- Excellent communications management
- Super-simple integration
- Automation & automated responses
Beyond its livechat functionality, Intercom is a highly advanced conversational marketing tool. The ability to automatically qualify leads using chatbots, and to integrate your prospects into multi-channel message sequences including chatbots and email, are features that can take your sales organization to the next level.
Although costly, this software is capable of meeting a wide range of needs, to which add-on modules can be added to personalize the tool and make it even more effective. A software that we present to you, in detail, in the rest of this article 🙂
My opinion of Intercom in a nutshell
|A leader in conversational marketing tools, Intercom offers an extremely rich range of solutions, including the automation of numerous tasks via chatbots. This richness implies a certain learning curve and, above all, a rather high price tag… An investment whose ROI must be measured.
|Intercom’s functionalities are extremely extensive (livechat, chatbot, marketing automation), but you’ll need to be careful to get the hang of it.
|Intercom’s reporting tool is one of the software’s strengths. The well-designed reports are clear and, above all, comprehensive: lead generation, customer engagement, support – every conceivable analysis tool is at your disposal.
|To overcome the steep learning curve, Intercom makes a number of resources available to help you familiarize yourself with the ecosystem: podcasts, a forum and even an “Academy”! Support, on the other hand, is not always responsive, and that’s a shame.
|Intercom offers over 200 integrations and can be used with many other software applications. Please note, however, that not all integrations are available at all price levels.
|Value for money
|Overall, the tool is expensive, and we regret the lack of clarity in the pricing, which is difficult to read. This cost has to be put into perspective, as this investment can save you a lot of time, particularly through automation.
Intercom functional perimeter
Intercom offers a range of livechat solutions, enabling support staff to chat with customers in real time, as well as chabots, which automatically assist customers when support is unavailable.
More than just a support tool, these chabots can also be used to qualify incoming prospects and integrate them into multi-channel message sequences to lead them towards conversion. In this article, we take a closer look at these marketing automation functions.
Types of chatbots available
A chatbot is programmed to obtain visitors’ references and contact details when customer service is unavailable. It provides support for visitors by answering the most frequently asked questions.
Intercom Operator, the section dedicated to Intercom bots, offers 2 types of bots: Task and Custom.
Task Bots: Intercom’s Task Bot is designed to automate simple tasks, such as suggesting articles in the Help Center and asking visitors to rate conversations. The Task Bot acts primarily as a targeted message automaton; its capabilities are simple and effective.
Custom bots: Custom and Intercom Resolution bots are more advanced bots that interact with visitors based on predefined, targeted rules. Intercom offers a variety of predefined bot templates, as well as the ability to create new bots from scratch.
When you want to create a custom bot (a chatbot flow with elements), Intercom offers a block builder, with all the different blocks on the left and the content of the block on the right :
Rules allow you to determine which type of lead to push what content to, based on your scoring and segmentation criteria.
Finally, by defining your bot’s goal, you’ll be able to measure its effectiveness, and understand how visitors interact with it.
In Intercom, you can see a complete overview of all the people who have chatted with your chatbot.
Intercom lets you ask the user a question and record the answer directly via a custom field or by assigning a tag. All conversations can then be filtered according to this information and the tags assigned.
When you click on one of your users, you can see his custom fields, his tags, the pages of your website he has recently consulted, etc.
Intercom offers three channels on which to deploy the chatbot:
- iOS applications
- Android applications.
You can also create a live chat on certain networks, such as Facebook or Twitter and Slack. However, this live chat will not be linked to your chatbot.
Multi-channel message sequences
Intercom supports multi-channel message sequences. It’s possible to send emails to prospects who add an item to the shopping cart, but leave the page before checking out. You can contact them by chat, email or from publications where your company advertises the product. These engaging messages can be sent once or according to a predefined schedule, to specific customer segments.
The “Series” tool can be used to set up these multi-channel message sequences. You can create these messages from scratch, or use one of the twelve templates available.
A wide range of information can be integrated, such as new users, new products or the reactivation of inactive users. To create these series, use the workflow generator. It lets you define the target and the channels you wish to use.
Intercom also makes it possible to engage customers through :
- Product tour : The software offers a product tour feature designed for the sole purpose of guiding the user through the products in the gallery. For example, you can include discussion videos, define the most important points of the page visited to encourage engagement, or guide the prospect to another specific feature.
