Intercom

Intercom

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

Intercom

Intercom

Announcing Banners – the simple new way to engage your customers

Today, we’re excited to unveil the newest message type in Intercom, Banners.

The name suggests how simple this new message type really is – you can now create a message that occupies that prime real estate at the top or bottom of your website, on desktop or mobile, where it can capture the attention of visitors and customers with announcements, promotions, proactive support, you name it. Banners are a highly effective new type of message for your customer engagement strategy.

Furthermore, while they might be highly noticeable, they don’t interrupt a customer’s flow – banner messages are unobtrusive and persistent rather than intrusive and fleeting.

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Intercom

Intercom

Slack’s Kristen Swanson on building the deeply human support experience your customers deserve – and expect

Kristen Swanson is the Customer Experience Chief of Staff at Slack, the channel-based messaging platform designed to “make work simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.”
This is the second in a recurring series of articles looking at how modern support leaders are navigating the support landscape as it continues to evolve. With customer expectations on the rise, we look to find out how support leaders are creating best-in-class experiences to meet those expectations, and what support teams need to be set up for success as the future unfolds.
As many of Slack’s customers face transitions to new and

Read the article (4 min read)
Intercom

Intercom

Eoghan McCabe on the importance of authenticity in leadership

Our Chairman and Co-founder, Eoghan McCabe, sat down for a chat with Harry Stebbings on the Twenty Minute VC podcast to discuss his startup journey and the lessons he learned while building Intercom.

In a wide-ranging conversation, Eoghan explored the complex nature of ambition, the role of self-doubt in creating our drive to succeed, and the crucial role of authenticity in leadership.

Listen to the episode below, or if you’re short on time, here are some of Eoghan’s key insights.

What was the motivation to build Intercom?

Eoghan and his co-founders saw an opportunity to help online businesses connect easily and effectively with their customers. How did that journey begin?

Read the article (4 min read)
Intercom

Intercom

Nate Brown on why proactive CX is the next competitive battleground

Today, numerous studies echo this sentiment: a recent report from Forrester found that brands with a superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than their competitors. And a recent study from Deloitte found that two-thirds of customers will switch brands entirely due to a poor customer experience.

Customer expectations are higher than ever, and this acts as a forcing function, inspiring companies to think about their customers’ entire journey from acquisition to onboarding and support. Simply fixing something that’s broken just won’t cut it anymore. Today’s customers expect a more human experience from companies to fulfill their needs with speed and ease.

Read the article (4 min read)
Intercom

Intercom

7 steps to creating better help center content

Maya Angelou, the poet and civil rights activist, said it best: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

That’s a universal truth, but one businesses forget about at their peril. The feelings customers take away from an experience with your company are far more important than any “response time” metric.

This applies not only to conversations a customer may have with your sales or support teams, but even when they’re not talking to you at all – such as when they’re on your help center, searching for answers.

At Intercom, we work hard to figure out more than just what our customers want to do. We study how they want to feel and how they’d like to be helped. Keeping our customers’ needs in mind helps us create content that sets our customers up for success, and motivates them to achieve it. Here are 7 strategies you can use to create help articles that really help.

Read the article (3 min read)
Intercom

Intercom

Better engineering through management – the surprising benefits of becoming a manager

One of our core values at Intercom is “We love people who genuinely want to learn and grow.”

Of course, celebrating and encouraging a growth mindset is all good and well, but how do we put in place structures and processes that actually encourage career growth?

In the Engineering org, we’ve thought deeply about how to foster long-term growth opportunities for people. Like some companies, our progression track for engineers splits in two after senior engineer – either continuing as an IC at staff or principal levels, or taking a turn into people management.

Engineering career path

For many people, however, making a move into management can feel like meeting a fork in the road – it feels like a choice that cannot easily be revisited. That doesn’t need to be the case, however. Here’s how we think about that career path.

Read the article (4 min read)
Intercom

Intercom

Bob Moesta on unleashing your sales superpower

This week’s guest is no stranger to this podcast in fact, today’s episode will be his third time appearing as a profiled guest with us. Bob is the President & CEO of The Re-Wired Group and serves as a Fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute. As a visual thinker, teacher, and creator, Moesta has worked on and helped launch more than 3,500 new products, services, and businesses across nearly every industry. Our previous conversations with Bob have covered how to unpack customer motivations and the Jobs-To-Be-Done framework (of which he was one of the principal architects).

In this episode, Bob and I chat about his new book Demand-Side Sales 101: Stop Selling and Help Your Customers Make Progress. We talk about his reasons for writing a book on this topic, his friendship with the late Clay Christensen, and get some further insight on his career so far. If you’re short on time, here’s some quick takeaways:

Read the article (19 min read)
Intercom

Intercom

How to keep customer support KPIs meaningful for your support team

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” as Peter Drucker put it. But that approach doesn’t just apply to your supply chain management, revenue or churn rates – most fundamentally, it also applies to people and our performance.

