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June 6, 2024
XX min read

Helpscout vs Github Issues

Introduction

Choosing the right ticketing tool can greatly impact the efficiency of your team's workflow and customer interactions. Help Scout and GitHub Issues are two popular tools that serve different facets of managing tickets and tasks, whether for customer support or project development. Help Scout is an email-based customer support platform that fosters easier communication with customers and team collaboration. GitHub Issues, on the other hand, is a highly flexible tool embedded within the GitHub repository, aimed at tracking and coordinating work among development teams. Understanding the nuances, similarities, and differences between these two can help identify which tool aligns best with your organizational needs.

Help Scout Overview

Help Scout is a comprehensive customer support tool that enables remote teams to manage and streamline customer queries via email, live chat, and integrated knowledge bases. Built with the customer-centric approach in mind, Help Scout facilitates detailed tracking of customer interactions, offering valuable analytics and collaboration features.

Key Features

  • Email-Based Support: Centralizes customer communication via email, offering a shared inbox for teams to handle support queries efficiently.
  • Knowledge Base: Integrated tool to create and manage a rich library of help articles, enabling self-service for customers and reducing support ticket volume.
  • Live Chat: Embeddable chat widgets for real-time interaction with customers directly from your website.
  • Workflows & Automations: Powerful automation features such as tagging, assigning tickets, and sending automated responses to streamline support processes.
  • Customer Management: Access to customer profiles and history for personalized service.
  • Reporting & Analytics: Detailed reports on response times, ticket volume, and team performance to drive continuous improvement.

GitHub Issues Overview 

GitHub Issues is an integral part of the GitHub repository ecosystem, designed for developers to plan, discuss, and track project-related tasks. It's structured to cater to the flexibility needed in software development, facilitating collaboration, feedback, and task management within a singular platform.

Key Features

  • Task Tracking: Simple creation and categorization of issues to track bugs, features, and other tasks.
  • Collaboration: Enables discussions directly on issues with team members, enhancing collaboration.
  • Integration with Pull Requests: Seamless linking of issues to pull requests for better tracking of code changes and issue resolution.
  • Labels and Milestones: Organizational tools to prioritize and manage issue progress through labels, milestones, and project boards.
  • Assignees and Mentions: Assign tasks to specific team members and mention others to gain quick input or updates.
  • Customizable Templates: Create issue and pull request templates customized for different types of inquiries or tasks.

Similarities

  • Centralized Communication: Both tools centralize communication, whether it’s through email (Help Scout) or within GitHub repositories (GitHub Issues), ensuring no tasks or queries are missed.
  • Collaboration Focused: Facilitate teamwork through shared information and direct communication features.
  • Task Management: Support organizational needs for tracking and managing tasks effectively.
  • Integration Capabilities: Both tools offer integrations with other software, extending their functionality and fitting into broader workflows.
  • Customizable Workflow: Allow customization to tailor the tools to specific team needs and project requirements.

Differences

  • Primary Focus: Help Scout is predominantly customer support-centric, designed for managing external customer queries. GitHub Issues is developer-centric, focused on internal project and development task tracking.
  • Communication Channels: Help Scout emphasizes email and live chat communication with customers, whereas GitHub Issues centers around in-repository discussions and task linking.
  • Knowledge Base: Help Scout includes a built-in knowledge base for self-service, a feature absent in GitHub Issues.
  • User Experience: Help Scout offers a user-friendly interface geared towards customer service reps, while GitHub Issues provides a flexible, but more technical interface.
  • Metrics & Reporting: Help Scout provides robust customer service analytics and reporting, whereas GitHub relies on external tools or integrations for detailed reporting.
  • Automation: Help Scout has more extensive built-in automation features compared to GitHub Issues.

Pros and Cons

Help Scout

Pros:

  • Streamlined communication with a shared inbox and integrated live chat.
  • Comprehensive knowledge base tool for self-service support.
  • Advanced automation workflows to enhance support efficiency.
  • In-depth reporting and analytics to measure support performance and improvement areas.
  • Customer profiles for personalized interactions.

Cons:

  • Limited in terms of developer-centric task management features.
  • May not be ideal for non-customer support related project tracking.
  • Requires a subscription which can be a consideration for smaller teams or startups.

GitHub Issues

Pros:

  • Seamlessly integrates with GitHub repositories and development workflows.
  • Highly flexible and customizable to fit various project management needs.
  • Facilitates excellent collaboration within development teams.
  • No additional cost if you’re already using GitHub for code management.
  • Link directly to pull requests for efficient task tracking and code updates.

Cons:

  • Not designed for customer support use cases.
  • Limited in-built reporting and analytics compared to Help Scout.
  • May have a steeper learning curve for non-technical team members.
  • Lack of a self-service knowledge base feature.

Use Cases

Ideal scenarios for using Help Scout:

  • Customer Support Teams: Perfect for dedicated support teams needing to manage customer queries across multiple channels.
  • E-commerce Websites: Great for businesses needing real-time customer support integrated with their online store.
  • Service-Based Companies: Ideal for companies that rely on robust customer communication and detailed service records.

Ideal scenarios for using GitHub Issues:

  • Software Development Teams: Perfect for development teams needing to track and discuss tasks within their repository.
  • Project Management: Useful for internal project tracking and coordination, particularly in tech-savvy environments.
  • Collaboration on Code: Excellent for teams working on codebases collaboratively, needing to link tasks to code changes effortlessly.

Conclusion

Both Help Scout and GitHub Issues have unique strengths tailored to different organizational needs. Help Scout excels in providing a centralized, automated platform for customer support, equipped with robust tools for managing customer queries and interactions through various channels. On the other hand, GitHub Issues offers incredible flexibility and integration within the development workflow, making it an indispensable tool for project management and issue tracking in software development contexts.

When choosing between the two, consider your primary needs: if excellence in customer support and communication is paramount, Help Scout is the obvious choice. If your focus lies in development task management and project tracking within a technical environment, GitHub Issues stands out. Evaluate your team’s specific requirements, the nature of your workflows, and integration preferences to make the best-informed decision.

Key takeaways 🔑🥡🍕

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