Release Notes: 2018 Archive

Release Notes: 2018 Archive

Release Notes is an ongoing series that highlights recent product improvements we’ve made so you can easily stay up to date on what’s new. This post consolidates all of our Release Notes from 2018. Read through them all, or jump to a specific section using the links below:

January: Referral Program, Fivetran Integration, and Lots of Updates

We know your inbox is probably filled today with last-minute offers for flowers and candy. But we’ve brought you a few valentines of our own, from a hot new way to share your love of Help Scout, to making Help Scout data easily available to your analytics tools, news about what we’re doing for GDPR, chat, self-serve and more! There’s a lot of variety in this box of chocolates. Read on and open them one by one. 🎁

What's New 🚀

Got somebody in mind whose life would be easier if only they were using Help Scout to communicate with their customers? Introducing an easy, in-app way to recommend Help Scout to a friend.

Of course, if you give a valentine, it’s nice to receive one in return, so there’s a little something in it for you, too. They’ll get a $50 credit off their first bill, and you’ll get a $100 Amazon gift card after they make their first payment. Find out more.

Referral app available for paying Help Scout customers only.

Fivetran integration

So you’re in a meeting when your boss asks you, “Do Help Scout response times predict contract renewal rates and value?” or “How do customer conversation volumes correlate to NPS scores?” 😱

No need to choke on that Sweetheart just yet. A BI (Business Intelligence) tool comes in handy for quickly answering cross-system, complex questions like these. Using Fivetran, a service that specializes in getting your data out of apps like Help Scout, HubSpot, and Salesforce and into a central data warehouse, is the first step.

Once your data’s all in one place, a data analyst can work some magic in a tool like Looker, Chartio, or Power BI to answer those and a million other questions in a matter of minutes. Create dashboards to keep your finger on the pulse of support, and display service stats next to other business metrics.

“How has support volume tracked to new revenue?” No sweat.

GDPR compliance

Quick shout out to all our European friends who are looking ahead to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) deadline. We get asked about GDPR compliance frequently from EU customers and want to let you know that we’ve got you covered!

We’ve set a timeline to make sure that Help Scout is compliant with the GDPR by the upcoming May deadline, if not well before. As Help Scout is already a part of the EU Privacy Shield program that covers a lot of the regulations stated in the GDPR, we’re already well on our way.

Please email us with the subject line "GDPR Compliance" if you’re interested in being notified when we are GDPR compliant and able to sign data processing agreements with customers. We'll send you updates in the coming months as we have more info! If you’re interested in how we treat your customers’ data today, check out our Security and Privacy policies.

Infusionsoft 2.0 update

Like an old flame that you realize you’ve outgrown, it’s time to bid farewell to the 1.0 version of our Infusionsoft integration. Sure, it was fun while it lasted. But your relationship with 2.0 can be so much more rewarding!

We officially turned off support for the 1.0 version on January 22nd. In order to keep working with Infusionsoft, you’ll need to upgrade that integration if you haven’t already. Not only will you get a fuller picture of your customers all around, including writing Help Scout conversation data to Infusionsoft, you’ll also connect via a more secure connection with OAuth. Read about 2.0.

Docs SSL update

How do you make your Docs site look like it’s genuinely a part of your domain? With a CNAME and a secure SSL connection, of course. The CNAME lets your customers address Docs with your own custom domain name, and the little SSL secure lock 🔒 and https: connection says to the world that it really and truly is you.

We recently rolled out free SSL support for all Docs custom domains. Starting February 15th, all non-secure HTTP connections will automatically be redirected to HTTPS. If you're not using a CNAME just yet, no worries. Your site already supports SSL. Should you decide to set a custom domain in the future, an SSL certificate will automatically be issued. Read up on SSL.

Waiting since update

You may have recently noticed that a Waiting Since column has replaced Last Updated in your folder view. This one took a while because we needed to invent a metric that considered a bunch of different factors and always ordered conversations by how long your customer has been waiting for an answer.