People are all unique, and our performance can vary from hour to hour, never mind from day to day. Measuring that is inherently messy and difficult, which is why crafting effective KPIs for people’s performance is so challenging.

What are Customer Support KPIs?

Customer support KPIs are a series of measurements which allow a company to track the success of their operations in relation to achieving their goals or objectives. Key Performance Indicators help managers evaluate how their employees are doing, the value they bring to a team and how their work (and the customer experience) can be improved.

Read the article (3 min read)
Intercom

Intercom

Building Resolution Bot: How to apply machine learning in product development

We are at the start of a revolution in customer communication, powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence.

At Intercom, we have taken advantage of these technologies relatively early. Our Custom Bots and Resolution Bot already work for thousands of businesses every day. These bots help businesses deliver both radical efficiencies and better, faster support experiences.

So, modern machine learning opens up vast possibilities – but how do you harness this technology to make an actual customer-facing product?

Late last year, I spoke at the Predict Conference on how we built Resolution Bot, our intelligent support chatbot that can instantly resolve common questions. This post is based on that talk, and details our journey from early experimentation to release, as well as some valuable lessons we learned about how to implement machine learning (ML) in a real-world product.

Read the article (6 min read)
Intercom

Intercom

Bought-in and paid for: how Atlassian bridge the gap from freemium to enterprise sales

Freemium’s a great way to acquire lots of customers relatively quickly and easily, but the job of converting them to using a paid product is where the rubber meets the road. And the challenge is a lot harder in an enterprise context, where the buyer and the user aren’t necessarily one and the same person.

Many businesses struggle to strike a balance between freemium’s light-touch customer engagement with the more involved enterprise sales process. For every company that’s executing the freemium model successfully, there are hundreds more that struggle and the tension it can create between sales, marketing, and product teams.

But if anyone knows how to walk this tightrope and make it to the other side, it’s Kristen Habacht. She was Trello’s very first sales hire in 2010, built the company’s sales and account management teams, and was instrumental in scaling its business from 5 million to 25 million users within two years.

Read the article (4 min read)
Intercom

Intercom

Why conversational customer support is a key strategic investment

In the not-too-distant past, customer support was seen as a hassle, a cost that had to be borne but which was really just a tax on success.

If it wasn’t for those pesky customers with problems, profits would be through the roof, right?

There is no escaping the fact that supporting your customers costs money. But with customers expecting faster and more personalized experiences, providing great conversational customer support is no longer optional – it’s essential to business survival.

“Support isn’t just a cost center, but a strategic investment that increases customer retention and reduces churn”

Indeed, if you look at the broader financial models of customer support, you’ll see that support isn’t just a cost center, but a strategic investment that increases customer retention and reduces churn.

Read the article (3 min read)
Intercom

Intercom

Overcoming impostor syndrome – tips for dealing with self-doubt

Our work lives are riddled with anxieties. Many of them are natural and fleeting, and we deal with them.

One that can haunt people, however, is impostor syndrome. The belief that we are a fraud, doubting our accomplishments and talents.

“If you’re anxious about your abilities a lot of the time anyway, you’re 1,000x more so when performance review period comes around”

Each year (twice a year in my case), that feeling is amplified considerably by the dreaded performance review. If you’re anxious about your abilities a lot of the time anyway, you’re 1,000x more so when performance review period comes around. Over the course of this year, I’ve experimented with applying principles from the world of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to get a better handle on things. It’s been challenging, but it has also helped a great deal.

Adopting a therapeutic response

So, what’s CBT? Here’s what Mind, a mental health charity, has to say about it:

Read the article (2 min read)
Intercom

Intercom

Intercom on Product: One for the roadmap

On this episode of Intercom on Product myself and Paul Adams, our SVP of Product, take a look at roadmapping. We discuss how we’ve approached it historically at Intercom and how this process has evolved with us to make room for a wider audience.

If you’re setting out on your roadmap journey it’s important that it reflect the point of the journey that you’re on – having everyone in a startup of 5 or 6 sharing daily tasks each morning makes sense as they work together to build a feature but in a larger company it’s a recipe for chaos. Knowing how and when to define a roadmap, who to include and how long to plan for are key elements to finding the balanced approach that you need.

If you’re short on time, here’s a few quick takeaways:

Read the article (13 min read)
Intercom

Intercom

Aircall’s Ian MacLean on helping support teams prevent the “swivel chair effect”

Ian MacLean is the Global Head of Customer Care at Aircall, the cloud-based phone system for modern business. With a mission to bring value to voice, Ian’s team of customer care specialists focus on building strong, lasting relationships with their customers, going far beyond just offering a plug-in phone system.

