon below for help to add a link to your articles that opens Beacon instead.
  • Redirect any website traffic to the standalone contact page (yourdocssite.com/contact).

Note: Your Docs site Beacon will initially be set with the default English language labels. Beacon offers a Translate setting to use any other language or terminology. You will need to set those labels after this transition. See Translate Beacon Words and Phrases for help there. 

You can still add a link in your articles to create a call to action to reach out to your team, you'll just need to pop into the HTML editor to add the link code rather than using the Link button in Docs. 

The snippet below will open the Beacon to the Ask screen when your visitor clicks on Contact Us. The Ask screen will offer Email and/or Chat, depending on your configuration and availability. 

This link will work in articles both on your Docs website and when being viewed in other Beacons that have Docs enabled. 

<a onclick="window.parent.Beacon('open'); window.parent.Beacon('navigate', '/ask'); return false;" href="#">Contact Us</a>

You can customize that link a little further if you like, using the Beacon JavaScript API. You'll need a little knowledge of how to work with JavaScript to customize it, but there are a few things you can do, like navigate directly to the email form or prefill some data. 

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