Waiting Since simplifies Workflows to a great degree as well. It’s much easier to escalate conversations that aren’t answered in a certain timeframe. We’ve been re-indexing every conversation with this metric since late last year, and the process has finally finished. If you don’t see Waiting Since in your account yet, it will be enabled by the end of the month. Read up on Waiting Since.

Android updates

Sharing is caring: Now you can easily share a conversation link from the Android app to someone in another channel like email, #Slack, Whatsapp, and more. Click to share in other apps directly, or copy/paste the conversation URL anywhere you want.

Pinch to Zoom: Make your conversation text easier to read. Zoom in to make the copy larger, no squinting required.

Customer Team Roundup 💪 ✨

In support, little things can make a big difference — even seemingly small changes can give your whole team time back in their days. In this section we highlight the maybe-overlooked (but very powerful!) changes each month from our support team.

Up this month: Customer Champion Elyse talks about what’s got her smiling.

Azure Active Directory Single Sign-On Plus

For folks using Microsoft Azure AD, gone are the days of having to keep track of your teammates’ usernames and passwords! We recently expanded our SAML support to include non-premium Azure Active Directory plans, making it even easier to manage your company's SSO credentials. Set up Azure SSO.

Be a Help Scout pro!

Tip: Looking for a way to up your Help Scout game? While the support team is always here to lend a hand, we’ve also beefed up our video resources! Available from the Get Help `life preserver` icon, our Classes and Training page gives you quick access to register for upcoming Help Scout webinars or take a jump into any of our pre-recorded deep dive demos.

Customer ❤ | new story | Influitive

One of the most valuable ways customers show their love for you is by telling your story. Referring you. Advocating for you. Essentially, they’re doing your marketing for you. Influitive helps organizations, small and large, engage with their customers to foster, enable, and grow that advocacy.

Keeping communications personal and informed is extremely important to Influitive. The Help Scout Salesforce integration lets their support team stay on top of relationship data and sales deals with a glance to the sidebar, and their sales people can stay in the loop on any potential issues.

It’s great for their customers, too. According to Don Currie, Manager of Support and CS Operations, “The biggest pain of our customers was finding information for themselves. That’s why Beacon sold us on Help Scout. They can find what they need without even leaving the page.”

February: Private Collections, Shortcuts, and Mailbox API 2.0

What's New 🚀

Private collections

If you’re on a Basic plan, you may have noticed that you’ve been limited to one Docs knowledge base, with no private collections. This month, we decided that folks on every plan should have access to internal wikis, so we’ve made that possible. Ever wanted to store and organize information for your team in a convenient spot? It’s your lucky day.

As a reminder, private collections are only visible by authenticated Help Scout Users on your team. It’s a secret club, and you’re invited. Your end-users will never see the content within your private collections. Read about private collections.

Black History Huzzahs

Black History Huzzahs
From left to right: Martin Luther King, Jr., Mae C. Jemison (the first African-American woman in space), and the Pan-African flag joined with the United States flag.

Stephen is an illustrator at Help Scout. He makes many of the delightful illustrations you see in and around our website. To celebrate Black History Month, he worked with some teammates to create three different Black History Huzzahs to share with all of you! We hope you’ve enjoyed seeing them in your mailboxes this month, but just in case you haven’t peeped ‘em yet, now’s your chance.

To use shortcuts, or not to use shortcuts

That is (now) your choice. We’ve all been there. You hit a key by accident and trigger some unwanted action. You can’t retrace your steps, because you’re unsure of exactly what happened. Suddenly your keyboard feels like a minefield. Don’t. Press. Anything.

If you’re nodding along to that description, we’ve got some good news: You can now opt to disable shortcuts in your User profile. The default setting for shortcuts is “on,” so for all you efficiency enthusiasts, carry on! You can turn shortcuts on or off whenever you please. More on keyboard shortcuts.

Mailbox API 2.0 is in beta!

Drumroll please… welcome to the family the second generation of our public Mailbox API! In case you’re not already high-fiving your teammates, here are some reasons to get excited:

  • The new API uses OAuth2, providing a smoother experience for developers of 3rd party integrations.

