Exploring Help Scout but wondering how much it costs and what’s included? Or perhaps you’re evaluating whether or not you should upgrade your account from Standard to Plus.
No need to worry; we’ve created this post to help you understand the differences between Help Scout’s Standard and Plus pricing plans and which package is best suited for your business.
How Help Scout’s pricing works
Help Scout’s pricing uses a subscription model and charges per user. Annual and monthly subscription plans are available—businesses save 20% if annual billing is selected.
Standard is $20 USD per user per month billed annually.
Plus is $40 USD per user per month billed annually.
No hidden fees, or surprises. It’s that simple.
Who is each package best suited for?
Standard is perfect for small teams with simple processes. Help Scout’s out-of-box reports provide the required insights into key metrics, and basic user permissions are sufficient to get your team up and running. If you have a small number of team members or teams that would benefit from a shared inbox —Standard is likely best for you.
The Plus plan is built for scaling teams who need advanced reporting that can be customized based on business needs. This is powered by custom fields, giving you the power to collect essential data for your business to track and measure key metrics that matter to your business. If you need a large number of team members or teams using Help Scout or have numerous projects that would benefit from a shared inbox and advanced user permissions—Plus is the plan for you.
What are the main differences between Standard and Plus plans?
Let’s get down to the specifics. In this section, we’ll dive into the main feature differences between the Standard and Plus pricing plans:
Standard → 2 Mailboxes
Plus → 5 Mailboxes
Mailboxes bring your team’s email into a shared inbox, making it easy to collaborate, answer emails faster, and provide personalized support.
Mailboxes in every plan include features such as:
Assignments: Assign emails to individuals or teams
Private notes: Send teammates notes on conversations to collaborate on problems
Saved replies: Searchable library of answers to frequently asked questions
Tagging: Tag customer conversations to automate workflows, categorize types of requests, and create detailed reports
Workflows: Automation that takes care of repetitive tasks using if/then logic
You can learn more about mailboxes here.
When deciding how many mailboxes you need, most people think about how many teams need a shared inbox. And while this is a great starting point, the use cases for shared mailboxes expand beyond teams. For example, you could leverage mailboxes for:
Specific areas of the business. Examples of this include returns, and customer feedback.
So while multiple teams are the most popular reason for multiple mailboxes, the use cases can extend to more granular instances.
Your customer support team is guaranteed to benefit from a shared mailbox. But think about other teams that use a @info address and handle emails and requests. This could include finance, IT, and operations teams. Consider meeting with the different teams in your organization to understand their challenges better and if a shared inbox would help their day-to-day.
Custom Fields and Reports 📊
Standard → Custom reporting, limited reporting history
Plus → Custom fields, unlimited reporting history
Customer service is a highly measurable activity, and your customer communications platform inevitably gives you access to many customer service metrics. The Standard plan includes a handful of out-of-the-box reports that track activity, metrics for all support channels, and up to two years of reporting history. You can customize views for these reports in a way that makes sense for your business.
In contrast, Plus plans include custom fields, which are data fields used in conversations in workflows, API, and reporting. These fields are completely customizable—giving you the power to collect essential data for your business to track and measure key metrics such as types of support requests, which product is being discussed, and more. Custom fields can be set as required, making reporting on these critical data points consistent and trackable over time without depending on your team to remember them off-hand. Additionally, Plus plans include unlimited reporting history.
In-depth reporting can significantly impact your business's profitability and your team’s productivity. For example, Help Scout’s productivity reports showed Mixmax’s team that they didn’t need to have a team working around the clock answering customer emails. Jen Skene, Director of Operations at Mixmax explains:
"We have customers around the world—and our Customer Success team was working around the clock to answer support questions. We looked at the productivity report to see the time of day when most new conversations come in. It showed us we didn’t need to have a team working around the clock."
This insight greatly impacted the organization—helping Mixmax’s bottom line, and increasing productivity.
Start thinking about the metrics your business needs to capture from your customer communications platform. Check out these 11 key customer service metrics and report examples for inspiration.
Standard → 25 users
Plus → Unlimited users and 25 light users
Help Scout defines users as members of your organization or team with access to Help Scout. Users can be assigned to a team and have various permissions, which will be discussed in the following section.
Our standard plan is best for smaller teams and operations using Help Scout. Once you pass 25 users, you’ll be put on the Plus plan, where you can take advantage of features to help your team grow effectively without hurting the customer experience. The Plus plan also includes light users—a “read-only” user role with limited capabilities that allow for internal collaboration, access to reporting, creating Messages, and more. With light users, you can bring all the specialized knowledge in your organization into customer conversations and unlock valuable customer data for product, sales, marketing, and more. Learn more about light users here.
The Plus plan's unlimited users and light users are designed for organizations with large support teams. In addition, if you need teams across the organization to have easy access and collaboration tools in Help Scout, then Plus is right for you.
