Of all the inventions that have ever helped the office function, email has to be one of the, if not the most prevalent in use. Email has made it possible to connect to operations thousands of miles away in moments, and now, it's even helping to provide help desk services. One of the latest such operations is Help Scout, which provides help desk functions for the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market, and it's just raised $6 million in a Series A funding round.
That substantial slug of cash—raised by several organizations including Colorado's Foundry Group and Cambridge's CommonAngels Ventures—
increases Help Scout's funding level, at last report, to fully $6.8 million. With this new influx of cash, Help Scout plans to invest in marketing, both going after new channels and investing in the brand itself. Co-founder Nick Francis described how the market was “very large,” and how the company had “...figured out how to acquire new customers,” but could now better “...invest in growth” thanks to the new cash infusion.
Help Scout has also taken note that such expansion requires quality employees to back it up, and has plans to double its current headcount of 20 within the next year. Help Scout's tools are already on hand in several operations, not only found in GrubHub but also in Reddit. These and other customers contribute to an annual revenue “in the millions” for 2014, and the company itself has been profitable for the last 18 months, at last report. Help Scout can offer not only help desk functionality, but also workflow systems complete with automation and custom views, as well as the ability to sync with customer relationship management (CRM) tools for added value. The sheer variety of tools on hand with Help Scout helps add value with little regard to circumstances, and those interested can try it free for 15 days. After the free trial, those who stick with Help Scout will pay just $15 per user per month for access to the service, and an extra $25 per user per month brings in Docs service as well. Paying annually, meanwhile, will trim an additional 10 percent off the bill, according to reports.
The idea itself is a sound one; after all, we've seen how the omnichannel experience works so well in offering a better quality customer experience, so why shouldn't it work just as well with the help desk experience as well? Sure, right now it's mostly an email setup, but omnichannel can't really be without all the channels in place. Omnichannel must start somewhere, and Help Scout is a clear start toward a help desk experience that uses all the possible channels. It also helps augment the customer experience as we know it today, and that's a measure that often means repeat business. Repeat business keeps retailers going, so being able to provide the best in customer experience is a help to the business' long-term survivability.
Only time will tell just how far Help Scout can go in the field, but it has a sound proposition behind it, and should bring a lot of value to other organizations as it's already brought value to some.
Edited by Maurice Nagle