Cyril Nicodeme's avatar

Cyril Nicodeme

Case study: Helpspace.io

Every week, I write about a product that appeared on ProductHunt and share my thoughts. I am not affiliated with the service and the content of the post here are my points of view uniquely. The idea is to give some feedback and hopefully share some valuables tips on how to grow a business.

Helpspace.io is another customer support product that got my attention on ProductHunt for a few reasons:

  • The name is easy to remember
  • The design of the landing page is nice
  • Customer support is a trending market

All in all, I think the makers behind Helpspace have a chance to do something nice with their tool, and that’s why I decided to do a case study about it.


I initially used GrooveHQ for quite some time, it was the best tool and worked nice, but they increased the price twice and ended up in a pricing strategy that wasn’t for me ($19 per seat monthly, with a minimum of two seats … for a sole founder, it doesn’t make sense.)

I am currently using Front which provides a complete tool for a good price, but it has its few quirks. For instance, Twitter’s integration comes at $20/month. With my $9/month plan, it doesn’t make sense!

Needless to say that I spent a fair amount of time comparing a lot of competitors, looking at their features, pricing, options, and differences.

So when I saw this newcomer, I was interested to know more about it, and the first impressions are really positives.

Feedbacks

(note: I’ll use “you” like I’m talking to the maker of Helpspace)

There are two ways to offer a landing page, a short version with links point to specific pages (features, pricing, etc), or a long version that contains everything (but you can still have the features/pricing/etc pages for SEO and more thorough explanations).

I feel like your landing page is in between, like you would want to have the long version, but stopped in the middle.

Hero

It first starts with the item right after the hero … For me, it’s a second hero that doesn’t bring more. As a visitor, I get two Hero:

1 Simplify your Customer Support All your emails and messages in one place.
2 Keep Your Support Under Control With HelpSpace you will keep your incoming requests and questions in line and won’t fail your customers!

You should stick with one. I know it’s difficult and I highly recommend you to spend a lot of time crafting the text.

This utterly important because it's the first thing your visitor will read.

If you don’t catch their attention there, you might lose them even before they start scrolling!

I personally prefer the first one but this is just my opinion 😉

Video explainer

In the Hero, instead of an image that looks like your tool, I would replace it by an image with a “play” icon that is clickable and will open a modal with a 1-1:30 minutes video of what you can achieve with Helpspace.
In your market, it’s an effective way to show your visitor what they can do in just a minute and if well done, can help them convert.

Features

You need to fight with more advanced and established tools, so you need to show that your potential customer can rely on you.

Right now, you have just two features listed, which gives a feeling of a light tool with not much to offer.
I know that you are recent and still have a lot of work to do, but the more you show, the better you’ll convince your visitor.

Moreover, the second feature is … well … what you would expect as a customer support service 🙂

Instead, what I would do is replace images with gif (or small videos) that shows what you can do, and this would include:

  • Receiving a new email (which would show the list of emails like the first feature, with a way to know it came from “support” for instance)
  • Quickly replying to an email
  • Replying using a canned response (yes, you need this)
  • Adding a rule to automate the workflow (yes, you also need this)
  • Assign the ticket to someone on your team
  • Change the status of an email (to a custom one maybe?)
  • Search over all your messages
  • Switch the view from open/archived/deleted

Pricing

You should add the pricing at the bottom of your landing page or best in the footer. As I was scrolling, I wanted to know the cost of your service and had to go all the way up to get the pricing.
My first thoughts were that your service didn’t have any pricing (the CTA mentions “Try for free”) and it would mean a bad surprise later on.

By having a way to navigate to your whole site from the bottom gives quick access to any of your important pages too.

As for the pricing in question, the “basic plan” should offer two, not one email channel. Why? With only one email channel, what is the difference between my inbox and your service?
It starts to get interesting with two inboxes (like support@ and contact@) and if I need more (like sales@, {name}@, etc), I can upgrade to the pro.

In the “Pro” plan, limited to just 5 emails might not help you in the long run. Having just 5 emails means startups or small companies. If you want to attract bigger clients, you’ll need more.
You could charge “per email channel”, to give full flexibility to your customers, or offer more plans, but this can become complicated to display.

In my case, with PDFShift, I have 4 public email people can reach out to us, plus personal emails for each one on the team. Front have a nice thing about this where they split the personal emails with the “company-wide”‘s one. (Some ideas of features to implement ;))

Don’t go in too many directions

The next part contains a list of what you can do, but it includes two things that bother me:

  • Ticket tasks
  • Knowledge base

I know that these are often included as service by your competitor, but you should focus on your core service (handling emails) and build features around it, like a canned response, rules, team assignment, etc.

If you follow the features of your competitor, you will be just like them. If you are just like them, you won't differentiate and you will be lost in the crowd.

Here’s what I would do instead (but again, this is my point of view):

I would focus on the missing features that are essential when handling support (automated responses via rules, canned responses, office hours, etc) and remove the ticket tasks and knowledge base.

Since these two features would be removed, I would be able to lower the price. Yes, this is bold because everyone says “increase your price”, but in your case, you are in a very competitive market and the price will be a big decision maker since you are new. Take a look at this diagram:

The idea is to get a lot of new customers that are not looking for tons of features (… like knowledge base) but just want a nice interface to manage their support. You will fit perfectly right in.
This will help you grow, get customer feedback, improve the service and add more features.

Once you will have reached a certain amount of customers and have implemented the key features, you will then be able to work on the extensions, offering tickets, knowledge base and even more, and increase your price from there (or offer these as paid features).

I think this is a nice strategy to adopt.

Conclusion

Helpspace looks really nice and I think you are on the right track to having a really cool SaaS product.
I hope my thoughts were helpful and I wish you good luck!

What did you think? Do you agree or not at all? Share your thoughts on the comments 🙂
(This review is my advice on the service and mine only. It might not be correct or justified to implement them.)