Intercom

Intercom

The world’s first customer platform helping internet businesses accelerate growth.

Intercom

Intercom

The end of “good enough” – and the rise of conversational support

Support has changed in innumerable ways, from the emergence of call centers (yes, phones were novel once) to the shift to social media. But one thing has not: what customers want.

As consumers ourselves, we’re all too familiar with what our customers want – a convenient and personalized support experience. There’s little more frustrating than finding out you’re ticket #372876 or being subjected to Cisco’s “Opus No. 1,” the anthem of waiting on hold.

But until recently, businesses have had to settle for “good enough” customer support. You know the kind: chatbots that give off-topic responses, live agents who rush through requests in order to hit volume targets, and personalization that’s just a few pre-populated fields in disguise.

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Intercom

Intercom

How Zapier supports 3 million users by investing in customer outcomes

This way of thinking about support is all about efficiency. If you can maximize your team’s productivity, you can help more customers at lower costs. And it makes sense: in order to be around to support your customers well into the future, you need a solid foundation for scale. 

But obsessing over efficiency can mask what’s most important, and most rewarding, to support teams – actually helping customers. Support teams exist to solve customers’ problems, not to deflect them or find the fastest way to hit the “close” button. There’s no point in answering a customer’s question one day, only to have them come back unsatisfied a week later. 

That’s why at Zapier, the tool that connects more than 2,000 apps, they’re balancing efficiency with a different measure of success: customer outcomes. They want to know, if a customer gets in touch with support, is the product still delivering the desired results 30 days later?

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Intercom

Intercom

Moving from reactive to proactive customer support

Today, customer expectations are at an all-time high. Simultaneously, support teams are struggling with spikes in conversation volumes. A proactive customer support approach is the key to regaining control.

The typical support “strategy” is to let common issues roll in for support reps to address. But this approach not only overwhelms your team, it also means customers frequently have to wait hours or even days to get the help they need.

Proactive customer support is the antidote to long wait times and ticket deflection. It empowers your team to pre-emptively address known questions and issues before they arise. With the right approach and proactive support tools – think Outbound Messages, Product Tours, and Mobile Carousels – you can provide every customer with the fast, personal help they need at the exact moment they need it.

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Intercom

Intercom

We run on inclusion: Sharing stories and lived experiences

For Pride week, our LGBTI+ teammates have been sharing their lived experiences, including their coming out stories, how they’ve stayed engaged with their communities in light of COVID-19, and what ways they feel allies can best support LGBTI+ people. We’ve been releasing these interviews as individual episodes for their Intercom colleagues to hear across the week.

Today though, we wanted to share some of their insights and shared wisdom with you too. Here are just some of their powerful stories of the adversities they’ve faced, the joys they’ve felt, and from their experiences, the advice they’d give to their past selves and others. In this episode you’ll hear from:

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Intercom

Intercom

Speaking out: Inside Intercom on allyship

Allyship is something we have been thinking about a lot recently at Intercom. Over the past few weeks on the podcast we have heard from a wide range of voices about the many and varied prejudices and biases that exist within the tech ecosystem. We’ve also been hearing how we can do better, where we can help and where we need to listen – as a company and on an individual level.

In this panel episode of Inside Intercom, we talk about allyship as a concept and how to be a good ally. We also discuss anti-racism, representation, privilege and talk through real stories and examples. 

Joining me in this discussion today are:

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Intercom

Intercom

Announcing the Conversational Support Funnel Starter Kit

The Conversational Support Funnel helps modern support teams provide personal, efficient support to customers, at any scale. Learn how to set up and optimize the funnel with the new Starter Kit guide 🎉

Here’s the predicament: today, customer expectations are at an all time high. At the same time, support teams are grappling with a rise in conversation volumes. To survive and thrive in business, the best support teams need to find a way to provide customers with the fast, convenient support they expect – without overloading their team.

Enter: The Conversational Support Funnel Starter Kit. In this new guide we outline the exact blueprint your support team can use to manage your conversations more efficiently and personally through a messenger-based approach. You’ll learn how to combine human, self-serve, and proactive support to get ahead of known problems, automatically answer repetitive queries, and quickly resolve complex issues.

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Intercom

Intercom

Podcast panel: Understanding the Conversational Support Funnel

In today’s very special bonus episode, we’re joined by leaders from our Product and Support teams to hear about the new Conversational Support Funnel – why we built it, how we use it, and our vision for the future. For further information on the Conversational Support Funnel and today’s announcement check out this blog post from our SVP Product Paul Adams.

We’re joined by

Between them our panel offer a 360° view of this important development and allow us to better understand how and why this framework was developed and what it might mean for your business.

