Get Started: 6 Steps to Setup Success

Follow these 6 steps and you’ll get your Help Scout account up and running in no time. If you'd like to get a full tour of Help Scout and all its features, attend one of our weekly live demos or take a video tour

  • By the end of step 3: You’ll be up and ready to serve customers 
  • By the end of step 6: Your team will be smiling and at their most productive.

The 6 steps to setup success

  1. Get your email into Help Scout
  2. Customize your Mailbox
  3. Collaborate with a friend
  4. Get organized and optimized
  5. Integrate your favorite apps
  6. What’s up, Docs?
Take 10-20 minutes on each step per day to get set up in a week, or be an overachiever and knock through all of them in a couple of hours.

Step 1. Get your email into Help Scout

First things first, let’s get your email into Help Scout. 
  • If you're sticking with the mailbox address we created for you using the domain, just start giving out that email address and you're all set. 
  • If you're using your own custom email address, you'll need to set up forwarding or redirection from your email provider. We have guides on how to do that for many different providers — check out Get Your Email Address in to Help Scout to get started. 

If you plan on setting up multiple Help Scout Mailboxes, we'd recommend you read through When to Set up a New Mailbox.

Step 2. Customize your Mailbox

Get in gear by clicking the gear on your Mailbox to access the settings. Here’s where you can setup customizations for your Help Scout Mailbox.

Focus on the top two options for this step: 

You have plenty of time to play and explore the rest of the options later! 

Edit Mailbox

Edit Mailbox gives you control of some basic Mailbox settings, like who has ownership over conversations after a reply, adding aliases to your Mailbox, or designing your Mailbox signature
Here’s a 2 minute video that goes over each option in Edit Mailbox:

Outgoing Email

Outgoing email settings direct how your mail gets out of Help Scout, if you're using your own custom email address. If you're using the Help Scout provided email, there's nothing to see here — you can skip ahead to step 3!

You can send your custom email from Help Scout in two ways:

Send with our servers:

  • Pros: We’ll make sure your email gets successfully delivered. If you suspect a problem, our world class support team is there to help you investigate.
  • Cons: You’ll need set up records at your DNS provider that alert the spam blockers of the world that we're allowed to send email on behalf of your domain to prevent your emails from landing in spam. 

If you go this route, we recommend setting up an SPF record and DKIM at your DNS provider to protect your emails from landing in the jaws of spam folders. 

Send with your own servers, either by SMTP or Google oAuth:

  • Pros: No need to give us permission, you’re sending your own mail! Your emails run the least risk of landing in spam.
  • Cons: If something goes wrong with sent mail, you'll need to reach out to your email provider for more help - we will not have any visibility on that side. 

Step 3. Collaborate with a friend

This step is all about inviting a friend, colleague, or trusted teammate to help you test and work through conversations together. Help Scout is built to help support teams collaborate, so what better way to test than with someone by your side. 

Here’s some stuff to try:

Step 4. Get organized and optimized

We know why Help Scout caught your eye, and it’s all about making life easier for you and your support team. The good life starts with good organizational tools: Tags and Folders.

When should I use a Tag?

Apply Tags any time you want to group or categorize conversations for reporting or tracking purposes, or if it would be helpful to get a visual indicator in the queue for the type of conversation coming in. 
An example for when to use Tags are for feature requests, helpful to track the volume of the request for product roadmap purposes. You can also use Tags to trigger automatic Workflows, which means you can follow up with all of the conversations tagged when that feature is released. 
Learn how to manage Tags: Add and Manage Tags

When should I use a Folder?

Use a Folder anytime you want quick and easy access to a particular group of conversations. Folders are better for time sensitive groupings like priority, or conversations you want to track accomplishment on, not just track in reports. 
Examples of when to use Folders are things like conversations that have been waiting over X amount of time or conversations that might have received a negative customer satisfaction rating and need follow up.

When should I use both?

Any time you have something time sensitive that requires immediate attention that you also want to track the progress on long term. 
Examples of this include VIP customers or urgent conversations.

How can I make all this less work?

That’s the best question of all, my friend. Once you’ve got a couple of Tags and added a Folder, explore Workflows to get repeatable tasks out of the way with some simple automations: Get Started With Workflows.
Here are a few Workflow templates you can use to inspire you on ways to make your life easier: Automatic Workflows: Examples and Inspiration

Step 5. Integrate your favorite apps

Help Scout plays nicely with many of your favorite Apps, or you can build custom integrations to pull in information from your internal CRM or CMS. Here are a few integrations we offer and how you’ll find them useful:
  • Chat Integrations: Bring your chat history into Help Scout so your team has all customer interactions under the same roof. We sync with Olark, SnapEngage, Chatra, and more.
  • Phone: Manage voicemails from several popular providers, or connect a call center software like Aircall or TalkDesk if you need something more robust. 
  • CRM: Sync your sales and support efforts by connecting your CRM to Help Scout conversations. Capsule and Pipedrive are the most popular. 
  • Slack: Our most popular integration by far, and really in a league of it’s own. Bring incoming conversation into a Slack channel for immediate alerts, as well as customer satisfaction ratings and comments. It’s essential: Slack (We also have a similar Campfire integration that works the same way if Slack isn't your thing.)
  • Ecommerce: Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento. Get your customer’s order information connected to every Help Scout conversation. That’s what we have in store for your store. 
  • Custom Apps: Maybe Todd in IT hacked together some internal management system years ago, or Beth in ops found a perfect CMS solution for you a little off the beaten path. Connect with all the oddball internal systems or anything your heart desires with a Custom App: Build a Custom App
    • Requires slightly above average technical knowledge, just a heads up.

Step 6. What’s up, Docs?

The secret to offering speedy support is a well stocked knowledge base. Why? You have all the ingredients for success at both your customers and your support team’s fingertips. If knowledge is power, a knowledge base is your key to the kingdom. 
This video overview covers everything you need to know to get your Docs site up and running:
OK, you got us here — this step takes more than 20 minutes to achieve greatness, but it's a breeze to get started. Use Reports to see what customers are looking for in your Docs or what Saved Replies makes your team sound like a broken record to inspire new documentation.
Once you’ve got a couple articles in your Docs, your team can use the Docs search bar to easily share with customers in replies. 

But wait ... there’s more!

Once you’ve got these steps under control, there’s plenty more to explore in Help Scout. Set up Beacon to give customers help where they need it most, set up Office Hours to filter reports, or start seeing results with your customers using satisfaction ratings.
Continue your journey with Help Scout by checking out our Docs site or reaching out to our helpful customer success team to hone your Help Scout experience. 
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