Standard → No teams
Plus → Teams included
The teams feature allows you to define groups of Help Scout users that work together on conversations, allowing large teams to collaborate within smaller groups. In other words, the teams feature lets you define a group of users as a single unit in Help Scout. You can then work with and report on that team as its own unit. If you plan on only having one small team in Help Scout, you might want to consider the Standard plan since there is no need for cross-collaboration or smaller working groups in the platform. However, if you plan to have multiple teams work within Help Scout, Plus is likely the best plan for your business. There are lots of ways we’ve seen teams in action. To get you thinking about what it can do for you, here are some use cases:
All are one: The whole organization works out of one single mailbox to allow for easy and visible cross-team collaboration, but each department — e.g., Support, Sales, and Marketing — has its own team defined to enable each team to work separately.
Tiered escalation: A technical support team with multiple tiered support levels can use teams to allow each escalation level to have its own queue to work from while keeping everything visible to all users.
Queue sorting: Define your teams around specific kinds of conversations or about particular products — e.g., Product X2, Product Y3, and Product Z4 — and assign the conversations to the team as a first triage action, moving the conversations from unassigned to a specific topic folder view.
Standard → No advanced permissions
Plus → Advanced permissions included
Advanced permissions help you quickly and confidently manage changing team needs by giving your team access to the correct information and capabilities in Help Scout. Advanced permissions can be applied at the company, team, and user level. A few examples of what you can do with advanced permissions include:
Make a user an administrator, but only for one mailbox.
Limit Docs access to a few people on your team.
Control who can live chat with customers.
Give admins sole access to reporting data.
Advanced permissions are essential for businesses where different teams pitch in to help with conversations or involve partners and contractors. Letting everyone have access to everything can cause headaches, mistakes, and bad customer experiences.
Think about the different users you plan to access Help Scout—are they all on the same team? Does everyone need access to the same data and dashboards? Is there information in your reports or requests you’re receiving that need to be protected? Niko Vergis, Head of Customer Happiness at SureSwift Capital, shares:
“In a portfolio company of 30+ SaaS products, it's a challenge to keep up with granting and revoking user/admin access just to open specific features. The advanced permissions feature will allow us to dial in and give higher-level access to our Product Managers to explore the depths of Help Scout without other mailboxes showing in their dashboard. It's a huge win for us and will help keep everyone more focused!”
Learn more about advanced permissions here.
Docs site 📝
Standard → 1 Docs site
Plus → 2 Docs sites and restricted Docs
Help Scout Docs sites are a knowledge base designed for customer self-service. With Docs, you can easily create, manage, and customize content that empowers customers to find answers on their own.
The most significant difference between the two plans is the number of Docs sites available and restricted Docs functionality. Restricted Docs leverages our API to authorize and segment who can view each of your Docs sites—giving you complete control over who can access your help center.
Before deciding on how many Docs sites are needed, reflect on the use cases unique to your business. For instance, Help Scout customers use Docs for various purposes such as employee onboarding, internal help center, and customer support help center.
You may also want the ability to restrict your Docs site, whether it’s for internal needs, like keeping proprietary content private, or it’s for external needs, like creating a smoother experience for customers so they can find what they need faster. Having control over knowledge base access can be a valuable part of your support strategy!
Also, take into consideration the number of brands and products that your company provides. For example, Springboard offers online resources and personalized mentors for individuals to learn topics such as design, coding, digital marketing, and more. Because of this extensive course offering, our Plus plan was the right fit for Springboard. Rachel Korb, Community & Operations Manager at Springboard shares:
"We use Docs knowledge base extensively—it helps our students be self-sufficient."
Standard → 50+ integrations
Plus → 50+ integrations, plus Messenger by Facebook, Salesforce, Jira, and Hubspot integration
Every pricing plan includes our 50+ integrations so you can connect and migrate existing data into Help Scout.
The only difference between the plans is that Messenger by Facebook, Salesforce, Jira, and Hubspot integrations are included in the Plus plan. However, Salesforce, Jira, and Hubspot integrations are still available as a part of the Premium integrations add-on for Standard Plans.
Take inventory of your current tech stack and check out our integration listings here to help you decide which plan best suits your business needs.
Which plan is right for you?
Now that you have an understanding of the differences between Help Scout's Standard and Plus pricing plans, it's time to choose the one that's right for you. To recap the above:
Custom Fields and Reports 📊
Custom reporting, limited reporting history
Custom fields, unlimited reporting history
Unlimited users and 25 light users
No advanced permissions
Advanced permissions included
Docs site 📝
1 Docs site
2 Docs sites
50+ integrations, plus Messenger by Facebook, Salesforce, Jira, and Hubspot integrations
Once you’ve determined the plan that’s fit for your business, start your 15-day free trial and experience first-hand how Help Scout transforms how you manage customer conversations.
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