Helpful is the best new app for teams in 2017
At the beginning of the summer, I ran across a podcast that would change everything. The podcast? It’s called Seeking Wisdom. It’s hosted by DC & DG (David Cancel & Dave Gerhardt) of Drift.
I felt immediately connected with this duo and spent my daily commute binge-listening to their backlog of shows. And, like any good podcast fan, I started telling everyone about the show. One of my converts: Zack Tatum, my friend, and business partner.
After checking out the show for a few days, I had this text exchange with Zack:
NOTE: I am the one with the classy retort. lol
Soon after, Zack sent me another text asking if I remembered the name of an app that DC & DG mentioned using. I knew it had something to do with “help,” but after searching around on Google, I was coming up empty.
So, I took to Twitter & found my answer.
— David Cancel (@dcancel) July 21, 2017
Boom. Thanks, DC! Zack and I soon downloaded the app and began testing.
So, what is Helpful?
Helpful is a mobile app (with a desktop version hopefully coming soon) that facilitates video communication among teams. Whether you’re a team of just 2 or a large organization with multiple teams, Helpful can help you to stay connected.
Here are some of the features highlighted on the Helpful website:
- Fast and expressive – Talking is 3x faster than typing. Your message comes across with human tone and expression.
- Send to anyone – Send your update to any email or text message. No download is required to watch your video. This was the game changer for me.
- Automatic captions – Videos automatically caption so you can get the message even in quiet or loud places.
Testing the App
I test out a lot of new applications. In fact, when I hear about a new app, I’ll typically download it right away and try it out once I have time. With Helpful, Zack and I tested it out a little at first, but we were busy with other projects and it wasn’t until a few days after setting up my account that I really started testing out the app.
— Jason Marlowe (@jasonmarlowe) July 23, 2017
After about a week of sending videos back and forth with Zack, I finally sat down to start seeing what the app could do. During the previous week, I had noticed 2 different notifications show up on the home screen of Helpful from some guy named Kenny Goldman. I had no idea who this guy was.
In fact, I was like, “How does Kenny Goldman know me? His face doesn’t look familiar. I don’t know this guy.” But, then the most magical thing happened. I tapped the video from Kenny and discovered the best onboarding process I’ve ever seen.
In the thread from Kenny, there were 2 videos. And, in both of them, Kenny called me by name, introduced himself, and offered his assistance to better understand the Helpful app. These 2 videos opened my eyes not only to the potential of using Helpful within my team, but also for using Helpful in the customer onboarding process.
— Jason Marlowe (@jasonmarlowe) July 27, 2017
Pretty soon, I replied to Kenny with a question to which he replied with a quick greeting and the response. That simple exchange turned into a full day of back and forth feedback. We discussed features, how to accomplish certain tasks, inviting other users, and a multiple of comments that all began with, “it’d be cool if it did…”
I was hooked. Not only was the app great, but the team was very connected and the potential uses for improving both internal and external business communication kept adding up.
Testing with the team
As I mentioned before, I tested Helpful with Zack and we now use the app daily to keep track of current projects, as well as our podcast, LunchBreak Marketing. We have a group for the two of us and we keep all communication within that thread. It works. It’s easy.
Outside of my side hustle and podcast with Zack, I’ve also been testing it with the leadership team at my 8-5. After bringing it to the CEO & leadership team a few times, I finally got the green light to test the app with the team. I had everyone sign up during our staff meeting and then setup a group. While there are some users who still have yet to use their account, slowly but surely, there are those who are starting to adopt the app.
Like with any new technology, you have to get the buy-in from key members of the team to get full adoption. That’s the point I’m at. Once the leadership team starts using the app fluidly, we’ll have that buy-in and the rest of the teams will jump on board. Fingers crossed.
How I’m using Helpful with my colleagues
The core of what I use Helpful for is sending video updates to individuals and to my different groups. Outside of sending video, it also allows the sending of screenshots, pictures, and text. These additional features alone have allowed me to replace a portion of the communication I was sending previously with texts, emails, and Slack. It’s great to have all of these features within 1 single application.
Helpful applications outside of team video communication
With Helpful, the customer onboarding process will be forever changed.
Here’s a sample scenario: your sales team has been working on a sale for a month and they finally close it. The sale is done. Congratulations! Now, you need to hand off the new client to your account manager.
There’s no relationship there. You’ve built the connection and made the sale, but now the account manager has to create their own connection going forward. Instead of an email or another boring conference call, you can use Helpful to send a few short videos introducing the account manager and opening the lines of future communication.
Did you finally manage to snag an email or a cell phone number for a prospect? Follow-up with a Helpful video message. This is an especially exciting idea for me. Why spend the day out on the road when you can make calls from the office and then send a video message? Focus your time meeting clients in person who really want to meet in person.
I’ve recently started using Helpful to send DMs to new podcast followers on Twitter. Could I automate the new follower process on Twitter? Absolutely? Will I? Absolutely not. Automated social media responses are garbage. I hate them. They’re impersonal and junk. Don’t send me junk.
So, in an effort to combat junk automation, I make it a point to shoot a quick, 15-second video in Helpful thanking the new follower for showing interest in the podcast. It takes less than a minute and like the sample scenario for onboarding, it creates a lasting impact.
I realized pretty soon that Helpful was going to be so much more than for business. I needed to keep testing it and see if it would work in my personal life as well. I had my wife download Helpful so we could use it to communicate while we were apart. I don’t like missing out on all the amazing little moments that happen with our son (who is 17-months at the time of writing this) and video communication was the easiest way to stay connected during the day.
Sending videos has always been a big pain point for us since I switched to Android a few years ago.
- Receiving iOS videos through texts was (and still is) an awful experience.
- Receiving a video through Facebook Messenger was slightly better.
- Watching her Instagram Story was the best solution, but it wasn’t private.
Helpful has opened up a great new world of video communication possibilities. While testing with my wife, I also created groups with my family, enabling quick and easy group communication. Helpful is the perfect app for both work and personal life, especially since it works even when the recipient doesn’t have the app.
Any other ideas?
Drop a comment below if you have any other ideas for potential uses of Helpful. Are you also using the app? What’s your experience been like?
Helpful is a new app that has the potential to change how the world does business. No kidding. It will change how your team communicates internally, especially if part (or all) if your team is remote. It can also completely change how your company communicates with prospects and clients. They’re adding features to the application ALL THE TIME and are dedicated to making a top-shelf product.
Want more Helpful?
We interviewed the CEO of Helpful, Daniel Debow, on our podcast. Listen and learn more.