Quarterly Release Notes, December 2021: Targeted Messages, Properties Visibility, and More!

Welcome to Help Scout’s release notes! This quarter we’ve introduced our Facebook Messenger channel integration, data migration capabilities, and more. Read on to learn about what’s new in Help Scout!

Manage Facebook Messenger conversations in your shared inbox

You can now connect your company’s Facebook account to Help Scout! With this new social channel app, you can bring all of your direct Facebook Messenger conversations into your Help Scout inbox. In just a few clicks, you can connect your account and give your team the ability to be notified of, reply to, and manage Messenger conversations. You also get all the organizational benefits Help Scout offers, like workflows, tags, and reporting. Customers receive support in the channel of their choice and your team can manage it all in one tool.

Note: Since the original publication of this post, Facebook Messenger access has been added to all current Help Scout plans. For additional plan details, visit our pricing page. For updated information on activating Messenger in Help Scout, check out this docs article.

release notes-facebook messenger

Migrate customer and conversation data in just a few clicks

You can now migrate data into Help Scout from over 25 tools! We’ve partnered with Import2 to offer streamlined data migration from applications like these and others:

  • Zendesk

  • Intercom

  • Gmail

  • Freshdesk

  • Groove

  • Kustomer

New to Help Scout? Our new data migration capabilities allow you to easily migrate your conversation history and customer profiles from your previous tool. Current customer? You can also use these new import capabilities to bring in data from past solutions into Help Scout or consolidate Help Scout accounts by importing data from one Help Scout instance to another.

release notes-import2

Create Docs articles with ease in our new editor

We’ve given our Docs editor a refresh, inside and out. Built for intuitive article creation, we’ve added the following new features to make writing articles a breeze:

  • Shortcut menu: Add a variety of elements to your articles with no code necessary. Easily access the menu using slash commands such as “/callout” to insert a callout or “/table” to add a table to your article. 

  • Inline formatting menu: Highlight your text and you’ll see the new inline menu, allowing you to italicize, embolden, and make other formatting changes to your text from anywhere in your document.

The new, modern UI eliminates distractions with a clean interface. No more busy sidebars — instead, open and close the right sidebar as needed. We’ve also added performance enhancements to make editing and publishing as smooth as possible. Draft and auto-save make sure nothing gets lost as you work. If you do make a mistake, you can revert back to your published version or unpublish articles with the click of a button.

release notes-docs editor

Control who has access to your Docs sites with restricted Docs

Want to protect proprietary information from non-customers? Or maybe you want to create a tailored Help Center for a specific group? With the help of your developer or technical lead, use Help Scout’s API to connect to your customer database of choice. Using the data from your CRM, restricted Docs authenticates visitors as they visit your knowledge base. You have complete control over who can view your Docs sites while viewers enjoy a seamless experience.

release notes-restricted docs

Create new properties in Help Scout

Customer properties allow you to collect and display the information about your customers that matters to your team. Previously, you could update existing properties via API but couldn’t create new ones. Until today! Our new customer properties endpoint allows you to create new properties in Help Scout via API. We support new properties with the following parameters:

  • Name

  • Property ID

  • Type

    • Text

    • Number

    • URL

    • Date

    • Dropdown

With this update, you can easily create new properties, and ensure your team has the data they need in Help Scout.

Coming soon: New editing experience in Mailbox and Instagram channel app

We’re hard at work creating a new social channel to connect to and an updated editor for the Mailbox.

Our new Mailbox editor offers a modern, streamlined experience. Formatting options will live within the editor, making it easier for you to add elements like bullets and images using slash (“/”) commands. If you’re using the new Docs editor or have created a Message recently, this editing experience will look very familiar!

This quarter we launched the ability to connect Help Scout to Facebook Messenger, and next quarter we’re excited to add another social channel to the list — Instagram! With our Instagram channel app, you’ll be able to be notified of, reply to, and manage direct messages from your company’s Instagram account.

Get involved: Help Scout product research asks

Every time we share release notes, we ask for your help in making Help Scout better. If you fit any of the criteria below, please reach out at research@helpscout.com and our product team will be in touch! 

  • You currently support your customers on other channels like WhatsApp or SMS.

  • You are an ecommerce company that currently uses Shopify or other platforms with Help Scout.

Cool tips

Our Teams feature isn’t just for other departments at your company. Teams allow you to move conversations out of Unassigned by assigning them to a shared folder for as many people as you’d like. They work more like segmented queues. It’s a great way to keep your inbox organized! You could even use an Automatic Workflow to make certain kinds of conversations skip Unassigned and go straight to a Team folder. Learn more here.

Kristi Ernst Thompson
Kristi Ernst Thompson

Have you tried the Translate feature for Beacon? This feature translates your Beacon labels to over 30 languages, but what I enjoy the most is that you can also enter your own custom text! For example, you can change your chatbot’s name and customize the interactions it will have with visitors.

Another great use case is updating header labels to share specific hours of operation. For instance, under the “Ask” and “Send a Message” menus, there are fields called “Message button description” and “We usually respond in” that by default say “in a few hours.”  Many of our users have updated those fields to include more specific information (e.g., “Our Support team is online from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST”) to improve their visitors’ experiences and set service expectations. It’s a small but mighty detail that can make an impactful difference all around!

Angie Vargas
Angie Vargas

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Help Scout
Help Scout

Delight more customers with Help Scout — the all-in-one customer support platform for growing businesses. Simple-yet-powerful features allow you to handle incoming requests, seamlessly integrate with Shopify, give answers in an instant, and send messages beyond the inbox. Founded in 2011 and remote since day one, Help Scout employs over 140 folks in more than 115 cities across the globe.

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