December 3, 2018

Brands We Love: Help Scout

Brands We Love: Help Scout

Have you ever stumbled across a brand you would gladly buy from, only you don't actually need what they sell?

This is exactly how I feel about Help Scout. Even though we don’t need a customer help desk at the moment, I almost wish we did just so we could jump on the Help Scout bandwagon!

Help Scout are on a mission to create companies that customers love. They have made a name for themselves with help desk software that elevates and personalises customer service.

I’ve been following Help Scout for a few years now (and taking notes!), so today I want to share 3 big lessons I think we can all learn from the brand experience pros.

They know what their customers really want

Help Scout are wonderful at addressing their customers’ challenges and desires and it’s clear that they have thoughtfully planned their website design and copy with this in mind.

They know that their ideal customers want to be known for delivering exceptional service experiences, so instead of selling “help desk software” they sell “tools for the world's most customer-centric businesses.”

Do people want to buy help desk software? Not really. But, would they like to be one of the world’s most customer-centric businesses? Absolutely.

help_scout_brand_strategy

They are also very clear on their customer’s biggest painpoints. Check out these copy snippets from their website—

Challenge: Our customers don’t respond well to generic support emails.

“Replace robo-emails and ticket numbers with emails that were clearly sent by a real person.”

Challenge: New software is challenging to use and time-consuming to set-up

“A better experience for your customers, fewer headaches for your team. You'll be set up in minutes.”

“Let’s face it: new software can be scary. Our friendly team of customer champions is committed to helping you succeed at every step.”

Help Scout’s focus on customer experience doesn’t end with their copy. Their website design is clean and easy to navigate—an especially difficult task for a website with a lot of information and pages!

You don’t have to scroll past their main navigation menu to see that they have carefully anticipated and selected the information that is most important to their customers. They haven’t tried to cram every page into their main menu—the rest of their ‘less important’ content is sitting pretty in the footer. And, they also serve up some clear, actionable calls to action to ‘sign up’ or ‘request a demo’ so visitors know what their next steps should be. These smart inclusions help guide customers through a complex website with ease.

help_scout_brand_copy_website

The takeaway: Many businesses are so close to what they do that they forget to take a step back and look at their website from their customer’s perspective. Do you know who your customers want to be, or what they desire most? Can you anticipate their needs and identify their challenges? Knowing the answers to these questions can elevate your website design, copy and, as a result, your sales.

They are the masters of social proof

It’s unbelievable that we base many of our day-to-day purchasing decisions on reviews from strangers, but there is no doubt that testimonials, success stories and reviews are incredibly influential in the sales process.

Help Scout do a great job of using customer success stories throughout their website to overcome customer objections and build trust. These testimonials are a mix of written and video testimonials. While both types are effective, the video testimonials are especially powerful at explaining how real businesses have been transformed by the software because they’re delivered in the customer’s own words.

help_scout_brand_testimonials

Help Scout complement these testimonials with statistics about the size of their customer base and logos from some of their well-known clients. Together, all of this social proof forms a compelling sales pitch for the brand.

The takeaway: Social proof is incredibly powerful in building trust with your website visitors. Have some well-known clients? Use their logos to add credibility by association. And, no matter who your clients are, testimonials are a wonderful tool for overcoming customer objections about your product or service.

They humanise their brand by showing off their team

Head over to Help Scout’s about page, and you won’t find their senior executives. Instead, they showcase their team of ‘Customer Champions’— the remote workforce that their customers are likely to engage with everyday when requesting support and asking questions. Help Scout deliberately show their team throughout their website to drive home the point that there are real people behind the screen.

Not all of their photos are professional snaps either, some are selfies and they show the team doing what they love— skiing, playing with their dog, at the beach and even taking a nap!

So many business owners are reluctant to show off who they are. They are worried that putting up a photo of themselves or their team is self indulgent, corny, or will distract from what they do or sell. On the contrary, showing who you are builds connection and rapport. It shows that you’re real, genuine people who care about more than sales.

The takeaway: Never forget that people buy from people, especially people who are like them. Your photos can build trust by providing a glimpse into how your products are made, what it’s like to work with you and who is on the other end of the phone. While professional photos are always a great investment, Help Scout’s team shots are proof that unstaged, DIY photos can add an extra layer of authenticity and can be equally as impactful.

help_scout_brand_team_photos

Help Scout are students of brand experience, and it shows in their website content choices and design. Every element has been carefully chosen to build connection with their customers, sell their value and make it easy to find information. I hope these lessons will inspire you as you build your own customer-centric business.  

Now, I'd love to hear from you! Did any of these strategies stand out to you? Will you be implementing these in your business? Let me know in the comments!

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