Prevent Duplicate Replies With Collision Detection

Have you ever had two people respond to an email at the same time? That's definitely not a good look, and it means your team is doing extra work. In Help Scout, Collision Detection steps in if someone else updates the conversation while a User is replying. It stops the reply from being sent and gives the User a chance to review new updates.

This article is all about Collision Detection. This is included with all plans and is automatic — no settings to enable or configure.

In this article

Real-time Collision Detection

You'll see colored visual indicators whenever someone else is viewing or replying to the same conversation, both in a folder view and while in the conversation itself. These indicators are real-time and will update as your team moves through your queue.

Folder View

A small corner icon will appear in conversations when another member of your team is either viewing (yellow) or actively replying or adding a note (black) to that conversation. Hold your mouse over the conversation to see a tooltip showing the name of the user.

In a Conversation

Your team's avatars (or initial icons if they do not have avatars set) will show across the top of a conversation for anyone that is currently in the conversation. A red circle around the avatar indicates the user is replying or leaving a note. You can also hold your mouse over the icons here to see a tooltip with the name of the user.

Conditions That Stop a Reply

A reply from Help Scout is stopped from going out when another reply or note has been added to the conversation by another User that you may not have seen yet. This applies to:

  • A reply you're sending from the Help Scout web application if you have not refreshed the page to see the most recent reply.
  • A reply to an email notification that you received that was generated before the latest reply or note was added. See Respond to Email Notifications to Take Action in Help Scout for more on that feature.

Emails stopped by collision detection are copied over to the Needs Attention folder on the sidebar, with a status of Paused. You won't see this folder unless there are conversations that require attention.

Note: The Needs Attention folder will also show any conversations where a reply has bounced — see Troubleshooting Conversations in Needs Attention and Bounces for more if your conversation status shows as Bounced.

Click into the conversation to take further action. The reply thread in question will have a red border and you'll see a notification at the top that tells you This reply was paused due to a possible collision with a new note or reply in the conversation.

Click Send to send the message as is, click Edit to make changes, or click Discard to delete the reply altogether.

You will receive an email notification indicating a reply was stopped as well, if you were replying to an email notification. The email includes the new reply from the other user for you to review, and gives you the option to act right from your email to either Send it anyway or Discard it.

Note: Collision Detection runs quietly in the background. There is no option for you to change or disable this feature within the app, but we can manually disable Collision Detection on your account if you're absolutely sure you don't want it — all you have to do is ask. We don't recommend turning it off though!

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