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Customer screens + channels


I’m evaluating HelpSpot currently. I have some feedback echoing some of the notes posted above:

  • customer screens: it would be nice to be able to view customers, and which requests are attached to them (rather than have to create a request to see the customer request history.) I understand I can build this myself in an external system using the API, but it’s time-consuming and a barrier to entry. Also, it means that rather than being able to update each request our existing (external) customer ID, our HelpSpot users have to do this manually each time the same client creates a request, which is repetitive and inefficient (unless I’m missing something?)
  • channels: much less important than the client DB, it would be nice to be able to specify what channel a request was initiated through (we support email, online chat, phone, mail, facebook, twitter.) We can do this through a custom field, which is fine.

I hope this helps -


Hi Nick,

Yes, currently HelpSpot doesn’t have the concept of a customer in a traditional sense. So there’s no database of customers per-se, it treats requests as the central element. The biggest potential issue with this (as you’ve stated) is setting the customer information.

HelpSpot does have a solution for that which is better than storing that information. We have the Live Lookup API which a majority of our customers use. It lets you set the customer information directly from your customer data system (AD, ldap, crm, etc) in real time. So the information is always up to date and doesn’t need synchronization, etc.


On the channels there is a ‘contacted via’ selection when creating a request. However, it doesn’t’ currently include Twitter/FB. As you said it would be possible to use a custom field for that though.


Hi Ian,

thanks for the reply. I saw the Live Lookup API, and it is indeed a fantastic idea - I’m surprised more systems don’t include something like that.

However, the scenario I was thinking of was slightly different, in 2 ways:

  • unique key: we want to master our customer data in our system, which the Live Lookup API lets us do. However, the customer email address and name can change in our system, so we’d like to use our Customer Id as a unique key in HelpSpot. This would allow us to make the Live Lookup request from HelpSpot to our system using a unique identifier for a customer. To get the Customer Id into HelpSpot though, we’d have to manually enter the Customer Id for each new request, which would require opening up our own app, looking the customer up, finding the Customer Id, and copy/pasting it into HelpSpot. That’s a cumbersome, manual process, and one which other systems handle much better (usually by having a separate Customer table which is linked to the Requests table via a foreign key, rather than embedding that info directly into the Requests table.)
  • past requests: there is currently no screen in HelpSpot which allows our team members to view past requests. This is useful e.g. when a customer phones up; we’d like to see his/her request history to better understand what the current query relates to (before entering it as a new request). There is no easy way of doing this currently (aside from potentially building our own screens to do this.)

I really like HelpSpot for some of its features (Live Lookup being one of them), but I’d need to figure out how to work around these two items to adopt it. Any suggestions welcome.



Hi Nick,

Actually, you don’t need to do that manually. You can create a trigger for “on create” and as an action have it do a live lookup.

Then your lookup script just accepts the name/email and finds the right ID and any other info you want and the request will be updated with it. You’ll just want to make sure your Live Lookup is fast as this is done every time a request is created.

You can certainly see any customers history. There’s a few ways to do it.

  • Workspace: in left nav enter a customer ID or name into the search box.

  • Workspace -> Advanced Search: enter customer name in search

  • In any request for that customer click on the “request history” tab

  • If there’s a customer you want to continually keep tabs on you can create a filter to do that in Workspace->Filter Requests

Let me know if that helps.



Thanks, that sounds really helpful - I’ll have a look tomorrow when I’m back at work (it’s 22:30 here in the UK.)