  • Do more with less! You can now get the same advanced filtering options using one endpoint instead of two! There is now only one List Conversation endpoint instead of List and Search endpoints, same for List Customers.

  • We’re now providing more descriptive error messages that integrate with our documentation. And should you need to reach out to our customer support team, all messages now contain a logRef field. This is a unique identifier that can help us track down the error more quickly.

  • We won’t be introducing any breaking changes, but you can check our Changelog as we release more endpoints, improvements, and bug fixes.

  • Enhanced API exploration: All Mailbox API 2.0 responses now expose resource links to related, loadable entities.

  • The developer docs are calling your name. While the Mailbox API 2.0 is still in beta, our documentation is ready for action! Curious about the main differences between 1.0 and 2.0? We cover that information and a whole lot more. Get your read on.

Customer Team Roundup 💪 ✨

In support, little things can make a big difference — even seemingly small changes can save your whole team some precious time. In this section, we highlight the maybe-overlooked (but very powerful!) changes each month that are making our own customer champions cheer.

Up this month: Chanita writes in from Columbia! #remotework

Ah, there goes the glorious February. The month of heart-shaped candy, Chinese New Year, and Black History!

What’s that you hear? Is it the sound of … LIVE CHAT coming down the pipeline?! That’s right. We officially announced that Beacon 2.0 is on its way. As a support team, we couldn’t be more excited about this release. Read all about chat.

We are all about spreading the love, and February was the ideal month for rolling out our referral program. What’s in it for you? If an account that you refer becomes a paying customer for at least 30 days, we’ll email you a $100 Amazon gift card! If you know someone who could benefit from Help Scout, let ‘em know. Get a $100 gift card.

March: Invoices, Multi-Mailbox Conversations, and Huzzahs

What's New 🚀

Bookkeeping can be a tangled process. That’s why we decided to loosen the knot a bit.

The next time one of your payments is processed, you’ll notice a detailed PDF of your invoice attached to your receipt email. This way, all your invoices will be neatly tucked away in your inbox. If you're an Account Owner, you can also download invoice PDFs from your account on the Invoices page.

Mailbox-to-mailbox Conversations

Mailbox to Mail box

Got multiple mailboxes in your account? In the past, you may have run into some unexpected behavior when more than one mailbox was involved in a single Conversation. Maybe you encountered a warning when trying to send an email from one mailbox to another in Help Scout. Or maybe you had a customer email multiple mailboxes in the same Conversation, and it only showed up in one mailbox. No more!

In March, we started rolling out a fix for multi-mailbox Conversations, so that each mailbox will be updated with the unfolding Conversation. We’ll slowly be releasing this fix to all customers as we work out a few kinks, but email us with the subject line “mailbox-to-mailbox,” if you’d like it turned on for your account today. More on Mailboxes.

Customer Team Roundup 💪 ✨

In support, little things can make a big difference — even seemingly small changes can save your whole team some precious time. In this section, we highlight the maybe-overlooked (but very powerful!) changes each month that are making our own customer champions cheer.

Up this month: Kelly writes in from Australia! #remotework

Navigation button changes

We've given the "Next" and "Previous" buttons in the UI a little makeover. You might notice now when viewing a conversation that the icons have changed to up and down carets (instead of the < and > icons we previously had). This logically made sense to change since you're moving in an upwards/downwards pattern while crushing the queue!

Women's History Month huzzahs

One of my favorite parts of Help Scout is our "inbox zero" huzzah messages. They just add a little bit of sunshine once you've cleared out the inbox! This month, we've been honoring the brave and amazing women who have pioneered and beaten the odds throughout history. Now I get warm fuzzies and get inspired when I get to inbox zero!

April: GDPR, Beacon 2.0, and Notification Updates

April showers bring GDPR updates, Beacon 2.0 developments, and a salary study! I think it goes something like that? Luckily, chief of all things GDPR at Help Scout, Megan, is here to tell us more. But first, Leah with the video rundown...

What's New 🚀

Megan Chinburg, along with our core privacy team, has been working hard to ensure that we’ve got all GDPR requirements checked off well before the May 25th deadline. If you’re currently opening a new tab to search for the meaning of GDPR, read on.

