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Reasons why Hiver is the best Help Scout alternative

May 19, 2021
Shared Inbox
3 min read

Why would you want to complicate something as simple as managing Gmail?

If you think about it, help desk tickets are nothing but emails. You take them outside the inbox to a new system, work on them, and return them to customers as — emails again!

Why would you want to leave your Gmail inbox to manage something that begins and ends as email?

Help Scout does a great job of complicating a process that could have been simple:

  • Forces everyone to manage Gmail from an unfamiliar interface
  • Waste time processing irrelevant emails due to its ineffective spam filters
  • Takes time to get everyone onboarded and training can be expensive
  • Internal and external conversations overlap

Bottomline is that your team will spend considerable time learning how to use it. 

What if you could do all that right from Gmail — exactly why you’d want Hiver.

Hiver is a help desk tool built right inside your Gmail inbox. There is hardly anything to learn. Getting used to it will hardly take a few minutes, tops.

Reasons why you’d want to use Hiver and not Help Scout:

Help Scout forces you to manage emails from an unfamiliar place

One of the reasons why Gmail is so popular is its simple interface and most of us have been using it for over 10 years.

If you are planning to adopt Help Scout, you will have to give this up. It is not built within Gmail. It will take you to a different interface altogether. The look, the feel, and the terminologies are completely different from Gmail. Your team will have to spend time getting used to an all-new way of managing emails.


Even the set-up process has a few hassles. To receive all your incoming emails in Help Scout mailbox, you will have to create an auto-forwarding rule. You then have to repeat the same for all your teammates. Not ideal if you want to get started quickly.

To make matters worse, Help Scout’s spam filters and search feature are not up to the Gmail standards. You will see spam emails creeping into your inbox. The search feature is rather inconsistent – you may not get all the corresponding results for a search query.

That’s not all, there is more bad news if you are Gmail Labels fan. When you connect your Gmail account with Help Scout as a team inbox, it won’t automatically import your Gmail labels. Instead, you will have to email their support team to get this done.

All this will slow down your team and make customers wait for the solution — great recipe for bad customer experience.

You need a good Help Scout alternative.

How Hiver does a better job at this?

Hiver works right inside Gmail and doesn’t take you to an unfamiliar interface. You get to manage yours and the shared inbox emails — all from one inbox.


The additions are minimal and in sync with rest of the Gmail interface. It will never distract or distort your Gmail experience in any way. Moreover, all your emails stay in Gmail. You don’t have to take them outside of your inbox.

In Help Scout, internal and external conversations overlap

A customer email arrives at [email protected] email address. An agent starts working on it, but comes across a roadblock and wants some help. That agent writes a note and assigns it to you. Ideally, you should be able to reply to the note by clicking ‘Reply’. Does not work like that here.

If you click ‘Reply’, your message will go to the customer and not your teammate. There is no separate ‘Reply’ button for notes. To reply to an email note, you will have to add another note.


This can be quite confusing. If you accidentally click ‘Reply’ instead of ‘Add Note’, the message will go to the customer. An internal chat leaking to the customer is all kinds of ugly.

What makes it worse is – it is not easy to distinguish between internal and external messages as both of them appears on the same thread. A beginner can misread the thread and send the wrong message to the wrong person. The inability to color code the internal notes only compounds the problem.

In Help Scout, incoming emails, replies, internal email notes, status, and activity log, all form part of the same thread — looks stuffy!


You need a Help Scout alternative — something that keeps internal and external messages neatly separated.

How Hiver does a better job at this?

Hiver too lets users add notes to emails. But, there is a clear distinction between the two. Email Notes won’t cram the same thread, they appear next to the email. Rest assured your internal conversations will never leak to your customers again.


These notes will be visible to everyone who is part of the team. You can also choose to alert a particular teammate by adding ‘@’ along with their names.

Wrapping up

Help Scout will make team email communication more complicated than it actually is. You will face problems such as emails slipping through cracks, miscommunications, and more. 

On top of that, you will have to train your team as Help Scout looks nothing like Gmail. And of course, there is the guilt of paying for more features than you actually need. Try the best Help Scout alternative there is — Hiver.

Related: Why Hiver is better than Front App

Learn more about Hiver

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Sucheth is a content marketer at Hiver. He is a marketer by day and an avid reader by night.