Intercom is one of the leading customer success tools with three main products:
- Messages to send targeted campaigns to specific users at a specific time.
- Inbox to manage conversations with leads and customers at scale.
- Articles to create, organize, and publish articles which are answering your customers’ questions.
Intercom is known for its broad set-up where it can be connected with many other tools, such as Salesforce or Google Analytics, which are most likely already being used by your Sales, Product, Marketing, Support, and Customer Success teams.
How Intercom can Support Your Daily Business
Intercom focuses on three overall main objectives: customer acquisition, customer success, and customer support. Let’s have a look on each objective and how they can support your daily business.
One of Intercom’s feature is live chat, which lets you engage with visitors on your website. This gives new customers the chance to ask questions and get answers in real time. Responding to interested prospects has a major impact on their likelihood to buy, so reaching them in real time is a big advantage. Once you have interacted with a visitor on your website, Intercom saves information about the chat. This information can be used in further conversations with the customer. It helps you track the visitor’s interaction with your website. The automatic e-mail feature allows you to follow up with customers and re-engages them once they’ve left. You can send targeted messages based on the areas of your site they visited. From a communication perspective, you can set up automatic welcome messages for new users, reactivation messages for inactive users, and automatic updates about new features. Overall, Intercom increases the customer acquisition success. Website visitors can sign-up for e-mail newsletters, for example.
Intercom is especially useful in increasing your global reach. It can assign user accounts between global teams, translate into various languages, and manage different time zones and markets. These features are necessary to attract and manage new users globally. Once you have covered more time zones you can work on transforming new users into paying customers. In general, Intercom helps you to convert users into paying customers and extending your customer base.
When a lead is converted into a new customer, Intercom will save information about that customer’s browsing history and start tracking how the customer is using your product. This will directly lead to the next featured objective of customer success.
Intercom can help your customers achieve success. The fact that Intercom can be connected to several third party tools allows you to act on data about your customers. For example, Intercom’s API easily connects to Salesforce, so it can show new customer registrations and automatically kick off the onboarding process.
From the customer’s activity perspective, you can capture many different kinds of activity in Intercom and follow up with targeted messaging. Specific customer success metrics in Intercom could be the following:
- Product feature usage: Which feature was used by which customer today? This kind of event can be tracked to directly ask questions about the new feature to the user.
- Viewed page: You might want to know which page a user has viewed the most during the last week. Therewith you could send customized messages to the user about her/his needs.
- Logged-in: This event can crystalize the most engaged users who have e.g. logged into your product more than 20 times during the last week.
On top of individual customer engagement, you can view what your customers are doing in aggregate. To visualize customers data such as new sign-ups, unique users, their last logged-ins or updates in your system, you can connect Intercom with a Business Intelligence (BI) tool such as Chartio. Chartio provides an interface to the Intercom data source and visualizes all your data in summarized dashboards. See a dashboard of intercom data below.
Customer support features in Intercom play a big role. As mentioned before, Intercom can be connected to several third party tools. Additionally, support activity can be centralized in one place with Intercom’s automatic e-mail settings, the help center feature and the chatbot set-up. In-app messaging allows your support team to engage your customers while they are using your product. This feature gives you the option to interact with your customer in real time either via a note, a chat, or a post. A member of your support team can answer questions as soon as they come up, or Intercom can even automatically provide solutions with its Operator Bot. All these features can be set up to be programmatic and responsive which makes it flexible and customized to the individual. This gives your team more creative solutions for engaging customers than traditional email campaigns. Marketing tools, such as hubspot for marketing campaigns could be replaced by an Intercom integration. Intercom’s key to success is its engagement to explain features or make announcements in app, as well as send out email campaigns based on criteria such as discussed above. Support is about answering questions and providing information whereas success is guiding them through an experience.
As in all SaaS companies, it is important to know your customers and to identify their needs. This will help you adapt your product for a better fit in the market. Intercom provides you features to design your processes more efficiently. You can keep tracking different messages, categorizing all issues, and assigning customers’ complaints to the right member with one click.
Visualize your customer success metrics
Once you know about all Intercom features and their main objectives, you can use this information and visualize your customers’ data. Intercom provides you information about data analytics of your customers’ behaviors. We will explain to you in three steps how to visualize this data in Chartio, your cloud-based BI tool.
- Connect your customers’ data
- In this step, you have to connect Intercom within Chartio. Chartio’s Support documentation can show step by step instructions for connecting to Intercom through the ACDS.
- Store your customers’ data
- Create a dashboard with your customers’ data.
- Once you have stored your customers’ data and also connected to your BI tool, it is straightforward to create an informative dashboard. An example of how it could look like
Looking at some downsides of Intercom, we can mention its ticketing and e-mail campaign tool. Both tools are useful but might not be the best options. Intercom for example does not include a notion of pending. Team members working on ticketing have to be aware of the process. Intercom gets these jobs done but has better strengths such as filtering, communication and customer support features.
While Intercom can be used to create a holistic support model for customers through its various features and delivery methods, its strongest feature remains chat. Email campaigns and ticketing are great to integrate with your chat, though Intercom best functions as a lightweight tool in these areas. Therefore, if you’re looking to really build out your email campaigns or your email support models, you may want to also look at tools that specialize specifically in those areas.
Intercom is a tool which is easy to manage and can scale for a customer success team. It facilitates information sharing across teams, regardless of location. Special features like e-mailing, chatbot and in-app messages can potentially replace several third party tools with only one tool for fast customer support. Gathering customer activity data into one place, and being able to act on it, is a huge benefit of having an all-in-one tool like Intercom. To dig deeper and get even more insight, you’ll want to employ a BI tool to visualize trends and overall metrics.