What does GDPR stand for?

The General Data Protection Regulation is an effort to strengthen existing EU data protection laws. Companies with any connection to EU residents are updating regulation on how personal data is obtained, used, stored, and disposed of.

Why is it important?

It helps protect EU residents from privacy and data breaches.

Does Help Scout have a DPA (Data Processing Amendment)?

Yes! It is now live on our website.

How can we sign the DPA?

Trick question (sort of). You don't need to sign it. It’ll be incorporated into Help Scout’s Terms of Service on May 25th. By continuing to use Help Scout, you’ll be accepting the language of the DPA. In case you need a signed copy, we have one available to download.

Where can we find everything that Help Scout is doing surrounding GDPR?

All the links you need can be found below! Huzzah!

See Help Scout’s DPA

Beacon 2.0 bubbly

Help Scout Beacon 2.0

If you’ve been reading our blog lately, you’ve probably gathered that our team is working full steam ahead to deliver the magic of Beacon 2.0 to your accounts.

You may or may not have noticed that we’re currently eating our own dog food (drinking our own champagne?) by embedding the current version of Beacon 2.0 right within the Help Scout app. If you come across it, feel free to send us your feedback! We’re all ears.

Our mobile developers are also enjoying some Beacon bubbly. The latest versions of our Beacon SDKs are live on Android and iOS.

Help Scout Beacon 2.0 SDKs

Notification changes

Do you ever feel overly notified? Is your workday a parade of (mostly unnecessary) pings? Unfortunately, we can’t help with all areas of your life, but we can give you more control over notifications related to Help Scout.

Now you can choose whether or not you want email notifications for different mailbox events. It’s all up to you! In case you’re wondering, we won’t be making any changes to your current notification settings, but you can jump into your profile and change your own notification future. Learn more.

Customer Team Roundup 💪 ✨

In support, little things can make a big difference — even seemingly small changes can save your whole team some precious time. In this section, we highlight the maybe-overlooked (but very powerful!) changes each month that are making our own customer champions cheer.

Up this month: Amanda writes in from Seoul and Taipei! #remotework

Multi-mailbox Conversations in full bloom

2018 Release Notes - Image 13

In the past, it wasn’t possible to send emails from one mailbox to another within the same Help Scout account. Last month, we started slowly adding support for that. Shout out to all the adventurous ones who embraced this change early on and helped us hunt down some bugs! We’ve since deployed some more fixes to tackle threading issues. Mailbox-to-mailbox emailing is now available in all new accounts! If you see anything funky with multi-mailbox Conversations, please let us know!

No more accidental tag merging

2018 Release Notes - Image 14

This change has been mostly under the radar, but it’s one of my recent favorites! Normally, doing the fewest amount of clicks is preferable, but adding this extra confirmation step before merging tags has helped prevent a lot of accidents. Now, you clearly see all the tags you are about to merge before committing to the change! Like Conversations, once tags are merged, they can’t be un-merged.

2018 Customer Support Salary Survey

It’s here! It’s here! Okay, fine. We know a salary survey doesn’t sound like that much fun, but here’s why you should take a few minutes out of your day to complete it…

We think customer support is a great career choice, and we want to help the humans of support get paid what they deserve. The more salary transparency, the more leverage folks have for negotiating. The participant pool has grown each year! Why not jump in?

  1. Take a minute to answer a few questions about your salary and where you work. Make sure to get your responses in by May 18th.

  2. Receive a handy salary study from Help Scout and Support Driven.

See the 2017 study.

May: Mailbox API 2.0, Mailchimp, and Bacon Bits

What's New 🚀

It’s here. The Mailbox moment of the year. The beta label is officially off, and Help Scout’s Mailbox API 2.0 is now available! In fact, it’s already powering our Zapier and Trello integrations.

Image of Help Scout authorization screen
  1. We added user-friendly authentication for your integrations.

  2. We doubled our rate limits.

  3. If a request fails, we’ll tell you why!

The best news? We’re still improving Mailbox API 2.0, and we’ll be working on some of the most requested features soon. Our trusty Support team has been tracking your requests all along, and if you’re curious, you can keep tabs on progress in our Mailbox API changelog!