- Mobile carousel: Create a carousel specifically for mobile devices to deploy swipe actions on the interface. Support, guidance and other essential information can easily be added.
- A/B testing: Intercom lets you create A/B tests to define which element of your strategy is the most relevant: mobile carousels, outgoing messages, there are plenty of test possibilities to optimize the user experience.
With Intercom, companies can not only collect and segment key data, but also send and store personalized user data attributes within Intercom. Overall, Intercom’s customer data management functionality is one of the most complex of any tool of its kind.
Data attributes are individual pieces of information about customers, rather than customer actions – for example, an attribute might be the date and duration of a customer’s subscription plan, while an action might be the number of site visits. With Intercom, you can create and download personalized data attributes, enabling you to segment your marketing campaigns and analyses.
Other types of customer data are also automatically collected by Intercom. It contains a wealth of information:
- E-mail address
- User’s city and country
- Spoken language
- Browser version
Intercom’s range of chatbot and marketing automation functionalities is truly impressive. The tool enables you to automate a large number of tasks, including prospect qualification and segmentation.
Reporting on Intercom
Intercom provides key performance indicators for live chat and customer support. Updating very quickly, the reporting is easy to read and understand, thanks to its easy-to-read graphs and numerous metrics, such as :
- Lead generation: you can determine the number of leads obtained, the average response time for each lead, the sales rate and the ratio of your personalized bots.
- Customer engagement: you can determine the number of messages sent, the performance of your emails (opens, clicks) or the volume of messages per user, and get a complete analysis of engagement over the last 7, 28 and 90 days.
- Customer service: Intercom provides an overview of conversations, overall performance and customer satisfaction. This also gives an indication of the efficiency of the service and the bots when the latter are not available.
In the reporting section, Intercom supports sorting and segmentation by country, tags and other criteria. You can also generate CSV reports on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Intercom’s reporting tool is one of its strengths. Very clear and detailed, it provides access to a wealth of information to confirm, or not, your strategy.
Intercom offers over 200 integrations. These change according to the plan selected. The Accelerate plan integrates Intercom with Twitter, Facebook, Zendesk and Salesforce, while the Start and Grow plans do not.
Below is a list of some of the integration categories:
- Analytics: Google Analytics, Heap, Nalia, Blendo
- Conversation management: Facebook, WordPress, Zoho Desk, Shopify
- CRM: Salesforce, HubSpot, Square, Funnelfly
- Data & Enrichment: Stripe, Mailchimp, Census, DataHero
- Lead capture: Outlook Calendar, google Calendar, Calendly, Chili Piper
- Marketing automation: Marketo, Autopilot, Troops, Shopitag
- Surveys and Feedbacks: Upvoty, VideoAsk, Typeform, Prodsight
If these integrations aren’t enough or don’t suit, you can use tools like Zapier and Integromat to integrate with virtually any existing application. You can also develop your own webhooks using the Intercom API.
Intercom integrates seamlessly with a wide range of software programs, making it useful and accessible to just about any professional who wants to use it.
Whatever plan your company selects, Intercom offers chat and e-mail support. Unfortunately, many users report a certain lack of responsiveness from Intercom’s support teams.
The functional depth of the tool is such that it is important for users to be able to rely on self-service resources, and this is the case! There’s an Intercom Academy where well-structured courses are available with any formula, enabling you to obtain Intercom certification!
In addition, Intercom frequently organizes webinars, and community members can share their tips and advice via the forum. Ici Intercom highlights this community aspect by ranking the best contributors. Every effort is made to minimize the difficulties associated with the tool’s learning curve.
Intercom does not offer free trials. There’s also a certain lack of transparency when it comes to pricing, since you have to dig deep to get clear information on the subject.
- For VSEs subscribing to a basic messaging service: $59 / month / user
- For other companies wishing to benefit from full functionality, prices are available on request only.
Considered rather expensive, Intercom remains an extremely powerful tool. Is the investment worth it? This will depend on the number of interactions between your users and your chatbot. If the number of exchanges is high, this can save time and automatically qualify leads, thus reducing other expense items.
Quite expensive, Intercom is a tool that must be worth the investment. That’s why it’s important to analyze your needs in advance.