If you enjoy the conversation, check out more episodes of our podcast. You can subscribe on iTunes, stream on Spotify or grab the RSS feed in your player of choice. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of the episode.

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Intercom

Intercom

Customer Support is being turned upside down. Here’s what you need to do about it.

The internet is moving more businesses and people online, and driving a huge increase in inbound support volume. Meanwhile customer expectations are rising – they expect better experiences and immediate support resolutions.

The internet is also driving an explosion in customer choice, allowing them to easily switch to businesses who provide better experiences. Delivering those better experiences requires a fundamentally new way to do customer support, a messenger-based approach that works at internet scale.

The current pandemic is dramatically accelerating all of these epic trends, as businesses are being forced to do more with less. The businesses who are thriving right now, despite increasing support volume and a mandate to cut costs, are the ones investing in this new way of doing customer support. There are massive risks for those who don’t follow.

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Intercom

Intercom

We run on inclusion: On Pride, allyship, and Black Lives Matter

This year has unfolded in ways that nobody could have predicted, testing us in all sorts of unprecedented ways. But it’s how we react in the face of adversity that matters – this is how we’re going to mark Pride 2020 at Intercom.

At InterProud, our employee group for our LGBTI+ employees and allies, we were hoping to build on the success of last year’s celebrations and events , where we partnered with BeLonG To Youth Services , a charity that does incredible work to support LGBTI+ youth in Ireland.

However, COVID-19 mandated a change to our normal in-office Pride gatherings, so we set about organizing a series of remote events for all our colleagues focused on the theme of inclusion. These plans were all about creating an opportunity to come together (virtually) at a time when we are all forced apart – and in the process, emphasizing that inclusion isn’t defined by the spaces we’re in, but rather the values we share.

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Intercom

Intercom

How to use in-app messaging to retain your best customers

In-app messaging is a key component of a strong customer engagement strategy – one that reaches users at the right place, at the right time, and is consistent across platforms.

With our recent launch of Mobile Carousels, we tapped into the possibility of creating and nurturing better customer relationships through mobile. Here, we take a deep dive on in-app messaging – defining exactly what it is and how to make it work best for your customers.

What is in-app messaging?

In-app messages are hyper-targeted notifications that are sent to users while they’re using a mobile or desktop application. In-app messaging allows marketers to engage users at just the right time, to facilitate onboarding, share product updates, offer support, or promote relevant offers.

“In-app messages are hyper-targeted notifications that are sent to users while they’re using a mobile or desktop application”

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Intercom

Intercom

Kathryn Finney on intersectionality and using your privilege for good


Kathryn Finney is an Author, Futurist, and Entrepreneur.Over the course of a 30 year career her work has won her accolades from across the business world and beyond. She may even be our first guest who has been honoured with their own day, with the Borough of Manhattan celebrating “Kathryn Finney Appreciation Day.”

Our chat covers her incredible career, her passion for supporting and investing in others, the nature of intersectionality and some really sound advice for how we all can start to stand up for those who navigate the world against more prejudices than ourselves. It’s an inspiring conversation, with a genuinely inspiring woman. 

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Intercom

Intercom

Announcing Intercom’s new CEO

Today I’m delighted to share that from July 1, after nearly 10 years as CEO, I’m moving into the role of Chairman of Intercom, and am thrilled to announce that Karen Peacock, our COO, will become our new CEO!

Here are the emails we sent to the company this morning.

Eoghan’s email

Friends,

Thanks so much for your time at All Hands. Here’s a summary of what was shared.

I’m going to be moving to the Chairman role at Intercom, and I’m delighted to announce that Karen is going to be moving to the role of CEO!

Let me back up and share some context. I’ll explain why, why now, what I’ll be doing as Chairman, and why I want Karen to be our next CEO.

Intercom has been no less than the adventure of a lifetime:

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Intercom

Intercom

Introducing Mobile Carousels: The best way to engage customers on mobile

Our smartphones are the most personal computing devices imaginable – with us at all times, they have become, in many ways, an extension of ourselves.

As a result, mobile apps pose an exceptional opportunity for businesses to build deeply personal, long-lasting relationships with their customers. But forging that connection with customers on mobile is notoriously hard – somewhere between a fifth and a quarter of users abandon an app after their first use and only 32% of users will launch an app more than 10 times.

“Welcome to the most versatile and customizable way to reach, engage, and support your customers on mobile”

For any business, supporting and engaging your customers is critically important at every stage of the relationship. We have long designed and built industry-leading solutions for customer onboarding, support and engagement, but we heard loud and clear that you needed a better way to accomplish these jobs in your mobile apps.

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Intercom

Intercom

The key to fierce customer loyalty? Your support team.