If you happened to miss the h-API-ness webinar (best title ever?), you can always watch the recording and learn everything straight from the horse’s mouth. In this case, the horse is Bob Stalmach, our team lead on this project. He’s not really a horse.

Sunsetting Mailbox API 1.0 (formerly known as Help Desk API)

We’ll be officially switching off Mailbox API 1.0 on June 6th, 2019, and the sunsetting period begins today. If you’re currently using our Mailbox API 1.0, now’s the time to start updating your apps so you don’t experience any interruptions down the road.

We’re here to help make sure everything runs smoothly, so if you’ve got questions or concerns, feel free to reach out.

Mailchimp + OAuth

Are you using Help Scout’s Mailchimp integration? If you’re not, maybe you’d be interested to know that it’s our second most popular integration. If you are, we’ve got some news for you.

We’ve updated the old app and functionality to use OAuth 2.0. Sounds fancy, right? Basically, this new protocol helps Mailchimp determine and ensure specific user permissions.

This next part’s where you come in. Over the next couple of weeks, you’ll need to reauthorize the app by going to this page and clicking the Log In button. After that, the old code will be removed, and you’ll be all set to go (with better security).

Adding support for OpenSearch

Help Scout now has OpenSearch support, which means you can do a Help Scout search straight from your browser’s address bar.

When you start typing in in your browser, hit the tab key and you can search Help Scout directly without having to load the page. This is what it looks like:

OpenSearch is supported on several browsers, such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Happy searching!

Customer Team Roundup 💪 ✨

In support, little things can make a big difference — even seemingly small changes can save your whole team some precious time. In this section, we highlight the maybe-overlooked (but very powerful!) changes and gems that are making our own customer champions cheer.

Up this month: Sarah-Mei writes in from Martha’s Vineyard!

Help Scout Hack Pack

Have you ever thought, “Gosh. All I want to do is level up my Help Scout knowledge and learn even more clever ways to improve how my team works in the inbox.” Well lucky you, because our Hack Pack is about to make that dream come true! Check out these fun and useful tidbits, like how to save a pre-filled subject for New Conversations. Oooo! Get the pack.

Onboarding Your Team

When bringing on new teammates, give them the best first day welcome with a new work computer, their very own company swag, and this link to our Onboarding cluster! This collection includes walkthrough videos to help bring your newest colleagues up to speed. All aboard the Onboarding cluster! Onboard away.

Before you go

If you’ve been on the Free plan, you may have noticed that some changes are afoot. In short, we’ve decided to sunset our Free plan over the next six months. You can learn all about the reasons behind this decision and your options for next steps in your account dashboard. We’re here to help you through this transitional time. If you’ve got questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

June: Huzzah Stickers, Beacon News, and Support Driven Donuts

The season of Beacon is upon us. What’s Beacon, you ask? Maybe it would help to explain it in terms of bacon…

What's New 🚀

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re familiar with Help Scout’s huzzahs. If you’ve reached inbox zero in a Mailbox, you’ve seen ‘em. Some (amazing) people have even dressed up as huzzahs for Halloween!

2018 Release Notes - Image 17

In an effort to spread more huzzah joy, we thought it was about time to create a huzzah sticker pack. If you head to the App Store on your phone and search for “huzzahs,” you’ll find 24 downloadable stickers. Press the “Get” button, and you’re off to the races.

Need to text someone a piñata to remind them that they’re the life of the party? What about a donut? Everyone deserves a donut. Just think . . . a trophy sticker could turn someone’s stressful Monday morning into a “heck yeah, I can do this” kind of day. Huzzahs to the rescue.

Support Driven Expo

Photo of the Help Scout team

We came, we saw, we supported.

Hundreds of people from the Support Driven Community gathered at the Support Driven Expo (a.k.a. SDX) to learn, share, connect, and . . . eat donuts.

This year, our very own Patto gave a presentation on the value of curiosity in support, Tim worked the room as an M.C., and Abigail taught a packed house about getting started with APIs.