This is the first in a recurring series of articles looking at how modern support leaders are navigating the support landscape as it continues to evolve. With customer expectations on the rise, we look to find out how support leaders are creating best-in-class experiences to meet those expectations, and what support teams need to be set up for success as the future unfolds.

Read the article (3 min read)
Intercom

Intercom

Customer engagement: 5 best practices and 6 examples of effective messages

In the world of recurring revenue, more and more companies realize they need engaged customers if they are to grow a healthy, sustainable business – you have to win over your customers month after month to survive and grow.

This is where having a solid customer engagement strategy comes in. This means crafting a message strategy that truly engages its recipients on a regular basis, creating an outstanding customer experience.

Creating a great strategy is one thing, but implementing it is another – that’s why we recently released Series, a visual orchestration tool to easily create powerful, behavior-based customer messaging campaigns. With Series, it’s never been easier to send the right message to the right person and at the right time.

Read the article (6 min read)
Intercom

Intercom

Designing Series: How we built our customer messaging orchestration tool

Last week we released Series, a brand new way to orchestrate customer messaging campaigns in Intercom.

Series is a visual campaign builder with a very flexible and interactive design – you can easily build out sophisticated customer journeys using the intuitive drag-and-drop interface, making your customer engagement campaigns much more powerful and effective.

“Series is so intuitive that it feels natural and obvious – and yet, the design was not inevitable at all”

Indeed, Series is so intuitive that it feels natural and obvious – and yet, the design was not inevitable at all, as we considered numerous different approaches to solve the problem of orchestrating customer messaging.

Here, I’ll explain how we weighed up those different approaches and how we arrived at our final design – and I’ll share some of the lessons we learned along the way.

Read the article (4 min read)
Intercom

Intercom

Getting conversational: HubSpot’s CEO on a new species of disruptor

Strong customer relationships are more important than ever for business success, but the old ways of communicating and building relationships with customers are broken.

Old communication tools, like email and forms, simply don’t match the ways modern customers want to talk, connect, and receive help. Today, businesses need a modern way to deliver fast, personal, and real-time communication to their customers.

HubSpot’s CEO and co-founder Brian Halligan says that conversational relationships– building relationships with customers through personalized, messenger-based experiences – is the answer.

Not only does a conversational approach help businesses meet rising customer expectations, it’s also a distinct competitive advantage. Brian says:

"If people come to your website or are using your products or want support and you don't have chat, you're at a disadvantage today. That's just the way people want to talk."

Read the article (4 min read)
Intercom

Intercom

Blind co-founder Kyum Kim on the hidden power of anonymity

But, there’s one company who believe that’s not always the case. Kyum Kim is the Head of U.S. Operations and co-founder of Blind, the anonymous social platform for verified professionals.

The company was originally founded in South Korea and made the move to Silicon Valley in 2015 – it quickly became adopted as a place for employees from the likes of Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and more to discuss the internal culture of their companies.

Their mission is born out of the desire to bring transparency to the workforce and to offer a platform for colleagues, peers, and leadership teams to honestly share information about salary, culture, career advice, and industry insights. Far from being a forum for toxicity, Kyum argues that their platform encourages empathy and empowerment and that, used correctly, anonymity can be a force for good.

Short on time? Here are some quick takeaways:

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Intercom

Intercom

Announcing Series: Intercom’s powerful new visual campaign builder

Customer engagement has never been more essential to business survival. Retaining your hard-won customers is the difference between success and failure for online businesses, and the key to retention is excellent customer communication.

Successful customer engagement depends on sending the right message, at the right time, and in the right place. Getting this delicate dance right, however, requires careful choreography, with every step considered and planned. Whether it’s onboarding a new customer with well-timed guidance or re-engaging a user at risk of churn by helping them find value, getting the sequence of messages right requires a powerful, intuitive orchestration tool. That’s why we’re incredibly excited to announce Series.

Read the article (4 min read)
Intercom

Intercom

The appliance of science: Mark Roberge’s formula for scaling

What kind of information drives that decision: is it subjective and qualitative, or objective and quantifiable? It’s the classic conflict: left brain versus right brain; art versus science. Mark Roberge knows which he prefers. As an engineer by training, in pressure situations he tends to “lean to the quant.” It’s an approach that’s served him well along the road to building the HubSpot sales team, where he was CRO for nine years. That experience led to his bestselling book, The Sales Acceleration Formula.

Applying data and science to scaling has become easier because of the shift that’s happened in the software industry over the past 15 years, from outside sales to inside sales. This has created large amounts of data for running teams. 

Read the article (3 min read)