Help Scout 2014 Year in Review

Nick Francis | December 31, 2014

What a busy year it has been at Help Scout! We launched a ton of new features, doubled the team headcount, and published more than 50 original essays right here on the blog.

It is my hope that you, our customers and readers, were the primary benefactors of the work. While we have plenty of exciting things in store for you next year and will briefly touch on that today, I'd like to reflect for a moment on how far we've come in 2014.


Product Improvements

The engineering team deploys new code to Help Scout about five times every day and pushed over 7,000 GitHub commits this year. In addition to hundreds of tiny little improvements, we launched a few really big features as well:

New Reports

We spent much of 2014 rebuilding Reports from scratch. What we have today includes 5 beautiful reports, packed with data, time comparisons and filtering options. You can pull up data on several hundred thousand conversations in just a few seconds. Read all about the new Reports in this blog post.

Satisfaction Ratings

Reporting metrics alone don't tell the full story of how your team is performing, so we launched integrated Satisfaction Ratings. Customers can rate replies from the support team and add comments as well.

Design Updates

The Help Scout interface got its first major facelift, which resulted in improved performance and a better user experience. We also launched a new design for this site and converted all the Help Scout eBooks to beautiful single-page sites.

15+ New Third-Party Apps

We far exceeded our goal of one new integration per month, adding wonderful products like Slack, Mailchimp, Mixpanel, Shopify, Infusionsoft and Magento. Visit the Apps page for the full list.


What We've Written

By the time you see an essay on this blog, nearly a week's worth of hours have gone into it from various people on the team. Gregory, Paul and a variety of outstanding guest authors published some really great work, resulting in nearly 2 million unique visitors this year!

Reader favorites on customer support

  1. Why Gmail Fails for Customer Support
  2. Customer Support is More Than High Scores
  3. Tone and Language are Building Blocks to Customer Perception
  4. Everyone Should Be Feeling the Customer’s Pain
  5. How to Recover After a Long Day of Support

Help Scout team favorites on everything else

  1. David Ogilvy’s Contrarian Management Advice
  2. Are You Making These 5 Common User Onboarding Mistakes?
  3. How to Make Hiring Less of a Headache
  4. Building a Brand that Wins Hearts and Wallets
  5. The Lost Art of Candor in the Workplace


New Team Members

We welcomed eight new faces to the team this year (for a total of sixteen), and we have plans for many more in 2015. If you like what we're up to, keep an eye on the Jobs page and apply for any openings that seem like a great fit.


Customer-driven Growth

We don't talk about it very often, but Help Scout has been profitable for over a year now. We haven't had to worry about the next funding round, managing our cash burn or how we'll keep growing at breakneck speed.

Everything I've talked about was funded with our own capital, and I'm sincerely grateful to customers for the opportunity to build the business this way. Thanks to you, the team and I get to do work that we're sincerely proud of.

Customers make it possible for me to write this article and for the product team to build new features. When we set priorities for the business, our single goal is to create something useful for customers. We don't have to be distracted by anything else and that's a win-win scenario for both sides.

Being singularly focused on customers has worked well so far, and we don't have any plans to budge on that commitment.


What's Next?

That’s our year in review — with 2014 in the rear view mirror, I’d now like to share a glimpse at something we’re really excited about.

The team has been working hard, making sure all the details are just right, and I’m proud to say we will be able to release this for you next year!


About the author: Nick Francis is a co-founder at Help Scout.