We also learned a whole lot from this amazing community of support champions! If this is the first time you’ve heard of the Support Driven community, you can learn more about it here.

Beacon beta: mobile SDKs

Help Scout Beacon 2.0 SDKs

Good news! Our Beacon mobile SDKs (Software Development Kits) are coming along.

We now have many of the features of the Beacon 2.0 web embed available to place in your iOS or Android app—things like articles search, suggestions, opening a new conversation, and message history.

The mobile SDKs are currently in beta, so give us a shout if you’d like to try ‘em out.

Customer Team Roundup 💪 ✨

In support, little things can make a big difference — even seemingly small changes can save your whole team some precious time. In this section, we highlight the maybe-overlooked (but very powerful!) changes that are making our own customer champions cheer.

Up this month: Shaun writes in from Portsmouth, England.

One of the most common questions I see from our customers is "How do I keep track of priority messages in my mailbox so they get the fastest responses?" If you’re shouting "YES!," then check out our handy Workflow Templates and Scenarios guide. It's chock full of tips to help keep track of priority conversations using tags, folders, and more! Wield some Workflows.

For many businesses, it's a slow season for incoming support requests. If your team is at inbox zero more often than not and you've got some gaps in your schedule, it’s an opportune time to reflect on how you can improve proactive support! Check out these recommendations for how to turn seasonal downtime into a fun, morale-boosting experience for all. Make the most of it.

September: Beacon is Available, Copy Saved Replies, and Multiple Webhooks

What's New 🚀

Beacon is now available!

As of this week, Beacon is available for all new accounts, and about 2,000 existing customers so far.

In August, we launched an all-new Beacon Builder design that makes customizing your Beacon even easier. We also launched Docs suggestions by URL, so now you can suggest relevant articles depending on the page your customer is viewing.

Copy Saved Replies

One request we’ve heard a lot from you is to easily copy Saved Replies from one mailbox to another. Now you can take care of it in just a couple of clicks!

Multi-instance Webhooks

Multi-instance webhooks

If only you could connect your Help Scout account to Smooch and a Zapier Webhook at the same time, right? Your wish is our command! We're happy to announce we now support multiple Webhooks. Create as many as you like, and you can manage them easily from the Webhooks app. More documentation for Webhooks is available here.

Improved Group Conversations

Last month we spent a lot of time digging into Group Conversations, or conversations in Help Scout that have several people involved. In some cases, Help Scout wasn’t always handling the recipients properly. Hitting reply would put the wrong person in the To field, or drop someone that should have been Cc’d. We’re happy to report that all of those issues are now resolved.

Mailbox API 2.0 improvements

Since officially launching our Mailbox 2.0 API a couple of months ago, the API team has launched several new endpoints, such as creating a new draft, or adding tags and custom fields when you create a conversation. View the full changelog here.

Customer Team Roundup 💪 ✨

In support, little things can make a big difference — even seemingly small changes can save your whole team some precious time. In this section, we highlight the maybe-overlooked (but very powerful!) changes that are making our own customer champions cheer.

Up this month: Kristi writes in from Stari Grad, Croatia.

Pre-Filled Phone Notes

Ever find yourself creating the same kind of phone note over and over? You’ve always been able to create new conversations using a bookmarked hyperlink that fills in content automatically — now we’ve updated our pre-fill options so you can plug a phone number into a new phone note automatically too! Learn how.

October: Reply as Alias, Mailbox Bcc, and Beacon Improvements

This month we’re waving from the semi-annual Help Scout retreat in Hilton Head, SC! Amidst all of the fun, bonding, and beach volleyball, we also made time to work on a bunch of new features for you.

Photo of the Help Scout team

What's New 🚀

Reply as Alias

We’re pretty excited about this one! Let’s say you have multiple email addresses that all forward to the same mailbox. Until now, replies were always sent from your mailbox address. But when you enable Reply as Alias, you can reply from any of the aliases (other email addresses that forward to your mailbox).

For many of you, this will enable you to combine several mailboxes into a single mailbox. You can still use Workflows to tag conversations by to address, and then you can reply from the same address the email was sent to. You’ll be more organized and your customers won’t see any difference.

