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Help Desk Tips is a weekly series featuring best practices and tips from support professionals on optimizing your help desk and support department.

We built our help desk to be intuitive and easy to learn, but there are always features you may not discover in your day-to-day workflow.

That’s why we put together this cheat sheet of the most useful nuggets to bring pro skills to your Help Scout game.

Help Scout Hack Pack: Conversations

For part one of our Hack Pack series, we’re focusing on the fundamentals of customer support: Conversations.

1. Search by Tag without leaving the editor

Sometimes a simple Saved Reply will do, while other times a customer conversation requires more nuance. Click on Tags in conversations to see how similar conversations were handled previously, without leaving the conversation editor. Learn more about searching with tags.

 

2. Send a Conversation on behalf of a team member

Training new team members? Ask them to save responses as drafts, so you can review before they go out. You can also send on their behalf from the Send options dropdown when it’s ready to go.

It’s also great to send on behalf of a teammate if you spot a finished reply in the draft folder from a team member that has left for the day. Send on their behalf so your customer won’t wait for a reply, and you won’t steal their thunder.

 

Related Tip: Help Desk Tip 12: Save Time With Saved Replies

3. Change where you redirect after a reply or note

Not quite ready to jump to the next Active convo once you’ve finished composing your reply? Change your default redirect from the Send options dropdown.

If you collaborate with teammates by posting notes, assigning to different teams, or moving conversations to other Mailboxes, select Send and stay on page to avoid chasing your conversations once you have replied.

If you’re in more of a supervisory role and like to check in on what’s happening in the queue after replying to conversations, Send and go back to folder might be a better direction for you. Or, just keep Send and next active if you’d rather run rapid fire through the queue!

 

Need to point out exactly when something went awry in a conversation? Link directly to a thread by grabbing the URL from the timestamp.

 

5. Save images in Saved Replies

Save Replies from the reply editor to include inline images or animated GIFs in your Saved Reply.

 

6. Start New Conversations from the Customer Profile

Click on the customer’s email address from the left sidebar of their Customer Profile to start a New Conversation with that customer.

 

7. Save a pre-filled subject for New Conversations

You can pre-fill the customer email address, Cc/Bcc lines, and subject line on the New Conversation page by adding a few things to the URL. For example, the following URL creates a new Conversation with the subject “Help Scout is the bomb”:

https://secure.helpscout.net/mailbox/[MAILBOX SLUG]/new-ticket/?subject=help+scout+is+the+bomb

Just replace [MAILBOX SLUG] with your own Mailbox slug [EXAMPLE], and save it as a bookmark to use anytime. For complete instructions, view our set-up doc.

 

8. Merge Customer Profiles

If a customer writes in from two different email addresses, you can combine the two into one profile and keep all of that customer’s history in one place.

 

9. Update conversations in Help Scout from your email inbox

Enable and reply to email notifications to update Help Scout conversations right from your inbox. Reply directly to reply to the customer from Help Scout, and use @commands to update the status, assignee, tag, or add notes. You can also forward emails from your personal address so your support team can reply to the customer instead.

 

10. Follow up on Negative Ratings and Comments

Never miss a chance to follow up with a less-than-happy customer using a Workflow to notify teammates, or reactivate conversations with Negative Ratings. If you have customers who like to ask additional questions in the Rating Comments section, you can also set Workflows to send email notifications or reactivate conversations for Rating Comments.

 
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Mo McKibbin

Mo McKibbin is on the customer success team at Help Scout. She enjoys surprising and delighting customers with feature updates, and spending time with her cats.