For nearly a century, companies held to the same principles for driving growth: deliver value to stakeholders and employees first, then to customers.

Over the last 10 years, this thinking has come undone. Crowded markets mean companies can no longer assume they are the only, or best, choice. The rise of the subscription model challenges businesses to place equal emphasis on conversion and retention, or risk spending themselves into oblivion. Customers, too, expect more and will put their money where their values are.

At the forefront of this move, from what businesses want to what customers need, are support teams. Support teams turn company promises to their customers into experiences that drive long-term loyalty. As consumers we know this all too well – our relationships with brands are built through our many interactions, oftentimes mundane, with frontline employees.

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Intercom

Intercom

Introducing Scale – expert advice on driving business growth through customer relationships

Today we’re excited to bring you Scale, a place where we explore how industry leaders are propelling their companies forward – by keeping their customers front and center.

Too often, when we think about growing our businesses, we focus on the mechanics of growth. How can we drive down our CAC and drive up our LTV? What’s the CTR on our latest customer engagement campaign? Is our CSAT high enough and our FRT short enough?

What gets lost in these acronyms is something crucial to your company’s long-term success: your customers. There are real people behind those percentages and figures – but staying connected with them takes work. As teams scale up, customers can easily turn from people you know into numbers you optimize.

“With Scale, we’re turning our attention to the heart of business growth – customer relationships”

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Intercom

Intercom

Inside Intercom X Black Tech Unplugged

On this week’s show, we’re partnering with a podcasting peer, Deena McKay, creator and host of Black Tech Unplugged.

As we touched on in last week’s episode, the unjust killing of George Floyd has prompted many of us to look at our own relationship with perpetuating racial injustice and to look for ways we can participate in and reinforce racial equity.

At Intercom, we have a lot of work to do in that regard but we feel that a small and organic way for us to start is by connecting the audience we’ve built for this podcast with voices that need to be heard but traditionally aren’t, particularly in tech.

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Intercom

Intercom

Product Judgment: How some people can repeatedly create product success

Let’s talk about that trickiest of subjects: Product Judgment.

Also known as Product Intuition or Product Instinct or Product Taste, it is the idea that you can use your own judgment to (1) accurately predict what your customers need, want and value, and (2) design and ship the right solution for them. Here, I will tackle some of the common questions around it:

  • Does it exist? What exactly is it? 
  • Who has it? Who doesn’t? 
  • Who thinks they have it but don’t? 
  • Is it natural or learned? How do I get it?

Product Judgment is a tricky subject because any time someone working in a Product role has their judgment questioned, the natural reaction can often be to take it personally, to infer that the person critiquing is challenging their ability to do a good job. How can you be good at Product if you don’t have strong Product Judgment? 

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Intercom

Intercom

Strategies for building a resilient business

The past few weeks have shown us how important it is for all of us to deeply empathize with those around us.

With that comes the need for clear communication and open dialogue with customers and employees alike. These are all key components of a business resilience strategy, one that bolsters up a business that’s faced with challenges and sets it up for growth long-term.

In March, McKinsey & Co. published guidance for leaders who need to steer their business through the challenging times ahead. While the guidance is specific to the Covid-19 crisis, the general framework can be applied to other crises that emerge, including the important discussion on racial justice that’s currently taking place. Authors Kevin Sneader and Shubham Singhal suggested that companies plan their next actions across the “five horizons” of resolve, resilience, return, reimagination, and reform, as seen here:

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Intercom

Intercom

Reading list: Reflections on the fight for racial justice

We want to share our disgust, anger, and sadness at the killing of George Floyd, and with the decades of injustice and brutality that this time has brought into sharp relief.

To our friends in the Black community, we stand with you, and will never tolerate your mistreatment.

— Intercom (@intercom) June 2, 2020

We’re very conscious that we have a lot of work to do around diversity and inclusion at Intercom, and we have not always been where we want to be in that regard.

We all have work to do individually too, and many of us are starting to educate ourselves on how to be allies for racial justice, learning how we can take part to make a difference and stand for change. These are some of the resources that have been shared internally at Intercom this week.

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Intercom

Intercom

Jonathan Anguelov on Aircall’s $65 million Series C success


Aircall, “the phone system for modern business,” goes far beyond the call centers of old by playing well with third-party integrations that allow companies to do everything from viewing customers’ history and call transcripts in their CRM to making or receiving calls directly within Intercom Messenger.

These next-gen capabilities make it an extremely valuable company for the future of work, and investors agree: yesterday, Aircall announced a successful $65 million Series C round, bringing their total investment to $106 million.

The message is clear: While our confinement at home may be temporary, the current health crisis has acted as a time machine that has forced companies to complete their transition into organizations that can do business anywhere and any time.

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