To get going with the Reply as Alias feature, head over to Mailbox Settings → Edit Mailbox and toggle on the Reply as Alias setting. Check out this guide for all the deets.

One final note: Support for mobile apps and Workflow replies is in progress and should ship this month. While these pieces are in progress, any replies or forwards sent from the iOS/Android apps or manual/automatic Workflows will be sent from your main mailbox address.

Mailbox Bcc

Now you can copy all of your replies from Help Scout to an external email address with the new Mailbox Bcc feature. This is a little different from our existing User-specific Bcc feature, as the Mailbox Bcc catches replies from all Users.

Beacon article ratings

All of your Docs articles in Beacon now have a simple, “Did this answer your question?” survey on the bottom. We’ll be leveraging this data to not only improve the customer experience with follow-up options, but to eventually report on your answer rate.

We’re hard at work on an all-new Docs report, which will leverage this data, and also an all-new Chat report with metrics specific to Beacon chat.

Beacon improvements

Beacon 2.0 is now available for new sign-ups and will be available to all customers by the end of this month. We spent a lot of time in September fixing small bugs, improving performance, and laying the groundwork for new features. In total, 50+ improvements were shipped last month, with more on the way!

Your Plan + auto-renew

Account Owners rejoice! This month we launched a redesign of the Your Plan page, which is a lot more clear about itemizing your monthly payment. If you are on an annual plan, it also includes up-to-date information about your credit remaining and estimated renewal date.

Also, we’ve introduced annual auto-renewals, so your credits can be topped off automatically when you run out. All the information and settings are at your fingertips.

Lastly, we won’t send you an email when your prepaid credits cover the total monthly cost and the invoice is $0. You'll only get an email receipt when we charge you for the annual renewal.

Customer Team Roundup 💪 ✨

In support, little things can make a big difference — even seemingly small changes can save your whole team some precious time. In this section, we highlight the maybe-overlooked (but very powerful!) changes that are making our own customer champions cheer.

Up this month: Chanita!

2018 Release Notes - October - Chanita

Help Scout Notes: Arguably the most important thing for me to do during a call is to take great notes. It's vital to understand what the customers, potential and existing, are looking for and how we can help them. With our Notes feature, I can log our entire call and link it to that customer's profile to ensure we keep everything in one place. Gone are the days of trying to remember everything you talked about!

TextExpander: A lot of good info can be hard to keep track of, and Saved Replies are great for team use, but what about adding personal flavor? TextExpander lets you do exactly that. Do you know how many minutes I’ve saved this month?

YouCanBookMe: Need some time? I've got it! We send customers our calendar links to avoid the whole scheduling song and dance. I link it directly to my Google Calendar to have a clear picture of what's on my plate for the day. You can even integrate everything with Zoom so you’re able to quickly put together an invite with minimal clicking.

November: Chat Notification and Beacon API Updates

What's New 🚀

Rejoice! In addition to a bunch of notification bug fixes and reliability updates:

  • We added a new browser notification and notification sounds whenever a customer sends a new message during an ongoing chat. Only the User assigned to the chat will hear the sound, and it’ll only play when you’re not viewing the chat, so things don’t get too noisy.

  • We also updated the color of the in-app chat notification from blue to yellow so that it stands out a bit more.

  • Based on popular demand, we doubled the volume of sound notifications.

Beacon API updates

We’ve added a couple of notable methods to the Beacon JavaScript API:

  • Beacon('suggest') can now be called with no parameters to refresh content suggestions based on the current URL. This is super helpful if you’ve got Beacon in a single page app, where the URL changes, but the page doesn’t reload.

  • Introduced the Beacon('article') method. You can use this to open a specific Docs article within Beacon, using the article’s ID. If the Beacon is closed when this method is called, it will also open the Beacon automatically. Huzzah!

  • We’ve also added a new data attribute to the Beacon('article') method mentioned above, so you can now link to an article within a standard href. To see how it works, head over to the developer docs for an example.

