You can engage in a two-way text messaging conversation with your customers using Helpshift.  Leveraging Helpshift’s powerful bots, AI and Automations, you can effortlessly expand your service operations to support a new channel and cost-effectively scale operations.

Helpshift for SMS is available through a turnkey integration with Twilio. You will need a valid phone number set up on Twilio to begin sending and receiving text messages in Helpshift.

If you’d like SMS enabled on your Helpshift domain, please contact Helpshift Support.

Setting Up SMS

To begin setting up the SMS as a platform on Helpshift, you need to:

  1. Configure your Twilio Account
  2. Connect  your Twilio Account to  Helpshift
  3. Send a test message to your Twilio number

Step 1: Configure your Twilio Account

  1. Navigate to Twilio Console Dashboard > All Products & Services > Programmable SMS and click SMS.
  2. On the ‘Messaging Services’ page, click on the ‘Create a New Messaging Service’ link to begin. Note: If you want to connect multiple Twilio numbers with Helpshift, you need to create a separate messaging service for each number.
  3. On the new ‘Create a New Messaging Service’ modal, enter the ‘Friendly Name’ of your new messaging service, select the ‘Person to Person Use Case’ from the drop-down list, and click ‘Create’.
  4. On the ‘Programmable SMS’ page, select ‘Numbers’ under ‘New Messaging Service’ in the left navigation pane.
  5. Next, Click on + on the ‘Numbers’ page and select ‘Buy a Number’ in the dropdown.
  6. On the ‘Buy a Number’ page, you need to perform the following:
    1. Select the Country from the drop-down list.Note: You can also add your existing number if you have already transferred your phone number to Twilio.
    2. Under Capabilities, select the SMS and MMS checkboxes and click ‘Search’.
  7. The list of ‘Numbers’ along with their communication capabilities and monthly fees will be displayed. You can buy any phone number from the available list.
  8. Once you’ve purchased the Twilio Number, navigate to ‘Settings > Inbound Settings’ and set up  the following:
    1. Select the ‘Send an Incoming_Message Webhook’ option.
    2. Under the Configure Conversations, add the following URL in the ‘Request URL’ box.
    3. Click Save.
  9. A toast will appear when the  ‘Messaging Service’  has been successfully updated.

Step 2: Connect  your Twilio Account to  Helpshift

  1. Navigate to Settings > App Settings and click the ‘+Add App’ button.
  2. On the ‘Add App’ modal, click the checkbox next to ‘SMS’ in the ’Available Platforms’ list, enter the App Nickname and click ‘Save’.
    If you’d like to add SMS to an existing App, then navigate to the ‘App Settings’ page, select SMS, and click ‘Add App’.
  3. Once you’ve added SMS as a platform, you will see an SMS section on the App Settings page. If you are setting up SMS for the first time, you will see a warning text ‘Additional setup required’ in the header.
    Click the ‘Setup this Platform’ link to begin.
    Note: Keep your Twilio account details handy as you will need them for the next step. You can find this information under the ‘Dashboard’ section of your Twilio account.
  4. On the ‘Setup Platform’ modal:
    1. Select ‘Twilio’ as your SMS service provider from the drop-down list.
    2. Add your Account SID, Messaging Service SID, Authentication token, and Twilio SMS Number respectively.
    3. Enable or disable the customer feedback access by turning the ‘Customer Satisfaction Survey’ toggle on/off.
    4. Click Save. A toast will be displayed if the SMS Integration is successful.

  5. If the integration fails, click on the ‘Edit Platform’ link on the ‘App Settings’ page to verify that you’ve entered the Twilio account information correctly. Make updates if necessary, and click ‘Save’.

Step 3: Send a test message to your Twilio number

Once you’ve successfully added SMS as a platform by integrating your Twilio account, we recommend you test the configuration by sending a text to the number that you’ve registered and set up for SMS on Twilio.

If the text message is sent successfully, a new Issue should be created and displayed on Helpshift Agent Desktop for your support team to respond.

Best Practices & Guidelines

SMS is a powerful channel for communicating with your users. However, it is critical that you stay within the law, stick to industry guidelines, and set your customers’ expectations on response times from the get-go.  

We’ve put together the following best practices to help you get started:

  • Use ‘New Issue Automations’ to acknowledge a receipt of the text message and set expectations on response time.
  • It is legally required to include opt-out instructions such as “Reply STOP to unsubscribe” in your first response. Helpshift considers STOP, UNSUBSCRIBE, CANCEL, or END opt-out keywords and will auto-resolve Issues when the user responds with them.
  • Leverage the ‘Customer Satisfaction Ratings’ feature to collect the feedback and assess the value of SMS as a support channel.
  • Make sure you review the different types of content that Twilio supports for a media message. The maximum size limit is 5MB.
  • If you want to use bots:
    • Start with 1-2 use cases, and then expand to others.
    • Make it very clear who the user is interacting with — a bot or a human.
    • Setup Automations to make sure that users are not caught in an infinite bot loop.