  • Beacon('identify') can now be used to delete custom attributes. You might use this if a customer updates or removes profile or account information, and you just want to clear that stuff out from the Beacon sidebar app.

All Channels report

The Conversations report has been renamed to the All Channels report, in preparation for some other reporting updates we have in the works. Nothing about the report has changed except for the addition of a new Volume by Channel chart, which compares your daily volume between Email, Phone, and Chat Conversations.

All Channels Report

Attachment scanning

Security updates are important updates. We’re now scanning all incoming attachments for viruses and malware. If an attachment is flagged, you’ll see a new red notification banner in the thread that contains the attachment. You can see the file name, but you won’t be able to click to open or download the attachment.

Attachment scanning

Customer Team Roundup 💪 ✨

In support, little things can make a big difference — even seemingly small changes can save your whole team some precious time. In this section, we highlight the maybe-overlooked (but very powerful!) changes that are making our own customer champions cheer.

Up this month: Kelly

  • Rocket: Are you a big emoji fan like I am? Rocket is a Mac app that you can use to add emojis to, well, pretty much anywhere. It's easy to use when replying to customers, and allows you to quickly search for *just* the right one to jazz up that email. 🍕✨

  • Get Started with Beacon and Live Chat" Classes: Heard about this Beacon thingy, but not quite sure how to make it work for you and your team? Come along to one of our classes to learn more about its nifty features, and how Beacon truly is better than bacon. 😉

December: Saved Replies for Chat and Accessibility Improvements

What's New 🚀

From keyboard interactions to focus states, to colors and contrasts, we made a bunch of updates to the Beacon embed for a more inclusive design. Beacon is now best in class for people with accessibility needs.

Docs Suggestions: Relative URLs

The Content Suggestions feature now supports relative URLs. This is helpful when you’re deploying Beacon on multiple domains with the same URL structure.

Docs Suggestions: Relative URLs

Saved Replies for Chat

We know that sometimes, speed is everything when you’re chatting with customers. Which is why we’ve redesigned the Saved Replies feature from the ground up to bring your favorite text snippets to live chat. Creating saved replies for chat is easy. You’ll be able to copy existing replies in a single click or start from scratch to customize each snippet.

We’re still rolling this out to everyone. If you don’t see the new Saved Replies feature yet, hang tight — you should have it by the end of the month!

Saved Replies for Chat

When you’re proud of your prose or think your reply might be helpful for the rest of the team, you can create new saved replies directly from the chat interface. New replies are available to use right away!

More new stuff

iOS Updates

You’ll be pleased to know that the iOS app now supports the new Reply as Alias and Mailbox Auto Bcc features. And we updated the app so it looks and works great on your fancy new iPads.

New Integration: AppFollow

AppFollow allows you to reply to app reviews faster, resolve user problems more effectively, and share important insights with a product team. By connecting AppFollow with Help Scout, you can easily see user reviews and reply to them in real time without leaving Help Scout.

Customer Team Roundup 💪 ✨

In support, little things can make a big difference — even seemingly small changes can save your whole team some precious time. In this section, we highlight the maybe-overlooked (but very powerful!) changes that are making our own customer champions cheer.

Up this month: Shaun writes in from Southampton, England.

Organizing never felt so good!

Back in June, I gave you the heads up on how to keep track of priority customers in your Help Scout account, ensuring they get a timely response. What about conversations that live outside of that priority bubble and have been sitting for a few hours longer than you’d like?

To keep track of those convos, check out this workflow. It’s designed to look for conversations older than four hours that have been waiting for a reply from your team. The workflow will then highlight the number of convos waiting for a response in a new folder on the sidebar, giving you a quick and easy way to prioritize your queue. Read more about folders here, and get those customers served!

Have a great holiday season. 🎄

It’s almost the end of the year, when everyone should step back and reflect on the year they’ve had. If you’re like me and work with rockstars, you’ll want to know who’s available when a holiday falls.

To keep everyone on the same page, spin up a tracker via Google Sheets to keep your team (and company) in the loop on what’s happening on those special days. Here’s an example to get started, but whatever you come up with should encourage people to step away once in awhile.🙂

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